Who is Na-Young Jeon?
1. She's Dutch-Korean
Na-Young Jeon is Dutch-Korean and based in London. With Nathan Hartono's recent Instagram dedication that "distance is the only thing that is temporary", the couple are currently in a long-distance relationship. Jeon shuttles between London and Netherlands for work while Hartono travels between China and Singapore. But the miles are not a challenge as the pair Skypes regularly and meet once at least every three months. Hartono even flew to Jeon's hometown, The Hague, to give her a birthday surprise this January.
2. She started with piano but fell in love with theatre
Jeon has played the piano since the age of four and continued the hobby while singing her own songs and covers. However, it was only when she accompanied a friend to an improvisation class at a theatre company that she unearthed her true passion. "I realised I could also move away from the instrument and use my body in a space to tell stories. It was then that my passion for theatre was ignited," Jeon said in an interview.
3. She has an extensive theatre career
She played the role of Gigi in the world tour production of Miss Saigon when she was still in school at only 22 years old. While she struggled with the responsibility, Jeon said in an interview, "I learned to trust myself and encourage myself, to be my best friend as well as being my worst critic." Jeon has gone on to play Fantine in Les Misérables in the West End and is currently starring in the West End production of The King And I as Tuptim. She has since received praise for her portrayal in The King and I by The Independent with the review "Na-Young Jeon... is piercingly vulnerable as Tuptim."
4. She starred as Hartono's wife in a local musical
The 29-year-old actress and singer played Hartono's wife in The Great Wall: One Woman's Journey in her Singaporean debut. The story was based on the popular legend of Meng Jiang Nü (played by Jeon) who cracks the Great Wall of China with her tears when her husband, Fan Qi Liang (played by Hartono) dies while working on its construction. While the pair were acquainted in the local production last year, they only started dating after the musical ended. Nathan revealed in an interview that they "get along well" and "make each other happy". The duo even travelled to China to visit The Great Wall of China during pre-production.
5. She was nominated for a Broadwayworld UK/West End award
Jeon finished her run as Fantine in Les Misérables at the Queen's Theatre in 2014 and was nominated for a Broadwayworld UK/West End award in the category 'Best performance in a long-running West End show'. She was also nominated in 2009 for a John Kraaijkamp Musical Award in the category 'Upcoming talent' for her portrayal as Kelsi in High School Musical. Most recently, she was nominated for The Straits Times Life Theatre Awards 2018 as best actress for her leading role in The Great Wall: One Woman's Journey.
For last week's #WomanCrushWednesday, click here.