Joanne Peh is Rose Chan!

Despite the much anticipated Christy Yow to play the legendary striptease dancer Rose Chan, in April last year the busty Christy pulled out of Eric Khoo film.

So has the film gone bust then?

Fret not, Joanne Peh to the rescue! By the way, one may be forgiven to remember her due to she wearing a halter dress with a plunging neckline on a Channel 8 cooking show in March 2009. Possibly the inspiration for Flora Cheung, the Naked Chef!

Joanne Peh from SGClub Portal

The latest news has Joanne stated her intention to play striptease dancer Rose Chan & that she's ready to do the full monty, to strip herself bare if she has to, to play the role.

Very eager, yes? For someone who once won titles of Miss Elegant and Miss Personality in Miss Singapore Universe 2002, Joanne Peh surely has transformed over the years.

None of us complained, mind you.

JOANNE Peh wants to play striptease dancer Rose Chan.

She says she's ready to do the full monty, to strip herself bare if she has to, to play the role.

The MediaCorp star told The New Paper she has no qualms baring all to play the controversial Chan in Eric Khoo's upcoming big-screen movie The Charming Rose.

The movie role of the late 1950s striptease dancer - who achieved notoriety as the Queen of Strippers - has gone through several rounds of casting musical chairs.

Other well-known personalities who have been linked to the role are actress-singer Celest Chong and buxom Malaysian model Christy Yow.

Chong had expressed interest in the initial stages, but eventually dropped out of the picture, while Yow gave up the role to start a family.

Peh said she's excited about the opportunity because of the 'challenge it presents' and also because she wants to 'experience the life of Rose Chan'.

Chan, who died of cancer in 1987, was possibly the most famous stripper in Singapore and Malaysia in the 1950s and 1960s. One of her most famous acts was wrestling with live pythons on stage.

Explaining her willingness to bare, Peh, 28, said that every part of her body is a tool in acting.

The actress said: 'I don't belittle my body but it doesn't really mean anything. What matters is our soul and what's inside of us, not this outer shell.

'It doesn't matter that people see it all. Deep inside is what people will never be able to see. (They may say) 'I can see your breasts or pubic hair', but they may not know what kind of a person I am.

'That is what's valuable to me, rather than my physical body. When I entered this industry, (my body) is something I have to give up. I have to let my co-stars or strangers touch or kiss me.'

At the end of the day, physical intimacy and nudity is nothing more than just part of the job, she concluded.

Boyfriend doesn't mind her kissing scenes

With such an outlook, it's no wonder Peh won this paper's Flasher Of The Year title at our Flame Awards last year, for wearing a strategically-cut Gucci gown that revealed the side of her breasts in last year's StarAwards.

While there certainly will be some nudity involved and striptease performances will be required for the Rose role, Khoo said he hasn't decided if there will be full frontal nudity.

He had received more than 200 applications and auditioned around 20 actresses since he first launched a casting call in 2008 for his film.

Khoo, 45, said he has yet to cast his leading lady but admitted he is considering Peh.

Both met once for a preliminary chat last November, but did not discuss the script.

Still, he is full of praise for Peh.

'She has great presence and is very smart. It's always easier to work with smart people. She's a very, very good actress and also strikingly tall (1.73m). I feel like a midget next to her.

'Joanne is more of the Rose Chan that I'm looking for compared to Christy Yow,' Khoo raved.

The director is now working on the animated feature Tatsumi, a tribute to acclaimed Japanese comics artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi, and has shelved The Charming Rose until the end of the year.

The svelte 54kg Peh also may also not need to pile on the weight to mimic Chan's hour-glass figure.

Said Khoo: 'I don't want the actress to put on weight unnecessarily. What's more important is that the actress can portray her strong and feisty character.'

Those same words can be used to describe Peh.

She is increasingly making a name for herself as one of the more outspoken showbiz personalities here.

In her new drama A Tale Of 2 Cities, currently showing over Channel 8 on weekdays at 9pm, she breaks out of her wholesome mould to play Pan Leyao, a well-known model and gold-digger.

In one seduction scene, Peh strips down to a low-cut nightie to hook the wealthy Yin Zhengkai (played by Zhang Zhenhuan).

For the drama, she revealed that she even suggested adding more than five kissing scenes with actor Zhang Yaodong to make the script more realistic. Zhang plays her childhood friend and later, her boyfriend.

Did she have to ask real-life boyfriend and actor Bobby Tonelli for permission?

No, Peh replied, he doesn't mind.

She added: 'Some time back, I showed Bobby a video clip of a kissing scene I did with Pierre Png for another drama Your Hand In Mine.

'He laughed out loud and asked if I was playing Hello Kitty. He meant the cartoon cat cannot kiss because it doesn't have a mouth.

'Bobby even said he would call Pierre and tell him how to kiss his girlfriend right.'

Peh's relaxed attitude extends even to the way she handles jealous backbiting and industry rumours that have swirled around her ever since she hit the big time.

Latest gossip

The latest word on the Caldecott Hill grapevine is that she's related to someone senior in MediaCorp and that it may have helped her in her career.

Peh has acted in more than 20 productions, including two local movies, 2004's The Best Bet and this year's It's A Great Great World.

She won Most Popular Newcomer at Star Awards 2004 and won Best Actress in Star Awards 2009 for her role in The Little Nyonya.

She was one of the Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes in the annual awards show four times.

This year, she is up for Best Actress again for the drama Your Hand In Mine and Best Info-ed Programme Host for The Activist's Journey.

She also has had at least eight endorsements, from Jetstar Airways to Laurier, in her pocket.

Instead of being outraged or reacting defensively, Peh laughed uproariously at the latest speculation.

'Oh, don't they just love a good scandal like that! I love it too,' she burst out in amusement, claiming that she has never heard it before.

'When you see someone doing well, it's because this person is related to someone, or sleeping with someone.

'But sorry to disappoint, there is no conspiracy theory. I'm not related to this person.

'Where I am today is a result of a lot of hard work. I fell hard too and had to pick myself up... I paid my dues.'

From The New Paper, "STRIP? PLEASE". (19/02/11)

Singapore film director Eric Khoo has managed to find a replacement to play Rose Chan in his upcoming biopic "The Charming Rose" on the famous 50s stripper, after Malaysian actress Christy Yow pulled out two weeks ago, reported the Straits Times.

Khoo, 43, briefly described the replacement but refused to discuss details of her identity as he might change his mind.

"The new girl is 22 years old, has a high IQ and is a local Chinese student. Even though the role had been cast at the time, she contacted our scriptwriter and said she had dreams about Rose Chan and wanted to share her ideas with us.

"She came down for the auditions and I was very impressed with her," said Khoo.

The director had been auditioning actresses to play Chan for almost one and a half years before picking Yow for the role, but it was not to be.

Yow's 29-year-old businessman boyfriend, Taiwanese Alansk Wang, had proposed to her on Christmas Eve, just 10 months after meeting her at an acting class in Taiwan.

The 24-year-old actress, who is currently in Hong Kong visiting her prospective in-laws, told reporters that she pulled out of the film because she did not want to upset her beau and his family. The film required her to appear in some nude scenes and might set tongues wagging.

She insisted that she was not pressured into giving up her role but simply wanted to make her fiance and his family more comfortable with her, though she admits it was indeed a sacrifice.

Said Yow, "This had been my most difficult decision but it is not an impulsive decision. I have discussed it at length with my family members and my manager and they have given me their blessings."

Khoo also gave her his blessing. The director took the news of Yow's departure quite well and even hugged her when he learned of her decision, even though production was slated to begin in just a few months.

He believed that Yow was doing the right thing and fully supported her decision.

Yow, a buxomy model from Ipoh, became a household name after landing the lead role in "The Charming Rose". She also stars as a breast cancer victim in local movie "Love Cuts" which is scheduled to open in October.

From Channel NewsAsia, "Actress Christy Yow pulls out of Eric Khoo film". (14/04/10)

A HALTER dress with a plunging neckline is not something you would wear on a Channel 8 cooking show.

At least, that’s what some viewers thought after watching Joanne Peh, 26, whip up her favourite dishes in an episode of 3-Plus-1 recently.

MediaCorp forums were abuzz after the show, with one netizen, Bezxzer, commenting: “Seriously, it was the dress that was making people drool... not the food.”

Another netizen, Bond, felt Joanne’s outfit was “so distracting”.

Lianhe Wanbao quoted one netizen saying: “This is a cooking show, not some swimsuit pageant for her to show off her figure.

“She may have a great body, but her dressing was just very inappropriate.”

In the culinary programme, which started in December last year, artistes are given $20 to prepare three dishes and a soup for their loved ones.

Every episode pits two celebrities against each other, and three judges will decide whose food tastes better.

In one particular episode, which aired on 24 Feb, Joanne, dressed in a low-cut halter-neck print dress, won in the cooking battle against actress Dawn Yeoh.

In an e-mail interview with The New Paper, Joanne defended her choice of wardrobe.

She said: “As it would have been hot during cooking, I wanted to wear something feminine and casual.

“I also didn’t want my outfit to obstruct or cause discomfort during cooking.”

But she denied that what she was wearing was a bikini top, adding that she would have been “out of my mind” to wear something like that on a cooking show.

She said she was surprised when told of the public backlash because the production team on set had complimented her on her outfit.

If the team felt that her dress was “lewd”, she said that they would have asked her to change it.

Wrong apron?

She also pointed out that she was expected to be given a “full frontal apron”, not the half apron that she ended up with on the show.

Full-length apron or not, she insisted that she wasn’t “flashing any inappropriate part of my body” or “flaunting or exposing myself”.

“It is common for the public to have a personal stake in the way we look and I apologise if the outfit offended anyone,” she said.

Friends and family also agreed that she looked good in the dress.

Joanne, who is known as one of Caldecott Hill’s seven princesses, first made the news over her ample assets in last year’s hit volleyball drama, Beach.Ball.Babes.

She stunned onlookers at Tiong Bahru Market – with her noticeably bumped-up assets – when she was there to film the series last May, together with co-stars Jesseca Liu and Jade Seah.

In that episode, the girls, who are part of a volleyball team, lose a bet and are made to strip to their bikinis outside a wet market as a forfeit.

Her cleavage got viewers wondering if the slim actress had gone under the knife.

This speculation was a big change for Joanne, whose image is often labelled as fresh and sweet.

The sex kitten label was often given to actresses like Fiona Xie and AnnKok.

Joanne was even once voted by netizens as the flattest of them all among MediaCorp actresses.

When asked about her chest size then, Joanne told The New Paper it was because of hormones. “Have your period, lor!” she said.

She claimed her breasts always swell up one cup size bigger when it’s “that time of the month for me”.

She also denied that she had done breast implants.

“It’s something I can’t accept and I feel I don’t need,” she said.

When asked this same question again in this interview, she stood by her claim.

She even joked: “Given the number of hours I put in for work throughout the year, the doctor will have to perform the surgery at my house while I am sleeping.

“For all that money and pain, I would want to have them much much bigger!”


Jokes aside, she expressed her desire to be versatile with her image.

Like a chameleon, she believes she can be “sporty, boyish, girl-next-door, womanly or sexy”.

However, she confessed that she is currently moving onto a different stage in her life.

She said: “I’m getting in touch with my femininity and am really just a girl slowly stepping into womanhood.”

But she accepts that “such comments” are part and parcel of a celebrity’s life.

She explained: “People will have something to say on just about everything from our physical appearances to our personal lives, to the work thatweproduce.

“I believe some viewers have different obsessions for reasons they themselves might not even know. Unfortunately, we can’t please everyone.”

From Diva Asia, "Too revealing?" (15/03/09)


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