Part 4: Interview with Lawrence Ng
Original article published 2/27/2011
Source: Oriental Daily
Translated by: llwy12
Picture credits as listed
Lawrence Ng reveals that Tony Leung is good at ‘stealing hearts’
Nicknamed ‘young master’ by his former classmates, actor Lawrence Ng reveals that 28 years ago, while studying in TVB’s 12th Acting Class, he had a crush on Margie Tsang (nicknamed ‘little miss’ by her classmates). In terms of ‘background’, it’s logical to think that ‘young master’ and ‘little miss’ would be a ‘perfect match’— but it was not meant to be, since ‘young master’ encountered too strong of a rival. During a recent interview with ‘woman of his dreams’ Margie Tsang, Lawrence takes the opportunity to ‘reveal’ that back during their Acting Class days, Margie was already dating senior acting class ‘brother’ Tony Leung!
M = Margie Tsang
L = Lawrence Ng
M: Brother Lawrence…..how are you! (shakes his hand)
L: Wow, shaking hands!? You just wanted to seize the opportunity to touch my hand, huh?
M: Haha…I haven’t ‘touched’ your hand in 28 years…feels a little bit ‘rough’ if you ask me! My deepest impression of you is that you’re such a ‘cool’ actor. I still remember one of the performances you did during class – you walked in, dug a piece of paper out of your pants pocket, ripped the paper to shreds, threw the pieces down, and left – wow, you performed so fast that I didn’t even know what that scene was supposed to be about! It was probably less than a minute. At that time, I felt that you were so cool (and also a bit arrogant), but a lot of girls liked you. In fact, you were very popular among our female classmates – even I admired you a lot!
L: Well, if you talk about ‘handsome’, I can’t compare to the others – at the time, there was Wong Wai Leung [did not enter the industry] and also Michael [Tao] – plus I was too skinny! Even though I never had much to say, I got along quite well with the other classmates – I remember how all the male classmates would get together and talk about pursuing the female classmates…not only that, but we would help each other lie…a few of the guys were ‘players’ – they would have one girlfriend in the morning and by afternoon, they already had a different one…of course I am not going to reveal any names…..
M: It was very strict at that time – students from the same class were not allowed to date.
L: You had nothing to worry about, since you were already dating one of the senior apprentice brothers from the previous class [takes the opportunity to reveal that Margie and Tony were dating at that time]
M: That’s why we had to be so secretive about it [a bit embarrassed]
L: You thought that it was a secret, but actually everyone knew about it.
M: You didn’t ‘eye’ other female classmates?
L: At that time, you were the prettiest one in the class, but already ‘belonged’ to our senior brother [Tony Leung]. In terms of the others….well, Sandra [Ng] was a bit crazy, so definitely was not the type I would pursue…as for Carina [Lau] – she was also one of the prettier girls and definitely had the best figure, but I felt that she had too much of the ‘China girl’ feel (perhaps not too intelligent)….and Kiki [Sheung] – well, she was the ‘big sister’!
M: Really? [surprised at ‘discovering’ such a big secret, but happy at the same time] It took me 28 years to find out this secret!
M: You must be in the happiest phase of your life right now, with a wife and a daughter? See, look at you – as soon as I mention your daughter, your ‘benevolent father’ look comes out!
L: I admit that this is definitely the happiest stage of my life right now! But I wouldn’t really consider myself a ‘benevolent father’ – I sometimes take on both the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ role and discipline my daughter when I need to. To tell you the truth, I’ve always desired a warm, loving family ever since I was little, so when my daughter was born, my mentality definitely changed – now, before I do anything, I think about my daughter first and put her needs in front of all else. I’ve heard people say that having children is a burden for life, but I have to disagree – I actually feel that it’s very sweet!
M: Do you plan on going for a son?
L: Thinking about it. As parents, it’s necessary to take the time to be with our children…my wife is considering it as well…it’s definitely a possibility.
M: Do you want your daughter to enter the [entertainment] industry in the future? You and your wife met on the set while filming, so if your daughter is in the industry as well, then your whole family would be ‘fated’ for the industry.
L: I actually wouldn’t want my daughter to enter the industry, but I will leave it up to her to decide in the future.
M: Were you the one who pursued your wife? The reason I ask is because you give me that ‘big man’ [male chauvinist] feeling?
L: Of course I was the one who pursued her! But I’m really not a ‘male chauvinist’ – in fact, I’m the one accommodating others a lot of the time! In the past, I did have a bad temper, but as I grew older, my temper has gotten much better – perhaps because I matured, I changed….in life, it’s impossible for a person to not change even a little bit!
M: Those who are by your side right now are the most fortunate, since they don’t have to endure your temper…hahaha!
L: Not entirely! Hahaha…I hope that everyone [all his classmates] has a pleasant life right now and I hope that we are able to get together even more. It would be great if all of us had the opportunity to collaborate, as each of us has box office value – I don’t mind playing the villain if necessary – hopefully there’s a ‘boss’ out there who would support us!
M: We dont collaborate very often I remember we only collaborated one time, on Taiwan series "俠義見青天" [TN: not 100% sure on the English name of this series, but Ive seen it translated as "The Bold and The Chivalrous"]….I played the role of a blind girl and you were the guy who raped me!
L: After graduating from acting class, I was an ‘extra’ for 2 years but didn’t have many other opportunities, so I thought about going back to England to continue my studies. At that time, I didn’t even get to play villain roles – it was basically just bit parts…it was definitely discouraging. Later on, I get the chance to film the series "The Other Side of the Horizon" -- I played a villain, but at least I was the second male lead and therefore had a lot of lines…it was a pretty good opportunity! Of course, afterwards I started getting better opportunities, such as the "Healing Hands" trilogy, "Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre 2000", etc. The "Healing Hands" series was definitely my representative work!
M: "Healing Hands" was definitely your ‘turning point’! A lot of people still think of you as a doctor and you definitely look like one (my entire family consists of doctors) – with such a good image, there must have been a lot of girls who fell for you! Haha!
L: Yes, there were some people who really thought I was a doctor! I was filming a commercial for a particular hospital in mainland China and the boss told me that someone actually called asking for ‘Dr Paul Ching (Tsi-Mei)’ [Lawrence’s character in the "Healing Hands" series]! This proves that the character had a deep impression in the hearts of the audiences.
To be honest, in the past, I played villain roles for many years and never once was I happy. Throughout all the years I’ve been in the industry, I feel that I had more low points in my career than high points – I was pretty much doing things for money rather than going by my own will. For instance, when we filmed that Taiwan series and had to do that rape scene – I really didn’t want to do it. The director who asked me to film the series told me at first that the role would not be a villain, but then when I was in the make-up room putting on the costume and he gave me the script, I realized the character was actually a villain that does bad things to you [Margie] – plus the rape scene was in there. At the time, I told the director that I didn’t want to film it and wanted to leave, but he kept on insisting that they were in a hurry to wrap filming….not sure why I always encounter those types of situations.
M: You would always easily agree to things in the past?
L: When I collaborated with that particular director and crew on a movie, it was actually a good experience. After that, he asked if I would film a romantic movie that he was working on – of course I said yes, since we had a good collaboration before….but then I discovered that it was actually an ‘adult’ movie – I told him that I refuse to film those types of movies, but then I was threatened with ‘If you don’t want to film it, then pay 20 million HKD in compensation!’
M: Oh, I didn’t know about all that behind-the-scenes stuff….when I was filming that series with you, all I knew was that you were not very happy.
L: When I watch any type of performance, I’m often very engrossed in it – for instance, I was watching my idol Chow Yun Fat’s movie and absolutely hated the guy that kept doing bad things to him, even though I didn’t even know the guy’s name (and don’t need to know) – that’s how fans are and I understand it. But when I’m in that same position and become the ‘no-name’ villain, of course I’m not happy! In the past, I really did not put much heart into doing those villain roles, plus there would be people who would curse at me in the street. Obviously, things are different now – just look at Nick Cheung – he won 7 Best Actor awards for his villain role!
Lawrence lives with his family in Beijing now, but since he promised his good friend Margie that he would do this interview, he especially arranged to fly to Hong Kong to sit with her for the interview, which moved Margie greatly. It’s no wonder that Margie had such a deep impression of Lawrence and the fun they had together.
During the interview, Margie also reveals why Lawrence is truly fitting of his ‘young master’ nickname….
M: I remember one situation back in the day when you wore a pair of contact lenses to class, but when one of the lenses fell out, you asked all of us to help look for it. Honestly, how do you expect us to find it? They’re contact lenses after all, and are meant to be ‘invisible’! Of course, we weren’t able to find it, so you got upset and left without even going to class! The next day, when you came to class, you told us that the ‘missing’ lense was actually in your eye the entire time (it had slipped up into your eyeball)!
There was another situation when all of us were going to take the bus across the harbor, but you said to take a taxi instead…of course we didn’t want to, since it’s so expensive. The entire trip, you kept nagging about it and finally when the bus reached Lockhart Street, you pressed the bell to get off the bus…we were all shocked! From that time on, we gave you the nickname ‘Stop at Lockhart please’!
Laughing, Lawrence replied to Margie’s ‘accusations’: By saying that, are you trying to say that I have a bad temper? When I was young, it’s quite true that I had a bad temper, but doesn’t have anything to do with having a ‘young master’ temper. When I was studying in England, it was a difficult period and I got taken advantage of a lot – definitely not the easy overseas student life!
場地：the mira HONGKONG