Teen TV star Kimberly Chia makes big leap to movies

Gail Chai
Singapore Showbiz

Singapore's teen ingénue Kimberly Chia is going places.

The 17-year-old petite actress, who shot to fame after last year's Channel 8 TV drama "On The Fringe", will be starring opposite local heavyweight Li Nanxing in Chinese action movie "Imperfect" set to release in local cinemas next week.

Shot by Hong Kong director Steve Cheng, known for his previous movies like "City of SARS" and "Lethal Angels", the movie is Chia's first big movie break.

The movie, which deals with rebel youths and triads, sees Chia starring as the love interest of a gangster and aims to bring him back on the right path.

Speaking to Yahoo! Singapore ahead of her big screen debut, Chia says she's excited about her big leap to motion picture movies.

Currently pursuing a diploma in Management Studies at the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM), Chia says she sometimes struggles to juggle her busy schedule between acting and studying.

"It's stressful because I've to balance my time well but I love acting. Once, I had a sixteen-hour long day of filming and burnt the midnight oil when I got home because I had an exam paper the next day but I still passed it!"

With her sweet and demure looks, Chia remains a big hit with the teen crowd who still remember her starring role in "On The Fringe".

Looking back on her big break, she told Yahoo! Singapore that she was "overwhelmed" by the popularity of the series about teenage angst and material wants.

"It was a very big jump for me because before that I acted in Fighting Spiders and did short films like Invisible Children," said Chia.

"Although there was some attention then, the fan base was especially massive after On The Fringe," added the teen, who tries to lead as normal a life as possible and still hangs out with her friends as and when she has the time.

HER OWN IPHONE APP

At the height of the show's popularity, Chia, Edwin Goh and Ian Fang, the three teens who starred in the hit drama, were mobbed by about 1,000 fans during a meet-the-fans session at Orchard Cineleisure last September.

Reflecting on the experience, Chia said, "I was so overwhelmed but it was an eye opening experience."

Such is her popularity that she has her own blog and even launched her own iPhone app, "Kimberly-Chia" at the start of the year

The free app, which was among the top 50 featured apps when it was launched, allows fans to interact with Chia easily real-time.

"My iPhone app is like a social media aggregator, anything I update on my social media accounts, like Twitter and Facebook will go straight to the iPhone app so fans can get my latest updates under one place," said Chia.

THE FACE OF "THE GAMES XPO"

Not content with just acting, Chia is also an avid gamer and will also be the face of gaming-cum-cosplay event The Games Xpo (TGX) 2012 in September.

She recently dressed up as "Chun Li" from the popular Street Fighter arcade franchise to get into the cosplay mood.

Ms May Tham, Managing Director at organizer MediaCorp VizPro International, said Chia "is suited to be the face of TGX because she is a female voice for gamers, seeing that she plays games a lot".

However, others like fan Samantha Choy, 15, simply enjoys watching Chia act in Chinese serial dramas.

"I like her very much as an actress and she can fit very well into whatever role she has to play," she said.