Sunday 26 July 2009

Remembering Fiona Xie when she was 'nobody'

Zoe Tay said she was “just sexy”, and that men love her and women hate her.

I can’t speak for women, but as a man, I don’t exactly love Fiona Xie. And no one is “just” sexy – Fiona is also bilingual

I remember the first time I saw Fiona. It was back in 2000 and she was hanging around the Phua Chu Kang rehearsal studio at MediaCorp.

“Cute, but a bit short,” I opined silently to myself. “Who is she and why is she hanging around outside the PCK rehearsal studio?”

We made eye contact and ... that was it.

I learnt later that she was acting in the Channel 5 sitcom as a PCK client named Mrs Lopez. So for a long time after that, I believed she was a married Eurasian woman in her 30s.

I only found out her name after I heard about her rape scene in the Channel 5 drama A War Diary about a year later. (Yes, local dramas were big on rape scenes even back then.)

Hey, that was the chick I saw hanging around outside the PCK rehearsal studio! But for some reason, I still thought she was a married Eurasian woman in her 30s.

I only met Fiona for the first time rather unexpectedly about a couple of years later when I went to Goodwood Park Hotel to chat with Eric Khoo about possibly doing a project together. (I had a brief cameo in Eric’s first feature Mee Pok Man.)

I showed up at one of the hotel’s swanky F & B outlets only to find Eric chilling in a booth with Robin Leong and Fiona, whom I gathered were an item at the time. Both had just appeared in Eric's football movie One Leg Kicking.

Of course, by then, everyone knew who Fiona was. She had made her name in the Channel 8 sitcom My Genie and even returned to PCK to guest star as Genie.

Eric introduced us and it was I could do not to blurt out: “Remember me? I saw you hanging around outside the PCK rehearsal studio a few year ago when you were nobody!”

I just kept my mouth shut. Man, it was awkward. Or perhaps it was sexual tension.

It became even more tense for me years later when after an unwelcomed turn of events, I suddenly found myself the executive producer of the second season of Maggi & Me starring Adrian Pang and who else but the erstwhile Mrs Lopez.

When I met her during the show’s production, Fiona commented that I didn’t talk very much. I wondered if she recalled our two previous explosive encounters.

So amid speculation why she pulled out of the upcoming Channel 8 drama Together at the last minute, let me clear something up once and for all: Fiona is not actually a married Eurasian woman in her 30s.

She is only in her 20s.

- Published in The New Paper, 26 July 2009

2016 UPDATE: Fiona Xie to make local TV return in August following six-year absence

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