Local actress Chantalle Ng has been a big Harry Potter fan since she was a child.
As Potterheads (fans of the iconic franchise), one of the things that they must do is to take the Sorting Hat test, which would place them into one of the four Hogwarts Houses. In a way, it is also a personality test, where each house represents people with certain qualities.
Speaking to AsiaOne at the press conference for her new Mediacorp drama All That Glitters, the 28-year-old revealed that she is a Slytherin.
According to the official Harry Potter website Wizarding World, those who are sorted into this house are ambitious, shrewd and possibly destined for greatness.
And that is exactly how Chantalle perceives herself to be.
"I am ambitious and I have a lot of things that I want to achieve," she shared.
'Life is good'
The Singapore Management University alumnus added that before she graduated with a Degree in Information Systems in 2019, she had already set out life goals for herself.
"Ever since before graduation, I've been like, okay, I'm going to get my degree and then I'm going to sign a contract and then I'm going to have this and that," said Chantalle, whose mum is veteran local actress Lin Meijiao.
However, when she had some time to look back at her own life recently, she realised that she had been in a "constant chase", where all along, she had been living "exactly the life [she] wanted as a child".
Chantalle shared: "I don't know why I was still continuously in pursuit of something more.
"I think the biggest realisation I had this year is that actually, life is good. I am where I am, I am where I want myself to be, and I see how great it is and I started to feel very grateful that life has led me to this point."
Despite that, it doesn't mean that she hadn't thought about how life could be if she had chosen other paths.
Chantalle said: "I do wonder because there are a lot of other choices that I could have made that would lead me to completely different lives. For example, if I were to pursue a career in computer science, how would life be different?"
But no matter what, she believes that whichever path that she is on right now is always the one that she is destined to take and there is nothing to regret.
In Chantalle's words: "#No ragratz".
She added: "To choose a different path, I don't think I will have to go back to walk a different path. But I'm always very assured that the road that I'm about to take next will be the one that is the path of no regrets."
'I am always very sincere with my emotions'
Speaking about expanding her career to China by signing with Huanyu Entertainment, Chantalle recounted a conversation she had with local actor Christopher Lee, who mentored her on the set of their new drama Kill Sera Sera.
She shared: "I listened to Christopher's stories and how he decided to go abroad at the age of 40 [to try out acting opportunities]... I told him, 'You make it sound so easy, you can just go overseas and get a best actor award. How is it so easy?'
"Christopher said, 'It's okay, when there's an opportunity, you should grab onto it'. And a few months later, Huanyu Entertainment's contract came. I thought to myself, 'Wow, the stars align'.
"So if anything, I'm very grateful for this opportunity to go overseas and to see the world exactly as I wanted when I was having that conversation with Christopher."
Chantalle also shared that she is looking for continuous growth and learning opportunities, whether in Singapore or China, no matter in a good role or a bad role.
"No experience will ever be wasted, even the most horrible one," she said, adding that she would love to try out a costume drama.
She is also mindful about continuing to portray each of her characters with sincerity.
"I am always very sincere with my emotions. I use my heart to show an emotion and that is something that I don't want to lose.
"I heard people say that after acting for a while, you may get numb to it, then you start to use techniques to act instead. I think that is something I really don't want to lose and if I find myself acting with techniques one day, then it would be my sign to take a break," Chantalle explained.
'I don't look at everything as superficially as before'
In her new drama All That Glitters, Chantalle plays Li Zhenyu, who is visually handicapped with only 20 per cent sight, and the love interest of Liu Musen, played by Desmond Tan.
She shared: "Zhenyu just wants a very simple life. She wants her family and herself to be safe and happy. But then she met Musen and he wants to become rich and successful. So that's where some things happened and became a tragic love story."
In preparation for the role, Chantalle visited the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped, to hear more first-hand experiences, which helped her to better portray Zhenyu.
She said: "I understand that they can still see a silhouette, but they cannot see your features. So at first when I interpreted Zhenyu's role, I faced away from my co-stars and just listened, I didn't make eye contact.
"But after that, we made some adjustments, so I have to act like I can actually see the silhouette but I'm just not looking at you, which is quite a challenge because it took me a while to master not looking at my co-stars' face. I was also worried that if I am looking right into their faces, then viewers would think, 'Isn't this girl blind, but why is she not blind?'"
Zhenyu is also the first role where Chantalle had more scenes to portray as a mother and she thought it would be a challenge at first — but was surprised.
"I am not a fan of children… But I completely fell in love with the girl who acted as my daughter because she is different. She comes so well-prepared. She did her homework and remembered her lines by heart. And it really helps because I feel she looks exactly like me. It's like, 'Oh my goodness, you're so cute because you looked like me!'" Chantalle gushed.
Portraying Zhenyu also made Chantalle learn to look at situations beyond the surface, which is a skill that she will bring to portray other characters in the future.
She added: "Zhenyu made me learn to not experience the world simply by looking at things. She forced me to go inwards and feel the world with my heart and spirit. Because of that, there were a lot of times when my co-stars were acting, I didn't have to look at them, but I would get goosebumps because my 'vibe alerts' just became more keen and I can feel more things than simply just looking.
"I don't look at everything as superficially as before, it comes with other senses like feeling vibes, hearing their tone and feeling the heart-to-heart connection."
All That Glitters centres around three young men, Lin Musen, He Jianzhi (Ayden Sng) and Huang Jintiao (Jeremy Chan), who are unhappy with their life circumstances at the bottom of the social ladder and are determined to achieve success in life and change their destinies. However, in the midst of gaining riches and accomplishments, their friendships crumble as they turn from best friends to worst enemies.
The drama, which also stars Hong Ling, He Yingying, Chen Yixin, Zhang Zetong and Tyler Ten, airs on Channel 8 at 9pm on weekdays. It is also available now on demand for free on meWATCH.
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