5 Minutes with JJ Fong

This week we caught up with creative, actress and Celebrity Treasure Island fave JJ Fong to chat about her experience on the show and the importance of playing for the Leukaemia & Blood Cancer NZ plus the first thing she wants to do when we get out of lockdown! 

You were incredible on this year’s series of Celebrity Treasure Island – what was your first thought when you were asked to be apart of the show? 
My first thought was YES! I’ve always been a person who is open to new opportunities and challenges in my life and this was no different. I also am very physically active and love fitness and games so I thought it would be a perfect fit for me. I definitely like to be pushed out of my comfort zone too so this was a great exercise in doing that. 

Tell us about your experience on Celebrity Treasure Island – a favourite memory and something that surprised you? 
One of my favourite memories was winning one of the challenges when I was in Repo team. It was the challenge where we had to shoot basketballs out in the water and I remember swimming my little heart out to win for our team. I was SO hungry that challenge and I always remember the food rewards, that one, in particular, was eggs on toast and fresh laundry. I remember the last shot, the ball going in and I just jumped onto the podium and was shaking it, screaming and crying. Lance had to pull me down I was so excited at the prospect of eating more than just beans and rice! 

Something that surprised me was how much food I consume everyday and how much I actually need to survive and thrive. It became really apparent to me early on that my body really struggled without proper nutrition and portions. Normally I eat nearly every two hours and on the island sometimes we would only have time to eat two meals a day. I had to try quite hard to keep my morale up without food. 

Your chosen charity for the show was Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand – why did you choose them to represent?
My Aunty was diagnosed with Leukaemia about 8 years ago, and sadly she didn’t recover. It was a no brainer for me to represent LBCNZ as my family is so important and I’m quite close with my cousins. I wanted to honour my Aunty’s memory and play for my cousins as well as giving a platform for the charity. 

When did you start acting? Is it something you thought you’d have as a career?
I never set out to become an actor, although I was always interested in the arts from a young age having been a jazz dancer since 5 years old, and my Grandfather was an artist so I also loved painting and drawing. My career in acting started quite late, I was probably 25 when I really decided to take it seriously, however, I was rejected from acting school funnily enough! 

You’ve worked on a number of cool projects over the years including Friday Night Bites and Creamerie – do you have a highlight? 
I think Creamerie was a highlight hands down! It was a moment in time where I felt like wow, we’ve built this company from the ground up just us four (Roseanne Liang, Perlina Lau, and Ally Xue) and now we’ve made it to mainstream national television from just making web series for nearly 8 years. It was a surreal moment realising we created a legit television show for the state broadcaster! 

Where would we find you in your spare time? 
Spending time with family, friends and my partner. Watching a lot of different streaming networks i.e. Netflix, Neon, Amazon just to name a few [laughs]. Also, long-distance running, I love to run in the mornings, really helps me clear my head. I also love to counter that running with eating, I love food and trying different places. 

Best advice you’ve ever been given? 
Your book is full of the best choices you could make. Your deeds are in your books, you can’t write in other people’s books. 

First thing you want to do when we’re able to get out of lockdown? 
Get a badly needed haircut! [laughs] 

You can catchup with Creamerie and Celebrity Treasure Island on TVNZ on Demand. 

Feature image credit: Warner Bros



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