Local stars reveal sides of Zoe Tay we didn’t know

Apparently, Ah Jie is a huge foodie and an avid recommender of good products and services

Local stars reveal sides of Zoe Tay we didn’t know
Local stars reveal sides of Zoe Tay we didn’t know
09 Jan 2018

Local stars reveal sides of Zoe Tay we didn’t know

Photos: Tammi Tan, Lee Lay Na
Video: Philip Ang

Award-winning actress. The reigning Queen of Caldecott Hill (now Stars Avenue). Loving wife and mother, and local showbiz’s beloved Ah Jie.

For most of us, that’s the extent of what we know about Zoe Tay, who turns an unbelievable 50 today. But for those who have had the opportunity to work with her, they’ve also had the privilege of witnessing a myriad of other facets.

At her advance birthday celebration last week, we got some of the famous guests there to share about some of their most memorable personal encounters with Zoe, during which we also learned a few fascinating facts about her (for instance, her love of oily food. Really.). Read on for more.

Oh, and HAPPY BIRHDAY, AH JIE!

Pan Ling Ling, Aileen Tan
Pan Ling Ling, Aileen Tan
09 Jan 2018

Pan Ling Ling, Aileen Tan

What was your first impression of Zoe?
Ling Ling: I could tell that she was a model and I was envious of her because she could take part in Star Search (I wasn’t allowed to join because I was from SBC’s Drama Artiste Training Course). I’ve “hated” her to this day. (laughs)
Aileen: I was in the same batch as Zoe. Perhaps if [Ling Ling] had joined, she would be the runner-up instead of me. (laughs)

What’s a memorable encounter you’ve had with Zoe?
Ling Ling: When we filmed Return of the Condor Heroes together, I remember thinking “[sighs] A traditional costume does not suit her” because her face looks too modern.
Aileen: When we filmed Devotion together in 2011, we had to play factory workers who are typically 17 or 18 years old (when we were already in our 40s), so we had to act much younger than we actually were! But it turned out quite well.

Chen Shu Cheng
Chen Shu Cheng
09 Jan 2018

Chen Shu Cheng

What was your first impression of Zoe?
When I first watched her on Star Search, I thought, “Hey, this girl isn’t bad!” and she really ended up winning the competition! I then had the good fortune of working with her on Pretty Faces [Ed’s note: the 1991 drama that propelled Zoe to instant stardom], and she shone brightly even as a newcomer.

What’s a memorable encounter you’ve had with Zoe?
When we were filming our most recent drama A Million Dollar Dream together, I experienced her motherly, caring side. For example, when she sees me walking, she will ask me, “Da Ge, there is a particular brand of shoes that would be perfect for you, do you need me to buy a pair for you?” or “Da Ge, you need to start taking care of your skin, I can help you buy this good aloe vera gel at a discounted price”. She’s been very helpful to me and it’s very heart-warming.

Desmond Tan, He Ying Ying, Edwin Goh
Desmond Tan, He Ying Ying, Edwin Goh
09 Jan 2018

Desmond Tan, He Ying Ying, Edwin Goh

What was your first impression of Zoe?
Desmond: I was quite scared of her because I was worried she’d be like her drama characters, but she turned out to be very kind and considerate.
Edwin: I thought she was friendly, kind, and took very good care of newcomers not just on the surface, but from the start of shoot to the very last day.
Ying Ying: The first time I saw her in person was in the makeup room, and I was so star-struck that all I could say was, “Ah…Ah…” She then said hello to me and I thought to myself, “Oh my god, she said hello to me.” (laughs)

What’s something about Zoe that left the biggest impression on you?
Desmond: She’s able to remember our conversations from weeks or even months ago! Once, I told her that I wanted to buy a robot cleaner. A few weeks later, she texted me asking if I had already done so. I thought it was quite considerate of her.
Ying Ying: When we first started filming [A Million Dollar Dream] together, I was very nervous, but Ah Jie asked me, “Are you afraid of me? There’s no need to be scared, you can always talk to me.” She is just always so kind.

Felicia Chin, Jeffrey Xu
Felicia Chin, Jeffrey Xu
09 Jan 2018

Felicia Chin, Jeffrey Xu

What was your first impression of Zoe?
Jeffrey: When I first saw her in person, I was wondering how it was possible for someone’s facial features to be so flawless and exquisite!
Felicia: The first time I saw Ah Jie, I didn’t know what to call her! I was only 18 years old then. I thought about it long and hard, and when we finally met outside the makeup room, I just said “Zoe Jie” before quickly turning around and running away from her. (laughs) So I have no idea what her first impression of me was!

What’s something about Zoe that left the biggest impression on you?
Felicia: She is very generous and loves to share about good things, whether it’s books, beauty treatments or massage parlours. Because of her, I’ve managed to discover a lot of great places and services. She’s also very photogenic and knows all her best angles, which is something that we want to learn from her.

Rebecca Lim
Rebecca Lim
09 Jan 2018

Rebecca Lim

What was your first impression of Zoe?
The first time we worked together was on The Dream Makers, and back then I was quite afraid to share scenes with her because I’m naturally quite timid. However, with just one glance from her, the ice melted. At that time I was still in university, so she kept asking me about my studies. I thought, “Wow, this Ah Jie even cares about an ikan bilis (small fry) like me!” She would also constantly help me to make sure that my red lipstick did not stain my teeth.

What’s something about Zoe that left the biggest impression on you?
I did not know that she is such a foodie! It’s not fair – she can eat and eat and eat, but she never gets fat. She loves to eat on set, even things that are oily and unhealthy. She really enjoys life and is very confident, and I hope that is something that I can learn from her.

Romeo Tan, Ian Fang
Romeo Tan, Ian Fang
09 Jan 2018

Romeo Tan, Ian Fang

What was your first impression of Zoe?
Romeo: The first time I met her was on the set of The Dream Makers 2. Whenever I had to exchange lines with her, I would be so nervous that I would stumble on my words. After all, she is someone that I grew up watching on television.
Ian: I used to think that she and Li Nanxing were a couple because I always saw them together on screen. (laughs) When we filmed The Dream Makers together, I did not dare to speak to her because I was intimated by her aura, but after a while I learned that she is actually very nice.

What’s something about Zoe that left the biggest impression on you?
Romeo: I had the chance to get closer to her when we were filming [The Dream Makers 2] in Melbourne. I learned that she is someone who is really up to date with trends such as social media and apps. There was once she asked me to teach her how to use an app, and she picked it up really quickly.
Ian: Once, I had too much to drink and casually put my arm on her shoulder and yelled, “Ah Jie!” [Instead of getting mad], she nicely touched my face and laughed it off.
Romeo: Only Ian can get away with that – if it were me, I would be finished! (laughs)

Zheng Ge Ping, Hong Hui Fang
Zheng Ge Ping, Hong Hui Fang
09 Jan 2018

Zheng Ge Ping, Hong Hui Fang

What was your first impression of Zoe?
Ge Ping: I remember when I first saw her on Star Search in 1988, I thought she didn’t look Chinese because of her Angelina Jolie-like thick lips.
Hui Fang: Me too. I honestly thought she looked a bit strange in a traditional Chinese costume. (laughs) We then worked together on Pretty Faces, after which we became quite close, like sisters.

What’s something about Zoe that left the biggest impression on you?
Ge Ping: Since I’m into fitness, I’m someone who pays a lot of attention to other people’s physique. Although Zoe is not very tall, her proportions are superb, which makes her body very “comfortable” to look at.
Hui Fang: I will always remember travelling overseas with her, where we would share many secrets that I will never divulge. (smiles) She’s also someone who is extremely playful.

Zoe Tay and her fellow artistes at her birthday party
Zoe Tay and her fellow artistes at her birthday party
09 Jan 2018

Zoe Tay and her fellow artistes at her birthday party

A toast to Ah Jie!
A toast to Ah Jie!
09 Jan 2018

A toast to Ah Jie!

Zoe Tay prepares to blow out the candles on her cake
Zoe Tay prepares to blow out the candles on her cake
09 Jan 2018

Zoe Tay prepares to blow out the candles on her cake

Zoe Tay poses with her huge bouquet of flowers
Zoe Tay poses with her huge bouquet of flowers
09 Jan 2018

Zoe Tay poses with her huge bouquet of flowers

Ian Fang, Zoe Tay and Romeo Tan
Ian Fang, Zoe Tay and Romeo Tan
09 Jan 2018

Ian Fang, Zoe Tay and Romeo Tan

He Ying Ying, Zoe Tay, Edwin Goh
He Ying Ying, Zoe Tay, Edwin Goh
09 Jan 2018

He Ying Ying, Zoe Tay, Edwin Goh

Hong Hui Fang, Zoe Tay, Chen Xiu Huan
Hong Hui Fang, Zoe Tay, Chen Xiu Huan
09 Jan 2018

Hong Hui Fang, Zoe Tay, Chen Xiu Huan

Chen Xiu Huan, Terence Cao
Chen Xiu Huan, Terence Cao
09 Jan 2018

Chen Xiu Huan, Terence Cao

Bryan Wong
Bryan Wong
09 Jan 2018

Bryan Wong

Zhu Hou Ren
Zhu Hou Ren
09 Jan 2018

Zhu Hou Ren

Watch:
Local artistes were afraid of Zoe Tay?

Related:
What Zoe Tay expects from her husband on every birthday

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