'Crazy Rich Asians' reignited my passion for acting: Fiona Xie

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Actress Fiona Xie poses for photographers as she arrives for the red carpet screening of the movie “Crazy Rich Asians” on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, in Singapore. (AP Photo/Don Wong)
Actress Fiona Xie poses for photographers as she arrives for the red carpet screening of the movie “Crazy Rich Asians” on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, in Singapore. (AP Photo/Don Wong)

Being a part of Crazy Rich Asians reignited her “spark and passion” for acting, after a period when she felt she could not deal with rejection again and had become a “wilted flower”, said Singaporean actress Fiona Xie.

In an Instagram post on Thursday (23 August), the 36-year-old revealed that she was “bawling” while watching acclaimed 2016 musical La La Land as it struck too close to home.

“When Emma Stone was so afraid to even go for her audition coz she didn’t want to feel that rejection yet again. That’s the life of an actor…Being worn down by doing show after show and never finding that true joy with a project that matters, with a team that cares,” she said.

Xie, who plays Hong Kong starlet and gold digger Kitty Pong in Crazy Rich Asians, also paid tribute to the “amazing leadership” of director Jon M. Chu. “Thank you… for believing in me and for that validation. I’ve almost forgotten what it means to be an actor, a simple responsibility of bringing audiences joy… For watering this wilted flower, for having such faith.”

In response, Chu commented, “Love love love u. We got more work to do.”

As an actress who started working hard since 15, braving the highs and the lows of the industry, getting tossed in the tempest seas and sometimes not knowing what tomorrow brings. I remember bawling at one moment when I watched Lala land. When Emma stone was so afraid to even go for her audition coz she didn’t want to feel that rejection yet again. That’s the life of an actor. Being high while you are insanely popular and then that extreme feeling of emptiness and hollow sadness when things get mundane or dealing with everything else that comes with fame. Both good and bad. Everything resonated. Never did I imagine myself coming back to acting. Being worn down by doing show after show and never finding that true joy with a project that matters, with a team that cares. It’s been such a divine intervention, a real blessing to be on this @crazyrichasians journey where the family has adopted me with such love and positivity. To refuel and fan the flames of fire, igniting that spark and passion for acting yet again. Thank you @jonmchu for believing in me and for that validation. I’ve almost forgotten what it means to be an actor, a simple responsibility of bringing audiences joy. I almost gave up on believing in myself, being part of a grind that never stopped to uplift actors. Thank you, thank you, thank you. For watering this wilted flower, for having such faith, may I grow more and to blossom under your amazing leadership and make these dreams that you stir in all of us a crazy reality. Letting go and letting god has led me to this and I’m so thankful! God is good! Amen! 🙏🏻

A post shared by -fiona xie- *KITTY PONG* (@xplacidacidx) on Aug 22, 2018 at 7:02pm PDT

Chu told Channel NewsAsia on Thursday that Xie’s character would play a bigger role in the movie’s sequel. “We needed to hire somebody who can really act, because in time she becomes much more significant,” he said.

Xie, a former model, shot to fame in the Channel 8 sitcom My Genie in 2001 and thereafter became one of broadcaster Mediacorp’s most popular artistes. She is perhaps best known for a scene in the 2004 Channel 8 drama The Champion, where she ran down Orchard Road wearing only a bikini alongside fellow actresses Jeanette Aw, Felicia Chin and Joyce Chao.

Xie retired from acting in 2009 and immersed herself in the art world as a curator in Shanghai, Hong Kong, New York and Tokyo.

In 2016, she returned to acting with the Channel 5 drama Left Behind, in which she played a psychiatrist.

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