If you belong to the pre-Snapchat generation, you may remember Phyllis Quek as the beautiful Bai Mudan with a heart of gold in Legend of the Eight Immortals. Or for her breakout debut role as the docile female convict in the Orange Is the New Black-esque Beyond Dawn. Or, simply, as the actress with a mole on her forehead (alas, she had it removed a few years ago).
Back in the early ‘90s, Phyllis was once touted as the, um, fourth Ah Jie-in-waiting, trailing Fann Wong and Ann Kok. Like Zoe and Fann, Phyllis was a model before she turned to the small screen. She certainly had the beauty and bearing of a TV queen… even if she lacked the acting chops. Turning her back on showbiz, she filmed her swansong drama, The Best Things in Life, in 2010, added another feather in her big-screen cap with the gambling-themed movie, The Ultimate Winner and left for greener pastures in the aesthetics field in 2011. She quit her patient relationship manager job at a clinic shortly after tying the knot with Aussie businessman David Cox in 2012 following a whirlwind romance (the pair met at the 2011 SingTel Formula One Grand Prix).
The 44-year-old self-confessed “happy housewife” (oh, don’t be modest, Phyllis Cox tai-tai!) takes a break from her leisurely pursuits to act in her first Ch 8 drama in seven years. She plays a conniving CEO who romances 33-year-old Zhang Zhenhuan in the Felicia Chin-headlined Legal Eagles. A hot cougar among the Eagles? We’re sold.
1. She loves going around the world with her 55-year-old husband…
“He travels quite a fair bit for work. Sometimes, I travel with him. Once a year, we go on long trips to Europe or the States. We also take a couple of short-haul trips annually. I enjoy living life like that and just going with the flow.”
2. …and baking in the kitchen.
“I love pastries and cakes and I’ve always had an interest in baking. In 2015, my hubby made time and accompanied me to Paris to learn pastry making for three months. I enjoyed my time there very much learning how to make the different kinds of French pastries, breads, mousse cakes and tarts. I bake a lot at home. Sometimes, if I got cravings for certain cakes or if there’s some gathering or if I see something inspiring from the TV, I’ll just bake it.”
3. She also has more time to catch up with ex-colleagues…
Phyllis’ Instagram is filled with pictures of her catching up with ex-colleagues like Zoe Tay, Ann Kok, Christopher Lee and Chen Hanwei. “I’m happy to join them when they have gatherings. We have high tea, or catch up over lunch and coffee. It’s very casual and spontaneous.”
4. … now that she stopped work at an aesthetics clinic.
“[I quit ’cos] I wanted to spend more quality time with my husband. He doesn’t want me to overwork… I’m out of [the business] already so I don’t want to elaborate on that.”
Legal Eagles debuts on 7 Mar, and airs weeknights, Ch 8, 9pm.