The Moneymaker: Yeo Yann Yann

Once upon a time, Yeo Yann Yann had only $8 in her bank account. These days, the Golden Horse Best Supporting Actress winner is splurging on shoes and... laser printers.

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The Moneymaker:

Yeo Yann Yann, 38. The Malaysian actress, previously best known as the lead in Royston Tan’s 881, won the Golden Horse Award for Best Supporting Actress last year playing the high-strung mum in Anthony Chen’s award-winning Ilo Ilo. She’s now seen in Singapore’s first sex comedy Rubbers, as a desperate cougar looking to score with a suave plumber played by Julian Hee.

HER HOME IS: An HDB flat in central Singapore which she shares with her husband, Hongkong martial arts director Mak Yuk Sing and three-year-old daughter Vera. “My husband was born and bred in Hongkong, but he’s a Singaporean citizen, that’s why he can own a HDB flat. Now, we’re looking to invest in a landed property here.”

HER RIDE IS: Public transport when she’s in Singapore. In Malaysia, where she shuttles to regularly, she drives. “We’re looking to buy a second-hand car here. Vera likes taking the bus but now that she’s a bit older, having a car will be more convenient for us. I want to take her to explore new places.”

WHAT SHE EARNS: “On a scale of one to 10, I’m a 10. Everybody has different needs and wants, and their level of contentment is different. I’m very simple. I can buy whatever I like, and eat whatever I want. To me, that’s a perfect 10.”

How much she has in her wallet… “At least $30. I can’t bear to walk around without cash. I think I’ve been scarred by my past — I was broke all the time when I was 18. Now, even when I go on a short weekend trip, I make sure I change at least $200 so I’ll feel secure. My wallet has a lot of foreign currencies in it.”

How much she thinks a pack of condoms costs… “$4? I don’t know. I’ve never bought any. My husband is always very well-prepared, and he always buys the big packet, so we’ll never run out. (Laughs) I’ll never be like the desperate housewife character I play in Rubbers. Even if my husband is not around, technology is very advanced these days. Go figure [what I mean]!”

Lowest amount she had in her bank account was… “$8. I couldn’t even withdraw the money since the minimum withdrawal sum is $20. That was back when I was still studying. I used to spend a lot of my money on partying and got so broke that the only money I had left was [the stored value] in my EZ-link card. And that was all I needed ’cos I could go home with it.”

Her definition of an ATM… “My husband! (Laughs) We’ve decided that I’d slow down my career to focus on raising our daughter. For the past few years, my mum [who lives in JB] has been helping to take care of her while I work. I’ve tried to bring her here with me but it’s hard. That’s why I’m taking a step back to let my husband be the breadwinner. He’s been based in Beijing for a while — he’s the stunt director on the 3D film Legend of the Gods, the one Cecilia Cheung was fired from. We’ve talked about how good it is to stay together as a family, but it’s difficult. The genre he specialises in is not common in Singapore or Malaysia, though he worked on Jack Neo’s The Lion Men last year. Plus, the air quality in Hongkong and China isn’t very conducive to raise a child in.”

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