In today's issue of Mingpao Magazine, there was an 'exclusive' interview that they did with former TVB actress Flora Chan (who also happens to be one of my favorites in terms of 90s TVB actresses).
With all the rumors that had been flying around the past couple months about Flora possibly returning to TVB to film series (and many Triumph in the Skies fans holding out hope that she would return to film the sequel and collaborate with Francis Ng again), as well as all those reports about her being in financial trouble, I'm glad Flora did this particular interview to clarify everything.
Even though Flora is one of my favorite actresses, I will be one of the first ones to say that I absolutely hated her comeback series from 2009 (Suspects in Love was so horrible and boring, I didn't even bother finishing the series) -- though I actually blame TVB for it more than I blame her. With that said though, I was actually looking forward to seeing Flora on the small screen again (whether it's with TVB or another TV station doesn't matter to me), but I guess now with this interview, that's most likely not going to happen. Oh well -- I'm fine with it, since it sounds like Flora will be pursuing something that she really wants to do -- after all, acting is just a job....most important is that she's happy.
Not sure when we'll see another interview with Flora (probably not anytime soon), so I wanted to take this opportunity to wish Flora the best of luck in her future endeavors!
Mingpao Weekly Exclusive Interview: Dispelling rumors of financial hardship, Flora Chan to temporarily leave acting behind and return to school
Source: Mingpao Weekly, Issue 2276
After marrying her manager Mike Chung (鍾家鴻) in 2006 and giving birth to daughter Mira the year after that, former TVB fadan Flora Chan (陳慧珊) had reduced her workload in order to care for her family. In 2009, she returned briefly to the small screen, collaborating with actor Joe Ma (馬德鐘) on the TVB series Suspects in Love《搜下留情》, however since then, she once again ‘disappeared’ from HK audience’s TV screens. Earlier in the year, when Flora’s husband Mike filed for bankruptcy, it was reported that Flora would have to return to working as an actress in order to make money. Subsequently, various rumors started to fly around, including rumors that she had signed with Ricky Wong’s (王維基) CTI as well as the possibility that she would return to TVB to film the upcoming sequel for the series Triumph in the Skies《衝上雲霄》.
In an exclusive interview with Mingpao Weekly, Flora reveals for the first time her current financial situation and also gives insight into her life with her family. She candidly reveals that she will be leaving acting behind and instead will be returning to school: “This step [going to school] is way more important than the money I would earn through filming another series.”
The last time Flora did an interview with Mingpao was more than 2 years ago. This time around, Flora started off the interview by telling our reporter that she has already decided to temporarily leave the entertainment industry behind her and so she wasn’t sure if she’d have another opportunity to interview again: “Back when my daughter was born, I already had plans to spend the subsequent 5 years focused on raising her because the first 4 to 5 years of a child’s life is very important -- I wanted to personally be by my daughter’s side to take care of her and teach her. This past year or two, as my daughter continues to grow up, sometimes I’m not sure anymore whether I’m teaching her or she’s teaching me – more and more, I feel as though I lack the knowledge and capability to truly ‘teach’ her, so I felt it was necessary improve myself. Besides, any knowledge that I learn stays with me forever and no one can ever take that away – therefore, I’ve decided to temporarily halt all job opportunities and return to school starting in September. I’ve already been accepted into Hong Kong University and will be studying for a Masters degree in English. Even though I have not made any specific decisions on what will happen after that, there is a possibility that my time will be dedicated more to the Education field, so audiences might see even less of me.”
Feels happy to be a housewife
Towards the start of school in September, Flora expressed: “I am so excited!” Actually, Flora is already considered ‘half a Westerner’, so why the need to study English? She expressed: “From the moment I came to Hong Kong to pursue a career, I already knew that in the future, I would eventually return to the U.S., as that’s where my home is. I hope that in the future, when I return to the U.S., I’ll be able to utilize the Masters degree to pursue a teaching career. As for when I’m planning to return to the U.S., it will most likely have to wait until my daughter is in high school or college.”
In her decision to return to school, Flora expressed that in addition to getting the support of her husband, she is also grateful to TVB: “Even though I left TVB 10 years ago, I still have a contract with them – they’ve actually contacted me many times about filming another series for them, but ultimately, we haven’t been able to work out the scheduling. They actually already know that I will be returning to school for at least 2 years and so won’t be accepting any filming offers in that period of time.” (Rumors that Ricky Wong contacted you?) “If I do decide to film series again in the future, TVB will definitely be my first choice. These past 10 years, they [TVB] have been very good to me – whether from a collaboration, timing, or financial perspective, they’ve been very accommodating towards me. Therefore, I feel it’s not the right time to collaborate with other companies.” (Is it an issue with the price?) “I don’t feel that price is a main focus right now. If money was truly an issue for me, I wouldn’t choose to return to school instead of working. I want to give TVB their respect.”
For the sake of her daughter, Flora is willing to give up her career and return to school as well as became a full-time housewife – does she feel it’s worth it? “Returning to school isn’t entirely because of my daughter – it’s also for my own benefit as well to help me keep up with the times, so of course it’s worth it! Sometimes my friends would call to tell me that the Media took pictures of me taking care of my daughter, buying groceries, and doing other ‘housewife’ things -- actually, I feel that being a housewife is a very happy and blessed thing, especially knowing when I wake up every morning that my lifetime goal is to raise my daughter and give her a comfortable life. Besides, the future direction of HK movie and television productions won’t be focused on artists from my generation anyway – if something doesn’t belong to me in the first place, there’s no point in trying to fight for it. I’m more comfortable with the position I am in right now.”
Husband is 10 times stronger than her
In each path that she’s taken, Flora has always been very rational and clear about her decisions, however when her husband Mike unexpectedly announced that he was filing for bankruptcy, many people were worried about Flora’s financial situation: “In making the decision to return to school, I had already discussed it with my husband and we both agree that from a financial perspective, it won’t be a problem. After the Media photographed us buying groceries at a street market one time, stories immediately came out that we had financial problems and such. In reality, we’ve actually been doing the same thing [buying groceries at a street market] for the past 5 years already! In the future, I can show my daughter those Media reports and explain to her that in this world, there are many things that are beyond our control, so it’s better to control ourselves rather than worry about controlling others. Intelligent people will naturally be able to exercise self-control and understand how to tell the difference between what is true and what is false.” Indeed, most of the news reports surrounding Flora recently have all been related to her financial situation – towards this, Flora expressed that she doesn’t pay much attention to entertainment news anymore: “Since I don’t read those entertainment reports, a lot of times my friends are the ones who inform me about stuff. Even so, I don’t pay attention to it and I also don’t get angry or upset because I know it’s not something I’m able to control. All along, I’ve never really paid much attention to stuff going on in the entertainment industry – even back 10 years ago, I already didn’t pay attention, so of course now, when I’m already in my 40s, there’s even less need to do so. If I live to be 80, that means that I’ve already passed the midway point in my life now, so what path should I take for the second half? I want to take the ‘happy’ path and do the things that I want to do."
Towards her husband filing for bankruptcy, Flora expressed that she will support every decision her husband makes: “We are mutually supportive of each other. Why is it that I’m able to be such at peace with my life and no matter what happens, I’m able to sleep soundly every night? It’s because I have someone who is 10 times more intelligent, rational, and capable than me by my side [her husband Mike].” (Any comforting words for your husband?) “He doesn’t need it – doing my responsibilities as his wife and not nagging him about it are already sufficient. Men need their space – if he feels the need, he will talk to me about it. We often discuss many things and we don’t keep secrets from each other. Throughout the entire ordeal, I’ve been very supportive of him – he’s definitely a very strong person!”