Her roles had a strange way of repeating themselves. In 'Sambal', TV3's in-house production, she played a village girl in charge of a grocery store. Presently, she is in the series 'Tauke' where she plays the wife of a supermarket owner. "But now I've been upgraded -- from sundry shop to supermarket!" she chuckled.

Though now a seasoned player, she insists each time is a different learning curve. "You never know what can happen. '2 Plus 1' was a very valuable experience as every episode was taped before a live studio audience so there was no room for mistakes. But of course in reality, there were many occasions where one of us slipped up and forgot our lines. But we always managed to cover each other up as we more or less knew the lines of the other characters. So, when one of us went blank, one of the others would say, "Aren't you supposed to do...? and that would jolt him or her back on track. I remember once I had to go backstage to pick up a scarf which wasn't there! I only had less than a minute to do so. I had no choice but to take something else out. I selected a picture frame. Everyone stared at me at first but no one gave the game away and we continued happily. Sometimes we only had 10 minutes to change clothes so I know how models feel backstage!"

As a household name and face, it was a matter of time before advertisers started knocking on her door. Her first commercial was for Kentucky Fried Chicken where she had to get all excited about a free tiffin carrier gift. She has lost count of the number of commercials she has appeared in but guesses the number to be around 20.

It has been 7 years now since '2 Plus 1'. Seven very good years. "I enjoyed my role very much and if people still relate me to that, I guess I don't mind, not that I have much choice. I was very committed to that series and over the years, I must say that the money was OK." She bolsters her income by doing voice-overs for commercials and sometimes acts as master of ceremonies for big functions. She is now in such a fortunate position that she is able to choose her workload and no longer bothers to slave away like she used to. These days, she works only 90-120 days a year. "I am fully committed to my family!"

Louisa met Mr Right in 1991. "I was introduced to Hamid Samad by a friend. I was just becoming a full-time actress then."

"Who was the good samaritan who introduced you both and did sparks fly instantly?" I asked.

"Oh my goodness, I can't even remember my introducer! Erm, sparks didn't actually fly but I liked Hamid. There were about six of us in the group so it was a blind date. We were in a coffee-house in a hotel."

"Who made the first move for a date?"

"Of course my husband would like me to say I asked him a hundred-and-one times to take me out so I shan't say that, but I think I just did! Anyway, I wanted to continue being friends with him, having a companion. I didn't have any high expectations of romance. I am a realist and didn't expect too much."

"What was your first impression of Hamid?"

"I found him to be a responsible guy, very steady, rather conservative, though as you know he does have a sense of humour. Oh dear, is that why he married me! He is sporting, very approachable and down-to-earth like me. I already liked him 80% at our first meeting."

As co-founder and owner of a stock-broking firm, her husband-to-be was certainly in a position to shower her with costly gifts, like in a movie script. "Hey, we were perfectly happy to go to all the pasar malam, OK! We continued seeing each other for 2 years and he was very understanding about my erratic hours and schedule. Slowly we realised we would like to be companions for life."

"Feed me the lurid details of the marriage proposal."

"Of course my husband would like me to say I forced him to marry me... Actually it happened over dinner. There was no ring, only a discussion. He asked me whether I would like to spend the rest of my life with him...."

"What did you say?"

"I said,' Might as well as I have already invested 2 years of my life with you!"

"I presume you are joking but I will quote you anyway. Tell me, what did you say when he said, 'Let's get married'?"

"I said, 'Do you mean to each other or to different partners?' Oh, okay, I said 'yes'. Does that answer you now?"

"Did you face any problems from your family regarding your conversion to Islam?"

"No, my mother's sister married a Malay, so one of my uncles is Malay. So that was nothing new in my family as it was no big hurdle but I am still known as Louisa Chong."

"Your son's name?"

"Leon Harith Hamid. My husband and I gave the first name -- Leon -- and my mother-in-law gave him Harith. He was born 27 December 1993."

"Are you hoping to have another child?"


"Are you hoping it will be a girl?"


"Are you pregnant now?"


other people | the full story | top | main | potpourri | back to mir | back |