Daydreaming with Jeanette Aw in Perth

Toggle catches up with the Best Actress winner on the set of ‘The Dream Job’, where she tells us about the time she was left with 25 trash bags after cleaning her house

Jeanette with her painting at Kidogo Art House, Fremantle
Jeanette with her painting at Kidogo Art House, Fremantle
07 Jun 2016

Jeanette with her painting at Kidogo Art House, Fremantle

Photos: Tammi Tan
Videos: Teng Siew Eng

DIRECT FROM PERTH: Back in March, we packed our bags and hopped on a plane to Perth to join the crew and four cast members of Channel 8’s upcoming blockbuster drama The Dream Job. Filming took place for about ten days in the Western Australian region, and scenes from the overseas shoot will be featured in four out of the 30 episodes.

While we were there, we grilled each of the artistes on their various “dreams”: what amenities will their dream house have? Who are the dream co-stars they’d love to work with? Have they managed to achieve a childhood dream of theirs?

Six months after filming The Dream Makers 2 in Melbourne, Jeanette Aw was back in the land down under again. Thankfully, the work trip this time around was much more relaxing than the previous one, as she told us during our interview at the lovely Kidogo Art House in Fremantle, where she had just filmed a painting scene.

“Here, we finish early most of the time, so I can sleep as early as 9.30pm or 10pm,” she said. “For the previous Melbourne trip, which was very packed, we were always back in the hotel at 10 plus, 11 plus or even midnight, so that was really tiring. This time it’s much more relaxed.”

She was also much better prepared for the sketching scene, compared to the one shown at the end of The Dream Makers 2. “It (the scene in The Dream Makers 2) was something the director thought of at the last minute, and she decided that since I draw, we should do something about drawing,” she revealed, adding that it was “quite a challenge” because she only had a few minutes to come up with the illustration on the bus to the location.

For The Dream Job, the fact that Jeanette’s character enjoys painting was decided much earlier on, when the production team discovered the quaint seaside studio while scouting for shooting locations. To save time, an artist prepared the base for the painting of the scenery outside, which she would add more colour and detail to on film. Jeanette, who released her first illustration book last year, also continued to work on the landscape image when the cameras weren’t rolling.

The Star Awards 2016 Best Actress winner later shared that this was her favourite part of the Perth visit. “When I entered (the Art House), I felt happy almost instantly,” she gushed. “Seriously, if Singapore had such a place I would want it to be my studio! But it’s quite impossible because it would be so humid and I don’t think I would enjoy painting very much in that kind of weather.”

Click through our gallery for more pics of Jeanette in Perth, and to read about what she’d do on her dream vacation, what her childhood dream was, and why she thinks Zhao Fei Er was a dream role of hers:

Jeanette at Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour
Jeanette at Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour
07 Jun 2016

Jeanette at Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour

Describe your dream house.
I’ve always felt that a seaside house would be perfect because I like something very resort-style, like a retreat – you go home and don’t want to come out again!

What dream car will you drive?
I love jeeps, like really big, heavy-duty and rugged cars, the kind that are like, “Get out of my way!” (laughs)

What will your dream wardrobe have?
I used to think that I would love a walk-in closet with endless amounts of clothes, but in recent years I’ve felt that it’s easier to work with basics. After reading this book about tidying up your place, I downsized my wardrobe and cleared my house – I had 25 trash bags, and I still have a lot of stuff at home! So wardrobe-wise, I’m actually very simple, and I like to dress casually unless I have something on.

What would you do on your dream vacation?
I would love to do a road trip to look at nice scenery, and if I had the luxury of time, I would stay in a location for some time to immerse myself in the local culture, mix with the people there, and if possible, live their lifestyles. I once stayed in Cambodia for a while for a volunteer trip and I learned a lot about the people there, so I thought that was really nice. I felt that I got to know them better and shortly after when I was sent there for work, I felt that the place somehow meant something different to me, because I seemed to feel a lot more for the people there.

What’s your dream retirement life?
By the seaside, where you don’t have to do anything. This (the Art House) would be a dream, having a studio like this and doing events here and there, that would be pretty cool.

(Continued on next slide)

Jeanette on Rottnest Island
Jeanette on Rottnest Island
07 Jun 2016

Jeanette on Rottnest Island

What is your dream role?
I would say Zhao Fei Er (from The Dream Makers 2) is quite a dream role, because she’s very flawed and imperfect, yet she’s very real. Sometimes we actors don’t get that much, because our characters are written in such a way where you are either 100% good or the evil one, it’s very rare to get a mix of the good and bad, which is what makes people real.

Which dream co-stars would you love to work with?
I don’t really have much of a demand, because I think it’s good to be able to work with anyone because you learn from different people. Even if you meet someone difficult, it’s training ground for yourself, and that’s good because you have to look at the positive aspect. And if you meet someone good, that’s a plus point!

Did you have any childhood dreams and have you managed to achieve them?
I told my parents that I wanted to be a painter, and they were like, “Are you sure? I don’t think you can earn a lot of money!” Then after a while I also thought about doing law, but I still pursued in the arts in different forms (dance, theatre and music), then when I did theatre at NUS, this (acting) came along, then that was it lah. I guess did manage to achieve (my childhood dream) in a different way. (laughs)

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you think you’re living your dream life?
I think I’m quite far from it, because my lifestyle is pretty hectic and very stressful – I’ve got long hours, irregular sleep and I don’t eat well. (laughs) But I do eat, okay! There’s this question that I hate the most, “Can you please not diet?” I’ve never been on a diet my entire life. But yeah, I think I’m quite far from being very relaxed and chill.

Jeanette and a quokka on Rottnest Island
Jeanette and a quokka on Rottnest Island
07 Jun 2016

Jeanette and a quokka on Rottnest Island

Jeanette at Padburys Cafe, Guildford
Jeanette at Padburys Cafe, Guildford
07 Jun 2016

Jeanette at Padburys Cafe, Guildford

Jeanette on the ferry to Rottnest Island
Jeanette on the ferry to Rottnest Island
07 Jun 2016

Jeanette on the ferry to Rottnest Island

Jeanette at Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour
Jeanette at Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour
07 Jun 2016

Jeanette at Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour

Jeanette admiring the view on Rottnest Island
Jeanette admiring the view on Rottnest Island
07 Jun 2016

Jeanette admiring the view on Rottnest Island

Jeanette samples a glass at Millbrook Winery
Jeanette samples a glass at Millbrook Winery
07 Jun 2016

Jeanette samples a glass at Millbrook Winery

Jeanette at Millbrook Winery
Jeanette at Millbrook Winery
07 Jun 2016

Jeanette at Millbrook Winery

WATCH:
Jeanette had the most expensive ice cream of her life in Perth? 
‘The Dream Job’ cast describes their happiest dream

The Dream Job debuts June 28, 9pm on Channel 8; it will be available on Toggle-It-First on June 21.

Special thanks to Tourism Australia and Tourism Western Australia.

Stay tuned for our upcoming behind-the-scenes and travel features!

Related:
Daydreaming with Rebecca Lim in Perth
Daydreaming with Zhang Zhen Huan in Perth
Daydreaming with Shaun Chen in Perth
LIVE blog: First look at The Dream Job in Perth
First job stories, as told by The Dream Job actors

Report a problem