The last four years have been nothing short of fantastic for Carrie Wong, 24, who went from fresh-faced rookie to leading actress faster than you can say “A-lister’. But while it has been all kinds of awesome, the lanky beauty admits to feeling burned-out by her back-breaking filming schedule. (FYI: She filmed a whopping 19 dramas in the past four years.) And that’s why she tells us she’s going on a two-month sabbatical starting in February.

“The thought has been brewing in my head for almost a year. These days, I don’t feel as excited as in the past when I read my scripts and that scares me,” says Carrie, who was most recently seen playing an alien in Ch 8 drama My Friends From Afar. “On some days, I wake up and I feel very sian. I don’t feel like going to work. I’ve always loved my job and it’s the first time I’ve felt this way since joining showbiz.”

Carrie is in the midst of filming Toggle drama VIC, where she plays an aspiring model whose soul gets switched with that of a 50-year-old businesswoman. She will then jet off for her much-needed holiday when filming wraps in mid-Feb. “I want to take a break and recharge... press the restart button so that I can come back feeling more rejuvenated,” she says, “You know, like the Chinese saying goes: ‘Taking a good rest is to prepare for a longer journey.’ (Laughs)”

8 DAYS: Every time we see you, you’re always so bubbly and excited about work, so it comes as a bit of surprise to hear that you’re feeling burned-out. When did you realise that you needed a break?
CARRIE WONG: Honestly, I’ve been feeling a little stagnant at work. I’ve been working non-stop for four years, acting in drama after drama. Sometimes, I don’t know how else I can bring something fresh and new to my roles. I think it’s a stage that every actress will go through in her career. I chose to take a few months off as opposed to a week’s leave ’cos I feel like it’s the only way I get to enjoy quality rest. If I don’t do this, I’ll continue working for the next few years and I may not improve or progress. I believe that taking a break to experience life will be enriching and that can help me in my acting career as well.

So what are your plans for the next two months?
I’m planning to fly to Taiwan or China and live there for a while. I intend to take some acting and performance lessons overseas as I believe that it will help me in my career. I am someone who lives in the moment, so if I find more things to do [there] after my two-month stint, I’ll extend my sabbatical for another month or two. It’s a good opportunity for me to live abroad for a longer period of time too. I mean, how often do we get the chance to do that?

We know you love Korea, so why didn’t you choose to take your break there?
This is not the kind of break where I travel around the world and go shopping or sightseeing. I have done enough of that in the last few years (laughs). It’s a trip for me to learn something and upgrade myself. 

What have the people around you said about your decision to take a sabbatical?
My parents have been very supportive. My dad knows that I’m someone who knows what I want. I didn’t really tell anyone in showbiz except for my close friends like Hayley [Woo]. It’s a personal decision so there’s no need to announce it to everyone.

You mentioned in another interview that you want to use this break to work on your attitude too.
Several friends have told me that I’m rather self-centered. I can be very straightforward and not spare a thought for others when I say or do things. Well, the world doesn’t revolve around me, and no one likes a self-centered person. I hope to use this time to reflect on myself and learn to be a better person. It’s never too late to change. 

That same interview also said that you hope to find a boyfriend while you are overseas.
The reporter asked if I hope to make use of this overseas stint to find a boyfriend, and I said if I can find one, why not? And that was used as the story’s headline! It made me sound like that was the purpose of my break, but it’s not! (Laughs)

Your break extends into April, which is Star Awards season. Does this mean you’ll be giving this year’s awards a miss? 
(Laughs) I will definitely attend Star Awards no matter what! China or Taiwan is just a few hours away by flight, so it’s not that difficult to come home for it. I’m just taking a longer-than-average holiday. I’m not going away for good lah!

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