Why Crazy Rich Asians actress Amy Cheng doesn't mind being the bad guy

PHOTO: AFP

She plays Jacqueline Ling - the scheming granddaughter of wealthy old-money philanthropist Ling Yin Chao and goddaughter of Shang Su Yi, and Eleanor Young's mortal nemesis.

Yes we are talking about actress and Creative Director of drama school Act 3 plays, Amy Cheng.

Her role in Crazy Rich Asians is a departure from the character, Karen, the long suffering wife of Gary Tay, we are more familiar with in "Growing Up". She stars alongside her former "Growing Up" co-stars Pierre Png and Fiona Xie.

"One of the best parts of being in this production, for me, was the support for each other. Being Singaporean actors in this Hollywood production was something we all felt very proud of and honoured at the same time."

"It's something we don't take lightly We would often share notes or encouragement for each other. That, plus a good dose of fun and laughter over food and drinks!" shared Amy.

Landing a part in the US$30 million (S$41 million) production is a big deal, so what's it like playing Jacqueline Ling in her first Hollywood production. Let's hear it from Amy.

In the movie "Crazy Rich Asians," you trade your good girl shoes to play Jacqueline Ling, the scheming mother of Nick's ex-girlfriend. Do you prefer playing a good character or a villain if given a choice? And why?

Characters that have both good and bad sides are interesting to play. So, my preference is not so much whether the character is "good" or "bad", but more of: does this "good" character have inner conflicts or demons to struggle with. Or does this "bad" character have another side to her. Such characters with layers are very compelling for me!

Your character in the "Crazy Rich Asians" movie is in cahoots with Nick's mother (played by Michelle Yeoh) to take Rachel down. Assuming this happened in real life and you aren't particularly fond of your son's girlfriend, what would you do?

Well, from a far less Crazy Rich background, I think the stakes are lower for me. Jokes aside, I would examine the real reason as to why I don't like her. As long as she is respectful, kind and they are both happy, I wouldn't interfere.

How did you prepare yourself for the movie?

I read the book!

Stars of Crazy Rich Asians shine bright at Singapore premiere

  • Actor Henry Golding (R) and his wife Liv Lo (L) arrive at the film premiere of "Crazy Rich Asians" at the Capitol Theatre in Singapore on August 21, 2018.
  • Hundreds turned up at the Capitol Theatre on Tuesday night (Aug 21) to greet the stars of the film Crazy Rich Asians at the Singapore premiere of the surprise Hollywood hit.
  • The main attraction was lead actor Malaysian-British actor Henry Golding, who plays Nick Young, the heir to a fortune amassed by Singapore's wealthiest family.
  • He was joined on the carpet by his wife, actress and fitness instructor Liv Lo.
  • Also present were Singapore actors Pierre Png, Tan Kheng Hua, Koh Chieng Mun, Fiona Xie, Selena Tan, Janice Koh, Amy Cheng and Constance Lau, as well as photographer Russel Wong and others.
  • Pierre Png and wife Andrea D'cruz
  • Director John M. Chu (R) and his wife Kristin Hodge
  • Fiona Xie, who plays Kitty Pong in the film.
  • Actor Chris Pang walks the emerald carpet in Singapore.
  • The film's weekend takings of over US$35 million (S$47.9 million) in the United States has far exceeded expectations for the romantic comedy, with many seeing its success as a sign that audiences are hungry for fun love stories, and will welcome films that feature non-whites in leading roles.
  • The film, based on the 2013 bestseller of the same name by novelist Kevin Kwan, opens in theatres in Singapore on Aug 22.
  • Malaysian actress Carmen Soo.
  • Singapore actress Koh Chieng Mun.
  • Constance Lau
  • Janice Koh
  • Selena Tan
  • Producer John Penotti and guests pose at the film premiere of "Crazy Rich Asians"

You are an actress, wife, mother-of-two, founder and director of Act 3 Theatrics. How do you find time for yourself? And what do you do for me-time, if you have any?

Breathe (when it gets crazy).

Pray and meditate for at least 5 mins.

Yoga and walks for less crazy days!

You've come a long way since you played the long-suffering wife of Gary Tay in the long-running drama "Growing Up." What is your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment is within. I've found a greater sense of self.

"Crazy Rich Asians" is the first studio film with an Asian cast set in the present day since the 1993 production "The Joy Luck Club", why is Asian representation important in the film industry?

It's the herald of a more inclusive representation in the movie industry. It is start of seeing people as human beings instead of what their skin colour is. It opens the door for other under-represented races to be on the big screen. Most of all, it is a huge inspiration for us all, that dreams can happen!

What's next for you?

20 Days is now airing on channel 5. It's my first TV comedic role for a long time and I had a lot of fun doing it. So hopefully more!

This article was first published on Her World Online

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