Mayling Ng on Global Beauty Ideals, Collagen-Coconut Baths and the Art of Playing a ‘Super Villain’

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Mayling Ng on Global Beauty Ideals, Collagen-Coconut Baths and the Art of Playing a ‘Super Villain’ featured image
Louis Urban Martinez

With a black belt in Martial Arts, a long list of impressive fitness championships and several big movies slated for this summer (she’ll can be seen next in The Suicide Squad on HBO Max), Mayling Ng is determined to make a name for herself in Hollywood—and shake up beauty-ideal perceptions in the process.

You’ve lived all over the world; what is the one thing beauty-wise that sticks out to you the most from the different places you’ve called home?

“I suppose the one thing that sticks out the most is how the perception of the ‘ideal’ woman changes so much from place to place. While growing up in the UK as a child, the ideal woman was the classic Barbie doll–type: slim, blonde, conventional.  After moving to the Canary Islands in my teens, I saw that the girls with the most curves got the most attention. Later, in Singapore, it was smaller, thinner females who had the men swooning. I never felt like I belonged anywhere. Men used to joke around by calling me ‘a Gladiator’ or ‘The Amazon’ and it made me feel self-conscious. Then, after moving to Hollywood, the first role I booked was playing Orana, an Amazon in Wonder Woman. Needless to say, the nickname doesn’t bother me anymore! Being an Amazon gave me a career. Who would have thought? I only wish I’d moved to L.A. sooner!”

You’re very active and have a lot of physical roles-jobs right now. How do you relax when the day ends?

‘My idea of relaxation is a long, very hot, Epsom-salt bath with a dollop of coconut oil and a body brush while sipping a Vital Proteins collagen sleep drink. Together, they signal my body that it’s time to shut down, rest and repair.’

Anything people may be surprised to hear you indulge in?

“Because I’m a very private person, what a lot of people don’t know is that I grew up in the restaurant business and even owned a few myself. I started with a Chinese restaurant, then after becoming a nutritional advisor and certified trainer, I founded Lyte Protein based restaurants. Ultimately, the business wasn’t for me. The money was good, but I was unfulfilled and very stressed. But my brothers are still in the business and have over a dozen restaurants in Tenerife, so I had no choice but to become a foodie. As soon as I finish work on a movie, I love to go back home, see my family and friends, eat dim sum, seafood, lots of chocolate cake, and drink cocktails while watching the sunset. It’s an amazing place to unwind—and indulge.”

Any beauty products you love or were introduced to on-set?

“After a long hard day on set, especially if I’m wearing SFX makeup, I always use AuraSilk and give my face a full massage. I’m never without it and even take it with me in my carry-on bag when traveling. I stock up at Dr. Ben Talei Beverly Hills clinic. After much trial and error, he’s the only person I trust now.”

What are you most excited about this summer? 

“Well, as we all can’t really travel or go on holiday, I’m diving headfirst into work after more than a year of staying at home.

The major highlight, of course, will be the August 6 release of The Suicide Squad, in which I play another superhero or should I say supervillain as ‘Mongal.’ I’m also in the middle of filming The Legend of the White Dragon, in which I play a ruthless police lieutenant who’s leading an investigation and in charge of a bunch of men! Finally, at the end of the summer, I’ll be heading back to the UK to film The Journeyman. I’m very excited about the project because I’ll be starring opposite retired UFC champion Michael Bisping, and because the character is a real departure from my other work. I play a woman who’s struggling to make a new life for herself after escaping an abusive relationship. It’s dark, edgy, realistic, and raw and I’m ready for the challenge of what playing ‘Alina’ will bring.”

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