Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Oh Sweet Amber!

I first heard of Amber Chia during my first stint at FHM back in 2001. She had appeared in the Chili Padi section just before I came in and a few modelling agencies had called up the office to ask for her number. (Chili Padi’s a section that featured unknown, girl-next-door types).

Curious what the fuss was all about, I flipped through that particular issue and saw this pouty hottie that looked to be one of those who was born to be a model. Fooh, this girl’s got it, I thought.

But it was only a couple of years later, when I was at NewMan magazine, that I finally got to work with the girl. She was our co-covergirl (Soraya Dean was the other babe), but while her photos were pretty sizzling, the interview was pretty much a struggle.

She obviously had problems with the English language, but even more difficult was trying to get her to ‘get’ some of my questions. And my attempts to sex things up basically fell flat. Frustratingly.

But here’s an interesting excerpt:

"I don’t think I’ll ever model fulltime. It pays the bill but I don’t think it can guarantee my future. So I guess I’ll eventually be working in an air-conditioned office somewhere."

This was in 2003. We all know what happened after that. She won the Guess International Model Search; first in the local leg here in Malaysia, then the big international prize itself.

And now she’s, well, everywhere. It seems you can live the complete Amber lifestyle. Go to her gym, watch her TV, wear her clothes (not for me, though) surf on her laptop and yes, eat her brand of rice. Nice.

But seriously folks, the girl’s a true professional. Give her the clothes and room to pose and she’ll do the job every single time. Ask to take photo with her and she’ll oblige, anytime, anywhere. She’ll even fix her makeup just so she’ll look good for your photo. And yes, her English has also improved tremendously and I can now understand close to 70% of what she’s saying (that's a real compliment, ok?).

No surprise then that before I left FHM, Amber was on the cover twice. The second time in 2005 was to celebrate her being named Malaysia’s Sexiest Woman, and No 2 on the overall countdown.

That particular shoot was the hottest of them all as we shot extra pictures of her in teeny bikinis for the benefit of our international editions. Spa Indrani in KL was the location and it was a splashing good day indeed…

Excerpts from the FHM, Aug 2005 interview:

When was the last time you saw a guy that you really wanted to get to know?
Well, I’ve seen a lot of good looking guys, but most of them are in magazines! But if I see a guy that I really liked outside, I would give him signals to indicate that I’m interested to get to know him.

Yeah, like a smile or maybe eye-contact.

But what happens if he doesn’t come over? Would you go to him? Or has that never happened to you before?
No, they always come and approach me. Ha ha!

Of course – you’re Amber Chia! What’s the sexiest gift you’ve ever received?
A bikini. And I loved it a lot cos I love going to the beach. In fact, I just came back from the US and I enjoyed going to the beach in LA.

Any interesting tales to tell?
Not really, but I’ve been to some beaches in Europe and was quite surprised to see people there sunbathing topless! Would I do the same? No.

Do you still have plenty of mirrors in your apartment?
I do! I admit that I always make sure that I look good every time I want to go out. So the mirrors are important to me. But I’m sure I’m notalone – girls need mirrors!

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