By Sarah Batcheller

Gwendoline Yeo captivates audiences with her ability to capture the essence of every character she plays. She is best-known for her roles on Desperate Housewives, Broken Trail, and most recently, ABC’s American Crime. While her comedic virtue keeps fans coming back, it’s her knack for expressing deep human emotions that is truly unforgettable. The Singapore native is an outstanding example of a female actress whose undeniable talent demands reverence. In addition to her television roles, she has crafted her own one-woman show that reminds us all about the power of inner strength. In our exclusive celebrity interview, Yeo opens up about the representation of women in the entertainment industry, her booming career, and, of course, all things relationships and love!

American Crime Star Discusses the Role of Women in the Entertainment Industry

The actress believes that the entertainment industry should always work to increase the number of empowered female roles, particularly when it comes to women of color. During her time on Desperate Housewives, she recalls the ways in which the media would miss the point and celebrate women for things other than their acting talent. “I remember that there was a cover story about Eva Longoria saying something like, ‘Mexican Latina Explosion!’ Eva was like, ‘What explosion? It’s just me,'” she says.

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She explains the importance of a diverse representation in the TV world by saying, “You’ve just got to keep working at diversity. I do think that many networks are trying to get there. American Crime is such a diverse show, and ABC as a network has such a diverse roster.”

She then adds, “It’s also not just about being in front of the camera. It’s important for people to want to be behind the camera directing and writing these roles. With all of that being said, I don’t think I work any less than other actresses. I’ve been very fortunate, and half of the roles I have booked have not been race specific. I still believe that talent and authenticity win in a room.”

As far as the behind-the scenes work goes, the Desperate Housewives veteran explains that women are often times harder on her, but she describes that as “a joyful challenge” because, all-in-all, they understand each other.

Yeo is currently working on transforming her one-woman show, Laughing With My Mouth Wide Open, into a screenplay. The show details the true story of her journey from abuse and suppression to freedom and happiness, and her goal is to connect with her audience through art. “I feel that, often times, when you expose yourself, people are actually very accepting because everybody has their own shame about things,” the actress-turned-producer explains. “I really wanted to impact younger women. I had a lot of women come up to me, and while none were very vocal, I think they were like, ‘Wow, I learned something.'”

She continues, “I wanted to prevent people from getting into situations where they feel compromised. Whenever people are victimized in certain ways, they always wonder, ‘Did I cause it?’ But I don’t feel that’s the case.”

Gwendoline Yeo Gives Relationship Advice to Fans

Although there was a time when her parents disagreed with her career choice, Yeo changed their minds when she realized that acting gave her a sense of wholeness. “In any family, you want stability for your children. When we came over to the states, my dad was making twenty to thirty thousand a year, and my mom sold sewing machines at five dollars an hour. All the while, they were putting us through Catholic school. They were doing their best, so I felt indebted to them,” she candidly shares in our exclusive celebrity interview. “Eventually, though, they came around completely. When I found a sense of self-esteem through acting, they had to respect it.”

Of her desire to act, she reasons, “Some people choose the art of creativity because it makes them process things and it makes them more stable people. There’s nothing more important than emotional health.”

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Sharing her best relationship advice — a tip that applies to both family relationships and romantic partnerships — Yeo says, “I think that when you are your authentic self and when you’re moving with a purpose — I think that’s the gift that God gave me, to make people feel less alone and entertain people — people cannot deny your self-confidence. People respect it.”

When it comes to sharing her life with someone special, the actress offers sound knowledge on how to balance love with a busy career. “It’s something that I still struggle with! When you are a successful woman, I think communication is important. You have to be able to communicate, navigate, and not be selfish. You’ve also got to realize that any time is quality time. It doesn’t have to be something romantic. If you have four hours, just kick it!” she insists. “I also think you have to have similar hearts. Whether it be a passion for creativity, giving, or kids or even a racial connection, there needs to be an anchor. Whatever that ‘thing’ is — that centripetal force.” While she hasn’t had a celebrity relationship and prefers to keep her love life private, she does believe that “kindness, authenticity, and manners” go a long way.

For more from Gwendoline, visit GwendolineYeo.com and follow her on Twitter @GwendolineYeo and www.facebook.com/GwendolineYeoOfficialFanpage.