DEB­BIE’S FAVES

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Fashion -

SCRIBE: Ce­cilia Ah­ern BOOK: P.S. I Love You

DIVA: Bey­oncé SONG: “Beau­ti­ful” by Christina Aguil­era MOVIE: Ir­réversible GAD­GET: iPhone FOOD: Ja­panese DRINK: Red wine DE­SIGNER: Karl Lager­feld, of course MAKE-UP: Eye­liner is a must. Also, Nars base and high­lighter, Tom Ford lip­stick, and Gior­gio Ar­mani

foun­da­tion. ES­CAPE: San­torini POLITI­CIAN: Barack Obama BLISS OUT: A good detox spa and mas­sage SIG­NA­TURE LOOK:

White shirt and jeans

Com­ing home turned out to be the best de­ci­sion for her. “I’m hap­pier and my life is more bal­anced. When I was away, I missed my fam­ily and friends. I was lucky to have such chances but I’ve es­tab­lished my­self here now and feel I’m more sta­ble.”

Iron­i­cally, the de­voted daugh­ter is tired of play­ing the girl­next-door and craves some­thing more cre­ative. “I would pre­fer to be more like Cat­woman.” Her eyes light up at the thought. “I can go crazy, killing peo­ple; you know, men­tally un­sta­ble.”

This de­sire to ex­plore her darker side stems from her fear of get­ting stuck in a rut. “It can hap­pen eas­ily. You get sim­i­lar op­por­tu­ni­ties but how are you go­ing to main­tain the cre­ative side?” she asks. “It’s time for me to change, try dif­fer­ent things. I don’t have any lim­i­ta­tions in terms of roles.”

She was par­tic­u­larly in­spired by Char­l­ize Theron’s Os­car­win­ning trans­for­ma­tion in Mon­ster, (“She’s won­der­ful. She can play any role!”) and would jump at the chance to por­tray a char­ac­ter as fright­en­ing as Theron’s Aileen Wuornos. “I wouldn’t mind play­ing a role for which I would have to make my­self ugly. That’s the best part of be­ing an ac­tress. You can be cre­ative, do any­thing you like. You only live once. I love act­ing, just ob­serv­ing dif­fer­ent peo­ple and hav­ing the chance to use that ex­pe­ri­ence.”

For the BAZAAR shoot, she read­ily wel­comed the aes­thetic so dif­fer­ent from her usual wom­anly style, hap­pily don­ning a cropped wig and box­ier sil­hou­ettes. “It’s such an hon­our to be on the cover,” says Deb­bie. “And I love how Ken­neth’s ex­cel­lent styling has brought out this side of my per­son­al­ity that’s never been seen be­fore.”

She re­cently filmed her first Malaysian movie, Bul­lets Over Pe­tal­ing Street with Chen Han­wei, Steve Yap, and Irene Ang. “It will be out next Chi­nese New Year. I play an ac­tress who ends up as the boss of gang­sters. One minute you’re in a Lam­borgh­ini with a Chanel bag, and the next you’re in Pe­tal­ing Street won­der­ing ‘ how can you get the same Chanel for only RM150?’”

Lux­ury aside, the worka­holic does not see her­self as “one of those tai tais who just re­lax” and is a firm be­liever in be­ing in­de­pen­dent. “I once planned to travel for two months. Two weeks in, I had to go back; I couldn’t stop think­ing about work.” She has con­sid­ered broad­en­ing her hori­zon as a di­rec­tor or pro­ducer, and has in fact been ap­proached with an of­fer. She in­tends to first sharpen her skills in New York. “I’ve never learned in an act­ing class. I wish there were bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties for our artists to grow.”

There are more changes she would love to see in the Malaysian en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try, es­pe­cially in terms of cen­sor­ship, bud­get al­lo­ca­tion, and project man­age­ment. “I hope some­day Malaysian ac­tors will be in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised. I want to see a star who can take us to another level, and make us proud.”

There is no doubt that the pas­sion­ate per­sona has what it takes to be that star. Now in her mid 30s, Deb­bie has em­braced her prime and the wis­dom that comes with it. “You have your own way of think­ing. You know what you want in your life. Look­ing back, I may have been too care­free at times. I was spoiled with op­por­tu­ni­ties and I didn’t care; I just did things my own way. It was nice but at some point, you have to learn the rules of the game. Of course, it’s not enough to learn the rules – you have to play the game.”

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