Pro­tag­o­nist of her own story

> It takes self-be­lief and a leap of faith to make Olivia Shyan a star in showbiz

The Sun (Malaysia) - - YOUTH - Waves

Bola Cinta, Marco Polo Gan­tung,

Can you re­call the mo­ment you got the role with Net­flix? At first I thought it seemed dodgy be­cause I was ap­proached via Face­book Mes­sen­ger to au­di­tion for the role. I ig­nored the mes­sage, but the per­son was very per­sis­tent and asked if he could call me. So I thought, what do I have to lose? Af­ter talk­ing to him over the phone, I went for the au­di­tion still think­ing it was a hoax un­til I saw the guy who answered the door – it was Dan Mi­na­han, the direc­tor of Game of Thrones. Then I knew it was real.

How did you jug­gle be­tween Marco Polo and study­ing for your Bach­e­lor of Arts? I was fly­ing back and forth to Jo­hor – where they shot it – for a month in be­tween my stud­ies. So I would be film­ing dur­ing the week­ends and com­ing back to study on week­days. It in­volved a lot of or­gan­is­ing and time man­age­ment – I’d whip out my lap­top and do my as­sign­ments in be­tween takes!

Be­ing in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try is not all that glam­orous, they say. What would be its least glam­orous part for you? Work­ing with peo­ple who are un­pro­fes­sional and sleazy in any way. But I think there is an unglam­orous part in ev­ery in­dus­try; you just have to be thick-skinned and get over it.

What keeps you go­ing then? Pas­sion, per­se­ver­ance and know­ing ex­actly what you want and where you are head­ing.

What are the im­por­tant qual­i­ties do you think an ac­tor needs to have in or­der to sur­vive the in­dus­try? Strong per­son­al­ity, per­se­ver­ance and de­ter­mi­na­tion be­cause you need to de­cide if you want to stay in the in­dus­try or not. And if you do, you need to plan what you want to do and achieve; be


How about the most im­por­tant lesson you’ve learnt so far be­ing in this in­dus­try? It’s clichéd but I think the most im­por­tant thing is to just be your­self. The mo­ment you try to be some­one else, you be­come a dis­counted ver­sion of that per­son you were try­ing to emu­late. It’s okay to look up to some­one but try­ing to be some­one else is such a waste be­cause there’s no one else like you. Al­ways aim to be the best ver­sion of your­self, not a cheap ver­sion of some­one else. On her playlist:

Ice cream flavour of choice:

Stress re­liever: Go-to out­fit:

Tan is also pas­sion­ate about com­mu­nity work and com­mits her­self to at least one mis­sion trip a year.

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