updated 8 Oct 2012, 17:27
user id password
Mon, Sep 17, 2012
The New Paper
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
Jeanette Aw: The new millionaire?
by Kwok Kar Peng

Has Jeanette Aw found her pot of gold?

The popular local actress recently collaborated with US company Precious Moments and designed a figurine that depicted a girl colouring a rainbow.

Aw reportedly received a five-figure sum for her You Color My World porcelain doll.

The 33-year-old donated the amount to charity.

Getting extra pay cheques seems to be the norm for the star of The Little Nyonya fame.

Aw has enjoyed a great year so far, and is on a high on both her career and financial fronts.

She reportedly received another five-figure sum for her first movie, the Malaysian film Ping Ping An An (Safe And Sound in English).

Aw has also become the queen of endorsements here, with five products under her belt.

She was appointed as the new face for Olay Regenerist facial cream earlier this month.

She's also a spokesman for SK 999 Pure Gold Jewellery, Owl coffee products and New Moon abalone and rice.  

Exclusive club

Has the actress joined the million-dollar club long dominated by veteran Caldecott kings and queens?

Local Chinese paper Shin Min Daily News reported that Aw would have received close to a seven-figure sum for her four endorsements.

This figure excludes her latest deal with Olay.

However, Aw remains tight-lipped about her additional source of income.

She also sat on the fence about being a millionaire when The New Paper quizzed her.

"I usually decline to state the figure I receive for my endorsements," Aw told us.

"And I still leave that open to everyone to guess, no affirmative and no clues on my end. Same with whether I'm a millionaire or not."

She cheekily thanked us for "showing such interest on (her) financial assets", but said she has always been private when it comes to her personal issues.

Aw, who owns a condominium unit, added she's not a big investor in property and doesn't hold many title deeds.

Neither does she invest in stocks and shares.

But she's not stingy with her money.

Aw donated the full fee from her Precious Moments project to a charity for children with cancer.

"Designing the figurine was a dream come true for me and it's not so much about (the money)," she said.

"I've always loved working with kids... Some friends were diagnosed with cancer in recent years, so the illness is very close to my heart...

"I don't have an adopted charity. But I do go to children's homes when I can."

She added: "I like to spend time with them and I want to be able to help, especially now that I have the ability to."

The Precious Moments project came out of the blue, she said.

She was approached after the Precious Moments US office found out that she's an avid collector.

A US representative later flew down to meet with her.

The inspiration for the figurine of a girl colouring a rainbow came because Aw thinks rainbows are a symbol of happiness.

She began the project last November and completed it in two weeks.

Aw was thrilled for the opportunity because she has been a huge fan of the doe-eyed figurines - she started collecting them when she was 13.

She now has more than 200 dolls, and some of her favourite pieces were the ones given to her by her seven-year-old godchildren, triplets Jacob, Jay and Jean, for this year's Mother's Day.

Aw seems to be not only good at earning money, she's also practical.

She told us: "I'm not a spendthrift. I don't splurge on things and when I'm filming, I don't have time to shop at all.

"The only way I pamper myself is on my holidays. I don't like travelling to cities, staying in five-star hotels or shopping sprees.

"I'd rather do something quiet on my holidays, like massages, yoga and meditation."

Her best trip was a meditation retreat to Coonoor, a mountainous region in Tamil Nadu, India, about two years ago.

She blew a few thousand dollars on the 10-day trip.

Aw revealed she hasn't shopped online since her first Internet shopping experience in 2007 while filming the Chinese drama, The Shaolin Warriors, in Wuxi.  

Regret over online buys

She recalled: "I regretted it big time. There was nothing to do in Wuxi but there was Internet access.

"I spent close to $1,000 buying shoes online. I clicked away happily and I didn't know how much I'd spent.

"Worse, when the shoes came, I didn't like them because they looked different from the photos online."

But her bank account will continue to be healthy in the days ahead.

Besides her day job (she has an upcoming sci-fi TV drama Beyond), Aw is also making her big-screen debut with Ping Ping An An, and a fictional book is on the horizon.

Last month, she gave up two weeks of her month-long break to film the family movie in Malaysia.

Aw said: "I've received a few movie scripts (in the past) but I couldn't take them because of my schedule.

"This time, it was up to me if I wanted to give up my break. The production crew was pretty sincere... I thought, why not try and see how movie-making is like."

She is also working on her second book after releasing the autobiography, Jeanette Aw: Definitions, in February.

Aw said: "The first book was a personal one to let people know more about me... There won't be so much of myself in the second book, which will be fictional."

She declined to reveal the genre of the book, which she hopes to release late this year or early next year.

Get The New Paper for more stories.

readers' comments

Copyright © 2012 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.