Taiwan Superstar Xiao S: I Love To Play Jokes On My Family

“Kangxi” may be leaving, but Xiao S isn’t going anywhere

Interview by Sabrina Cao. Translated by Pamela Chow

Xiao S (1)

Fans of the popular Taiwanese talk show “Kangxi Coming” may be sad that the 12-year-old programme has ended, but here’s good news: its host Dee Hsu (also known as Xiao S) will be sticking around.

The 37-year-old variety veteran is known for her quick-witted and straightforward humour on the show. She has also risen in popularity as one of Taiwan’s most stylish celebrities.

After arriving in Singapore to promote Taiwanese fashion label iRoo, Hsu chats with Weekender about her plans after “Kangsi Coming” and divulges her top fashion tips.

Now that 12 years of “Kangxi Coming” have come to an end, what plans do you have next?

Initially, I did feel sad to say goodbye and fearful. But [my manager] lined up many other projects for me. So I’ve been very busy doing photoshoots, attending fan meets and filming commercials.

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I’m also in talks for a lot of new shows, and so far I’m focusing on one called “Big Sister is Hungry” – I think it’s very suitable for me. I’d be chatting and cooking with 12 guys; it sounds like a very fun programme.

Other than that, I’m also preparing to shoot my new movie [rumoured to be titled Chi Chi De Ai] with Kevin Tsai.

You must have a lot of brands requesting you to be their ambassador – why did you choose iRoo?

I think iRoo’s designs are truly made for regular people. No matter how you look like, you’ll be able to pick something you like from the collection – be it clothes, a bag, shoes or a purse. It makes wearable clothes, not just items that follow trends.

Xiao S at the iRoo opening in Singapore earlier this month. (Photo: Weekender Weibo)

How many times have you visited Singapore? What kinds of food do you like to eat here?

I think I’ve been there five times! I really love Singapore, because I feel very relaxed there. I like the greenery, the air and the food… I really hate de-shelling crabs, but Singapore’s crabs come with mantou that can be dipped in the sauce – I love it.

Every time I go to Singapore, a thunderous crowd of fans comes to meet me and it makes me feel like I’m a superstar!

You often say you’re “su la”* in real life, but you appear bold and straightforward on TV. Is your public persona very different from real life?

I say that because I was scared of hosting alone. I’d never been able to try solo hosting – I’d always hosted beside my sister [Barbie Hsu] or someone else.

After I shot “After Milan” I actually found it’s not that bad, I can do it by myself, and I very much enjoyed it.

It’s also strange because I always feel very afraid before I go on stage. I’d ask Kevin, “What should I do? What are you going to ask that actor? It seems very difficult.” But after we go on, I automatically become someone else – like I’ve switched to ‘host mode’…

In real life, I’m very normal – but still with a sense of humour, of course! I love playing jokes on my whole family and acting cute with my husband. I’m about 10 times less dramatic than on TV – but it’s still me!

*Taiwan slang that refers to someone who appears loud and confident, but is actually meek.

You are one of Taiwan’s most fashionable stars. Can you share some beauty tips?

I think the most important thing is you must, must, must look at your naked body and its shape and build, as well as what bits to cover and what not to cover.

Short-haired people are very suited to wear big earrings; those who always let down their long hair can occasionally tie it up to highlight the face. [Such tips] can refresh your look… Earrings truly are the finishing touches.

Recently, your Facebook page shows you taking zumba fitness classes. Is this your secret to maintaining your figure?

I really want to exercise, but after seeing my husband at the gym, I think, “I don’t feel like going, it’s so painful!” Someone introduced me to zumba and I found it so fun! It’s like working out your whole body. I love dancing too, so it totally fits in with what I like to do.

If you don’t have dancing experience, the first five lessons may leave you feeling inadequate, but don’t worry, because no one is looking at you; we’re all observing our own performance. After you’re used to it… You’ll feel very shiok.

Do you also have a special diet for losing weight?

I eat less for dinner and totally cut off supper. Sometimes I don’t eat breakfast because I don’t have much appetite in the morning. In fact, I think eating less doesn’t do any harm to the body.

Xiao S with her youngest daughter, known as “Xu Lao San”. (Photo: aili.com)

Your daughter is gaining a lot of popularity as “Xu Lao San”. How would you feel if, hypothetically, her popularity overtakes yours?

[Laughs] I really never expected her to get so popular, although I can see why – she’s just too adorable and I want to share it with everyone.

But what I don’t like is when people keep showing me pictures of other children. I was at the hairdresser’s and she kept saying, “Look, look, this child is so cute, look look look!” After 10 photos I wanted to say, “Okay, that’s enough, I’ve reached my limit.” I really don’t have patience [to look at] other people’s children!

But I think my daughter is just too, too, too cute. So when I see many people feel the same way about her, I don’t feel so lonely!

A Chinese version of this article appeared on Weekender’s WeChat page on Apr 27, with the headline ‘戳开!戳开!戳开!小S独家专访来了!(内有音频)’.

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