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A TV Director Once Made Life Very Tough For Zoe Tay 'Cos She Thought Her Husband Fancied Ah Jie

Zoe revealed on this week's episode of The Zoe and Liang Show podcast that she spent a long time wondering why she got picked on so badly, and only found out the reason after the director came clean years later.

Most of us would agree that in any industry one needs not only the chops to get the job done, but also the social skills to navigate relationships with co-workers.

And that was the main topic for the latest episode of The Zoe and Liang Show.

Zoe Tay and Guo Liang were joined by Mediacorp actress Ya Hui to discuss whether it is harder for someone to do a good job, or behave in the right way in a work setting.

The trio discussed the importance of doing a good job and behaving in the right way in a work setting

Although Ya Hui admitted that it is equally tough to do a good job and behave in the right way, she feels that the former is a more important quality to have.

She first asked Ah Jie and Guo Liang for their definitions of ‘behaving in the right way’.

“Maybe it’s because I grew up in a large family, and it is linked [to that]. Children who grow up in large families have many siblings, and you need to consider the points of view of others and their situations before settling a matter. So it’s easier for you to get along with other people and discuss issues, instead of putting yourself first,” explained Zoe. 

Ya Hui on the other hand, viewed ‘behaving in the right way’ differently. “In society, knowing to behave in the right way means knowing how to curry favour with others and being able to fawn over one’s boss,” she said.

“Simply put, it is important to make the other party feel comfortable at any time,” said Guo Liang of his definition.

Zoe was told by the company to be be more friendly and approachable

“I don’t think knowing to behave is necessarily the same as fawning over one’s boss,” said Zoe, before recalling a time that she was called into a meeting with the company’s HR.

“A group of us artistes [were called into the office] more than 20 years ago. ‘You need to be friendlier and more approachable,’ we were told. I don’t know where they got the feedback from, [but I was told to be] warmer to others, unlike a certain other artiste,” revealed Zoe.

She then went home to ponder over what she was told, and wondered if they wanted her to become someone that she was not in order for others to like her.

“That’s not my style, I wouldn’t do that. So after going back and forth with the issue for a while, and thinking why I needed to do so much as someone who simply likes to act, I realised that they weren’t asking me to [change who I was]. [I] simply had to deal with matters in a more mature manner and learn how to give and take,” she said. 

Zoe had no idea why she was 'marked' by the director by then

As the trio delved into the nuances of knowing how to behave, Ya Hui brought up the topic of luck and how it was important to have it when it comes to becoming successful. 

Zoe then talked about the time she was “scolded for the entire filming period” of a show.

As it turns out, Ah Jie was once “marked” by a director, and was treated badly by the latter for reasons that were unknown to her back then.

Zoe was asked by the director to do more as the sky got dark

“Have you ever experienced being scolded as you walked by, or when you were just sitting down?” Zoe asked with a resigned chuckle.

“When filming my last scene, I was booked again for my first scene. It was because [the director] wasn’t sure when I was needed again. And the outdoor shoot location was very far away,” revealed Zoe.

“Then as I finished my last scene, and the sky was getting dark — can you believe it? It was already getting dark, I was at the outdoor shoot since 6am, and it was about 7pm. At around 7.20pm, I was told to run over [from a distance away] before we wrapped up. And the hotel we returned to was [only] five minutes away,” she continued.

“There’s only one explanation [for their behaviour] — they had fallen in love with you,” provided Guo Liang.

Zoe then revealed that the director that she was working with at that time was a woman.

“[I] never understood why [I was being picked on], from the start until the end. And I only found out the reason many years after the incident. She told me ‘It was because I thought my husband fancied you back then’,” said Zoe, who looked truly bewildered by the confession. 

“See, it wasn’t she [who fancied you] it was her husband. She thought her husband fancied you, so she hated [you] and was jealous,” laughed Guo Liang.

Ah Jie went through the arduous experience all because the director thought her husband fancied Zoe

And just as we thought that was the worst of Zoe’s horror stories with demanding bosses, she had more to tell.

She started off by saying it was “important to know the likes and dislikes of one’s boss”.

“I used to have a boss who didn’t like lip gloss. Once they saw an actress with lip gloss on, the whole studio had to halt their work and the actress was asked to remove it,” Zoe recalled.

She continued: “We were deep into filming, or acting out a crying scene or whatever, and [my boss shouted] ‘Cut!’ and everything had to stop, because of the actress’ lip gloss. “Tell the actress to clean off her lip gloss!”."

“First of all, sorry. No matter how big of a boss you are, I won’t respect you. Because you don’t know how to respect others. Firstly, you ‘ruined’ that actress. Then, there were so many people present, and [people would start to] wonder if the director didn’t do a good job, or if the actress’ assistant didn’t inform her, or if it was the make-up artist’s fault. With that, [they] implicated so many people, and I feel like as a boss, at such a high position, it was not a good way to deal with things,” explained Zoe.

Zoe did not agree with the way her boss dealt with the matter

Photos: Mediacorp/ YouTube

To find out more about Ya Hui's experiences with demanding directors on set, watch The Zoe and Liang Show below, or catch it on meWATCH.

Related topics

zoe tay Guo Liang Ya Hui The Zoe And Liang Show

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