If you’ve watched Crazy Rich Asians, you definitely wouldn’t have missed Constance Lau. Playing the role of Celine, or “Radio One Asia”, the Singaporean actress plays a pivotal role in the film. In fact, the story begins with her.
Celine is a gossip queen who lives for drama. The real Constance, however, says she stays away from drama. She says, “I get very uncomfortable when I have to deal with drama… I just like to stay in my little bubble and just be happy with what I have and try not to deal with too much. I don’t want to know all these things about everyone like how Celine does. So, I guess we’re very different in that sense. We’re kind of like opposites.”
While she’s nothing like her character, she says having a resting b***h face makes it easier for her to get into character because she looks the part. But she did put in effort to research on how to be a b***h. Her inspiration? Iconic movie Mean Girls. She laughs, “[It’s] the iconic mean girl [movie], like super mean, super b****y, right?”
She adds, “I watched that and used a bit of their side-eye thing. That was how I got my side-eye. I practised in front of the mirror and because if you show too much of your eye white, you just look like you’re in a ghost story.”
The FLY Entertainment artiste acted in a tele-movie three years ago and appeared in numerous commercials, but Crazy Rich Asians is her first full-length movie. The 27-year-old joined an ensemble cast comprising Constance Wu, Henry Golding and a few veteran Singaporean actors, including Tan Kheng Hua and Pierre Png. While she said she had to work harder to prove herself, she didn’t face any difficulty in keeping up with them because they’re “genuinely very, very nice people”.
She admitted she initially thought it would be tough working with an international cast, but her worries proved to be unfounded. She says, “We were all there to work, and we were all there to bring our A-game… I think it’s all about being genuine, right? You have to portray [your character] in the most genuine way. So if you really feel for that character – which I guess we all felt – you’ll be able to portray it in the right way.”
Constance might be on silver screens all over the world and even walked the red carpet at the movie premiere in Los Angeles, but as a kid, she didn’t think she’d be in front of the camera as an adult. “I was a crybaby!” she exclaims. “I was very shy when I was a kid. Whenever I had to perform, I would always cry first. Cry first, talk later (laughs).”
She added that she was often picked on in school and was affected by the things said to her, especially because of her wide forehead. “When I was in school, I would always tie my hair back, and then – oh my goodness – people would hit my forehead and run away! It really does scar you, you know. I think, in general, everybody [should] just be nicer to each other.”
Thanks to her supportive parents – especially her lawyer father who taught her to be more vocal – and teachers, and through joining her school’s drama club, she built up confidence over the years.
She also realised she likes being able to think from a character’s point of view and grew to like acting. “That’s why I forced myself to be more expressive and to have more confidence to be able to portray [different] characters.”
Now that you know Constance better, scroll through the gallery to find out more about what went on behind-the-scenes.
Images: TPG/Click Photos