They are three of the best-known faces around the region, the female contingent of MTV Asia's VJ lineup. But there is more to Nonie Tao, Angela Chow and Sophiya Haque than meets the eye. At least that's what they told The Guide. QUESTION: What did you really want to be? Nonie: An actress. I was acting for years before I became a VJ. I see this as taking a break from acting. I did a lot of sit-coms in Taiwan a few years ago, and I really enjoyed the fact that the schedules were regular and I worked with the same cast. Sophiya: A ballerina, without doubt. I dance wherever I go. People think I'm posing or flirting when I'm just bending over to stretch. It's part of my life. Music took me away from dancing, but I can do both. Angela: I kept changing my mind. I wanted to be a cardiologist, a psychologist, a psychiatrist. Basically, I didn't want to be a housewife. I wanted to be anything that would give me an excuse not to be domestic or dependent on some man. Q: What other jobs have you held? Nonie: Mainly acting. I have had acting jobs in Taiwan, the US and an English television series. I still get offers to do films, but nothing that really interests me. Nudity seems to be really popular now, but it's not very me. Being a VJ is good, because I have an alternative. If I don't believe in something 100 per cent, then I don't have to do it. Sophiya: I haven't actually. I went to school and then I made records. I've never drawn a wage from anyone else. Angela: Not any real job. I worked on a bilingual newspaper while I was at school in Vancouver. I did editing and research, and a little ad sales, but I mainly wrote features. Q: Who is your hero? Nonie: I don't believe in heros. But being a Christian, I look up to Jesus. He was very good - everything I'm not. He was the only perfect person ever, often tempted, but he never gave in. Sophiya: Audrey Hepburn. She's absolutely beautiful, and had such a presence. She made me feel wonderful just by my looking at her, and she never lost that charm. If she'd lived to be 90, she would have still been the same. She was a pleasure to watch and listen to, and was political too. Angela: I think heroes are based on personal experience, so mine has to be my mother. In order to be successful in life, you have to be strong and patient. Determination has to come from within. I admire my mother's inner strength. Q: Where's your favourite place to shop? Nonie: In LA I shop at South Coast Plaza and Melrose. In Hongkong I like the Beverly Centre, where the clothes are pretty funky. Sophiya: I haven't done enough shopping in Hongkong to know. When I'm in England, I always bring something home from Hyper Hyper. Angela: I hate shopping. I get backache, a headache and sore feet whenever I go shopping. If I have to, I go to the Beverly Centre. I also prefer the smaller street boutiques, but I can never find them again. Q: Do you consider yourself a feminist? Nonie: Yes, partly. The image of the word is very bad. It sounds hard and complaining - 70 per cent of me is and 30 per cent believes that you should still feel like a woman and be feminine. A woman should be respected as a person. Pre-determined ideas, sexual harassment, whistles - all that stuff eats me up. We can still bring home the bacon and support ourselves. I've been doing it since I was 15 and I'm very capable and very proud. Sophiya: No, I'm not a feminist, but I would always fight for my rights. You should always fight for yourself, there's so much sexism around, but I don't fight in a body of women. Angela: For lots of things. I'd like to be remembered as kind and considerate, positive and determined, an eternal optimist. It matters how other people think of you. If 10 people think you're a bitch, then it's likely that you are one. Q: If you weren't doing what you are now, which would you rather be: a politician, an AIDS worker, or a pop star? Nonie: Not a pop star. The music business is very dirty, and you have to compromise a lot. A politician would be even worse. After I finish with the entertainment business, I want to be an activist for certain causes - perhaps an AIDS worker. Sophiya: I'll go for a pop star. Definitely not a politician. How about a pop star/AIDS worker? Angela: A politician, because there are lots of resources and power that you can use positively. I believe in authority being used responsibly.