“Do I want a baby? Yes. When is it going to happen – I don’t know,” said then newly-married Joanne Peh, during the press conference for 1965, when we broached the topic about having a family of her own last October.
Now fast-forward to today, three to four months later, Joanne and her husband Qi Yuwu are expecting their first child together and released the good news yesterday noon after news of her pregnancy leaked. It was earlier reported that Joanne’s currently three months pregnant but in fact, the actress told us she’s just a few days shy of reaching her first trimester.
The mother-to-be shared over a phone interview that they learned of the “good news” when they were in the middle of filming SG50 movie, 1965. “We’re happy, we’re overjoyed, excited as with any first time parents,” she said.
The actress shared that a few scenes in the movie (like those of her getting bumped or falling) were tweaked to accommodate her pregnancy, and a few crew members like the executive producer, director and assistant director were informed of the good news beforehand. And filming went on as per usual for Joanne, who plays a feisty coffee shop owner called Zhou Jun, in the upcoming period movie
Read on for more as Joanne shares on how she’s coping with her pregnancy, her weird cravings for local food and her future work plans.
xinmsn: Congratulations! How does it feel to be expecting a baby?
Joanne: We’re happy, overjoyed and excited as with any first-time parents. We don’t know what to expect and what it’s going to be like. I was concerned with some of the things I can or cannot eat, and if I could exercise. Because I’ve been a very active and independent person, I’d do a lot of things on my own and then suddenly now I have to take a step back, slow down and let others take care of some stuff for me.
Even buying groceries and stuff – sometimes my husband is not in Singapore and I have a lot of things to do by myself. And I’m quite grateful that during this period of time that I have my husband with me and he’s not away. It’s been good (Chuckles), I’m getting used to the princess treatment.
Will Yuwu be accompanying you in Singapore throughout your pregnancy?
He’d be going back to China after Chinese New Year for a project and would only come back in the middle of the year for The Dream Makers part 2, I think. We’re not sure also. It depends on where his filming is going to take place.
Will you be travelling with him or will you be based in Singapore?
I don’t know. If it’s a convenient place for me to be at, I could be there too. If not it’d be better for me to be in Singapore also ‘cos of some work commitments. (Ed’s note: Joanne will be travelling to Guangzhou for a month in her second trimester to spend the Chinese New Year with her in-laws too)
How did Yuwu react when you guys discovered that you are pregnant?
He was overjoyed and very happy. (Laughs) He also repeatedly asked: ‘Is it confirmed? Are you sure? Can you double or triple confirm it?’
Did you guys foresee having a baby so quickly, after getting married in September last year?
We did say that we’d let nature take its course and so if it happens, it happens. That was how we kept to it. We’re also aware of how you sometimes you keep trying and trying and you don’t always get lucky. I think for us we’re very blessed and we sort of ‘got it’. We don’t want to wait or anything like that.
How did you cope having to film while being pregnant in the early stages?
I think there were some things I still have to do – crying, running and all that. Thankfully we found out after all the grueling scenes were done. So okay lah, everything’s good. I don’t have a violent nausea or anything like that so it’s been quite okay. I just didn’t really have an appetite at night in the beginning and I don’t really want to eat that much at night. I think my digestion is a bit slower and I can’t eat a lot and I have to eat slower otherwise I’ll get bloated. But now my appetite is back. People tell me the second trimester is the most comfortable so I’m looking forward to enjoying it.
Do you have any particular food cravings during your pregnancy?
Yes! And it changes. It started off with local food like hokkien mee and chicken rice, and then suddenly I don’t want that anymore and I just want sandwiches – anything with bread is good for me. And then after that, it became really funny food that I never used to like when I wasn’t pregnant. Suddenly I’d have a craving for my dad’s mixed porridge or my mum’s fried rice (and I never ate fried rice last time). Now it’s lup cheong fan (Chinese sausage rice) and I’d never touch it last time, but now I wanna have it.
Will we see you take on any new project during this period of time?
I don’t think I can do dramas but I’m open to any possibilities. In fact, I’m doing something wit the National Gallery and going to schools to speak with them about the art gallery and also introduce some work. Actually I’d be going for training today too – that’s what the school outreach projects are about. I’m open to variety shows or one-off jobs. Nothing too strenuous or time-consuming would be good for me to do still.
Is Yuwu particular about the kind of projects you take on now?
He’s definitely concerned about my health and wellbeing but he’s not that controlling in that sense. The most important thing is for me to be happy. If I feel so bored staying at home or if he tell me I cannot exercise, I’d be very depressed. He’s been very supportive, as long as it’s nothing too strenuous or too jumpy.
Do you foresee yourself going straight back to work after the pregnancy too?
Gosh, I don’t know. I think I want to jump right back to work but there are certain practical things like breastfeeding that I need to consider too - and also finding the right projects as well. I’m at the stage where I want to really do something I believe in and something that I can be inspired by (and) that also means being more selective about work. If there’s an appropriate opportunity, I’d love to do it.
1965 is slated for a release in the second quarter of 2015.
WATCH: Joanne Peh and Qi Yuwu in Going Home 3