She has been in showbiz for only a year, but local actress Carrie Wong is already a double nominee for the upcoming Star Awards.
The 21-year-old, who signed a full-time contract with MediaCorp last year, has been nominated for Best Newcomer and Best Supporting Actress at the annual local TV awards ceremony in April.
But even as she basks in the spotlight, Wong laments the lack of suitors in her life.
The 1.74m-tall starlet told The New Paper: "There is nobody chasing me now, not a single one. So sad.
"Maybe guys feel intimidated by my height. You know, many Singaporean guys are not very tall to begin with.
"I don't have great expectations. The guy doesn't even have to be taller than me. As long as we are of the same height, it's fine."
Wong, who enjoys spending her free time at home indulging in Hong Kong and Chinese TV dramas, thinks an ideal date with her partner would be to spend time in front of a laptop.
She said: "It will be great if he likes to stay home and watch TV dramas with me, and get our food home-delivered."
Wong, who graduated from Nanyang Polytechnic with a diploma in hospitality and tourism management, got her big break at the end of 2013 after coming in third in Hey Gorgeous, a Channel U reality show that scouts good-lookers with star quality from schools in Singapore.
It was also the same time she ended her last relationship of more than a year.
She initiated the break-up as she and her boyfriend, who was also her coursemate, had differing opinions over her showbiz path.
"I knew he could not accept me getting so much attention and having the limelight on me, so I chose my career over love," she said.
"My future boyfriend needs to be very mature and be able to accept this."
Wong nabbed the role of a schizophrenic woman, the younger sister of Christopher Lee's crime novelist character, in last year's Channel 8 drama Against The Tide.
She was later cast as dessert seller Tang Shui Mei in the Channel 8 blockbuster period drama The Journey: Tumultuous Times, which earned her the Best Supporting Actress nomination.
Her character falls for gangster Hu Jia (Shaun Chen) but dies after being gangraped by his enemies.
On the admittedly "scary" scene, she said: "It was difficult as the location was very dirty and my nose is very sensitive, so I kept sneezing during filming, even when I was supposed to be dead.
"And because my hands and legs were tied up, it actually left bruises here and there. When the bad guys started ripping my clothes, it was very traumatic."
She's currently busy shooting the ongoing, long-running Channel 8 drama 118, in which she plays a village girl from Penang who is the illegitimate daughter of Chan Tianwen's character.
With such prominent roles to her credit, it is hard to imagine that Wong initially did not even want to be an actress.
The only child of a housewife mother and retiree father, she said: "I wanted to be an air stewardess after I graduated from poly. But this came along and changed my life.
"Now I really love acting, and I want to be someone who is known for my acting chops, and not just for my looks."
Her dream role?
A female gangster or a roadside durian stall owner.
The carefree rookie believes such non-traditional characters will allow her to really let go of her image and focus on her acting.
She said: "That way, I will not have any image burden." But for now, Wong is "stressing over" her Star Awards outfit.
She describes her own style as "tomboyish", adding that it is hard for people to catch her in a dress or skirt.
During her polytechnic days, she enjoyed adventurous activities such as rock climbing and cycling at Pulau Ubin.
"I hope to wear a suit (to the Star Awards), as it is in line with my character," she said.
"Of course I'd prefer more comfortable clothes like jeans and pants, blazer and shirt.
"I'll need to discuss with my manager first."
Wong is hoping to go home with at least one trophy.
She said: "I kind of expected (the Best Newcomer nomination) as there weren't many newcomers in the past year."
She is up against popular actor Aloysius Pang, one of the 8 Dukes of Media- Corp, as well as Hong Ling, Nick Teo and Seraph Sun.
However, she's not as confident about the Best Supporting Actress category, which boasts established stars like Joanne Peh and Xiang Yun.
Wong said: "I have no hope of taking home this award. The competition is very strong.
"But to be nominated in this category so soon is already a dream come true. I feel very blessed. I thought I would have to wait till 2016 or 2017 to have this form of recognition.
"This is very surprising. It's a huge achievement."
CARRIE WONG TRIVIA
1. She looks up to local actress Rui En who can "act very well".
2. She has a crush on local actor Christopher Lee since his Condor Heroes days in the late 90s.
3. She is terrified of cockroaches, which never fail to send her screaming and running.
4. She was a member of the volleyball team at Evergreen Secondary School.
5. She used to think that she had no talent as she couldn't sing, dance or cook.
This article was first published on February 5, 2015.
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