Christine Chiu is fully aware of what some viewers of “Bling Empire” think about her.
She is one of the stars of Netflix’s latest binge-worthy docuseries, which revolves around an insanely wealthy group of Asian friends in Los Angeles.
Chiu is easily the one some fans have decided they love to hate thanks in part to her rivalry with fellow cast member Anna Shay.
Their frenemy status is on full display in several scenes, including one in which Chiu shows up to Shay’s party rocking the same piece of “high jewelry” Shay owns.
When asked by CNN recently if being cast as the bad guy (or girl in this case) bothered her, Chiu said that “from the production perspective, it achieved the goal, right?”
“Because people were very vested in talking about this rivalry and people got a chuckle and a giggle and gas out of how petty rich people can be and like these games we play on each other,” she said. “So from the entertainment value perspective, I think it was fabulous.”
“Bling Empire” is definitely entertaining.
From Shay, who is so wealthy she can afford to whisk friends off on a private jet to Paris for a meal at her favorite restaurant, to model Kevin Kreider who is basically the poor member of the group along for the rich ride, the series brings new meaning to “Crazy Rich Asians” — the 2018 film the show owes its concept to.
Chiu commands attention right off the bat with her couture wardrobe, celebrity plastic surgeon husband who is descended from royalty, and their fabulous home.
But she said the show didn’t reveal the many aspects of her life, including more about her as a mother to their almost 3-year-old son “Baby G” and her work at her husband’s practice, which she helped build.
“I don’t walk around in high jewelry,” she said. “I walk around in sweats and Uggs. I blend in very well. You would not recognize me out of a crowd because I don’t wear couture everywhere.”
Chiu said that originally the show was to be more focused on multi-generational Asians of different ethnic groups living their lives in LA.
That pivoted after the worldwide success of “Crazy Rich Asians.”
“At that time there, there wasn’t an all-Asian ensemble cast, especially for a docuseries,” she said. “It was an incredible opportunity.”
It was also an opportunity for Chiu to share the story of her fertility struggle (she and her husband tried for over a decade to get pregnant), something she said she was intent on to help others.
“There were many parts that were incredibly real to me and very raw and very in the moment,” she said. “I know millions of couples are undergoing similar struggles or have undergone, and I wanted to be able to share our journey and to say that it’s OK and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
She said she’s hopeful that future seasons of the show will allow for viewers to discover more aspects of who she is.
As for her and Shay’s relationship, Chiu said it was her understanding that Shay has said in interviews that the pair have not spoken or seen each other.
Chiu disputed that, saying “part of me wants to remind her that we have photos together.”
“We went to dinner, I went to her birthday party. Remember there were a lot of people there,” Chiu said. “We went to dinner together with our best friends, our respective, best friends, her two best friends and my best friend.”
“I think maybe (Shay) has a lot going on and a lot of time has passed since we wrapped,” Chiu added. “So maybe she forgot, but part of me wants to be like, ‘Anna, hello, do you want me to send you the picture? You forgot you treated me to truffle pasta?'”