Zoe Tay needs no introduction.
After winning the inaugural Star Search in 1988, Tay went on to bag the Best Actress award in 1996, 2017, and 2019.
The second episode of Guo Liang's talk show "The Inner Circle" aired on Mar. 3 featured the Queen of Caldecott Hill.
The 53-year old actress chatted about the early days of her acting career with Guo and Chinese drama producer, Wang You Hong.
No star treatment
Wang insisted that Tay never received any star treatment and was treated the same as everyone else on set.
However, the producer disclosed that a foreign actor, whom she declined to name, was given special treatment on the set of 1995 television series "Teochew Family".
According to Wang, the actor would arrive on set without reading the script, unaware of what the shoot was about, and not caring about the wardrobe.
Many veteran actors in that production did not dare to say anything, except for Chen Shucheng.
What impressed Wang was when Tay also voiced out her concern to that actor.
"Please respect your work," Wang quoted what Tay said to that actor back then.
Tay nodded in agreement as Wang explained that Tay respected her work and hoped that her colleagues could do the same.
"She says what ought to be said," Wang said, emphasising Tay's work ethics, "I felt that having such an actress to work with was very hard to come by."
Earlier in the show, Wang also revealed that after the hit 1991 drama "Pretty Faces" aired, Tay was highly sought-after and every producer wanted to book her for their show.
She remarked that such a phenomenon was not very good for the artiste as Tay would be shooting one show after another consecutively without a break.
"She didn't have the chance to catch her breath," Wang said.
Tay shared her experience of a specific moment when she felt overwhelmed.
"When I was shooting 'A Different Life', I remember receiving a call from my artiste team who told me, 'Zoe, you have to report at 7am for make-up tomorrow,' and I asked, 'Why?'. They replied, 'The other variety team from Channel 5 has booked you for something tomorrow morning.' Tears immediately rolled down my face."
The Ah Jie (big sister) explained that she was so exhausted that when she noticed a free slot in her schedule, she did not dare to tell anyone.
She initially believed that she could take half the day off and was glad that she didn't have to show up for work so early.
When asked to quantify how long she was shooting non-stop for, Tay replied that she was "always shooting."
Wang chimed in, "In the early times, our working hours were not limited to 11 hours. After the morning shift work finished, we'd eat then proceed to the evening or afternoon shift. It would be handled by one and half teams."
"It was really hard work," Tay repeated as they reminisced on the hectic production schedule back then.
In the previous episode of "The Inner Circle", Li Nanxing shared his woes as a Hollywood "calefare" when he struggled to pay off his gambling debts in the past.
Top images via meWATCH.