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Thu, May 03, 2012
The New Paper
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Michelle Chong wants to focus on her own businesses
by Kwok Kar Peng

The first thing Michelle Chong did after she officially left MediaCorp on Monday was to lunch with her parents, sister and brother-in-law.

To the 34-year-old actress-director, this seemingly mundane task was special because it was something she couldn't do in the past because of her busy schedule.

Chong, star of Channel 5's satirical comedy The Noose, announced her departure over Twitter on Monday with a photo of her MediaCorp staff pass and parking label.

"Last day at MediaCorp! Returning my pass and carpark label. R.O.D.!" she tweeted.

R.O.D stands for Run Out Date, a local term used in the past to indiciate the day that national servicemen complete their two years of national service.

The New Paper understands that MediaCorp will continue to work with Chong for any suitable programmes, commercial engagements and endorsements.

Chong told TNP that when she was in MediaCorp, she was busy and stressed.

She'll still be busy in the months to come, but the difference is, she'll be happy.

In an interview with TNP in November last year, Chong had said that she was deeply unhappy and felt that the main reason for it was the lack of a long-term creative outlet.

She said: "I felt quite relieved (leaving MediaCorp). It's not that I would never be in front of the camera again.

Freedom of choice

"Now I have freedom of choice, and that feels good. Most importantly, my time is now my time."

Chong plans to concentrate on her two companies, production company Huat Films and talent management agency Left Profile.

This weekend, she'll go to Australia on a recce for her second movie 3 Peas In A Pod, a story about the friendship between three people.

Her directorial debut, Already Famous, earned more than $1 million at the local box office when it opened here in December last year.

She will also star in a stage production titled Happy Ever Laughter in June with other comedians like Kumar, Gurmit Singh, Chua En Lai and Selena Tan.

Chong's not certain if she'll be involved in future seasons of The Noose.

She said her contract with MediaCorp ended in end-January, but she continued filming The Noose Season 5 and projects like the Battleship press interview in Japan and the recent Singapore Day in New York.

She had initially planned to sign a non-management contract with MediaCorp where she remains an artiste with them but is instead managed by her staff in Left Profile.

"But I came to the conclusion three weeks ago that it wouldn't be a big chance that I'd accept any more acting or hosting jobs for now," she said.

"I didn't feel like doing it any more."

With Michelle Chia leaving just one day after the Star Awards 2012 Show 2, there's now speculation online that she was deliberately left out of the Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes award.

Was it the same for Chong?

"I think I didn't rally hard enough for votes. I'm not at all sore about it because, as my mother puts it, I'm going to retire anyway," she said in response.

This article was first published in The New Paper.


Related story:
Michelle Chia wants a break from work


readers' comments
michelle is an intelligent sexy beautiful comedy genius. very rare gem. she will succeed anywhere she goes. all the best michelle. hope to see you soon on big/small screen. :p
Posted by sgaporean on Thu, 3 May 2012 at 12:06 PM
Better to strive it out than be limited by the 'small TV', and eventually be replaced by a younger bimbo from overseas. All the best.
Posted by mystrawberry on Thu, 3 May 2012 at 11:53 AM

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