updated 24 Apr 2011, 05:41
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Sun, Apr 24, 2011
The New Paper
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I've never done something like this before
by Kwok Kar Peng

IT WAS the most suggestive photo shoot Zoe Tay has ever done.

For someone who has done countless photo shoots in her more than 20 years as a model and actress, that’s saying a lot.

But this revealing session wasn’t like the previous ones, where she posed in skimpy bikinis.

Or even the one she posed for a women’s magazine more than 10 years ago where she appeared to be nude, with her arms and legs covering herself. (She was actually wearing a tube top that was later digitally removed.)

In the shoot for the poster of her new movie, Love Cuts, Tay, 42, appeared to be nude with just a man’s arm covering her chest, even cupping her breast in his hand.

The Queen of Caldecott told The New Paper: “I was hesitant because I’ve never taken photos like this (which gives the illusion that a man is touching her breast) before.

“The poster also gives an intimate feel but the movie doesn’t have any intimate scenes. I didn’t want the audience to have the wrong idea.”

Nevertheless, she went ahead with the proposed idea because “breast cancer is an illness very close to a woman’s heart and the poster sends that message across”.

She was quick to stress that the man in the poster, veteran Hong Kong actor Kenny Ho, didn’t touch her at all during the photo shoot.

She also wore a tube top that was later digitally removed.

In Love Cuts, she plays a mother whose life goes on a downward spiral when she discovers she has breast cancer.

The movie, to be released here on Sept 9, also stars Malaysian actress Christy Yow as an up-and-coming model with breast cancer.

Tay told The New Paper that she had only one day to decide whether or not to go ahead with the photo shoot.

This was because co-star Ho was scheduled to leave town in a few days’ time, so the shoot had to be done before then.

The actress was at the launch of the movie’s trailer and theme song wearing three-inch heels despite being 61/2 months pregnant.

When The New Paper photographer Choo Chwee Hua asked Tay to be careful, she casually waved our worries aside and assured us she was okay.

MediaCorp’s Ah Jie (Mandarin for older sister) said of the photo shoot: “I wasn’t worried because Kenny and I had a mutual understanding. I told my manager my boundaries and she told him.

“He’s very professional. After all, he has been in showbiz for so long and knows what he’s doing.”

Bath scene

Tay clocked another first in the movie.

She had her first bath scene, and with a man.

In it, Ho scrubbed her back, which is probably all the audience will get to see.

But she went to great lengths to cover up anyway.

“I wore a tube dress and I took sticky tape and just stick, stick, stick everywhere,” she told us animatedly, her hands pointing to different parts of her body.

It was during the filming of Love Cuts that she also found out that she’s pregnant with her third boy.

She has two sons – Brayden, 5, and Ashton, 3.

She tried to keep her pregnancy under wraps so filming wouldn’t be affected.

Mr Lim Teck, 35, the executive producer of the movie and managing director of Clover Films, told The New Paper that Tay never once complained, though the bath scene was shot late at night.

It was scheduled for earlier in the day, but by the time they got it right, it was almost midnight.

“Love Cuts may not be an action movie where she’ll need to run or jump, but there are (pregnant) women who won’t accept taking baths at midnight. I’m very proud of her,” he said.

With the movie and her pregnancy, all eyes are now again on Tay’s famous assets.

Her twin peaks were the talk of the town in 2005 when they jumped two sizes to a D-cup due to Tay’s first pregnancy and threatened to spill out of her designer togs even after she gave birth.

Last year, her chest had to be digitally reduced for the poster of her Channel 8 drama The Ultimatum after concerns were raised that it might distract from the other stars – Fann Wong, Li Nanxing and Tay Ping Hui – on the poster.

Is Tay worried that her bosom will be grabbing headlines again?

Thinking briefly, she replied: “No, because it’s natural for a woman’s breasts to be bigger and her body to change during pregnancy. It’s a package.”

The yummy mummy also admitted that her chest is now, once again, bigger than before her pregnancy.

This reporter couldn’t spot the difference under her black flowing dress, but Tay laughed and replied it was because she could conceal it well.

Despite looking every bit her svelte self, she told us that she has put on an extra 2kg over her recommended pregnancy weight because she has been stuffing herself with durians and bak kwa (barbecued meat).

“I can’t resist food,” said the star excitedly.

“I still have the Love Cuts press conference to attend next month, so I have to preserve and maintain my looks. I don’t want to scare the media away.”

Baby brother

Her sons are also divided on the impending arrival of their new brother.

She rattled on like a proud mother: “A friend asked Brayden how he feels and he said he’ll be very tired looking after the baby. That’s because I’ve always told him to help take care of and be responsible for his younger siblings.

“He asked if we could exchange the newborn with my sister’s daughter, who was born last year. Brayden probably thought there would be less hassle if we did.”

Ashton, on the other hand, isn’t fully aware of what it means to have a younger brother and knows only that the baby will arrive after his birthday.

“I told him that mummy wouldn’t be able to sleep with him for the first month because I’ll be in a non- air-conditioned room alone.

“He told me he would come to sleep with me. I tell you, he wouldn’t last one night without the air-con,” she said with a laugh.


This article was first published in The New Paper.

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