Top 5 Local Screen Sirens
By Tim Wee
November 13, 2013
Last week, we made light of the resurgence of our local film industry. After being dormant for so long, local films are back with a vengeance! While we are still a long way off from the golden era of our Shaw Brothers and Cathay Keris days, it is heartening to see the influx of new generation of cinematic artists coming through in modern day Singapore.
Shaw Brothers and Cathay Keris Movie Studios; The Golden Age of Singapore Cinema
Photos sourced from soundonsight.org and malaysiadesignarchive.org
With our rejuvenated movie scene back up and running, it is no surprise that local films like Ah Boys to Men and Ilo Ilo have stuck a cord with local audiences. But our local films’ impact has not been limited to our little island. In fact, Ilo Ilo’s heart-warming story of a Singaporean family and their Filipino domestic helper has won numerous international accolades like the Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Caméra d’Or Award.
Ah Boys to Men and Ilo Ilo ushering in a new era of local movies!
Photos sourced from yummybearbear.wordpress.com and kernelscorner.com
While a film is largely the vision of the director, Ilo Ilo has also been widely praised for the performances given by the two female stars Yeo Yann Yann and Angeli Bayani. This highlights the importance of film actresses and how big a draw they can be in determining a movie’s success or failure. As such, we thought it will be fitting to pay homage to our local leading ladies from the past to the present!
Actresses Yeo Yann Yann and Angeli Bayani made a difference to Ilo Ilo
Photos sourced from straitstimes.com and ioncinema.com
From the walls of our bedroom to the inside of our army bunk locker, these local screen sirens are easy on the eyes and arouse our interest in local productions (as well as boosting the sales of men magazines such as FHM). While they are familiar sights to us, maybe these local actresses will be as commonplace as their Hollywood counterparts!
So without further ado, let’s us present the top five local screen sirens that we can’t resist!
Top 5 Local Screen Sirens
1. Marrie Lee
Marrie Lee purrs, makes love and fight as super agent Cleopatra Wong!
Photos sourced from cleopatrawong.com
One of the first local female actresses, Marrie Lee was a 70s’ film star. Making her film debut at 18, Marrie played super agent Cleopatra Wong in the 1978 film They Call Her Cleopatra Wong. Directed by Bobby A. Suarez, it was inspired by Hong Kong martial art flicks as well as James Bond. The film counts Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino as one of its fans.
Marrie as all-action super spy Cleopatra Wong
Photos sourced from mjsimpson-films.blogspot.sg and sinema.sg
Marrie went on to play Cleopatra Wong two more times in Dynamite Johnson and The Devil’s Three. In addition to performing her own stunts, the “meanest, deadliest and sexiest secret agent” recently wrote, starred and produced a short film called Rojak.
2. Fann Wong
Photos sourced from yahoo.com and anjarubikstyle.blogspot.sg
A model, singer and actress, Fann Wong is affectionately known as the “Princess of Caldecott Hill”. Married to fellow actor Christopher Lee, the 42 year old actually started out as a child actress with MediaCorp (former known as Singapore Broadcasting Corporation). After finding initial success as a model, Fann broke out in her role in the 1995 Mandarin television series Chronicle of Life.
Photos sourced from wikipedia.org and fan-de-cinema.com
During this period, she also released her first Mandarin pop album Fanntasy. Since then, Fann hasn’t looked back starring in over 51 television and film productions. Some of her notable performances include the hit wuxia drama The Return of the Condor Heroes, Hong Kong art film The Truth About Jane and Sam and Hollywood action flick Shanghai Knights opposite Jackie Chan! Critically acclaimed by The Hollywood Reporter, Fann has also starred in local comedies like Ah Long Pte Ltd and The Wedding Game! Currently heading her own studio, the Singapore icon is planning to release a new album soon.
3. Zoe Tay
Photos sourced from facebook.com and acleanbreast.wordpress.com
Dubbed the “Queen of Caldecott Hill”, Zoe Tay is a veteran in the local acting circles. Known as the “Thousand-Faced Lady”, it is surprising that the 45 year old versatile model, singer and actress actually started out as a production assistant earlier on in her career. The tomboyish star got her first breakout role as a materialistic and malicious female in the Mandarin television series Pretty Faces.
Subsequently, Zoe went on to star in key drama series such as The Unbeatables, Golden Pillow and Home Affairs. Her film credits include Liang Po Po: The Movie, The Tree and Mister John. She even launched her very own coffee table book, Zoe’s Pictorial!
4. Michelle Chong
Host, comic actress and director Michelle Chong!
Photos sourced from xin.msn.com and wardrobetrendsfashion.com
Host, actress and director Michelle Chong is a bilingual Singaporean artist that is best described as Singapore’s own Emma Stone. Famous for her comic roles, the 36 year old beauty is synonymous with hit comedy satire shows such as The Noose and Sayang Sayang.
Already Famous and 3 Peas in a Pod are Michelle’s cinematic creations
Photos sourced from cueafs.com and japalangblog.com
Since 2011, Michelle has moved behind the camera to set up her own film company Huat Films. The local film Already Famous was her first foray as a screenwriter and director. It was selected as Singapore’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards! Subsequently, Michelle has also started her own artiste management agency and is releasing her sophomore film 3 Peas in a Pod this month!
5. Pamelyn Chee
Photos sourced from vanilla.cozycot.com and xin.msn.com
Since graduating from New York University, local actress Pamelyn Chee has established quite an solid résumé. The 33 year old communications and drama graduate was based in New York before returning to Singapore.
In Singapore, Pamelyn has starred in local television series like The Little Nyonya and Point of Entry. Recently, she can be seen in the HBO Asia first original series Serangoon Road opposite veteran actors Joan Chan, Cin Han and Alaric Tay.
Pamelyn in HBO Asia’s Serangoon Road and The Princess of Nebraska
Photos sourced from weekender.com.sg and impawards.com
In addition, Pamelyn’s film credentials are equally impressive. Having appeared in five shorts and eight feature films, this up-and-coming film starlet was at her best in the indie flick The Princess of Nebraska. She can also be seen in the upcoming police action film Re: solve. With Pamelyn moving to Los Angeles to further her career, let’s hope that it wouldn’t be too long before she returns to our big screen!