Born in England to a Singaporean Chinese father and British mother, Ng Mayling plays Orana, an Amazonian female warrior, in the new blockbuster movie Wonder Woman. If you’re wondering, yes, it is THE tribe that Wonder Woman, the princess of the Amazons, descents from. Fear not, we won’t delve too much into her role because, you know, we hate spoiler alerts too.
In reality, Ng Mayling is somewhat of a wonder woman herself…she is an international personal trainer AND fitness model, as well as being a successful actress.
Photo: Simon Cheng Joo from Flux Fotography
With just a few more days to the release of the superhero movie, we grabbed her for a quick chat to get the full lowdown.
What makes you feel connected to Singapore?
I have a large, extensive family here. We always kept in touch, and now with Facebook it’s easier. Before I moved to the U.S. in 2015 I lived in Asia for 5 years and Singapore was my base.
And we heard you can put on a Singlish accent, that’s amazing. How did you learn that?
It comes naturally when I speak to my father. I have grown up mirroring his Singlish without realizing it. I’m told if I’m talking with an American, I talk with their accent. I’ve been told my accent is a mix of Australian (I’ve never been to OZ lol!), American, and British. I think my nomad lifestyle has mixed up my speech.
What is one thing you absolutely miss about Singapore?
Food and family. Just landing in Changi is a surreal feeling – the smell and the heat! It has never changed since I was a baby visiting family here during most of the Lunar New Years of my childhood.
How do you keep so fit? Do you keep to a strict diet, or just eat in moderation?
I train everyday. It’s my medication and my therapy. If I don’t train, I soon start to feel down and even overwhelmed. The endorphins I get from training makes me feel strong both mentally and physically.
Any advice to ladies out there taking their first step to keeping fit?
Start with moving every other day, and it doesn’t always have to be at the gym. It can be yoga one day, martial arts or dance the next, then the gym, then a day at the park or beach for long walks. Just move!
I have a motto which couldn’t be more true: “If you don’t use it, you will lose it”. Meaning, if you’re not stretching or moving every day, your body will grow tight and stiff. So if you think you don’t have time to get moving, then make sure you’re ready for sickness and injuries, as they will surely come as you age.
Image: behind the scenes of Blood Hunters feature film as Queen Maya (Philippines Feb 2017)
Do people get confused about your heritage, especially after introducing yourself?
Very much so. I often get mistaken for various different countries of birth, from South American to Russian. Another is Mongolian. But I’m proud of my Chinese heritage, even stipulating Singapore Chinese when asked (lol). My name is always a conversation opener.
Give us a quick run down on your previous acting history…
I have succeeded in starring in a Hong Kong martial arts movie, Lady Bloodfight and in the Kumite no less! Then I went on to play a Amazonian in a comic mega movie and most recently a Demon fighter in the Horror FMA action movie “Blood Hunters.”
So, let’s chat about the big blockbuster! What was it like, filming for Wonder Woman?
It was an amazing experience! It was the largest production I have ever worked on and I made friends for life.
After Wonder Woman, what would you want to work on?
So now, a Mulan warrior, a James Bond villain, a Star Wars fighter, or a Game of Thrones sword-wielding assassin – any of those characters – would top off my resume off nicely, I’m just putting that out in the universe as that seems to work for me so far.
Wonder Woman will be out in theatres on 31st May, 2017.