^Rough translation for the above interview:
Gillian Chung: Not Disappointed in Love
This week’s guest is Ah Gil (Gillian Chung). Gillian has generously revealed her feelings and thoughts from when she entered the industry, touching on even her photo scandal, and she had also shared her thoughts on romance.
C: Cheng Siu Hong
G: Gillian Chung
C: This year is the 15th anniversary for Twins. Any plans?
G: We’ll have a sequence of events going on. There’ll be a Mandarin album in the summer. I’ve heard plans on having a reality show in Mainland, and we’ll also be having a concert at year end, which will overlap into next year.
C: How much do you think you’ve matured in the past 15 years?
G: I think my process of growing up is something that’s quite unbelievable to most people. Back when I first entered the industry, we went on school tours. Every morning, I’d have to get up early, get my hair and make-up done, and during that period of time, I was really busy and tired. Each day, I’d be seeing Charlene; I believe I would see her more than I’d see my family.
Sometimes, we’d go to a place, but I could hardly keep track of where I was because we flew around that much. There was a time where we were filming 3 or 4 movies at once, in addition to recording for our album. We’d record and then go right back to filming. One time, I was recording, but suddenly the studio went silent. It turns out I fell asleep! It was funny. However, I think it was overall a happy experience. I'm certain no one else records for an album the way we did. For every song, we learned it on the spot at the studio. In regular practice, we should be getting the demos first, get familiar with it, practice on your own, but we had no such time!
C: From that, I reckon you made a lot of money during those days?
G: Not really. At the time, we didn’t have sponsors for clothing, vehicles, make-up, or hair stylists. Everything came out of our own pockets. Fortunately, we were only a duo. If we were a larger group, I’m not sure how it would’ve been.
C: Did you guys know from the beginning that Twins would be splitting?
G: When we found out that we were forming a duo, we were shocked and almost felt let down. That’s because at that time, groups didn’t last very long in the industry, but we had no choice. Our company decided on it, so we had to trust them, and we just did what we had to do.
C: You two were popular from the beginning.
G: Maybe it was because coincidentally, there weren’t many groups at the time. When we released our debut album, I was working in Britain, and my mom phoned me saying that she couldn’t get a copy of my album. In my mind, I was thinking if it got banned or something, but there was no reason for it to be banned. Then I found out, she couldn’t get a copy because they were all sold out! I was very happy at the time!
C: After 15 years, do you think people like to compare you and Charlene?
G: I believe people have been doing that since the beginning. I feel that we were working hard for the sake of Twins. We had a common goal of wanting Twins to work. With her success in her film career today, I’m very happy for her. I won’t get jealous; I would view her as a goal-setter. I want to improve alongside with her, and I’ll keep working harder.
C: In the recent years, your career in Mainland has been very successful. You received the “Best Actress” award from the Hua Ding Awards, and your Mandarin album sales have been very good. Do you feel traumatized with developing your career in Hong Kong?
G: No, it’s because I like filming ancient dramas. I think my appearance fits ancient dramas, but yes, these recent years, I’ve spent most of my time in Mainland. There had been two years in a row, where I’ve spent my birthday in the same hotel in Mainland.
C: After that incident (photo scandal), how bad was the criticism for you?
G: For the first two months, I never stepped out of the house, nor did I open my blinds. My family didn’t let me see the news or watch TV. Of course, I still looked on my own. I cried everyday, at every moment. When I first went out after two months, I didn’t dare to lift my face. For a long time, I was wondering how people will look at me.
C: You’ve considered leaving the industry .What caused you to stay?
G: My mom had said, “It’s okay! It has already happened. If you need to, just leave the industry. We’ll learn how to spend less. You can do other things and move on with your life!” This really touched me because I only entered the industry to make life better for my family. My personality doesn’t suit the showbiz at all. However, because she said that, I felt like I could just give up like that. I also had a duty to answer to Charlene. If I just gave up, then it would feel like I’ve disappointed all the expectations that everyone had for me.
C: Do you feel psychological barriers towards having a love life?
G: I don’t think we can put it like that. With him (Edison), our relationship had been on and off for numerous times. Every time we broke up, it did have an impact on how I would feel to accept love from someone else. However, this incident didn’t make me disappointed in love. It’s just that I have to consider if my future potential would mind, and if his family will mind. There’s a lot to think about.
C: Did you ever bump into that person who made you unhappy in the recent years?
G: One time, I saw him during an airplane flight. At first, we were sitting in consecutive rows, but I requested a seat change. I didn’t know how I should react. During the plane ride, he wrote me a very lengthy letter. It was an apology letter. I suppose a late apology is better than no apology at all. I saw it as a token of consolation.
C: Are you dating now?
G: No. It’s too hard. After that incident, it’s very difficult to find someone genuine.
C: What plans do you have for your career?
G: I like acting. I hope one day, I can be like Charlene, and encounter a good script and director. I really like “Ex”, but because it was released at a sensitive time, it wasn’t able to screen in Mainland. It had very good reviews, but the film didn’t get any nominations. I thought that was a shame because we all put a lot of effort into it.
C: How about your love life? Have you thought of when you want to get married and have kids?
G: I need to find a boyfriend first! I used to aim for doing that before I’m 35, but I’m 34 already! Unless I have a lightning marriage!
C: You’ve been strong and persistent in the past 7 years!
G: I see myself as a strong person. Sometimes, I might even be too strong. Men like to protect women, but I always rush to fight my own battles. That often backfires on me, but that’s how my personality is. I’ve been supporting my family since young. During my childhood, I haven’t really had a place to call home. I think I transferred schools 4 or 5 times during kindergarten and then twice again in elementary. I think going through change had enhanced my adaptation skills, and from that, I’ve seen many facets of society.
C: After your incident, and you started working again, have you been mistreated or heard any less than kind words?
G: Yes, but there was nothing I could do about it. There was a drama where I wasn’t the main character, and I had hurt my back at the time. I didn’t have scenes scheduled, and I wanted to go see the doctor. I didn’t understand why the crew would not let me do so, even when my co-star was on paternity leave. I only had a chance to go for treatment ten months later. It hurt everyday, and I had trouble sleeping. I needed pain relief pads, which made it a little better.
C: And this change (in attitude) happened after the incident?
C: Any financial pressures at the time?
G: At the time, I had just purchased two apartments, but I couldn’t finance it. In the end, we had to sell one. My mom sold it cheaply, and then the buyer resold it at a high price.
C: How about other aspects of life? Did you have enough to spend?
G: We were just feeding on my savings. I didn’t have work for more than a year, and my family had expenses. It was difficult for my family.
C: Do you still avoid going out?
G: I like staying at home. I used to love shopping, but now I just stay at home. I don’t love going out. One time, I went to Korea with my mom and her stylist friend; they were out shopping until the next morning at 6, but I just stayed at the hotel.
C: What do you do at home?
G: I like watching entertainment shows from Mainland. From watching it more, people around me have said that my Mandarin has improved.
C: You’ve been consecutively releasing Mandarin albums. Is your career focus not in Hong Kong anymore?
G: I like Mandarin songs more than Cantonese songs. I feel lucky that my company has been willing to finance for my album because my production crew is quite expensive. I quite like my most recent album. One time, I had spinal problems, but I still had to take a car ride for eight hours to get to a tour stop.
C: Since you don’t leave home very often, where does your money go?
G: I have a monthly allowance. I’ve marked a limit on my credit card.
C: You’ve given all your money to your mom for investment?
G: And for paying annuities for our apartments.
C: How many properties do you own?
G: I don’t know. I don’t care to ask. I feel like the more that I keep up with these things, the more pressure I get. I still need to work, so I’ll just keep working and keep paying. I want to keep frustration to a minimum.
Caption 1: From filming action dramas through the years and injuring herself on an entertainment show, Gillian said, “My spine is a bit crooked, as is my waist and hip bone; there’s a small fracture near my neck. Before, I had to use sleeping pills and painkillers, but now I’ve turned to herbal medicine. Recently, I’ve started to soak my feet at night, and that’s been helping me sleep better.”
Caption 2: When asked if she thought Charlene career path is smoother than hers, Gillian laughed and said, “She’s a lucky girl! She’s blessed all around!”
Caption 3: Gillian frankly admits that she has lost fans from her photo scandal, but at the time, she had gained fans that began supporting her after the incident. She said, “They see me as a strong figure because I’ve never blamed anyone, or said anything bad about him. I just need to fight my own battles.”
Twins’ Twins manager, Mani (Mani Fok has a twin sister, Noven), told me that Gillian is a rare case in the industry, who is able to act in ancient and modern dramas, and who can sing and act. She constantly tells me to support her. However, I need to admit that I was the same as some Hong Kong people, where I once judged her. However, after this interview, I’ve changed my thoughts on Gillian completely. She never blamed anyone for what has happened. She was a victim, but no one offered any sympathy. After seven years, she is still persisting in her career and working up against the flow. This type of strength and persistence, I’m certain that not everyone can do it. Gillian, I support you. It’s only a matter of time where you will regain what was once yours.
Edited by Little_Purple_Bell, 01 April 2015 - 06:22 AM.