Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tianjin Web’s Interview with Jacky Cheung: “I'm not in a hurry to earn daughters’ dowries”

Here's an awesome interview that Jacky did with Tianjin web's reporters after his HK concert!


Original article posted 05/21/2011
Translated by: llwy12

Source: Tianjin Web

After completing the 20 show Hong Kong leg of his ½ Century World Tour concert at the HK Coliseum, God of Songs Jacky Cheung granted a rare interview with our reporter backstage, during which he talked about various topics that audiences have been interested in as of late, including his income, his family, and his feelings on his concert performances so far. As far as facing the upcoming ‘milestone’ of his 50th birthday, Jacky made the following birthday wishes: “The world is getting smaller and smaller, so I hope that there won’t be anymore wars or nuclear leaks….also hope that our children can grow up in a healthy environment.” At the same time, Jacky also expressed that he looks forward to returning to his hometown of Tianjin this year and performing for his fans there.

R = Reporter
J = Jacky Cheung

Income: “The amount I make for myself is very little”

R: Let’s start with a somewhat sensitive topic – everyone is very interested in the income that you are getting from each concert performance. An ‘industry insider’ revealed that on average, you receive 1 million HKD for each show, which would come out to a ‘rough estimate’ of 100 million HKD this year alone. Is that true?

J: Wow, if that were true, wouldn’t I be lucky! With regard to the income, I have not calculated it and I don’t even think about it. People only know the overall numbers related to the concert as a whole, but there are a lot of things involved in that ‘number’, such as manager’s commission, production expenses, team expenses, the huge travel expenses, etc. – at the end of it all, the actual amount that I make is very little.

R: Is it enough to cover the money you lost a couple years ago in the Lehman Brothers fiasco?

J: That investment failure occurred a long time ago – the money lost in the Lehman Brothers incident was hard-earned money and I’m honestly not sure when I will be able to earn it back. But now that doesn’t matter to me anymore because I’m in a comfortable spot where I’m not in need financially. The reason why I decided to do another World Tour is because I felt it was the appropriate time to do so. I’m not in a hurry to earn my daughters’ dowries – in fact, I believe that they should earn it themselves based on their own efforts. The most important thing is that I am able to give them a good learning environment and quality of life in their childhood.

R: The most ‘stunning’ part about your concert performance this time around is definitely the ‘splits’ that you do every show. In addition, your dance moves have received a lot of praises from the audience. Can you reveal a little bit about the physical regimen you went through to get to that point?

J: I’ve always had the habit of stretching and exercising, but getting to the point of doing ‘splits’ involved a lot of daily effort. Not sure if anyone noticed one particular small detail – in the past, my left leg would touch the floor first, but now, it’s my right leg. The first couple years when I entered the industry, I would feel depressed and worried about not really knowing how to dance, but now, through years of hard work, I don’t have to worry anymore. I believe that everyone is satisfied with my dance moves now, right?

R: Each show on your concert tour is approximately 3 hours and with an estimate of over 100 shows in a year, how do you maintain your voice?

J: A lot of people are interested in knowing this, but to tell you the truth – I really don’t have any special methods of protecting my voice. Compared to before, I now have a better understanding of the proper way to speak and control my voice so as not to damage it. In the past, accepting interviews after a concert performance would be very strenuous for me, but now, I can more easily do interviews – even at 50 years old, it is easier for me to handle.

R: Out of the entire show, what made you most nervous? Hitting the high notes? The complicated stage? Or perhaps having to act and sing at the same time?

J: It may be surprising, but I’m naturally afraid of heights, so I’m most nervous performing on very high platforms, especially moving ones. The stage for the HK Coliseum shows was at least 10 meters higher than the ones I’ve been performing on in Mainland China – I had never performed on such a high stage in my life.

Family: So touched by mother’s attendance that he forgot lyrics

R: For your concert, the organizers created a short animated feature that primarily recapped your childhood and young adult life. Have you seen it already? Is it pretty close to your childhood in real life?

J: It’s pretty much the same – the only difference is that the kid in the animated film is more handsome than me! I was very mischievious when I was a youth and did a lot of ‘bad’ things that I was a bit nervous about including in the film. The ‘bad’ thing that I did most often in my childhood was ‘stealing’ things – one time, I was standing in front of a fruit stall and spotted some lychees that looked really good, but before I had a chance to even reach out my hand, the owner of the fruit stall looked at me sharply and yelled in a loud voice: ‘What? You trying to steal something?’ I broke out in a sweat and immediately ran away.

R: Do your wife [May Lo] and 2 daughters purposefully go and watch your concert?

J: My wife only watched 1 show and it’s enough for her – my daughters watched 2 ½ shows. When I’m on stage and see my wife and daughters in the audience, I’m not nervous at all, but my mother is a different story. The week before Mother’s Day, my mom came to watch one of my shows and I was a bit nervous -- when I was singing "Just Want to Go Away With You Forever", I saw her in the audience and blew her a kiss. After that, my mind suddenly went blank and I had to re-sing the song again – with my familiarity of that song, it’s impossible for me to forget the lyrics to it, yet it happened!

R: With regard to the short film that played during the first half of the concert which featured a love story with you and Shu Qi as well as a few intimate scenes, was your wife upset?

J: That’s all acting! My wife is an actress herself, so she is able to understand it. My family life is of the utmost importance to me – I would not have been able to get to where I am today without the support of my mother, my wife, and my daughters.

Performance: Does not mind Nicholas Tse winning the award

R: Because of your concert, you were not able to attend the HK Film Awards ceremony this year. Any regrets about it?

J: Singing is my life – unless one day I am no longer able to sing, otherwise it will always be my most important career.

R: You were nominated for Best Actor with the film "Crossing Hennessy", but in the end lost to Nicholas Tse. Any sadness?

J: I’ve mostly been busy with my concert, so did not have a chance to watch all the nominated films. To be very honest, my character in "Crossing Hennessy" was very plain and did not stand out much, so to be nominated for it is already very good. Even though a lot of people said that Nicholas Tse beat out 4 ‘seniors’ for the award, but I feel that learning does not differentiate between seniors and juniors!

R: You already have the ‘God of Songs’ title – will ‘Best Actor’ be the next ultimate goal?

J: Acting requires a lot of time to fine-tune and my time is very tight. I don’t dare to plan what may happen in the future – to decide to do a film, it depends on fate, the character, how I’m feeling at that moment, etc.

R: Even though you say that you don’t have natural talent for acting, but you still gave a very relaxed, natural performance in the short film featured in your concert. How did you decide to invite Shu Qi and director Andrew Lau to participate in your concert?

J: Thanks for your acknowledgment! In my youth, I had a certain energy and vigor when it came to pursuing acting, but now it’s different – I’m already a ‘half century person’! Andrew Lau is a good friend of mine and when I decided I wanted to incorporate a short film in my concert, Andrew was the first person I called. At the time, Andrew was filming "A Beautiful Life" and when he found out that I had not yet thought about who the female lead would be in the short film, he immediately handed the phone over to Shu Qi, who was there next to him. Right at that moment, the decision was made.

R: Both of you gave passionate and emotional performances in the short film. The scene where Shu Qi slapped you on the face alarmed a lot of your fans – was it real?

J: Shu Qi is a fan of my songs and even came to watch my concert in Shanghai. She is a good actress and to perform with her is a blessing, as she makes it easy for me to get into character. That slap on the face was real – the first time we filmed that scene, she was a bit hesitant, so the result wasn’t as good. I encouraged her to put all her energy into it and so the second time around she used a lot of force, but the result was excellent!


Original version in Chinese:


来源: 天津网-数字报刊 关键字:张学友;演唱会;女主角人选;舒淇;坏事 作者:翟翊 2011-05-21 07:42































新报记者 翟翊 文/摄


  1. Wow, the reporter got all up in his business with the first two questions. I liked his answers. Clearly, he's doing this out of love and not for the $$$!

    Over 100 shows...that's a whole lot of splits. Be careful, Jacky! LOL.

  2. @retrotvb: Absolutely! That's one (of the many) things I love about Jacky -- his sincere, real passion toward his music. Some people in the industry are just in it for the fame and fortune and don't really care about whether they produce good music or not...but Jacky is opposite -- he is very passionate about music and singing because he clearly has a love for it and as a result, he has very high standards for himself when it comes to his music -- the fame and fortune are only secondary.

    There are many examples of this attribute in him (I could surely go on for pages about it)...but just to bring up a funny one -- Jacky's friends 'complain' about going to Karaoke with him because he's very much a 'microphone-hogger' (due to his love of music and singing, he just can't seem to 'part' with the microphone -- not only that, he only sings other people's songs at KTV, never his own, which is how he gets to 'experiment' with other types of songs and genres). And notice that he is one of the few HK veteran singers who doesn't have some type of 'side business' (versus Andy and Alan who have tons of businesses, Leon who manages his own music / production company, etc.) and never will have one -- even when he gets to retirement age, he is never going to quit singing and go into a different profession because he doesn't have a passion for anything else except that craft.