Felicia Chin fancies herself as a rebel of sorts. If that were true, there wouldn’t be enough space in hell for the rest of us.
I’ve just blurted out a slew of expletives to Felicia Chin’s face, and straight away I feel bad for doing so.
This is not the story of an altercation between star and scribe. I’d asked about her swear vocab. She was momentarily stumped. I offered examples.
The 27-year-old is expounding on the ways in which the “inner rebel” in her is about to implode. To say that I am skeptical would be a gross understatement. The Feli we know is as wholesome as a box of cereal. She’s the kind of girl who gives up her seat on the train to the elderly (and who would probably apologise profusely just to make nice if said elderly woman started yelling at her even after taking the seat). When asked to prove just how much of a rebel she is, she proffers: “I don’t like to bathe.” Not exactly the type of rebel-with-a-cause behaviour I was expecting. She mulls over the question, sipping her latte and taking a bite of her breakfast muffin, before sheepishly offering: “I eat during interviews?”
You can understand why once the offending four-letter words roll off my tongue, I feel like I’d accidentally fed meat to a vegetarian.
Of course, rebellion could also be about living dangerously, something Feli might know a thing or two about. Let’s back up a bit to the day of our photoshoot. It’s the crack of dawn in the vast, sandy void of Tuas (which Feli refers to as “the wilderness”) and she’s ready for her close-up. Gone is the sweet-girl-next-door we’re all too familiar with. Today, Feli’s made up and suited up to look much edgier, though she’s not so much the girl with the dragon tattoo as she is more post-Chris Brown Rihanna. Kinda like the accessory du jour: the new, souped-up Volkswagen Beetle, which we’re getting the first look at before it hits the streets. The ride has been reduxed, trading its girly, cutesy curves for more masculine edge. Tottering on deadly six-inch heels, Feli hoists herself onto the second level of the trailer which transported the car here – the car’s so virginal it couldn’t be driven on the road and had to be brought here on a trailer – then attempts to dangle casually off the edge, only hanging onto a flimsy support. What did we tell you? A daredevil, this one.
The first time we are due to meet Feli for a more in-depth chat, she calls an hour before to cancel. Nope, she’s not flighty like the hot mess that’s Lindsay Lohan. Our cover girl injured her foot while filming Don’t Stop Believin’, her last Ch 8 project before she pulls a Fiona Xie and packs her bags for another country. (Hold your horses – Feli is just heading to Shanghai for one year to embark on an internship-cum-study programme. More on that later.) On her way to the hospital to get treatment for the ghastly gashes on her foot, she’s effusively apologising for taking a raincheck, almost like she feels bad for getting injured.
When we finally meet, I comment about a snapshot on these pages, where she has the words “My grandma road” scrawled on her arm. In case you’ve been living under a rock, the temporary tattoo is a nod to the works of the recently-arrested local street artist (dubbed Sticker Lady by the press) deemed a vandal by some and heralded as Singapore’s Banksy by others. Like the famed British guerilla street artist, the woman went around the island stenciling “My Grandfather Road” on roads, and stuck a series of tongue-in-cheek stickers at traffic lights and road signs. What do you think about the whole brouhaha, I ask. “It exudes a ‘I don’t give a damn’ sort of attitude,” muses Felicia. “A bit rebellious, which is what some people might think I’ve become,” she points out. “I’ve always been like that. It’s just that when I first entered showbiz, I was taught not to do that.”
For the full cover story, read this week's issue of 8 DAYS (#1136).