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The New Paper
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Baring babe makes them gape
by Jeanmarie Tan

 IT'S a scene many of her hunky male co-stars were eagerly awaiting.

Actress Michelle Chia is no stranger to posing in barely-there swimsuits for print shoots, including the latest cover of Shape magazine.

But on this rare occasion, the boys were treated to the lithe beauty - donning a string bikini of her own - in the flesh.

In the new Channel 5 series Polo Boys, Michelle plays a serious-minded university professor-turned-water polo coach of a team of eight players, including Adrian Pang and Nat Ho.

It is scheduled to open on 21 Jul at 8pm.

Her character is fully clothed in gym gear over the six weeks of filming.

But in one brief minute of the show, she appears wearing a two-piece while confronting an arrogant rival coach (Timothy Nga), with her boys standing behind her.

There was much buzz over the poolside scene as it's the first time the 32-year-old was wearing so little on the set.

Michelle has filmed other bikini scenes for the Channel 5 drama Lifeline and several Channel 8 shows, but was usually 'alone' in them.

She told The New Paper: 'I'm definitely more self-conscious this time because the guys are all so fit and athletic.

'I'm totally comfortable with photo shoots because it's in a studio and there are the makeup artists, stylists and photographers, so no worries at all.

'But it's different... and a bit weird for TV. It's outside with many more fully-dressed people around, so you attract a different kind of attention.

'And I'm the only girl (in the scene)!'

For someone who's known to have one of the sexiest figures in showbiz, Michelle was surprisingly ill at ease when it came to baring her bod.


The minute she removed her T-shirt to reveal the bikini, all eyes were fixed on her.

Wolf whistles and teasing followed, with shouts of 'Where's my camera?' and 'Come on, take it off!'.

She bashfully declined to pose for individual pictures in her bikini.

She also kept her bathrobe on any chance she got, removing it only when it was time for the takes.

And during rehearsals, she tied the bathrobe around her waist, amid gusty winds and a slight drizzle.

When asked why she appeared so awkward, Michelle said: 'Shy mah! It's kinda cold too.

'So how do I look? I'm very critical of myself... You must choose the best picture okay!'

Michelle - who's getting married to actor Shaun Chen next weekend - revealed she was initially 'worried' about the role because of a different kind of exposure.

She said: 'Because I've been preparing for the wedding, people are always like 'Keep yourself fair!', being a bride and everything.

'But I'm a lot more tan already, so no choice lah!

'I've been tan for the longest time so I know how I look like (when I'm tan) and I don't mind.

'But I've been fair and my skin's been good for the past four years, so it was very ke xi (Mandarin for a pity).'

She claims Shaun prefers her to be fairer - and with straighter, smoother hair.

'He's a traditional man. Just last night, he was like, 'Oh baby, ni hen hei leh (Mandarin for you're very dark).'

Michelle is thankful she hasn't come out sunburnt because the production crew would follow her with an umbrella and show her to the shade whenever possible.

But the 1.64m bride-to-be insists there wasn't any special preparation for the scene because she had no time to exercise regularly due to her ongoing wedding preparations.

She said Shaun is 'fine' with the bikini scene because he knows she's a water baby - but joked that he might change his mind after they're husband and wife.

There was no doubt his future missus was getting a lot of attention from the men because of her hot bod.

Best medicine

Kiwi Lim, who plays one of the polo players, said: 'I wasn't in a good mood this morning, but after she (took the robe off)... it was (like getting) medicine straightaway.'

He added: 'As I was walking right behind her (for the scene), I had to look at her legs (to follow her stride)... I tried not to (sneak glances at her butt), but I actually did, haha!'

When Michelle walked by him, Adrian even hooted cheekily at her: 'Look at that! Crunches huh? You've got more abs than me man, what the hell!'

He then said to us: 'So far it's been us guys doing any kind of shedding, but what's in it for us? So after some gentle persuasion, the writers deigned to accede to popular demand.

'I'm glad I was here for the scene, because I'm not even involved in it.'

Adrian admitted that although he and Michelle go 'a long way back', this is by far the skimpiest he's seen her in.

And what's his verdict? He quipped: 'Shaun's one lucky bastard.'


This article was first published in The New Paper.


See also:
» Michelle Chia over the years

» An exclusive peek at Michelle Chia's wedding dress



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