The former Miss Universe Singapore chats with us about her cupcake business, life after her split with Daniel Ong, and why she doesn't fancy using Tinder.
8 DAYS: Nice to see you again. The last time we saw you act was in 2015’s Mr Unbelievable. Your latest role is a widow in DBS’ online mini-series Sparks. The show deals with a group of bankers and how they balance their professional and personal lives.
JAIME TEO: I heard about this mini-series even before I went for the audition, and I really liked the production. It was filmed very beautifully. I read the script and it was really touching, so I was thrilled to get the role. There were many emotional scenes, so I was worried about not being able to cry on set. We shot in Hongkong and there’d be like 20 people staring at me and waiting for me to cry. It was very stressful! (Laughs) But being a mother has really helped me in my acting, as I could really put myself in the shoes of someone who has lost something dear to her. It was emotionally tiring but I’m very happy to be part of this production.
Can we expect you to return to acting full-time soon?
If there’s a [suitable role], I’d love to act. I enjoy acting a lot more now than I used to — I’m not quite sure why. Maybe it’s when you become a mother, you feel so much more. But at the same time, [my six-year-old daughter] Renee is my priority now, so I’d only accept projects that don’t take up too much of my time. For example, it only took a week to film the Sparks episode, so I accepted the job.
The cupcake chain Twelve Cupcakes that you co-owned with your ex-husband Daniel Ong was sold to an Indian tea company for $2.5 million earlier this year. What’s your involvement with the business now?
I have zero stakes in the company now, but I still go in as a creative [contributor] and I am very much involved in their marketing. Basically, I’m consulting for them. Of course, I still feel like Twelve Cupcake is my baby. I’m still very proud of it and I hope that the new owners take it to greater heights. That’s also the reason we sold it — to allow the business to expand. It’s like my baby has grown up, and now it’s time to let it go (laughs). But in my heart, I’m still very proud to call Twelve Cupcakes something that Dan and I founded.
How has life been since you and Daniel parted ways last year?
I’m very hands on in taking care of my daughter Renee, and so is Dan. Being a mummy is really a full-time job — I’m either planning play dates for her, or planning things to do with her. That takes up a lot of time! (Laughs) I think I get more me time now compared to the past and that’s good. When Renee is with daddy, I get time to myself. It’s worked out well.
Are you seeing anyone now?
My priority is still Renee at the moment.
Some celebs including your good friend Jamie Yeo have found love on dating site Tinder. Would you give it a try?
The problem is I feel like I have too many criteria. Like I said, my priority is always Renee. So if I were to go on a date, I have to think about what time I want to go out, and what time to meet up. I’m totally not against it — just look at Jamie and [her new husband] Rupert, they are so lovey-dovey. They have their ‘happily ever after’ story and I’m just like standing there thinking that they are so sweet! (Smiles) I think it’s perfectly normal to use Tinder, but I don’t think it’s for me.
I’ve seen it on my friend’s phone and I was looking through the guys, but there was nobody I wanted to swipe right on! (Guffaws) I don’t usually like a person based just on looks, so I guess the app doesn’t work for me as it’s based on appearances. I’m someone who needs to interact with the person and get to know him better. So what if he looks a certain way? I’m not necessarily attracted to how he looks. I guess that’s why dating sites or apps are not for me (Laughs).
Catch Jaime’s Sparks episode, ‘Stand by Me’, on dbs.com/spark/index/en_sg/sparks-miniseries.html.
MAIN PIC: AIK CHEN