Eunice Olsen is pretty well known for her title as Miss Singapore 2000 and her work as an ex-Nominated Member of Parliament.
But starring in a local horror movie?
We sat down with the 34-year-old as she shares with us her thoughts on working on ‘Ghost On Air’, a story about a radio DJ (Dennis Chew) who resorts to telling scary stories on his show, but they just might not be a work of fiction after all.
Tell us about your role in “Ghost on Air”.
I play a radio DJ. Her name is Pauline. She’s kind of like an up and coming one, so you know, she’s being groomed. She is somebody who takes her work quite seriously. She wants to get along with everybody because she’s new in the office. But she realises that she just cannot get along with Dennis Chew’s character, which is Ping Xiao. You have to watch (the film) to find out why this (conflict) happened but he sees her as a threat to his position. So no matter how nice she tries to be and how hard she tries to spark a friendship, he doesn’t respond.
The concept of a radio DJ telling ghost stories and having a horror film based on that is certainly a novel idea here in Singapore!
Yes it is! It’s almost something that is real but you don’t think about. For a DJ to tell ghost stories, it’s quite interesting. That’s why I think the movie really works because it’s not something that is totally far-fetched.
The cast of 'Ghost on Air'
Other than the concept, what attracted you to this role and project?
When we were first approached to do this, I had a session with Cheng Ding Ann, the director. Just him talking to me about the vision he has for this film and the character made me realise that he was somebody I really wanted to work with.
He’s what I would term as an actor’s director because he knows what he wants. But at the same time, he’s very explorative in terms of like talking to you about how you see your role and open to ideas on what you have for the role.
Some directors are like ‘Nope, this is how I want it.’ But for him, it’s like ‘I know how I want it, but I want to hear what you have to say.’ So it was really nice working with him. He really took the time and effort to just explain that to me and I appreciated that. So I had a really good feel about the film and about the people I was going to work with. And of course Dennis Chew, it was just so nice thinking that I would have the opportunity to work with him.
Yes, how was the experience working veteran actors like Dennis Chew and Samuel Chong?
It was really fun (laughs). I remember the first day we were shooting and Samuel and Dennis started telling ghost stories so I was like ‘You’re setting the tone, is it?” They’re both jokers so we had a lot of laughs but when it comes to being on set, you can tell that they are really serious about their craft.
You see, they’re not just actors who worry about themselves. They also want to make sure that you are okay. They are the kind that understands that your best performance is always with your scene partner. It makes the characters come to life because you’re listening to each other; you’re bouncing off one another so it’s a real pleasure working with people like them.
One thing that really impresses me about Dennis as well is that he treats the people who work with him really well. He’s very humble, he doesn’t take anything for granted and I think that is why he is so successful.
Also read: ‘Ghost on Air’ movie review
We also understand that the story itself was based on a popular radio show that Dennis hosted himself, where he also told ghost stories to listeners. From what he tells you and the experience of shooting a horror film, what is your take on the supernatural now?
I think there are a lot of things that you cannot explain. But I think for me, it’s just respecting what is out there and not saying ‘Oh, there’s no such thing’. I’ve never personally had an encounter but I’ve come across places where you go and feel very, very uncomfortable. So yeah, even though I don’t like to watch horror movies, I’m definitely looking forward to this one.
So after this role in ‘Ghost On Air’, what is next for Eunice Olsen in 2012?
2012 will have me doing a lot of research for a film that I’m co-producing in Cambodia. It’s going to be the first ever co-production between Cambodia and Singapore. The background of it is sex trafficking so I’ve been going up and talking to a lot of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) to better understand the industry and its different elements in order to tell a good story. It will be a feature and we’ll probably release it next year.
‘Ghost On Air’ is showing in theatres everywhere.