Caren Utino: 'I can be tough'

Caren Utino: 'I can be tough'

She is slim and ladylike, but do not dismiss her as a pushover.

Standing at 1.65m and weighing 47kg, Brazilian-Japanese model-actress Caren Utino packs a mean punch - literally.

Twice, the Los Angeles-based beauty was attacked by robbers in her hometown in Sao Paulo in Brazil but managed to escape largely unharmed.

"People think of me as sweet and cute, but I can be quite tough. I think it's the Brazilian side of me," the 34-year-old told The New Paper yesterday.

"Last year, a man broke the window of my friend's car to rob us when we were on our way to watch Billy Elliot the musical."

"I punched and kicked him through the window with my high heels on as he tried to pull me out by my jacket."

"The police usually tell me that they wouldn't think that a small Asian woman like me would fight back."

Utino stars in local production Afterimages, a horror flick directed by Singapore-based American director Tony Kern, which will premiere here tomorrow.

In the locally-produced film, she plays film student Tess Ling, who, together with her groupmates, receive five horror film footages in return for burning paper effigy cameras as offerings during the hungry ghost month.

Utino, who got the role after receiving a referral to Kern through talent company Red Carpet Agency, stayed in Singapore for two weeks during the filming process.

She stayed in the home where her scenes were filmed, together with fellow co-star and on-screen boyfriend Jeremy Meyer.

Unfortunately for her, no one told her that the building in the east, which had belonged to a Chinese scholar, was thought to be haunted.

"I thought it was nice so that we could get to know each other better," she said.

"The house was old and had all these weird, creepy objects but luckily I didn't feel any sort of presence.

"Besides, the house was always full of people when we were filming."

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