Lea Salonga is best known for her legendary vocals, but there’s still so much that you might not know about her. The actress, who voiced Disney princesses Jasmine and Mulan, exclusively revealed 25 things about herself with Us Weekly — including her favorite hobby, what she loves most about live performances and the one instrument she knows how to play. Keep scrolling to learn more about the 49-year-old Filipina songstress.
1. My favorite colors are blue, red and purple.
2. I have five piercings: two on my right ear and three on my left.
3. I’m very hard on myself when I make a mistake in a concert or show. [It] feels like I’m letting the audience down. I tend to carry that mistake for days, if not weeks.
4. My favorite food is Filipino, followed closely by Japanese, Chinese and Korean.
5. I learned how to drive when I was 30. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.
6. I really love quick costume changes, whether [I’m] doing them or watching them.
7. I used to play classical piano. I’m still able to play a couple of things, but my hands aren’t what they used to be.
8. In one online livestream I did, I was chatting with a few friends while singing, just to mess them up. It worked!
9. I can move my ears. My mother says it’s a trait passed on from her family.
10. I can pick things up with my toes. Now this I get from my father’s side of the family.
11. I know how to knit and crochet basic things, like little stuffed animals, scarves and place mats.
12. I will stop everything when [the 1970s animated series] Challenge of the Superfriends is on TV. Thank heavens I can find episodes online.
13. My favorite anime series is one that came from Japan in the 1970s: Voltes V.
14. I’m not really into wearing jewelry, but I feel naked when I don’t have a watch on.
15. I can whistle in tune and with vibrato.
16. I learned typing in my freshman year of high school, so I don’t ever need to look down at my keyboard when I’m on my laptop.
17. When I was younger, I assembled a couple of remote-controlled cars for my brother to race. The instructions were all in Japanese, so I went by the very detailed photographs in the manuals.
18. I loved math [in school]. It comes in handy when I have to tutor my daughter [Nicole, 14, with husband Robert Charles Chien].
19. I’m a major night owl. I love the quiet and the solitude. Easier to get work done.
20. I’m not the greatest cook, but I’m proud of the sourdough I bake.
21. I tend to drift into whatever accent I happen to be around. The most notoriously contagious ones for me are British — Cockney in particular — and Australian.
22. I can’t watch horror movies. The Ring totally ruined the genre for me.
23. I collect elephants with their trunks raised. My late aunt told me they were good luck. I try to keep one in my dressing room at every show.
24. “Dancing Queen” [by ABBA] is my go-to karaoke song.
25. I love video games and staying up until the wee hours of the morning playing them. My favorites are Assassin’s Creed and Final Fantasy.
The Tony Award winner’s concert at the Sydney Opera House airs on PBS’ Great Performances on Friday, November 27 at 9 p.m. ET.