Sunday, May 13, 2007

Linda Chung - Most Improved

Beauty pageant winners of recent years have become actresses. Presently, there are many 'fa dan's (leading ladies) who have come from the beauty pageants, such as Bernice Liu Bik Yi, Myolie Wu Hang Yi, Charmaine Sheh Sze Man, Shirley Yeung Sze Kei, Linda Chung Ka Yan, and so on. They depended on their beauty to enter the entertainment industry and had to get the mass audience to love them. It was crucial for them to be willing to make painstaking efforts and to have their own passion to work hard; their journeys were filled with hope. Linda hailed from the 2004 "Miss Chinese International" pageant. When she first started acting, her acting was heavily criticized. After three years of hard work, not only has she won the "Most Improved Actress" award, but Linda has recently also jumped from the TV screen into the big silver screen by taking part in the movie Love Is Not All Around.

Recently, Linda was at the screening of her first movie. It turns out that Linda was so worried about her first movie work that she couldn't sleep. At the start of the movie, Linda and Stephy Tang Lai Yan were good friends, but because of a misunderstanding, they severed their friendship and Linda even cruel-heartedly gave Stephy a slap. At the mention of this slapping scene, Linda appeared extremely unnerved.

"Much thanks to the director for giving me this opportunity. I never thought that filming could be so fun! It was a really happy experience this time filming. However, when filming started, I became so nervous that I lost sleep for many nights. We filmed for eight days. Stephy and I bonded extremely well together; perhaps it was because we're around the same age. We couldn't stop chatting. I remember the time when we filmed our friendship severing scene. Possibly it was because I'd been with Stephy for the past few days; after I slapped her, my veins started to pop out. I totally became a scary person. I wanted to cry. I had to unceasingly tell myself that I must suppress my tears because I knew that a single tear would cause us to film all over again. Even if Stephy doesn't hurt, my heart aches. Luckily, after three takes, the director was satisfied."

Filming a movie is different from filming a series

Linda is recognized as a good girl. After becoming crowned as the "Miss Chinese International" winner, she very quickly signed on with TVB to become an actress. Before she entered the industry, her innocent nature made her think that the work would be very easy, like dolling up in front of a mirror. It's only after she entered the industry that Linda discovered that filming a series actually requires a lot of hard work and efforts, only then would there be success. She has the loving care of many veterans. They taught her how to immerse herself into her role and this has benefited her a great deal.

"Before entering the industry, I thought that the work was going to be a piece of cake. Who could have guessed that the work is actually very laborious? Behind every scene, actors have to dedicate a lot of time and energy. Filming a series requires a lot of endurance. Not having enough energy is a bad thing. Acting out a role is also not easy. Everything is really much more difficult that I had imagined. There is a lot of work that must be done off-camera. Of course, people outside of the industry don't know this. Luckily, after I perform a role well and it's loved by the audience, I successfully become a 'household-name.' It caused my confidence to greatly increase. This time, I was able to partake in Love Is Not All Around and discovered that there's a big difference between filming a movie and a series. Filming series requires the usage of a lot of exaggerated expressions because it makes the results even better. On the contrary, filming a movie requires feelings that are natural because the camera can pick up every small detail. In the process of filming Love, the director made me understand that I couldn't act [for the movie] using acting techniques for series. He unceasingly suggested that I be natural and needed to relax."

Training voice hard to increase confidence

Looking back at the "Miss Chinese International" pageant, it only took one unknowing person to open the door of Linda's life. At that time, all it took was Kelly Chen Wai Lam's one phrase that caused Linda to become a hot favorite. At the start of her career, Linda was criticized for having a 'chicken' voice and poor acting. However, she isn't discouraged because of this, but rather gladly listens. It's because she deeply believes nothing grows from silence. It's no wonder that in three short years she has been able to become a prominent player in the group of young actresses! In an online poll, Linda was chosen as the #1 most welcomed artist in Heart of Greed. Many people greatly praised her for immense improvements.

Using her cheerful face to become a star

"In 2002, my elder sister had an idea and told me to enter a 'Cover Girl' competition. Who knew that I'd win the competition? In 2003, she was again persistent and helped me to place my name in the 'Miss Vancouver' pageant. Once again, I won, so I went on to represent Vancouver in the 'Miss Chinese International' pageant. Before the competition, the media's focus was certainly not on me. After Kelly said that she felt '#12 Linda Chung Ka Yan' wasn't bad, I became a hot favorite. Looking back at a tape of my first pageant, I was so nervous that my voice pitched at 16 degrees. I had no confidence in my appearance. I admit that [the sound] could kill people. In order to correct my problem, every day I would read the newspaper aloud. At the beginning, I couldn't read a lot of Chinese. Right now, I can read it all. Sometimes at home, I know that my mommy isn't too far away in the kitchen, so I will shout at the top of my lungs, 'Mommy, I want hot soup ah!'; I'd practice it a lot. For me to be able to enter the entertainment industry, I think it's 'fate'."

In her short three years, every time Linda films a series, she has rumors with her co-stars, including Ekin Cheng Yi Gin, Raymond Lam Fung, Joey Leung Wing Chung, and so on. Linda frankly says that when she first encountered those reports, it caused her to become upset, had a negative influence on her mood, and interfered with her work. After her good friend comforted her, it made Linda understand that in the entertainment industry, she has to learn how to relax. If she was worried over every little thing, it would only cause herself to be miserable. In her interview, Linda happily opened up her feelings about what she looks for in a mate.

"When I first had rumors, I felt very embarrassed, but gradually I've grown accustomed to them. I would try to avoid and spend as little time with my male co-stars as possible, but there would still be rumors. I now take them as advertising gimmicks and don't worry too much about them. Towards love, I am extremely conservative. I hope that I can go from dating into marriage. It would be ideal if it could be with the same guy. Before entering the industry, I hoped that I could get married at 25 years old, but presently, it's been postponed. My ideal boyfriend must be taller than me; it would be great if he's a little muscular. When we hug, I can feel comfortable and have a feeling of security. Unfortunately, this 'dream boy' still hasn't appeared. After entering the industry, I had developed feelings towards my co-workers in the past. If I have good feelings for someone, I will smile at him a lot. To me, this gives him a hint [at my feelings]. Even if I date later on, it will be an underground relationship. I will try to keep it as a secret."

Wants parents to retire early

Linda has the nickname of being the new generation's "thrift sister." There have been articles in the past saying that on days when Linda doesn't need to film, she spends at most $24 HK for take out. There are also times where it was $0 HK a day. It's no wonder that in a short period of two years, she is already the owner of a property.

"Ha ha! Calling me a 'thrift sister'? I'm only spending on things that are necessary. I'm not inclined to buy name-brand clothing. The 'Louis Vuitton' bag that I'm carrying was given to me as a gift from my parents. I think that my parents aren't young [anymore]. In Vancouver, they worked from the bottom up. In the past, they had to work multiple jobs every day to support us [three brother & sisters], so I hope that my parents can retire early. I bought a house in Hong Kong because I hope that when they have time, they can come and visit me. Having a place to live makes life much more comfortable. I hope that I can have more jobs so that I can earn a lot of money so that I can quickly buy a multi-level house."

Epilogue: In this world, only mommy is the best

In order to do this interview, Linda had to depart Tsang Kwan O early in the morning at nine o'clock and then headed over to Chung Wan to get her hair and make-up done. However, she didn't feel lonely because Mama Chung was at her side to accompany her through the whole journey, looking after her preciously. Just like Linda said, three years before going to Hong Kong to develop her career, she would never feel lonely because her parents and elder sister will never refuse to take the long and tiring trip from Canada to go to Hong Kong and visit her.

Credit: MetalAZNWarrior for translation

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