Monday, March 4, 2013

Linda Chung: “Why is it that I’m the only one without any awards?”

I’ve always had the impression that Linda Chung was one of the different ones in TVB, in terms of her background, while her qualifications are on par with the rest of the fadans. In the past 8 years that she’s been in the industry, there have been few news articles of her getting chummy with the bosses at dinner parties before the annual TVB awards ceremony. She really has a personality that stands aloof from worldly affairs – but I guess even goddesses yearn for others’ praises too right!?

Last year, with 4 dramas at hand, she ought to have had all the power and popularity. But in the end, she lost the TV Queen title to Tavia Yeung, and the Popularity award to Kate Tsui. In the JSG Awards, only one of her songs was given a small award. As a “biological daughter” (of TVB), how do you feel about it?

“Very disappointed! Why is it that I’m the only one without any awards? Am I really that worthless?” Linda sounded discouraged as she lamented about the results.

I told her, why not learn from former rumoured boyfriend Raymond Lam and keep your attitude up because not all is lost!

“I don’t see any purpose in kicking up a fuss.”

With her power to not give in to setbacks, nor being a yes-man, even I, not to mention all the men, am completely charmed by her!

Am I really that worthless?

“Biological daughter” Linda Chung has only won one award from her company – The Most Improved Actress award.

“Those girls who started out with me have already won “My Favorite Actress” awards – I’m the only one who hasn’t. I don’t know why?!”

I really feel that it’s so unfair for her to have put in so much effort in her work all these years, obeying orders meekly, and yet not yield any results!

When she mentioned those who had started out in the industry with her, she was referring to Tavia Yeung, Fala Chen, Kate Tsui, Myolie Wu and Charmaine Sheh. Charmaine has long been propelled to the top, and it remains a struggle for the remaining 5.

“I am a passive person, and fear being eliminated. I always ask myself, am I not pushing for it hard enough? Am I incapable? I’m afraid I’m not doing enough.”

How can it not be enough? Having accumulated accolades little by little for the past few years, naturally she would have amassed a lot by now. Earlier, she bought a house in Canada. With money, one’s reputation will definitely go up. In 2011, she initially stood a very high chance.

“Yes Sir Sorry Sir had a very good response, and the reporters and directors were all saying that the TV Queen title was surely mine! But who knew, on the awards day, the emcee didn’t even mention my name at all! I was thinking, why is it so weird?” And true enough, all was lost.

“I was very disappointed! I kept asking myself, what exactly did I do wrong? Am I really that inadequate (in acting)?” Quietly, she revealed what was in her heart.

There have been rumours that Linda was tricked by her company into signing a very long contract, and since they had a contractual hold over her, she was obliged to work without asking for any awards. “It’s not very long; it’ll end when I’m 33 years old.” Despite being disappointed, she still supports her company and insists that they treat her well. “When the company trains an artiste, it isn’t something that is done within a few years. Ah Yee (Tavia) worked for 14 years before winning the TV Queen title; and Myolie, for 12 years. I’ve only been in the industry for 8 years – how can I even compare? Having a path that is too smooth will spoil a person. My life is such! When I was running for pageant, not many people noticed me. At the end, I don’t know why I suddenly got famous. I sincerely am proud of Ms. Lok, after all, there aren’t that many people who can truly understand their artistes.”

Finally learnt to let go

Fame and fortune are the most realistic dreams, but as one grows older, one becomes more mature in one’s thoughts. There will be changes in one’s values, and in the recent years, Linda has slowly learnt to let go.

Four years ago, after enduring three months of insomnia, her stress levels were sky-high. “Before I entered the industry, I was a very simple girl. My friends in Vancouver told me that I had to stop being a “little girl” once I went over to Hong Kong to live, if not, I would definitely get bullied. The entertainment industry is one big pot of dye – I had to protect myself (from getting “dyed”), and had to behave like an adult every day.”

"Initially, when I had to appear for functions and face the media, I gave very “official” and politically correct answers, in fear of being laughed at as being “stupid”. When I started acting in dramas, I didn’t understand the script. I was scared of people laughing at me, so every night I would use my webcam or call my friends to ask for help. My dad, who was so far away, would read each individual word in my script and teach me the tones from scratch. The Legend of the Demigods was my first leading role and I could not screw up. I would force myself to eliminate my “slang” in my speech, and had to train myself to cry or laugh on cue. In the middle of filming the series, I lost control and started wailing. From that incident, I learnt that it was extremely painful to intentionally force myself this way."

Another incident that made her want to change her way of thinking was when she read of a case in the newspapers, where a stepfather hacked his stepdaughter and threw her into the sea. “That girl was really good in her studies, but little did we know that she had such a complicated background. This whole incident really shook and woke me up.”

“After I entered the industry, all I was busy with was earning money and I only cared if I was pretty or not. Actually, life is so fragile. I finally learnt to let go and just live a happy life instead of magnifying every little problem.”

Now, after working so hard, she takes a break every year in April and goes back to Canada to rest and recharge. At the same time, she visits her family and spends time with them. During this time, her mood naturally improves too.

Linda’s tips

Q: You’re always filming overnight – how do you take care of your skin?
A: I take Chinese medicine: by mixing Ginseng, Cordyceps powder and water. It works pretty well.

Q: Where’s your favorite place to go clothes shopping?
A: Online. I frequently go to and – I don’t have to be afraid of wearing matching clothes with anybody else. The scariest time was once when I just bought and bought, and soon I had amassed a bill of 30,000 HKD!

From the time she entered the industry till now, with so much stress and no awards, and putting in so much for so many years, how could she have not thought of throwing in the towel? How could she not have thought of acting on the impulse?

Especially when Linda describes herself, ”I am a person who solves my problems based on my mood.” Is this someone with a low EQ? Doesn’t seem so! So how? “When I encounter anything, even if it’s merely being afraid or unhappy, I really need someone who knows how to help me to analyze the situation and teach me how to rationally solve the problem with my head, not my heart.”

“In these years, I’ve met this person and he truly is a very good listener.”

After being so straightforward, surely she isn’t forcing me to say Philip Ng’s name out loud, is she? The moment she heard his name, she sweetly said, “I’m very easy to please. Just cook me a meal when you’re free – that’ll do.”

“The most romantic time was when that person cooked a full meal for me from scratch – from the main dish, to drinks, fruits and dessert, single-handedly. Plus, it was my favorite ketchup spaghetti.”

“In this industry, there are many sacrifices to be made and artistes have very little time to invest into a relationship. I just need a very simple relationship, just like Kelly Chen, where she is successful in her career but also has a healthy romantic relationship. One can never finish earning money – once I attain success in my career, naturally I will spend more time concentrating on setting up my family.” Career success – possibly means winning an award! If, going accordingly to the fact that her contract will end when she’s 33 years old, the closer her contract is to expiring, the greater her ability to win an award will be. So logically speaking, Mr Ng will have to wait another two years or so.


Earlier, the name “Linda BB” just started appearing for no reason and I thought this had to be due to the many male fans she has.

Today, the lady in question has seriously and clearly explained that “the name Linda BB emerged from an Apple Daily report. At that time, I really felt like puking when I heard that name!” But after seeing that this mushy nickname brought her many fans, and people’s recognition of her increased, it made her feel better.

Are you afraid of being typecast as a goodie-two-shoes?

“As an artiste, one must be amiable. On the day where I play an antagonist or a handicapped person and people still calls me “BB”, that’s when it shows that I’m ready to obtain the TV Queen award!”

I never thought that, to Linda Chung, awards are such a great burden.


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