Former Miss Universe Singapore (MUS) finalist Joey Pink Lai is making her big-screen debut, less than two years after joining the local beauty pageant in 2016.
The 26-year-old, who is also an alumna of The New Paper New Face 2015 modelling competition, stars in the new local action movie Zombiepura opposite Alaric Tay and Benjamin Heng. The movie opens here tomorrow.
Revolving around a zombie outbreak in an isolated army camp, Lai plays Xiao Ling, the daughter of the camp's canteen operator (local veteran actress Chen Xiuhuan).
She told The New Paper in an e-mail interview that her character is "very outspoken" and has a "huge emotional range", adding: "I am proud of Xiao Ling's bravery. She is definitely not your average damsel in distress. In fact, she might kick more ass than the boys."
She credits MUS for getting her into muay thai and working out with a personal trainer, which made the physical preparation for Zombiepura easier.
Even though MUS and New Face did not teach their finalists how to run in six-inch heels, Lai joked it was the top skill she had picked up - from running around in heels between backstage costume changes during the finales - that she still uses today.
Lai was last seen in the Chinese-language Toggle show VIC and will be making a few cameo appearances in TV dramas next.
She said: "I feel really blessed and mostly thankful to all who have believed in me and given me the opportunity. Every assignment is a chance to learn and improve my craft."
Lai, who was previously a Singapore Airlines stewardess and real estate agent, has set her sights on staying in the industry.
"I would like to stay focused and I hope that in the near future, acting and modelling will be my full-time career," she said.
This article was first published in The New Paper. Permission required for reproduction.