Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kate Tsui - The War Begins: Interview on Acting Career & Awards

The annual TVB Anniversary Awards is approaching soon. According to insider news, the TV Queen battle is between Kate Tsui and Tavia Yeung.

This isn't Kate's first year nominated for TV Queen, but when the media and audience think she's qualified for the award, there will bound to be many gossips and rumors spreading around. Basically, the actresses who are lucky enough to be on the headlines are either first line FaDans or those seen as good actresses.

To some extent, even if the FaDan ends up losing the award, they still won the opportunity for more exposure and momentum.

Kate said honestly: "In the recent year, I haven't had too many gossips, but that means I don't have anything to do. There will only jobs when you have more news! It was rumored Tavia and I don't get along, but will that really make me popular? If so, then I don't mind the rumor!"

Many artists have said before, "It doesn't matter whether if I'm popular or not. The most important is that there is always a role for me and songs for me to sing." Do you believe this? Raymond Lam came from a wealthy background, but he's still working real hard to gain recognition from the audience.

Kate is very frank, she wants both the fame and awards. Since Highs and Lows began broadcasting, there has been a lot of positive reaction in the public and many are complimenting Kate's performance. In the series, she plays a Drug Queen, which is rarely seen in TV series. There were several beyond television-scale scenes that appeared in this series, such as Kate injecting drugs and getting gang raped. This is considered quite risky to an actress' reputation. She said, "Telling an actress to go do drugs, not everyone can accept it. Audience will either like it or won't like it."

Earlier Raymond Lam said in an interview that no other actress fits this role as much as Kate does. It is clear that Raymond is her supporter. Kate helplessly said: "Many people have been telling me the same thing within these last two or three years. Actually, it's kinda difficult on me. Every time I play such an extreme character, yes there is a lot of room for development, but I will never be liked by audience. On average, audience like to see more of the Linda Chung types, the good girls."

Tavia Yeung Cries Amazingly

It's only two months left before the TVB anniversary awards, Kate and Tavia's news and rumors have already started popping up on the headlines.

"I really enjoy being on the list because it's quite nice that people are talking about me. If you're not too stubborn about it, those fabricated news are actually beneficial to artists. I just want some noise! Every year at the awards ceremony, I'm just sitting there. If there is an opportunity for me to say a few words, I would be happy even if it was just one or two camera shots. I'm dressed so nicely for the ceremony, don't let it go to waste!"

Tavia has been in the industry for 13 years, and it's only been 8 years for Kate. Based on qualification and seniority, Kate loses to Tavia, but recently Tavia's "car shaking" news has really damaged her image. Perhaps Heaven is trying to help Kate, her chances of becoming TV Queen suddenly jumped.

"It's not calculated like that. My image had never been that good either! Before I entered the industry, I already liked watching Ah Yi (Tavia) in costume dramas because I thought she really fits with the ancient feel. I've watched her acting in the studio next door before. Wah! She was continuously doing a crying scenes for 3 takes and her tears still came out like a faucet! She's seriously amazing. I'm still training myself, my goal is to be able to control my tears."

Tears, indeed requires practice. Actually, a normal person living a happy life won't just start crying out of the blue, but as an artist, it is necessary for them to control their emotions just as if they are controlling their hands and feet.

"When I was young, my nickname was 'Crybaby Kate'. My dad was fierce, he would beat me until I stop crying. He disciplined me like I was a boy. The first few years after my debut, crying scenes gave me a headache. I remember back when I was shooting Price of Greed, we were shooting some 10 scenes a day, and I had to be crying in 5-6 of those scenes. If I couldn't cry, then I get yelled at! The staff would stand next to you and nag in your ears, 'Hey it's time to eat, are you done? Still can't cry? Are you serious!' One time, someone stood in front of me and started yelling at me, using profanity too, but I knew they were just trying to help me."

Now that Kate's older and has more experience, she can just cry when she's asked to. In Highs and Lows, she is the drug queen Chan Ka Bik, a girl coming from a pitiful background. Kate got too into character that she actually did feel down emotionally: "When I drive home after work, I would just start thinking that the lives of humans are so hard, then I start crying."

Newcomer Award Backfired

In regards to awards, it's not like Kate hasn't won one before. In 2004, she entered the industry as a four-award Miss HK winner. She truly understands that it's all based on the right timing, so she will first have to do the best on her own part. "When I was participating in Miss HK, I thought to myself, its either I don't get any award, or I get it all. You have to understand the Miss HK system, we start by signing a contract, if you get an award, then you have to stay with TVB for a year. As for the salary, it is based on how many awards you win! My first award was the sponsored, Fitness Award, if I couldn't get the other awards, then my monthly salary would have been a few thousand dollars. How will I be able to survive? I told myself, 'No that won't do, work harder!'"

The so-called hard work, is to treat yourself like a good student and the Miss HK personal assistant is your instructor. If they tell you to walk left, then you must not walk right.

"Must handle everything seriously. Attendance is taking daily, so I tried my best not to get a tardy. One time, we were suddenly given an assignment, which was to write a 200 word self-introduction. I first wrote a draft and counted exactly 200 words, no more, no less, before turning it in."

In 2007, she cut her hair really short for On the First Beat, but people heavily criticized her for looking ugly, having a swollen face and poor acting. Fortunately in 2008, she participated in Johnny To's Eye In the Sky working alongside Film Kings Simon Yam and Tony Leung. She gained recognition and won the 'Best New Performer' at the 27th Hong Kong Film Awards.

You would think Kate helped TVB win an honor, but will her colleagues really be happy for her? Sorry, people weren't waiting to congratulate her, but to give her the cold shoulder.

"Actually the experience the award brought me was greater than expected. To me, the newcomer award is given to the newcomer that had expectional performance, but it wasn't that simple. Although you gained recognition in the film circle, but back in the TV circle, people had higher expectations on you. They would say, 'You're great, won the award, why are you back here shooting TV series?' There were a lot of nasty comments behind my back. There was actually a director that once said to me, 'I believe you came back thinking you know everything and now you're not listening to what you're being told to do!'"

"My work ethics was the same as before, but people thought I turned cocky. Then later I realized after I got the award, I have to be even more modest, low-profile and look down on myself more than before."

Even if this year, Kate is a hot favorite for TV Queen, she said: "I have a shadow, I'm really afraid what happened before will happen again because there will always be people that think I don't deserve the award."


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