Photos: Dion Tang
Videos: Tan Shi Qi
Upcoming Channel 8 drama Mind Game may be a dark, gruesome production (heads up: the pilot contains decapitated corpses), but the atmosphere at yesterday’s media conference with stars Joanne Peh, Tay Ping Hui, Paige Chua, Zhang Yao Dong, Terence Cao and Akit Tay was a cheerful one, filled with good-natured quips and fond anecdotes.
Most of the cast members even showed up in an array of delightfully punchy colours, although no one emanated a radiance like expectant Joanne, who claimed that her fuchsia dress was not an indication of her little one’s gender (a secret she and hubby Qi Yuwu wish to keep exclusive to close friends and family members for as long as they can).
“It’s all from my baby,” she gushed during a group interview, when asked if she’s been sticking to a particular complexion-boosting regimen. “They say a mother emits the hormones of her unborn child, so I have mine to thank for my glow.”
Besides that, she has also been keeping in shape by keeping up with her pre-pregnancy active lifestyle, albeit with safer activities such as pre-natal yoga and Pilates, brisk-walking and using the step machine. “I’ll be in a bad mood if I don’t exercise!” she admitted with a chuckle.
Speaking of keeping in shape, does Joanne, who has always been slim, worry about the bump “wrecking” her figure? “I was at first, but (I realised) I should be thankful for the opportunity to experience this,” she shared.
In addition to the physical changes, the usually cool and collected Joanne has some emotional fluctuations to contend with. “I don’t lose my temper, but I do get emo – yesterday I cried buckets because (my husband went back to China) and I miss him!” she bewailed. “It has never been this bad.”
At least she has something sweet to remember him by until his return for the filming of The Dream Makers sequel and of course, the birth of their baby: before he left, Yuwu romantically left a pink rose on their kitchen counter, which Joanne happily shared about on her Instagram page.
When the husband is around, however, you can bet that he’s a super protective father-to-be. “He doesn’t let me carry heavy things, climb up to high places, or even wash the dishes!”
And even when he’s away, Joanne has friends and relatives who are just as anxiously dictating what she should or should not be doing. “I’m told that I cannot raise my arms because the umbilical cord could get tangled, or that I cannot hit my shoulders too hard because of some nerve connection,” she said. “I don’t know if those are all old wives’ tales, but I prefer to err on the side of caution.”
Other things she is currently avoiding: pineapple, mangoes, alcohol, too much coffee, and – most unfortunate of all – sashimi. “So painful! I would like to have a plate of it sometime,” lamented Joanne.
Baby QiPeh was upset at daddy’s Best Actor loss?
While Joanne managed to snag Best Supporting Actress at last Sunday’s Star Awards, Yuwu lost Best Actor to Shaun Chen, and the bun in the oven seems to have been aware of the defeat. “There was some movement when he didn’t win, but maybe it was a coincidence,” she told us.
Another time the mama-to-be felt her kid acting up was when watching the trailer for Mind Game, which was full of loud noises and unsettling action, during the media session. “I was like, ‘Baby, you don’t like it, huh?’ I don’t know how I’m going to watch this drama!”
Paige Chua will reject her long-time boyfriend’s marriage proposal
While Joanne blissfully anticipates the arrival of her mini-me in August, her first-time co-star Paige has no plans to tie the knot and have babies yet, despite being in a stable relationship with a non-celebrity for the past 12 years.
“I’m happy with my current status and enjoying life right now,” she revealed in a separate interview with Toggle. “I used to have a marriage goal when I was 18, but I gave up when I realised there are many other things I want to do besides settling down.”
What sort of things? “I want to travel more and I want to make a few drama serials that I can be really proud of, and I don’t think I’m there yet,” she admitted. “I love children, but right now I’m not ready to commit 24/7 of my time to a child. I don’t want to get married and have kids just because I’m pressured to.”
With this declaration came a candid confession: if her boyfriend popped the question to her, she would turn him down. “I would say, ‘Thanks but no, not yet’. (laughs)”
Catch Mind Game every Monday to Friday at 9pm on Channel 8, starting May 7.
Joanne as crime squad leader Zhao An Ni and Paige as Feng Xue Zhi/Liang Hui Xin, who has the ability to see the future. (Credit: Channel 8)