Photos: Teo Sijia
Video: Kimberly Tay
After local actress Fiona Xie’s prodigious return to our local screens was announced earlier this year, nothing short of a media frenzy emerged. The 34-year-old was bombarded with a plethora of questions from everyone. After all, she had left a trail of unanswered questions behind her when she left seven years ago.
Three months and two interviews later, the most important question still remains – Is she back for good?
Toggle sat down with Fiona during the press conference of her upcoming Channel 5 drama, Left Behind, to find out more.
After her stint overseas, it seems that Fiona has come back better and stronger than before. While there is no doubt that all eyes will be on her as she stages her acting comeback, she professes to be more at ease with the pressure of the public’s expectations.
“The pressure will always be there, but at the same time, I’ve come to be at a better place. [I’m better at] dealing with it as compared to before, when I think I took it quite hard. Now, I can let it go,” she chortles, as she breaks into a rendition of the classic song from Frozen.
Similarly, she is no longer as susceptible to all the harsh comments that she has received. Instead, she shared that she has since “moved on” from these comments.
“I hope that [these] people can spread love instead, because it’s not worth it.”
After wrapping up filming for her comeback project, has Fiona been bitten by the acting bug once more, or will she spread her wings to fly off yet again?
While she shied away from giving any definite answers, supplanting every sentence with the words ‘hopefully’ and ‘maybe’, her answers were mostly positive.
“I think I will [continue on to act]. But, it’s not just my own decision. With the right timing, script and project, hopefully you’ll see more of me,” she mused.
However, she remained coy when asked if she had signed with any management company yet, or if she is looking to star in any specific production.
The actress has also been “doing a lot of house-hunting”, and revealed that she “hopes to stay here for good”, although the world “is so small, we can just travel every now and then.”
During the press conference, the cast’s friendship was evident, with loads of friendly banter and jokes. Even during our interview, Fiona brings up her fellow cast mates, Jason Godfrey, Aden Tan, Oon Shu An and Randall Tan, a number of times too.
The 34-year-old plays a psychiatrist with a ‘deep, dark, secret’ in Left Behind, an emotionally charged role with a host of crying scenes.
While she admitted that it was challenging and draining, the dour mood never lingered once the cameras stopped rolling.
“Jason and I, we always laugh so much! Even with Aden, we joke so much off-screen that the director has to go, ‘Okay, guys, this is not a comedy,” she shared.
Interestingly, she also shared that her one and only breakdown did not happen during or after filming. Instead, she had broken down before filming started.
“[I kept thinking], ‘Am I going to do this, to do interviews [all over again]? I just want to stay in my shell, what did I get myself into? Why did I say yes?”
Luckily, she quickly acclimatised to life as an actress again, and sang the praises of local productions.
“There’s so many good shows out there, but local content is more close to home, they have stuff that you can relate to.”
Numerous local celebrities have given in to the addictive mobile game Pokémon Go once it was released in Singapore, and Fiona is no exception.
Though she claims to be a “casual player”, the actress has already managed to hit level 15 in less than a week. Fiona revealed that she often goes out with her friends at night to hunt for Pokémon, and even cruised around Orchard Road in a friend’s car in their bid to catch ‘em all.
But of course, even the best-laid plans go awry sometimes. The actress revealed that her group of friends had attempted to go to the Botanic Gardens for a hunt once, only to end up pub-crawling instead.
Left Behind premieres on Channel 5, August 22, 10pm.