Interview: Michelle Chong

Having my first film out feels like giving birth. And now I have to take care of the kid. The marketing is driving me nuts!
I wrote the script 10 years ago at a time when I was feeling kind of low in my life and career. Most of it is about my experiences.
The lead character is very much like me. She’s determined. She’s hungry. She never gives up.
I was diagnosed with clinical depression when I was 17. I’m still seeing a psychiatrist. I don’t usually talk about it because I don’t want people to think I’m creating publicity for the film.
I try not to have an idle mind because that’s when it’s worst. Keeping busy is a good distraction.
My favorite film is Pretty Woman. But with my own film I didn’t want to have any references in mind because I didn’t want it to feel like any other movie.
My idea of the perfect night in is painting with a glass of chilled white wine.
Even though I’d never directed before it didn’t feel like the first time because I’ve done quite a few dramas and you just pick up things here and there.
I wouldn’t say I have a flair for it, but I’ve always been interested in the technical aspect of things and always observed how different directors would film and edit their work.
My ideal soulmate is someone who’s kind, talented and has a crazy sense of humor.
If I could change anything I’d make changes to MediaCorp to make it easier for aspiring filmmakers to blossom. I approached Raintree [MediaCorp’s film division] with Already Famous, but they said no. They didn’t give a reason. They just said no. So I financed it through my own production company.
Even though I’ve said I’ll never act again if I got a call from Zhang Yimou I’d say yes in a heartbeat.
The negative Malaysian reaction to my Malaysian accent has been taken completely out of context. It was like three people on YouTube out of 300!
Making this movie has been very good for character building. The critics don’t upset me that much. It’s the general public’s comments that affect me the most.
Lots of people on Facebook and Twitter said some really touching things. Someone said they’d watched the film eight times in two weeks! I can’t even watch it eight times in two weeks!
Any publicity is good publicity.
Being famous means not having to queue at immigration.