SINGAPORE - Both on and off screen, Channel 8 actress Jeanette Aw comes across as demure and feminine.
So it came as a surprise when she recently upended her longstanding image and decided to shave the side of her head as she felt it was "suitable" for her latest role.
Aw, 33, now sports an undercut - a la English singer Ellie Goulding and US dubstep producer Skrillex.
The Hype Records artist felt that playing Mo Yu Qing, an extroverted football fan who's one of the guys, in new Channel 8 drama World At Your Feet called for the grungy look.
The show, which airs next May, is currently being filmed.
Aw told The New Paper in an e-mail interview: "It has come to a point in time where I feel I should do something different. The production team was thrilled to hear my suggestion and even more so when they saw that I really did it. No empty talk for me. I had the freedom to suggest something, so it was my responsibility to see (it) through."
Aw felt that change was necessary for her to grow as a performer.
"It is time to move away from stereotypes and for others to realise that there are many facets in a person's character," she said.
In fact, Aw - who said she enjoys travelling alone to countries like India - said that Mo bears a resemblance to her real self.
Her other side
"Many don't get to see this side of me - the one who roughs things out, who's pretty gungho about doing things, who's excited about holding a snake in her hand... I don't bother so much with dressing up and make-up such that my stylists are constantly screaming at me," she admitted.
But no matter how laidback she is, Aw did concede that, as a ballet-trained dancer, chopping off some of her precious locks was still a "pretty big deal" to her as she loves her long tresses.
The only other drastic hairstyle she has tried was an afro-like perm for a previous drama.
Her family and friends have been largely unfazed by her bold move.
"They are used to me doing crazy things. This time, most comments were (about how brave I was)," she recalled.
For now, Aw has "no regrets", although her shaved sides are "pretty high maintenance".
"Because it is so short, it gets very obvious when it grows out so I need to get it trimmed every week or so," she said.
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