Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 Samantha Katie James says despite her looks, she is a true Malaysian on the inside.

POSITIVELY charming and disarmingly beautiful, Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 winner Samantha Katie James will be vying for the crown in the upcoming Miss Universe 2017 pageant on Nov 26.

She will be competing against 41 other delegates in the 66th edition of the popular international event, to be held in a host country that has yet to be announced as of press time.

When met, the confident 22-year-old was also musing on her dream to become a bright spark in Tinseltown.

“I want to make it big in the United States,” said the Pan-Asian beauty of Chinese and Brazilian descent, who hails from Klang, Selangor.

A model since 17, Samantha’s career has seen her living in the United States, Brazil, India and Thailand. She has also done commercials and movies in Indonesia and China.

In 2015, she had a lead role in horror mystery, Kastil Tua, a Malaysian-Indonesian co-production, which featured a story set around Kellie’s Castle in Perak.

The 170cm-tall lass with flowing dark brown hair said she wanted to take her chances and dream big with Hollywood.

“I feel that my look is accepted there,” she said at a charity function for Harlow’s & MGI Sdn Bhd in Kuala Lumpur recently.

Samantha lamented that she would never get a regular Malaysian role back home due to her foreign-looking features.

“I just look very orang putih, so I keep getting those type of roles here,” said the talented woman, who speaks fluent English and Malay, and also understands Tamil and Mandarin.

Her dream projects?

Not one to shy away from aiming high, she said with a smile: “Something in a Marvel movie or television series, or even a Disney princess role.”

Samantha said she received local acting offers already, but could not divulge any details yet.

“But, don’t judge a book by its cover. I may look white but I’m Malaysian on the inside,” she said with a steely gaze.

And, a steely determination is what brought her success.

Samantha first took part in the Miss Universe Malaysia 2013 pageant and ended up in the Top 8 grouping.

Not one to give in easily, she took part for the second time and was crowned Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 on Feb 23 at The Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

“I felt proud of myself. All my hard work and positive affirmations had worked out. So, never give up.”

On whether she is feeling the burden now that she will be representing Malaysia at the upcoming international beauty pageant, she said: “No pressure really, I’m ready.”

Part of her preparation has been a physical one as well, which she narrowed down to running.

“I’ve been training hard and I recently ran a 21km marathon. If I win, I want to be the first Miss Universe who runs marathons,” she said.

Being in the limelight does draw its fair share of haters aside from the admirers.

“I just ignore it, I know where I stand and who I am, so I don’t care. I just focus on the positive (aspects) and keep the company of people who are positive, too.”

She offered a piece of advice to people who want to have a wholesome and happy life: “Choose the right friends.”

As for her chances of winning the pageant, she said: “Whether I win or not, at least I get to make new friends.”

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