Original article published 2/13/2011
Source: Oriental Daily
Translated by: llwy12
Pictures credit as listed
Sean Lau clarifies Margie Tsang’s 28 year ‘misunderstanding’
Many of HK’S best actors and actresses graduated from TVB’s 12th Acting Class – for years, these artists have been able to shine on the acting stage. One of these ‘shining stars’ is HKFA Best Actor Sean Lau – even his former classmate, actress Margie Tsang, looks up to him with a sense of reverence and awe. So this time, as Margie bravely invites Sean for an interview, she is surprisingly able to ‘melt’ Sean’s usual ‘coolness’ and get him to talk candidly about certain ‘chapters’ of his life. In the process, Margie is able to ‘dissolve’ a misunderstanding that has lasted 28 years!
M = Margie Tsang
S = Sean Lau
Acting Class: Denies being ‘cool’, sits in a corner and laughs with others
In 1982, a group of youth applied to study in the 12th Acting Class at TVB – with a little bit of that childish innocence still in them, these young potential actors love to play but also love to laugh. Throughout the years, they’ve had their fair share of funny situations as well as misunderstandings….
M: I’ve always felt that you have a very ‘cool’ personality and immersed in your own world. Our group – including Sandra [Ng], Michael [Tao], myself, and a few others – would play around and get pretty wild, but yet you would always sit in a corner.
S: Huh? I don’t feel it’s that way! Perhaps it’s because I’m afraid to be around a lot of people – but I actually do laugh with you guys while sitting in my corner! Actually, in the past, I’ve had doubts about whether I’m a good fit with this industry. Back during the acting class days when I was poorest, I only had a dollar on me, yet I didn’t want to ask my family for money, so I had no choice but to walk to and from school and live off of cup of noodles. You’ve seen for yourself how I didn’t participate in a lot of the activities back during that time.
M: Oh, no wonder! Back in the day, we had a ‘rumor’ that circulated amongst our group that you only had 1 pair of jeans that you only washed once a week, so that’s why you were embarrassed to be around us!
S: No! I actually had 3 pairs – it’s just that they were all the same style!
M: The holes were in all the same places?
S: Yes, the same! Actually, all these years, I still like the same things – even right now, most of my jeans have holes in them!
M: Hahahaha! So we ‘misunderstood’ you for 28 years then! We didn’t know you were that loyal! Back in those days, we were a pretty harmonious group and hung out together from morning till night. There were definitely a lot of happy situations!
S: Yes! Actually, I feel that I was quite playful during that time – especially when we would get together to rehearse for the anniversary galas, it was a lot of fun!
M: So back then, which of the male artists did you feel would succeed?
S: Michael [Tao] was the most carefree, plus his acting was good – if you told him to cry, he could do so immediately! Lawrence [Ng] was the good-looking one, definitely perfect for the ‘melancholy scholar’ type roles.
Opportunities: Success in television and movie based on taking the initiative
Sean has a very low-key personality, yet it’s because of the 2 times when he took the initiative and was proactive that he gained unexpected results. The first time landed him in the television industry, and the second time allowed him to break into movies.
M: Back in the days, why did you decide to enter the acting class?
S: Actually, my dad was the one who told me to apply. After the interview, I didn’t hear back for a long time – I thought to myself that there’s no reason why I wouldn’t be accepted into the class, so I bravely called to ask about it. That’s when I found out that they lost my application – plus that day was the deadline, so I rushed over there with my dad and we made it just in time.
M: Wow, luckily you made that phone call – sometimes, things are just meant to be! So later on, how did you end up entering the film industry?
S: There wasn’t a particular reason, I just felt that it was the right time, but unfortunately, I didn’t have any connections in the film industry at the time. Later on, I met director Derek Yee and he told me about the script that he wrote for the movie "C’est La Vie, Mon Cheri". I immediately recommended myself for the movie, but he didn’t promise me anything – shortly after that, TV series "The Greed of Man" aired on TVB and when Derek saw it, he felt that I had potential, so he sought me out to collaborate in his movie.
M: Oh, so it sounds like you got pretty lucky…as soon as you open your mouth, you get good opportunities! So what is your opinion on the TV series made nowadays?
S: Primarily, technique and equipment has advanced a lot. Actually, I’ve been ‘chasing’ "No Regrets" recently, as I am a fan of Wayne Lai!
M: Back in our time, we actually collaborated in quite a few series. I remember when we were filming <
S: You still feel so touched even now? You’re so silly!
M: Well, the character was likable, as it gave audiences the impression that you are a good man. By the way, I know a lot of people who really like you – since you’re not good-looking, perhaps they are attracted to your personality?
S: They probably just like the characters I play! Luckily, most of my roles have been favorable with audiences. Several years ago, the night I won the Best Actor award at HKFA, I heard a lot of applause from the audience, which surprised me a bit. I’ve ‘pretended’ to receive awards in movies, but when it’s the real thing, it’s definitely different! I was very touched! Afterwards, I was at the market and a husband/wife couple came up to me – they were crying and told me how happy they were for me. I was very surprised and moved!
Relationship: Tries to surprise his wife, but she always sees through it
Sean is rarely associated with any rumors or gossip – in fact, he and his wife Amy Kwok are known as a model couple in the entertainment industry. Sean admits that he is not romantic and on the occasion when he tries to ‘surprise’ his wife, she always manages to see through it.
M: That night, at Kiki’s wedding banquet, I saw the expression in Amy’s eyes when she looked at you – I could tell that she is so in love with you! Are you her idol?
S: (Laughing) Hahaha! Her eyes are like that, it always looks like she’s smiling! As for me, I have that mean look…but honestly, since I see her every day, I don’t notice anything special.
M: Have there been times when the two of you would get together and it seems like there is nothing to talk about?
S: Occasionally, but we’ve been married for more than 10 years already – after such a long time, it’s normal!
M: Have you ever wished that your wife wasn’t part of the industry?
S: Never thought about it. It’s her personal decision…to be honest though, she really has sacrificed a lot because of me.
M: How do you two celebrate during the holidays and such?
S: We don’t celebrate any holidays. Occasionally, on our wedding anniversary, we may have a little bit of celebration – I usually give her flowers.
M: What was your most romantic move?
S: None really, since it’s very hard to give Amy a surprise. I remember one time, the day before our wedding anniversary, right when I was about to go out, she asked me if I remembered to take the address with me. I asked her what address? She immediately handed me the business card to a flower shop – obviously, she saw right through it already. I guess the ‘biggest’ surprise would be giving her a ring or some jewelry for our anniversary.
M: Do you give all the money you earn to your wife?
S: I give it all to her to manage for me. I’m too lazy to read all those letters written in English – it’s too much hassle to look up each word in the dictionary.
M: You two have decided not to have any children?
S: Pretty much. Haven’t really thought about it much.
M: I agree. Pregnancy is already not an easy feat, but having to raise a child is even more difficult…it’s a lifetime commitment.
S: That’s why I just play with other people’s babies. Those parents actually envy how we still have our freedom!
Epilogue: Afraid of being tortured, so not used to granting interviews
Generally speaking, Sean Lau is a man of few words, yet this time around, when he recounts the ‘old days’, he talks non-stop. He explains the reason why he rarely accepts interviews: “It’s difficult to talk about the same feelings over and over again.” Upon hearing this, Margie felt so honored and excited that Sean decided to let her interview him, she kept ‘teasing’ him playfully, causing Sean to laugh and say to her: “I grant an interview and you torture me like this! Now you know why I don’t like to do interviews!” Old friends getting together to reminisce about the past, of course there will be endless topics to talk – and laugh – about!