Singaporean actress Michelle Saram makes only a cameo in the new Hong Kong thriller Paradox, but has created much buzz.
Besides the fact that this is her first movie role in nearly a decade, viewers raved about how great the 42-year-old former model looks.
If there is anyone hoping to steal ageless beauty secrets from her, he is out of luck – it seems like it mostly has to do with her having good genes.
“I have sensitive skin, so the less I do, the better. Sunblock is the main thing I wear and, when I travel to colder climates, it’s about moisturisers,” she tells The Straits Times in a telephone interview.
Neither is she an exercise freak.
“I do a bit of yoga or my favourite gyrotonics, but not regularly or commitedly.
“One of my friends recently introduced me to some classes at her gym, so I’m going to try out some new things like hasiko flow, which is a combination of yoga and pilates.”
She adds that she drinks plenty of water, eats vegetables and tries to get as much sleep as possible.
Whatever her regimen – or the lack thereof – it is clearly working for her.
Hong Kong actor Louis Koo, who is the leading man in Paradox, is just as wowed by her appearance. In an interview with Apple Daily last month, he said: “Be it her appearance or her laugh, everything is the same as before.”
In the new movie, he and Saram play husband and wife. Paradox is the latest project to pair the two of them, following the classic TVB dramas At The Threshold Of An Era (1999-2000) and A Step Into The Past (2001).
They were also co-stars when she took on her first acting role, in the film Bullets Over Summer (1999), which was directed by Wilson Yip, who also helmed Paradox.
Saram says: “Wilson was the first director I worked with, so he holds a special place in my heart.
“He and Louis called me together to act in this movie and I’m happy to participate in anything that Wilson does. There’s something to be said about working with people you’re familiar with – it’s easy and there’s a comfort level.”
She will be making a cameo in an upcoming Hong Kong TV series as well. “All I can say is that my character has something to do with law enforcement,” she says.
These recent roles do not indicate a return to full-time acting for her.
She says: “From time to time, people have asked me to act again, but I’m always travelling and my schedule is unpredictable, so it has been difficult to commit.
“I travel a lot with my husband, whose businesses are mainly overseas. My stepchildren have also been in overseas boarding schools since they were 10, so I travel to visit them. I’ll act if a project interests me or if the people involved are people I enjoy working with – but my family comes first.”
Saram is married to Mr Ajai Zecha, the son of former Aman Resorts chairman Adrian Zecha. He has two children from a previous marriage – a 20-year-old daughter and an 18-year-old son.
“The children are dealing with college entrance exams and college applications, so I go through those with them,” she says.
“Because they’re in different countries, I’ll go to Scotland or Switzerland. I spend most of my time on a plane.”
When she’s not busy travelling, she relishes quiet time at home in Singapore.
“I like to read and I spend a lot of time with my dogs because I always miss them so badly.
“I also have to watch Paradox soon – I’ve been telling my friends and family to watch it, but I haven’t had the chance to do so yet.”
• Paradox is showing in cinemas.
This story first appeared on The Straits Times.