The New Paper
12 August 2016
She had turned to her psychiatrist friends for solace after a break-up last year sent her into a downward spiral.
Now, local actress Fiona Xie, 34, is set to play a psychiatrist in her comeback TV role after a seven-year hiatus.
Xie - who left Singapore for Hong Kong to join her Australian-American boyfriend whom she broke up with in 2011 - turned up yesterday at a press conference for the upcoming Channel 5 drama Left Behind.
The show, which premieres on Aug 22 at 10pm, features Xie's character working with clients with problems such as gambling and transgender issues, while hiding a dark secret of her own.
It also stars Jason Godfrey, Randall Tan, Oon Shu An and Aden Tan.
Xie may have been all smiles and laughter yesterday but that certainly was not the case a year ago.
"I crashed and burned," she revealed to The New Paper during an interview at the National Gallery yesterday afternoon.
The actress was talking about her emotional state after her break-up with her latest boyfriend.
After Xie left Singapore, she spent the last seven years in Hong Kong, New York, Shanghai and Tokyo.
"I went through a lot in Shanghai and it was quite a dark phase," she said, adding that she "spoke to psychiatrist friends".
Xie said: "I think it's a very Asian thing where it's taboo to see a psychiatrist... but I think it's okay. Sometimes all you need is a little human interaction and knowing that someone genuinely cares for you was enough for me to get through it."
And boy, is she glad to be back.
"It was even harder being away because I felt extremely lonely. It got to a point where I got pangs of depression," she said.
Xie, who worked on photography production, art curation, and at one point headed the Shanghai branch of fashion boutique Surrender while she was away from entertainment, did not offer details of what caused the failed romances.
But she did reveal that she has since remained single.
Xie's last high-profile role was in 2011. She was the lead in Malaysian singer-actor Aniu's movie The Golden Couple, where she played a rich girl and the rival-turned-lover of Taiwanese actor Mike He.
Having been away for some time, Xie said her fans are set to see a "different Fiona".
She said: "With everybody you come across, it changes you as a person. And especially with break-ups, when you get the best of the highs and the lowest lows."
Despite the failed romances, Xie said she is not giving up on love - although she does not believe Mr Right exists.
She said: "I don't look for Mr Right. I don't think there ever will be a Mr Right.
"There's a whole lot (to consider) like circumstance and where you are as a person. There's also fate and chemistry and... how much effort you want to put in to make a relationship work.
"While there are people you have more chemistry with, there will never be that perfect person because everyone is dealing with their own garbage."
Xie said she learnt that lesson "the hard way".
"I've been a serial monogamist and I've always had to have someone in my life. I've got so much love to give... but I've learnt to spend time giving more of that love to my friends and family while spending time with myself to grow."
"And I think that's very healthy for me."