Olivia Jensen: ‘Third Culture’ Kid
Posted May 25, 2013on:
Olivia Lubis Jensen, star of the hugely successful TV series Putih Abu – Abu 2 (White and Grey 2), chats with Speak! about her life growing up as a “third culture” kid.
We may wonder what it is like to “go it alone” by living on our own as a young person. Sounds a bit scary but also exciting. Just ask Olivia Jensen, one of the soap world’s most successful stars, who claims the experience has been a good one.
Born in Copenhagen to a Danish father and Indonesian mother, the 19-year-old has lived on her own since junior high school when she enrolled at Bandung International School.
“People say I’m very mature for my age because of the way I speak and think. I guess it has something to do with the fact that I’ve been living on my own since I was 13. And perhaps being in the public eye has also helped me mature beyond my years,” she says.
Although she has lived away from her family for a long time, Olivia insists that she’s still very close to them. This independent teenager, who has a twin sister and a brother, credits her mom for her success.
“My mother’s support was what gave me the courage to go for the audition and give it my best shot. Little did I know I would be signing up for my first major movie role.”
Olivia says her entry into the entertainment industry happened by chance at the age of 15.
“I was shopping with friends at a mall in Bandung when a talent agent approached me and asked if I would like to audition for a movie role.”
Of course, even at a young age her Eurasian features made her stand out from the crowd. But she says she never relies on her looks to get what she wants, and has made her cautious about people’s intentions.
“The fact that I got an offer out of the blue seemed sketchy, and I couldn’t tell if it was the real deal. Plus, I didn’t even have any acting experience, so how could they even consider me to audition for a movie?” she says matter-of-factly.
Olivia admits that life would have been good (though perhaps not as exciting) had she chosen to remain inBandung. But with her mother’s blessing, Olivia went to Jakarta to give the entertainment industry a shot.
Bigger and Better
In 2009, Olivia arrived in Jakarta and enrolled at the Australian International School. She also signed on with WannaB Pictures, whose talent agent first spotted her in Bandung. Her debut performance as a rebellious teenager who reconnects with her long-lost father in 2009’s Bukan Cinta Biasa (No Ordinary Love) received good reviews. Later that year, she landed another role in Kembang Perawan (Virgin).
She also modeled, hosted and acted in a few TV soaps, including popular series Hafizah. Many said she was refreshingly different as she was one of a few young starlets who could actually act.
Despite achieving success at such a young age, Olivia has managed to maintain a squeaky clean reputation – not easy considering the other notoriously young, wild and loaded celebrities around, and the infotainment industry that keeps tabs on them.
“I’m used to analyzing matters using different points of views. My dad’s a Westerner and is more open to new things, while my Indonesian mother is more cautious in her approach to everything,” she says, adding that her background may have helped her to become a more sensible and level-headed person in the seemingly glamorous world of celebrities.
Olivia is living proof that being away from our parents will end up with us going wild and acting irresponsibly. But it was still a process of adjustment, she admits.
“It was tough living away from them. I would get jealous of friends whose folks were able to attend school functions and spend time with them every day. But I have come to realize that the trust my parents gave me has helped make my transition into adulthood a lot easier,” says the brunette beauty, who currently lives with her siblings.
After graduating high school in 2011, Olivia decided to take a gap year before continuing her studies. Now she is busy shooting Putih Abu-Abu 2 and also attending personal development courses.
“Again, I’m so lucky that my parents are open-minded. They allow me to take a gap year, which I personally think is very useful for young people, as we get to reflect and learn more about ourselves before deciding what we truly want to pursue in life,” Olivia reasons.
And just like everyone else, Olivia admits she simply can’t live without the Internet. She even has a website, http://www.olivia-jensen.com, where you can find daily updates about her random adventures, filming experiences, beauty tips and travel notes. For one, check out the collection of photos she took during the filming of Putih Abu-Abu 2 in South Korea.
“This website was just another project to harness my creativity, while at the same time it lets me share stuff with my fans. I hope they enjoy it!” Olivia enthuses.