In the middle of our chat, held in the Mirage Suite of the Luxe Manor hotel after four hours of shooting, Fiona Sit grabs my printout of her film titles in English (from www.lovehkfilm.com, the essential accompaniment for a non-Chinese speaker interviewing a local celebrity) and writes the following notes beside two movies that she shot in 2009: “Crazy but dunno yet” (La Comedie Humaine) and “On medication” (Break Up Club). She is laughing, but the period in her life she is referencing is not funny in the least – Sit suffered from serious depression, to the point that she was suicidal. It took her, she confides, up to 18 months to get well.
It’s surreal to have a conversation about despair with a young (Sit is 32), popular and attractive singer-actress who leads what many would consider an enviable and glamorous life, especially as she sits nonchalantly, bare feet up and legs crossed, on the sofa beside me in a hotel room replete with bizarre decor details – an oil painting at waist level, an overturned table lamp; the Luxe Manor is a rich feast for the eyes at every turn.
Turning on her charm, Sit talks articulately about herself, her former illness and her career direction; she is self-assured and, she stresses, “a strong person” – traits apparent during the shoot when she insists of making her own wardrobe choices from the dozen dresses we have brought along, and poses expertly and adventurously – standing on the desk, lying flat on the carpet. She is supremely confident in her own skin - though she sighs that she’s too thin – and endearingly candid: “I’ll talk to you and be nice [in this interview] but actually I’m very anti-social.”
When she left Warner Music last year, the record label that took her under its wing nine years ago, she claims there wasn’t a single industry person listed in her address book to call about a new contract: “I never liked to socialise in order to make contacts.” Thus, she turned once again to her uncle, Peter Wong, who as a senior manager at Capital Artists had made the initial introductions for her back in 2003 when she wanted to become a singer. Thanks to Wong’s recommendations, Sit is now co-managed by his friend Anita Chung and Paco Wong’s company Sun Entertainment Culture. Amusingly, she shares how her uncle has told her “not to call him again” – having quit the music industry three years ago the devout Buddhist now concentrates on spiritual rather than material pursuits.
Paco Wong, whom she jokingly mimics when donning a pair of round mirrored shades for one of our shots (the boss’ daily attire apparently), is an expert at grooming artists, but one has the impression that Sit, if you’ll pardon the pun, does not sit idly by while others call the shots in her career. She knows her own mind and acts accordingly.
"The last person I needed to forgive was myself and that was really difficult and painful. When at last I was able to blurt out those words, I cried for ages." - Fiona Sit