Being born in a well-to-do family hasn’t stopped her from working hard to pave a career of her own, proving to everyone her insatiable desire to rely on herself. From beauty pageants to singing and now acting, she has definitely left an impression on most of us. Yes, we’re talking about Cheryl Wee, one of the young stars of the new MediaCorp TV series, “Mata Mata”!
Lately, on top of her usual yummy food posts (she’s quite a foodie actually), you might have noticed the surge in behind-the-scenes photos from Cheryl on her Instagram and Twitter accounts. It has definitely piqued our curiosity, so this month, we decided to speak to Cheryl for a little sneak peek specially for you readers.
And just in case you’re wondering (well, we are) how this talented home-grown artiste still manages to remain down-to-earth despite all the fame, do read on to find out!
1. Tell us a little more about your role in Mata Mata!
I’m playing Elizabeth Lee who is loosely based on a real life story of Mary Quintal, the very first woman ASP in Singapore. Elizabeth is a spunky and adventurous girl who stands for justice and isn’t afraid to voice her opinions and turn them into actions. I think what’s special about her is how she places her passion over merely climbing the ranks. She’s kaypoh and stubborn but I guess that’s what makes her so persistent and successful in getting to the bottom of things.
2. What was the greatest challenge you faced when filming Mata Mata?
Mata Mata being my first drama and acting job was probably the greatest challenge I’ve been put to. Every day was a new learning experience because I had to learn on the go. For example, on the 2nd day of the shoot, the director wanted me to cry on cue and I was quite nervous about it. Thankfully for Aileen Tan, who plays my mother, she made the whole experience so real and helped me get into character. The hardest thing I would say is not to act as Elizabeth Lee and actually believe that I am her. Although we share similarities, some of her antics were kind of out there for Cheryl Wee, like how brave she can be.
3. We understand that it isn’t easy forging a career in showbiz. Who has been your greatest inspiration all the while?
My mom. She is so determined when it comes to pursuing something that she is really passionate about and believe in. And what counts even more than passion is her diligence and how amazingly hard working she is. Yet she is still so humble towards every learning opportunity and never stops improving herself.
4. We love how you’re financially independent and have never relied on your family background for favours! What keeps you so grounded and focused?
I’m really blessed to having a loving family who has brought us up strictly, to understand the value of money and to work for what we want. And of course a bunch of real good friends whom I can rely on to unload my worries and frustrations, who also aren’t afraid to criticize me and still love me.
5. What’s it like being the eldest out of 3?
It’s kind of like being a mom without having gone through childbirth. I love my Mei Mei and Di Di so much that I feel the need to mother them at times and make sure they are well taken care of. Yet still being a sister who they can share stuff that isn’t cool to share with our parents. In that sense we share a special bond.
6. You’ve been so active on social media all the while. What would it be like if you’re suddenly deprived of social media?
The reason why I love social media is because I get to share my joy and moments with my friends. I’m actually a conventional girl. I prefer letters over emails and meet ups over Skype. But this is quite challenging and difficult with our tight schedules and social media would be the next best alternative to communicate and be in touch with our friends and an even wider social circle.
7. We see that you’ve been constantly updating your Twitter with sneaks as you’re filming for Mata Mata! How have your fans been reacting to that?
I guess they’ve been as excited as I am for Mata Mata to be on air. Especially because it’s a period drama, with all the vintage clothes and old fashion street settings, it’s not something we get to experience in this day and age. So it’s like a time machine bringing us back in time.
8. Has social media been of help to your career? If so, how?
It’s definitely helped me get closer to friends and everyone out there to get to know them and for them to know me better. I find social media especially helpful after being involved in Mata Mata because now social media has made it so simple and straightforward to get a message out there and to get people to look out for us.
9. What do you usually do in your free time?
Eat and sleep!!! I love reading food blogs and trying out food haunts and going on cafe hopping. I can practically read food blogs almost every night before I go to bed. Just by looking at the yummylicious food helps me unwind and makes me feel so happy.
10. If you’re allowed to keep any animal as a pet, which animal would you pick?
Will a unicorn count? It’s a horse that can fly. Perhaps I could take a ride from him too!
Alright, all you Channel 5 drama junkies had better get your senses up with the Mata Mata sirens coming along! The series will be premiering on 9 August, 2013 right after our NDP parade, so keep your eyes peeled for it. Meanwhile, catch more sneaks at Cheryl’s blog, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! You won’t be disappointed.