#31: Her saddest birthday...
“On set working. For many years. In the past, we didn’t have a proper artiste management team. So it was very difficult to apply for leave. Now, my manager will help me block some important dates, like my birthday, or my kids’ birthdays.”
#32: She didn’t have starry dreams as a child.
“When I was young, I never thought of being an actress. I stumbled into this industry by chance after joining [Star Search in 1988]. I was so against it at first ’cos I couldn’t act. Also, it was a very tough job. Over these 30 years, I have overcome a lot of fears and challenges.”
#33: She used to work “370 days” a year.
“In my 20s, I was busy working all the time; I had no life. In a year, I’d shoot two to three shows. Back then, I once said, ‘There are 365 days in a year. But I work 370 days.’”
#34: She was so tired, she’d just sleep on the floor.
“Early on in my career, I often thought of quitting ’cos filming was so tiring. Our filming day was very long. And we also had overnight shoots. Sometimes, I’d be so tired that I’d just lie down on the floor to sleep. And we had to handle everything on our own — arrange our own schedule, do our own make-up, buy our own meals and carry our own clothing. So that system trained me to be very tough. But I don’t want to go back there again.”
#35: Her professionalism was not always by choice.
“From young, even if I was sick, my [late] father would still ask me to go to school or work. He felt that as long as I could walk, I could go to work. Once, I was running such a high fever. But I still had to finish an overnight shoot for  telemovie Love Knows No Bounds.”
#36: Many times, she almost had accidents while driving.
“Back then, I lived in my parents’ house which was a distance [from the old Mediacorp campus]. Sometimes, while driving home late at night after work, I’d slap my face and pinch myself [to stay awake]. Many times, I [dozed off at the wheel] and almost got into accidents. So sometimes, while driving, I’d feel very sad and I’d cry. When I got home, everyone would be asleep. And when I got up in the morning to go to work, everyone was still sleeping. I felt very sad and lonely. I couldn’t meet my friends or spend time at home. I was working every day.”
#37: She has thought about being a full-time housewife.
“At 40, after having kids, I considered quitting acting to become a housewife [’cos of my hectic filming schedule]. My husband said, ‘If you want to be a housewife, go ahead. But is that what you want to do? Can you stay at home?’ (Laughs) Now, I realise I can be a housewife [when I’m not filming] and still do the job that I like.”
#38: She likes to communicate the old-school way.
“Many times, when I ask [my manager] something, she would scold me, ‘Didn’t I already tell you [via message]?’ Sometimes, when I’m filming, I’d get a whole bunch of messages. I open the messages, but I don’t read them. ’Cos I get too many messages and I really don’t have time to read [all of] them. My husband sometimes asks me, ‘Why didn’t you clear your e-mails?’ I hardly have time to do that. Sometimes, if they are work e-mails, I’ll tell him to help me reply to them. If I need to check something, I’d usually just call the person.”
#39: She wants to retire before the age of 60... maybe.
“When I was 20, I thought I’d have retired at 30. When I was 30, I thought I’d have retired at 40. At 40, I thought I’d have retired by 50. At 50, I don’t want to retire at 60. I want to retire earlier. (Laughs) I don’t want to tire myself out anymore. I should be enjoying life now. But, you know, I’m just saying. By the time I reach 60, I don’t know what I’m going to say.”
#40: She doesn’t have a Plan B.
“I don’t necessarily have to act, right? I could do other stuff. As for what ‘other stuff’ is, I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it yet.”