Tencent / QQ.com Interview: Jessica Hsuan will not be renewing contract with TVB; supports Bosco Wong and Myolie Wu for TV King and Queenbernice liu charmaine sheh hong kong myolie wu bosco wong
Posted 14 November 2011 - 10:38 PM
Monday, November 14, 2011 Hong Kong
Translation: llwy12@ http://asianfanatics.net
On 11/9, the 30 episode city life themed Mainland series <<祥子的故事之新都市人>> [<<Xiang Zi’s Story: New City People>>] started filming in Shanghai. The series’ directors Kwong Yip Sheng [TN: former TVB producer who left the company 6 years ago] and Fung Dai Nin along with the series’ stars Jessica Hsuan, Lawrence Ng, and Mainland actor Xiang Zi attended the opening promotional event. Kwong Yip Sheng produced many popular series when he was at TVB, including the police drama franchise <<Armed Reaction>> , <<Take My Word For It>>, <<Taming of the Princess>>, etc. and has collaborated with both Jessica Hsuan and Lawrence Ng many times in the past. As for former TVB fa dan Jessica and siu sang Lawrence, this would only be their second collaboration – they paired together back in the 90s in the TVB series <<Outburst>> (1996). Towards collaborating for the second time, both artists sighed and stated: “After this series is over, will there be another chance to collaborate?” As the main female lead in the new series, Jessica will play a brilliantly talented TV screenwriter who is also a benevolent young mother and will have a romantic relationship with Mainland actor Xiang Zi.
As one of the female leads for TVB’s currently airing anniversary series <<Curse of the Royal Harem>>, Jessica will be competing with fellow <<Curse>> co-star Myolie Wu as well as fa dan Fala Chen for the TV Queen award at TVB’s upcoming Anniversary Awards. During our [Tencent Entertainment’s] exclusive interview with Jessica, she expressed that her chances at winning are slim: “I’m just accompanying the main contenders in the race – I’ve already left TVB, so the chance of winning is very low.” Jessica also graciously expressed that she hopes both Myolie Wu and Bosco Wong win the TV Queen and TV King awards together: “Because I really hope for Myolie to win, if Bosco were to win as well, they will be extremely happy – let’s allow them to have a beautiful memory in their lives that they can share together.” With regard to fellow colleagues Wong Hei and Bowie Lam, both of whom have left TVB, being noticeably absent from the nomination list, Jessica felt that there’s no need to put too much focus on it, as the awards is like a game – you don’t get awarded just because you are the best; since this is something outside of an artist’s control, there’s no need to think too heavily about it.
In September of this year, Jessica’s per series contract with TVB already expired and since then, various rumors have surfaced regarding contract renewal talks with the company. In our exclusive interview, Jessica responds to the rumors and confirms that she won’t be renewing her contract with TVB: “This year, I spent more time in the Mainland than in Hong Kong. For next year, I’ll have to see how things develop – if it will be similar to this year where I’m spending most of my time working outside of HK, then it’s unlikely that I’ll sign a new contract with TVB.” Even though she was once a first line fa dan at TVB, Jessica expressed that she has no regrets about leaving: “When an actor has reached a certain level, it is necessary to have other opportunities for development – plus when one batch of artists leave, a new batch will come.”
Interview with Jessica Hsuan
TR = Tencent Entertainment Reporter
JH = Jessica Hsuan
Regarding her roles: TVB too conservative, typecasted throughout 18 years of acting
TR: First, please tell us a little bit about the character you play in <<Xiang Zi’s Story: New City People>>.
JH: I play a screenwriter who works at a television station and will also be a young single mother. She is similar to me in some ways -- a righteous and strong woman who will meet Xiang Zi through work and develop a romantic relationship. She also has a good heart – when her boss and his wife die in a car accident, she adopts and raises their daughter on her own – this character is very compassionate and righteous.
TR: Since <<Outburst>> back in the 90s, you and Lawrence Ng have not collaborated in a long time. How does it feel to work with him again?
JH: Wah, a long time already! When we first saw each other again, we were both amazed. The last time we collaborated was many years ago, but when I saw him again, I felt that he hadn’t changed much – except he gained a little bit of weight. When Lawrence saw me, he asked “Have you been doing anti-aging treatments?”, to which I replied: “Not yet, but when I do, I’ll let you know.” On the outside, neither of us had changed much. In the series, we aren’t romantically linked – we are only colleagues working for the same company.
TR: Have you and Lawrence kept in touch over the years?
JH: No. After he moved to the Mainland, we pretty much didn’t see each other again.
TR: After portraying many father figures in series, Lawrence finally married and has already become a father in real life. How about you? When will it be your turn?
JH: Actually, up to this moment, I never thought about it. If it’s destined to be, it will eventually happen. If not, doesn’t matter either. Let’s leave it up to fate.
TR: Earlier, you and your former boyfriend were already at the point of discussing marriage, but then the relationship broke off. What was the reason for it?
JH: Actually, we were never at the point of discussing marriage – all along, it was the HK media that said we were at that stage. In a relationship, the most important thing is communication – if in a relationship, there are problems communicating and we feel unhappy, then there’s no point staying together; if we were happy, then we would be able to continue on the same path together.
TR: What type of love relationship do you yearn for? What do you look for in your ‘other half’?
JH: I hope the most to be able to live a simple, ordinary life. Of course, the perfect scenario would be to get married and have kids. Just like Lawrence’s situation right now, being able to live a simple life, it’s what I hope to achieve in the future.
TR: Many TVB actresses married someone from the Mainland. Have you thought about doing the same?
JH: Never thought about it. I will leave everything up to ‘Him’ to decide.
TR: A lot of TVB artists have been heading up North to work in the Mainland. What are your thoughts on this trend?
JH: It’s a good thing, as there are more opportunities to play different characters. TVB is quite conservative – if they see that your personality is a certain way, they feel that if you play certain characters, you will definitely be successful – for example, my character in <<Just Love>>. In my 18 year career, I’ve played many very similar characters – they [TVB] are afraid to have me play villain characters because they feel that I wouldn’t be convincing as a villain, so they don’t even dare to try. The difference in the Mainland is that there are a lot more opportunities and you are able to experience playing a variety of different characters. It’s more fun.
Regarding TVB anniversary: merely accompanying the main contenders; supports Myolie and Bosco for the awards
TR: Even though your series <<Curse of the Royal Harem>> is an important anniversary series, there has been some criticism from the audiences about the series, such as the storyline dragging too much and Myolie’s makeup being too heavy. What are your thoughts on this?
JH: Well, since I participated in the series, of course I’m going to support it. Regarding the comments about the makeup, I can honestly say that I can understand from our perspective why it was done that way. The main reason is because the producer wanted to show a clear distinction between the 2 characters – Myolie’s character is more evil in the beginning, so of course her costumes will be more colorful and bright and her makeup will match with it; whereas my character is more benevolent, so my makeup is lighter and most of my costumes are pink – this helps the audiences distinguish our characters visually. Some have commented that my makeup is too heavy as well – since my character turns evil later on, of course the makeup needs to follow suit.
TR: Some netizens have commented that watching the palace scheming in <<Curse>> is not as satisfying, unlike the fierce tactics in <<War and Beauty>>. What do you think?
JH: It’s really up to the audiences. Some audiences prefer that type of palace series, others prefer ours. I don’t think about how others are, instead, I concentrate on my own character. For several of us, it’s our first time doing these types of Qing era palace series, so I definitely try hard to do a good job.
TR: How did you go about agreeing to film <<Curse>> in the first place? This is also your first Qing era palace series – how do you feel about it?
JH: Because audiences have seen me in a lot of modern series, but never in a Qing era palace series, there’s definitely pressure. Acting-wise, I like it – it’s exciting because the method of acting and the character are so different from what I’ve been used to all these years.
TR: It was rumored that while filming <<Curse>>, you and Myolie were in discord. Is this true?
JH: Our collaboration was a happy one. Prior to <<Curse>>, Myolie and I had only collaborated once before and did not have the opportunity to work together again until now – this was our second collaboration. Both of us portrayed characters that were different from what we’ve done in the past and the entire process has been very smooth and happy. She gives me a good impression, as she is very hardworking, which does put some pressure on me to stay up to par. During filming, she was very focused everyday and always did her homework, constantly thinking about how best to portray the character – therefore, I truly hope that she will be able to win the TV Queen award this time around.
TR: TVB’s anniversary awards ceremony is coming up soon and both you and Myolie are nominated for TV Queen. Do you feel you have a good chance at getting the award?
JH: Me? Of course not! I’m only accompanying the main contenders in the race. It probably won’t be me, since I’ve already left TVB, so my chances are slim. Myolie and I worked together for 2 months and I could see that she worked really really hard to play her character well. She definitely gave me a ‘fresh’ feeling this time, as I’ve always felt that she was typecasted in the past, just like me….when I saw her performance this time, I was very surprised – wow, I didn’t know she could be so evil!
TR: How about TV King? Who do you feel has a good chance?
JH: That’s even more difficult to choose! Bosco Wong, Michael Tse, Kevin Cheng – all 3 have a huge chance. For me, I hope Bosco gets it because I’m rooting for Myolie to win -- if Bosco were to win as well, they will be extremely happy – let’s allow them to have a beautiful memory in their lives that they can share together.”
TR: Based on the TVB anniversary awards nomination list that came out earlier on, artists who had left TVB on bad terms such as Wong Hei, Bowie Lam, and Bernice Liu, were ‘kicked off’ the list. It is rumored that they were ‘annihilated’ by powers that be. What are your thoughts on this?
JH: I don’t know. Basically, I feel that the awards is a game. When we’re being presented with an award, it’s a joyous moment, as it demonstrates that our efforts this past year did not go to waste. But getting an award doesn’t mean you are the best. It’s more or less a means of encouragement – you’re not getting an award because you’re the best at your craft. Of course, who gets the award is not up to us – the company analyzes the situation and decides...since this is something outside of an artist’s control, there’s no need to think too heavily about it.
TR: Can this be interpreted as ‘if you’re loyal to TVB, you have a better chance at getting an award’?
JH: It’s not necessarily about loyalty. I don’t know, you should go ask the management. For example, Bowie [Lam] focuses a lot of time in the Mainland, so in a way, it makes sense.
TR: Many in the general public feel that TVB doesn’t have very many good female actresses any more. How do you feel?
JH: Not really, as there will continue to be good actresses coming up the ranks. For example, with the generation of actresses prior to ours [the 80s actresses], it was once thought that no one would be able to continue the momentum, but then [in the 90s] a bunch of great actresses came up the ranks, such as Flora Chan, Kenix Kwok, Ada Choi, etc….it’s possible that sentiment may exist a little bit now, but give it some time and actresses such as Myolie Wu and Charmaine Sheh will eventually get to that level. As for the younger actresses, it’s necessary to give them more opportunities. However, the way that artists are trained and cultivated nowadays is way different from how it was done in the past – I was lucky in that when I started, there were plenty of opportunities -- in my very first series, I was already second female lead…at the time, we didn’t have to worry because the company would train us and make sure that we had a solid foundation. Nowadays, there are too many new actors and actresses and so it’s harder to spend time on each person individually to train them well – for the newer generation, I guess it will depend on whether they have natural born talent. The audiences also need time to accept the newer artists, so can’t just let anyone become first lead right away.
Regarding her contract with TVB : considering not renewing her contract with TVB; leaves with no regrets
TR: So far this year, you’ve participated in 2 Mainland series; do you feel that you’re having to start over again?
JH: Yes! Because my Mandarin isn’t good, plus there are a lot of artists in Mainland, so there will definitely be pressure. For example, many of the artists that I collaborated with recently, I never had the chance to observe their performances in the past, as I don’t watch a whole lot of TV series – so when it came time to perform in scenes with them, I would think to myself: ‘Wah, such great acting! I need to keep up.’ Just like a newbie, I started feeling some pressure, but it’s actually a good thing!
TR: Your contract with TVB has already expired. What exactly is the situation right now?
JH: At the end of September, my contract with TVB officially ended. Contract renewal discussions were started, but never really finished because I’ve been working non-stop. Earlier I was filming in Hengdian [China] and after returning to HK, I’ve been busy with promoting <<Curse>>, plus alot of personal matters to take care of , so I thought about delaying further discussions until after the new year, or maybe even not at all. This year, I’ve spent more time in Mainland than in HK; I filmed 4 TV series total this year – 1 for TVB in HK, 1 in Singapore, and 2 in the Mainland. For next year, I’ll have to see how things develop – if it will be similar to this year where I’m spending most of my time working outside of HK, then it’s unlikely that I’ll sign a new contract with TVB. But, even though filming for TVB is tiring and arduous, it’s a pretty happy experience for me because I’ve worked with my TVB colleagues for many years and we’ve established certain familiarity. Let’s just see how next year turns out.
TR: It’s rumored that those who renew their contracts this year will get a pay raise. Will the pay raise be comparable to the Mainland?
JH: There will definitely be a pay raise, but it’s impossible for it to be the same as the rate in Mainland – if it’s a reasonable price, then I’m ok with it. But let’s focus more on other matters, such as how things develop next year and how my filming schedule will be like.
TR: You’ve filmed many TVB series in the past and can be considered a ‘symbol’ of TVB. If you leave, will you have any regrets?
JH: No – that’s the way it’s been throughout the years: a batch of artists leave and new ones rise up. When an actor has reached a certain level, it is necessary to have other opportunities for development and newcomers will naturally rise up to take their place. When audiences see the same person over and over again, they will get bored. That’s why as artists, we choose our scripts more carefully now – after filming so many series, I hope that audiences see a different side of me and not just think: ‘Jessica Hsuan is playing the same type of character again.’ As we become more selective with our scripts, of course we will film less series compared with before – that’s why over the years, the media always says that I’ve reduced my workload.
TR: Lately, you’ve been very supportive of Eric Suen’s criticism of TVB as being stingy and heartless – we sensed that you were very angry towards your former employer.
JH: I was angry because an accident had occurred. I’ve collaborated with Macy Chan a few times and we’re good friends. If an artist works so hard for a company and takes her responsibilities very seriously, but then when a life-threatening incident happens to her and nothing is done, then that’s a huge problem! If Eric hadn’t said anything, no one would have known – whether the situation would have been properly handled, we wouldn’t know. This was a life and death situation – luckily no one was seriously hurt, but what would have happened if the female artists did get injured to the point of being disfigured? The company needs to pay more attention to these matters, as people’s lives are at stake – this needs to happen before a tragedy occurs. Even though the incident had nothing to do with me, Macy is my friend so I cannot just sit back and keep quiet. She is a very good girl, very hardworking and takes her responsibilities seriously – plus she is not the type to do things she shouldn’t do, so it’s unfair to treat her that way.
TR: When you were at TVB, did you ever receive that type of unfair treatment?
JH: Actually, there weren’t those types of problems in the past. When I read about the situation on Weibo, I was shocked – in the past, when we went out to film on location, we were never arranged to live in co-ed facilities and the directors we worked with would never ask someone to drive who didn’t know how to – none of this ever happened back in my day. Of course, the work was very exhausting, but this is normal.
TR: Now that TVB has a new boss, have you felt any obvious differences in the company?
JH: No – since the new boss came on board, there have not been any obvious differences from what I can see. Actually, from my perspective, the only difference is that the upper management has changed, so the people that I used to collaborate with in the past are not the same.
TR: The ‘leaving the nest’ trend has gotten more severe lately, with many scriptwriters and editors leaving the company as well. Is their work more exhausting than the artists filming day and night?
JH: They definitely have their pressures. I know that for a lot of scriptwriters, they haven’t even finished one script yet but already they need to start on another one and end up having to do both at once. If I had to do that, I would definitely go crazy!
Posted 14 November 2011 - 11:23 PM
Posted 15 November 2011 - 06:06 AM
See, TVB, see, this is all your fault, you got it to happen
Posted 15 November 2011 - 11:18 AM
Posted 15 November 2011 - 05:12 PM
Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: bernice liu, charmaine sheh, hong kong, myolie wu, bosco wong
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