OG Channel 8 viewers will no doubt recognise Ann Kok as one of the Ah Jies ("big sister") after Caldecott queens Zoe Tay and Fann Wong during the early days of her career.
Kok had debuted as one of the top local actresses and established herself as one of the hottest stars in the local showbiz scene.
In first part of the "Hear U Out" Feb. 14 episode, the 48-year-old actress discussed with host Quan Yi Fong the origins of her sexy image.
Kok's outfit at the 1996 Star Awards ceremony was the event that attracted the most buzz that night.
Pairing vibrant yellow long trousers accessorised with a shiny belt, Kok sported a sheer black high-neck top that exposed the black bra she wore within.
While the look is trendy and more acceptable today, Kok's fashion choice was viewed as extremely bold back then.
Kok remarked that she was also startled by how it looked in pictures and on-camera.
"When I did the fitting for the outfit, it didn't have that sort of look at all. Isn't that strange? Who would have expected all the hoo-ha that night?"
Quan speculated that the harsh stage lighting may have exaggerated how translucent the fabric was, resulting in the see-through effect.
When probed about whether she viewed it as a good or bad thing, Kok said: "I didn't think the response was that good initially, especially since people were not as open-minded back then, so my mood was affected."
Family was the actress's top priority in that situation and she was most concerned about whether her parents could accept it.
Fortunately, her parents did not give her any stress over the situation at all.
"My stylists, namely David, advised me not to be too affected by such things because this is considered news. As an artiste, you have to accept and understand regardless if it is good or bad press."
The incident gave rise to breast augmentation rumours, which Kok found "strange" initially as she immediately started working when she joined the industry and could not afford any time for plastic surgeries.
Sexy cover shoots
Kok acknowledged the perks of this situation, such as being noticed by the more open-minded figures in the industry.
Quan noted, in addition to being the third Ah Jie, Kok did the most bikini shoots, as well as sexier cover shoots along with Fiona Xie, that all turned out very well.
Nodding in agreement, Kok spoke fondly about the experiences of shooting specific cover pictures and shared that she actually really like the second one of her holding a Louis-Vuitton purse over her chest.
For research purposes, here are the magazine covers that they were discussing:
When doing such photoshoots, Kok insisted: "My minimum requirement is to wear a bikini and it cannot be a G-string."
Although it looks like she was not wearing anything in some of the pictures, Kok disclosed that she was actually wearing a bikini that was completely edited out during post-production to achieve the final barely-there look.
Kok did not mention making any special requests during photoshoots but shared that she did it once during the filming for 2010 television series, "Cooking without Clothes".
As there was a crew consisting of all men except for the female director working on that specific day, she had asked for the crew to leave the set when she was filming a bedroom scene.
The only man who was allowed to stay was the sound man, who had to hold the boom microphone as they were unable to attach microphones to themselves during the scene.
She also described the elaborate process of how she meticulously wore three layers of clothes to protect her modesty while filming that scene.
She agreed that having too many people around could impede her ability to act but maintained that a fear of wardrobe malfunctions was not the reason.
"I'm not afraid of any 'accidents' because I had stuck double-sided tape onto the bra when I was putting it on so there's two-layered protection. I stuck tape all over, wherever I could stick," she chuckled.
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Top images via meWATCH.