Singapore — Back in the day, actress Fann Wong mentioned something during an interview that remained an unforgettable quote about her relationship with Zoe Tay. Wong said that they were just colleagues, not friends. Fans who followed the Singaporean showbiz news in the nineties and noughties might remember that ever since Wong made her drama debut in 1994’s Dreams Come True, there were countless comparisons between the actresses in the media.
Wong feels “very fortunate” that she could be considered a ‘rival’ to Tay, who was already an established star by the time Wong joined showbiz. But Wong, 50, admitted on Mediacorp talk show The Inner Circle that it stressed her out then.
“Zoe was already an Ah Jie when I debuted, so to be able to be compared with her was a good thing,” she mused. “At least, that’s how I look at it now, but it gave me a lot of pressure back then ‘cos as soon as I joined showbiz, they said I was the next Ah Jie so I should be more like her.”
Host Guo Liang asked if Wong would still say that she and Tay were “just colleagues, not friends” back then with her more recent positive attitude towards their “rivalry”. She hesitated for a moment before uttering a simple “yes” with an awkward chuckle.
Guo Liang quickly added that there was nothing wrong with that, but when you are two TV queens, such a matter would inevitably get blown up.
“I think that back then, the entertainment industry was too boring,” Wong quipped. She went on to admit that she “didn’t have a lot of friends” anyway since she was too busy and focused on her work. “Even getting a good night’s sleep was a godsend.”
At one point during the show, Wong got candid about the difficulties she faced while shooting the 2008 action comedy flick Ah Long Pte Ltd with Mark Lee. It was during that time that her husband (then-boyfriend) Christopher Lee was jailed six weeks for drink-driving offences.
“I remember him telling me not to come back [to Singapore] and to just continue filming in Malaysia,” she recalled.
As reported by 8days.sg on March 10, Wong had a way to distract herself by being busy in a foreign country. The actress also was able to escape media scrutiny and avoid reading the news, which calmed her down.
“No one on set dared to mention [the incident] to me or ask me anything about it,” she laughed. Not that she really wanted to talk about it anyway. But things got difficult when she finished work and went back to her room.
“When you’re busy, you won’t have time to think so much,” she said. “But when things started to quiet down, I would start to feel a bit lonely.”
Wong then shared the same story she told Quan Yifeng on Hear U Out: “There was once when I finished work and tried to phone Chris, but I got [the busy signal tone]. It was only then I realised he couldn’t accept any calls [‘cos he was in prison].”
Guo Liang then asked about the heartfelt message Wong dedicated to her son Zed, six, late last year. The actress wanted to leave something for her son to read when he gets older so he could understand his mother’s love for him. The doting mother really loves her son to the point that she was willing to give up all kinds of job offers for him.
“Acting was my first love, and then my son came along,” she said. “Of course, he is more important, so I focused all my energy on him.”
Dennis Chew, who was one of the show’s mystery guests, revealed another change he noticed about Wong, whom he kept referring to as “my idol”: “If you look at her Instagram, you will see that she’s someone who likes to maintain her image, but ever since Zed’s arrival, sometimes you’ll see her with messy hair and clothes in her photos. (Laughs)”/TISGFollow us on Social Media
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