Lovingly referred to as a “goddess”, the nickname is actually an apt description of Paige Chua. Despite being in showbusiness since 2008, the actress has remained true to herself and maintained a wholesome, unproblematic image that isn’t sustained by negative press. The multiple Star Awards Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes winner also doesn’t let fame get to her head, staying firmly humble and grounded, at least in the eyes of fans. Ahead, we attempt to demystify Paige Chua and find out what makes her unique and lovable.
During her schooling days, Paige Chua was also kept busy with netball as she was part of the national team between 1997 to 1999. She was scouted while she played for her alma mater Mayflower Secondary before passing the selection trials. An injury later forced her to retire early but not before instilling an active lifestyle into her.
After dropping out of competitive netball, Paige Chua was looking for another interest to dabble in. That was when she discovered modelling. “I was intrigued by the versatility of models in their different make up and outfits. And being tall, I was told many times that I should model, so I went for it.”
Paige would go on to model for four years, partaking in anything from television commercials to print advertisements and fashion magazines before her debut role in Just in Singapore (2008).
In an interview for her role in Soul Old Yet So Young, Paige Chua revealed that she did a six-month stint as a relief kindergarten teacher when she was 18. It was a PAP Foundation kindergarten located in Ang Mo Kio and she shared that she was a biased teacher who favoured boys.
While we are on the topic of kids, Paige Chua shared in a 2018 interview that she isn’t ready for have children and doesn’t think she will “be a mother in this lifetime”.
“Too many factors determine my fate. I’m just not ready, plus, [I don’t have many years left to have a baby]. I’m okay with it. I wouldn’t adopt, but I’ve been seriously thinking about becoming a foster parent. I’d like to offer a temporary home to someone who’s in need, like delinquent kids who need a home before they move on. I’ve been reading about it and the idea has resonated with me. So maybe it’s something I’d do when I retire. I’m working now so I can’t foster a kid now. I love working with children, but being a mum requires 24/7 attention on the kid. Honestly, I don’t know if I can do that. I like kids, but when the time comes, I need some time for myself. I’ve seen how tired my sister is because she uses so much energy on the newborn, breastfeeding and cradling the child to sleep and things like that. She’s amazing. You really need to want a child to do that. If you’re half-hearted about it, then… think harder.”
While you might think that actors are all extroverts owing to the nature of their job, Paige Chua defies that assumption. In the same 2018 interview, she confessed to being an introvert and that she takes a while to “warm up to people” and that she isn’t eager to take the centre spot of attention. “There’s no point trying to hasten things before you’re ready. For me, it’s always been about following my destiny and taking my time to be comfortable in every step I take, as long as I’m not hurt or hurting others.”
Paige also keeps a strong line between her public and private life, revealing little about her family and any romantic relationships she has had.
“I don’t understand why they call me ‘goddess’. Am I supposed to sit there and meditate all the time? That’s not me. There’s so much more to me. And, it’s a bit frustrating sometimes, that people have a certain label for me, and I feel like I can’t get out of it, or I have to make an extra effort to change it. I feel that I shouldn’t have to. I think I need to be who I am, rather than stick to a certain framework of what the label entails.”
A hobby that she picked up in 2019 in Ipoh while filming a drama, Paige Chua loves pottery for the meditative qualities during the making of your own creation. Pottery has also taught her to be “patient with yourself” and that it is okay to “try again” and “find beauty in the imperfections”.
On pole dancing, which she also first encountered for a drama, Paige is a fan of how empowering the dance is, especially for the ladies. While she had her initial reservations about the art, she later “cast away my judgments” and fell wholeheartedly for pole dancing. “There’s a particular genre I really like, which is lyrical pole – a combination of modern dance and techniques of pole. I’m more focused on that than the more exotic versions.”
Paige Chua really puts the “multi” in multi-hyphenate. The actress proves that she excels in various artistic endeavours including piano, Chinese zither (guzheng) and Chinese flute. She also counts yoga, archery and tennis as hobbies.
Paige Chua’s anti-ageing skincare secret? Daily facial massages using a gua sha board and rosehip oil. She uses them to promote blood circulation and reduce water retention. Her youthful, chiselled and glowing mien, too, is proof of her dedication and hard work.