Here's another great interview from Mingpao (I'm a huge fan of their interviews!)...I actually translated this interview a few days ago for AF and figured I'd post it here as well.
It's been awhile since I've heard anything about Nnadia Chan, since she pretty much left the HK entertainment industry. And from the looks of it, she isn't going to be returning to the industry any time soon -- therefore, interviews such as this one will probably be few and far between.
Not sure how many people reading this are Nnadia fans (I have to admit that I'm not a fan, but I really like Nnadia as an actress and a singer), but regardless, I'm sure that you will enjoy this article. The message it conveys is a very positive one as well (one that everyone can learn from)!
Mingpao Interview: Nnadia Chan forgives and forgets
Source: HKChannel (Original source: MingPao)
Many years ago, Nnadia Chan sang a children’s song called《烏卒卒》[loosely translated as ‘Dark’], which became so popular that it was known and sung by everyone ‘from the streets to the alleys’. She had also participated in many of TVB’s ‘classic’ series such as《Songbird》, 《Instinct》,《Cold Blood Warm Heart》, etc. in which she got the chance to collaborate with such ‘cool’ guys as Leon Lai, Ekin Cheng, and Louis Koo, and also became one of TVB’s fa dans. Behind all the fame and fortune however, Nnadia had to endure some painful experiences: she once ran away from home and broke off all relations with her family for 20 years, plus her relationship with her former manager ended unhappily due to a misunderstanding – within a day, she was left to fend for herself, with barely a penny to her name. Despite going through so many peaks and valleys in her life, Nnadia continued to hold steadfastly to her belief in the ‘2Fs’ – Forgive and Forget – believing that as long as one is alive, there is always a chance to start over again. In the end, she was able to achieve this – not only had she made amends with her family and now has a great relationship with them, but she is currently a happy housewife, as she recently revealed that she married Mainland actor Zhang Duo and the couple are living a wonderful life together.
In recent years, Nnadia has virtually disappeared from the Hong Kong entertainment industry; even in the Mainland, she is barely seen in any recent series – her last Mainland series was 2008’s 《Single Mother》. Recently, Nnadia returned to HK and while attending the Book Fair in July, she announced that she and her boyfriend, Mainland actor Zhang Duo, married already and so she is officially ‘Mrs. Zhang’. In addition, she has agreed to film the new ICAC series for RTHK,《ICAC 2011》, in which she will participate in one story. Nnadia expressed: “The main reason for my return to HK this time around is to oversee the remodeling of my mother’s house and also to sort out my massive book collection; because of the huge number of books, there is no way to ship them to the Mainland, so I decided to donate most of them to the library. I also checked my emails online and discovered that a lot of people had contacted me, including RTHK. Apparently, ICAC had chosen me for an upcoming collaboration and I also was interested in the role, so the agreement was made almost immediately. Actually, I’ve been wanting to give back to society for quite some time, so this is a great opportunity to do so.”
In between a foolish person and a nice person
Nnadia has high praises for the ICAC, saying that the bureau is one of the most righteous agencies in government. Asked whether she had ever encountered a situation involving corruption in real life, Nnadia replied: “I never encountered a real corruption situation, but I’ve seen people give small gifts – in my opinion, that’s not considered bribery, but just a normal human act, usually as an expression of gratitude…the most important thing is that it doesn’t cross the line. It’s just like in life, when people take things to the extreme – helping someone too much can lead to spoiling that person, while reprimanding too much could push the person over the edge. In all matters, it’s necessary to find the proper balance – I’m actually still learning this right now, don’t know if it’s too late.” (Could it be that you are relating your own experience of helping someone to the point of spoiling them?) Nnadia responded: “Of course I’ve experienced it, which is why I would think that way. Actually, all along, my personality has always been one that is very tolerant and forgiving of others, to the point that I can’t even tell whether I’ve become a foolish person or an extremely nice person – I feel that I’m probably somewhere in between.” (Are you referring to your former manager?) “I’m just relating experiences that I’ve had, it doesn’t matter whether it was with my former manager or with someone I may encounter again in the future – what has happened is already in the past.”
Fell painfully, picked herself up quickly
With regard to the breaking off of her relationship with her former manager, it had actually resulted in Nnadia losing all of the money that she had put in much ‘blood and sweat’ to earn during her 20 years in the entertainment industry. Despite such a huge setback, Nnadia did not give up and instead, bravely picked herself back up again and continued to persevere. Her actions set a great example for today’s youth and demonstrate that in the face of defeat and despair, don’t give up easily.
Nnadia expressed: “During that time, I held onto my belief in the ‘2Fs’ -- no, not curse words, but rather the words Forgive and Forget. I chose to forgive the person and also forget the bad experience – as long as I’m still alive, there is no doubt that I will be able to start over again, plus when I came into this world, I had nothing anyway.” Nnadia also revealed that back when she first entered the industry, she was still a student, so she would bring her homework with her on the set – having to balance school and work was no easy task: “I understand that sometimes, one’s dream can be in conflict with real life. My advice to the younger generation is to not give up on education so easily. If there is financial burden, then work part time while continuing to go to school – in fact, that’s how my sister completed her Masters program. Sometimes, no matter how difficult it may seem, if you are able to properly manage your time, it’s definitely possible to accomplish.”
For now, no plans for a baby
Nnadia admits that she is very much enjoying her current life with her husband and the couple mutually decided that they do not want to have children as of yet. “Currently, we are not concerned about carrying on the family name. My parents were never rich and had to work hard for most of their lives to raise their children. It’s the same for many parents – they have to make so many sacrifices and take on a lot of responsibility for their children, so having children is not an easy decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. For us, another reason we chose to put off having kids is because I want to spend more time with my mother and properly handle the issues in my family. That’s why I say that after getting married, I sometimes feel like a ‘social worker’, since I seem to be resolving family issues most of the time. Actually, my family definitely needs someone to handle various issues that occur – if a small issue isn’t taken care of, it could quickly escalate into a big issue. Every family has their own share of difficulties and problems, but no matter how hard it may be to handle, it’s still necessary to face it head on.”
Ran away from home, broke off ties for 20 years
During the interview, Nnadia revealed that she had run away from home many years ago and as a result, was not in contact with her family for 20 years. It wasn’t until Nnadia bumped into her younger sister on the streets of Central District one day while she was filming a series that her relationship with her family started to change. In the end, she was reunited with her family and the misunderstandings they had eventually dissolved with age. Nnadia indicates that currently, she has a very close relationship with her family: “Whether it’s members of my own family or other people, I’ve developed better understanding of them and wholeheartedly want to be involved in resolving issues. In reality, sometimes the smallest issue could be of the utmost importance and many small issues added together could become a big issue. Actually, the concept of being the primary problem solver in the family is not difficult to learn, but you need to understand your own abilities and see if you’re capable of handling it – otherwise, you could potentially create even more problems and the relationship could get worse instead of better. When I say ‘ability’, I’m referring primarily to the ‘time’ factor – some issues can’t be resolved in 1 day or even 1 week – even if it takes a few months or a few years to resolve, you have to be willing to invest the time and face the situation as a family. If your family happens to be elsewhere, in another country for example, then constant communication via phone is necessary.” Nnadia indicated that she sets aside 1 day every week as family day, also called ‘settling accounts day’, during which each member of her family spends time together talking and communicating honestly with one another.
Her husband is her ‘third eye’
Nnadia admits that her personality is still the same as before and hasn’t changed much despite everything she has experienced. She deeply believes that her personality will never change, so all she can do is constantly learn and improve: “In my heart, I try to keep a ‘scale’ that helps me measure whether things are fair or not – the most important thing is making sure that there is fairness. I’m very open to advice from my husband Zhang Duo as well as other people – my husband is actually a lot more rational than I am, probably because he has been very independent since he was young; therefore, I listen to his advice very objectively and with an open mind. He is my ‘third eye’, as he is very thorough when it comes to weighing the pros and cons of a situation.
Her most unforgettable pain
Nnadia reveals that the situation that has affected and changed her life the most is losing both her father and grandfather within 2 years of each other. Watching both of them struggle so hard to stay live is something that she will never forget: “Compared to everything I experienced in the past, none of it mattered anymore! Watching your loved ones leave you and realizing that there was still so much that you hadn’t done for them yet and so many things you haven’t told them – it’s difficult to find words to describe that type of feeling, especially knowing that you can’t make up for those lost times! That’s why now, I don’t care about what others may think of me. For example, when I was asked about why I didn’t return to work after getting married and when I will be filming series again, my only response was to smile – because that’s my own personal issue and as long as I feel happy and am enjoying the moment, that’s all that matters.”
Talent can’t keep negative trends away
Nnadia can be considered a multi-talented artist – in addition to singing and acting in TV series, she also starred as the female lead in God of Songs Jacky Cheung’s acclaimed stage musical 《Snow Wolf Lake》, plus she has also written books and essays related to beauty and also served as the spokesperson for a beauty salon. Possessing such a perfect blend of skill and talent, it is definitely the entertainment industry’s loss that Nnadia is semi-retired from the industry and has decided not to return to filming series.
“I don’t have plans to film any more series in the near future and don’t have much interest in singing again either. Right now, I want to concentrate fully on my job as ‘social worker’ for my family. In the future, if I encounter a good script, I may consider it, but it also depends on what type of message the series intends to convey. In the current entertainment industry, I see a lot of people working hard to fulfill their dreams, but unfortunately, the atmosphere is not that good – people like me are too fragile, so it’s necessary to leave, only strong people can continue to stay.” (Is it because of the ‘leng mos’ [young models] that are causing such a negative atmosphere in the industry?) “I’m the fragile type and would probably ask them why they are like that – I also would probably tell them to put more clothes on.”
Nnadia indicated that the reason why she agreed to participate in 《ICAC 2011》was because of the opportunity to interact with the ICAC and learn more about them – plus she felt that she has reached a certain age that is suitable for the type of character that she will be portraying; in the past, most of the characters she played were ones that always needed to be ‘saved’.
Assistant director for Ekin Cheng
Throughout her career, Nnadia collaborated with many male artists – including Leon Lai, Jacky Cheung, Ekin Cheng, Julian (Chilam) Cheung, Louis Koo, Roger Kwok, Adam Cheng, etc.
“One time, I started thinking about Ekin Cheng all of a sudden, probably because I collaborated with him the most in the past. I remember back when we were filming《Instinct》, Ekin once said that he wanted to be a director and told me to be his assistant director. I believe that if he were to become a director today and asked me to be assistant director, I would help him! Back then, Ekin was always very passionate about his work, but I was never able to match his enthusiasm, as I really wanted to pursue an education. Knowing that I was more interested in school, Ekin even told me back then that I should stop filming series and go back to school, as the knowledge I would obtain is mine and is something I could always use.”
陳松伶早年憑兒歌《烏卒卒》唱到街知巷聞，演過《天涯歌女》、《笑看風雲》及《天地男兒》等無綫經典劇集，分別與黎明、鄭伊健及古天樂等型男合作過，成為當年無綫的當家花旦。可是名利雙收的背後，她亦遭遇過慘痛的經歷；曾經離家出走，與家人斷絕來往20年；與前經理人因誤會決裂，一夜之間變成身無分文。陳松伶經歷人生起跌，幸好她多年來堅守「2F」信念，即Forgive and Forget（寬恕及忘記），認為人只要有生命，總可以重新站起來。結果，她做到了，現在與家人感情要好，亦已下嫁內地藝人張鐸，過幸福生活。
松松說：「那段時間心中抱住兩個F的信念，但不是粗口，是Forgive and Forget，選擇寬恕及忘記，不要記着慘事，只要自己仍有生命、仍然健全，就一定可以重新站起來；况且，來這個世界時，亦是什麼也沒有。」松松自爆入行初期，不時帶功課到片場做，要兼顧學業及事業，甚感吃力，「生活同理想會有衝突，年輕人不要輕易放棄學業，如經濟沒能力，可以半工讀，我的妹妹也是這樣完成碩士課程，有時如何艱難都好，只要好好分配時間就可以。」