Paige Chua recalls time she 'broke down' after Best Actress loss in 2018, but she's 'okay' not being nominated for Star Awards this year

Paige Chua recalls time she 'broke down' after Best Actress loss in 2018, but she's 'okay' not being nominated for Star Awards this year
Paige Chua at Star Awards 2023.
PHOTO: Instagram/Paige Chua

Paige Chua has been the talk of the town after not making the cut for Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes?at the upcoming Star Awards, and she feels grateful, albeit "a bit awkward" about it.

"I was prepared but it still felt a bit overwhelming, considering the fact that I'm quite a low-profile person," the 42-year-old told AsiaOne in an interview on Monday (April 1).

"Even now, I can't handle certain attention from the media, and it becomes a bit too much. So it's been quite intense."

Paige, who has won the popularity award eight times,?had pre-empted her fans and followers that she might miss out on?the nomination due to this year's eligibility criteria.

The actress took a short break from acting and?wasn't in any production last year, with her?last drama, Healing Heroes, airing in 2022.

Still, she had to explain the situation to various groups of concerned friends and acquaintances separately.

"When you go to yoga classes, you can't wear your cap, you can't wear your masks and sunglasses [to avoid scrutiny]," she added. "So I had?many classmates coming up to me and saying?'jiayou' and encouraging me.

"It was very sweet, but at the same time, I'm really okay. And it can be a bit awkward at times, but generally, I felt very grateful."

[embed]https://www.instagram.com/p/Cq4n-6YJbiM/[/embed]

Being a private person, Paige also shared that she wants attention to be placed on her work and the characters she plays.?She was naturally delighted when she was nominated for Best Actress at Star Awards 2018.

"Everyone wants to win if you're nominated. Of course, you're happy for the other nominees who are involved as well, but I want to be the winner at the end of the day," she said.

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But Paige, who played Guan Shuhui in Mightiest Mother-in-Law, lost out to Rebecca Lim for her performance in The Lead.

While she was initially "cool" about it, knowing she only had a one-fifth chance of winning, her emotions hit her when she flew back to Penang later that night to resume filming a show.

That was when she started reading encouraging Instagram comments from well-wishers who said that they really liked her performance in the drama.

"I also messaged my executive producer back then saying that I'm so sorry that I did not win the award for her?and the team," she said. "I also told her I hoped I didn't let her down, I hoped that I didn't disappoint her."

When the executive producer responded that Paige had never done so and to "chin up and continue to work hard", Paige said: "That was the time I broke down.

"I was feeling quite chill, very balanced. I was holding my head high until I saw so many people feeling disappointed and upset for me.

"It's always like that, you always feel okay until somebody puts a hand around you, and you start to feel their warmth and concern, and that's when you become very vulnerable."

Paige added that it "really hurt" that she gave the people with expectations of her "disappointment instead of joy".

When AsiaOne told her that surely she hadn't let people down like she thought, Paige laughed: "I don't know, but it was certainly not how I felt back then."

'We're not going to appear as a lovey-dovey couple at first'

Paige is back from her short acting break with two upcoming dramas.

She just finished filming Furever Yours, a drama "centring pets and their owners, and the challenges and issues they face".

Despite not having a pet of her own due to asthma — she couldn't even have furry soft toys as a child due to the condition — Paige found herself enamoured with her co-star, a young Maltipoo named Rambo.

"He's so smart, he's able to do so many tricks and he's so obedient all the time," Paige gushed. "The trainer was pretty strict on him, and I hope so, but he seemed to enjoy doing tricks for us whenever instructions were given.

"I realised the deep bond that pet owners have with their pets is very real and very rooted."

[embed]https://www.instagram.com/p/C4xCzg1Rakb/[/embed]

While the release date for Furever Yours hasn't been revealed yet, another drama Paige is in, titled Moments, will begin airing April 9 on Channel 8. The?first four episodes have already been released on mewatch.

Paige plays Gu Yuexin, a woman who is "not ambitious at all" but inherits a private investigation company from her deceased father, where Zhan Hefeng (Desmond Tan) also works.

Yuexin then gains the ability to see the past of the people she touches, while Hefeng can see the future. While it helps out with their investigations, they have to go to ridiculous lengths to activate their powers.

Moments also stars Pierre Png, Evelyn Tan, Yusuke Fukuchi and Richard Low.

Paige and Desmond have?worked on several shows together,?from being siblings in You Can Be An Angel 3, to a couple in When Duty Calls and its sequel. But Paige hopes that they can deliver something different in Moments compared to their affectionate pairing from the military drama.

"This time there's some comical bantering, especially in the earlier parts, so we're not going to appear as a lovey-dovey couple at first," she insisted.

"We hope we will not remind our audience of When Duty Calls actually."

[embed]https://www.instagram.com/p/C5NBjyiRsAP/[/embed]

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drimac@asiaone.com

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