A tenacious new face in the industry. Shawn Thia ‘s journey to stardom hasn’t always been smooth sailing. In the November 2021 Issue of AUGUSTMAN, the unassuming 27-year-old shared with us the ups and downs, alongside how he copes with uncertainty and rejections. Diving deeper, this story encompasses his latest endeavours and why he decided to join a social media agency.
Congratulations on your recent engagement! It seems like you’ve quite the update to share since we last spoke in November. What else has changed for you?
So many things have changed! And I’ve been really really busy. Besides creating social media content, I’ve been working on a new English long-form drama and Mandarin reality show. Simultaneously, I had to settle some housing issues as my lease is coming to an end. My fiancée and I saw this as an opportunity to rent an apartment together while we continue sourcing for an ideal place to purchase.
Oh! We’ve also just adopted a rescue dog, which comes with big responsibilities and is a huge commitment. I don’t know why are we doing this to ourselves, but I’m “happy-tired”.
You’ve also recently concluded the TV series, Genie in a Cup. How does it feel like being one of the main leads in the show? It must have been nerve-wracking considering this is your first Mediacorp gig as well.
So nerve-wracking! I’ve done lead roles in English projects before, but Genie In A Cup is my first primetime Channel 8 project. I must say that it comes with a whole new level of stress. One of the biggest struggles was having to converse in Mandarin; my command of the language is not as proficient as the other casts. Needless to say, my preparations for the drama were way more intense compared to how I usually prepare for my English projects.
I also struggled trying to keep up to the pace of the production. It was much faster than I was used to. For the three months of filming, I had a lot of self-doubts because I hold very high standards for myself.
Can we look forward to a season 2?
A sequel isn’t in the pipeline. But I guess we will never know what the future holds. Personally, I feel that the story ended nicely, and I don’t think the writing team would want to change or add anything to the narrative.
You’re currently being represented by SGAG, a social media agency. What’s the difference between a social media agency and a media/production house when it comes to casting?
Not much different! My manager and I are very synchronised regarding the direction I want to move towards.
What made you decide to join SGAG?
I chose SGAG for many reasons. Firstly, I was impressed by how fast the company flourished. I knew that I could tap on company’s expertise and meld it with my know-how in acting. At the same time, I believe that I could add value to their existing team with my branding as an actor.
Also very interesting right? Many people questioned why would an actor join a company that produces memes and slapstick videos? I kinda like that reaction.
Would you say you’re more adept at comical and witty characters/roles, considering SGAG is renowned for its comedic skits?
Actually, I haven’t had many chances to do comedy projects. I’m usually cast for more serious roles. Perhaps, it’s the impression that I give people. I’m not sure.
I do think that my comedic timing is actually not bad. Hopefully, in the future, I get to do more shows similar to The Office or Modern Family!
What other characters would you like to play in the near future?
I’m not sure if it’s possible but I would love to play characters with some sort of physical or mental disability. I think that these challenging roles can help me grow as an actor, pushing me right out of my comfort zone.
Finally, are there any new works in the pipeline?
As mentioned earlier, I’ve onboarded a new Mandarin reality programme dubbed Streamers Go Live. It will be broadcasted in July! There are also other works in the pipeline, but I’m not allowed to divulge (laughs). All I can say is, it will be really exciting.
(Images: Shawn Thia by Sunny)