Anyway, back to this interview…FOJ was definitely a classic series, right up there with DIF as one of the best series that TVB made in the 90s (in my opinion). When I first found out about this interview, I was actually hoping that it would be with more of the cast, but I guess it makes sense to have only Michael, Bobby, and Felix, since too many people would make the interview too complicated. Ah well – I guess if I want to see the entire cast again, I could always go pull out my collection of FOJ (yes, I have all 5 installments) and do a marathon rewatch (after I finish rewatching DIF again, that is! LOL!).
One quick note about the below interview – in translating it, I tried as best I could to keep the ‘flavor’ of the original interview in Chinese, though it was a bit difficult considering there was a lot of Cantonese slang that just doesn’t sound the same when translated into English. Therefore, for those who can read Chinese (more specifically, those who can read written Cantonese), I highly recommend that you read the interview in its original language – the impact is definitely different reading it in Chinese versus English!
Lastly, I absolutely enjoyed reading this interview – as is usually the case when Bobby is involved, the interview was hilarious – in fact, I laughed so hard during the parts when Bobby and Michael were describing each other’s “embarrassing moments” that I’m still clutching my stomach even now as I write this (yup, I laughed so hard that my insides hurt…hahaha!).
Oriental Daily interview with “Files of Justice” buddies Michael Tao, Bobby AuYeung, and Felix Lok
Source: Oriental Daily
Classic TVB series Files of Justice《壹號皇庭》helped the series’ stars Michael Tao (陶大宇), Bobby AuYeung (歐陽震華), and Felix Lok (駱應鈞) become lifetime friends. When these 3 ‘buddies’ reunited again to chat about the past, laughter filled the room [throughout the interview] as they voluntarily ‘dished the dirt’ on each other. Known for always having a ‘container full of laughs’, Bobby recounted Michael’s embarrassing ‘pants falling off’ incident while Michael ‘retaliated’ by making fun of Bobby’s ‘PK accident’ – their ages added together are already close to 100 years old, yet they never get tired of poking fun at each other! As for the ‘honest and serious’ Felix, he expressed that the 3 of them reuniting again is a rare opportunity and definitely worth cherishing.
M = Michael Tao
B = Bobby Au Yeung
F = Felix Lok
M: I’ve already come up with a new ‘image’ for both of you so that when the 3 of us get together now, the ‘feel’ will be different….
B: Well, your bowtie sure matches your ‘image’ in the series, however I’m not able to find the old hairstyle I had anymore! In fact, my head seems to become more and more round with each year that passes – soon I will need to sleep upside down so that the skin on my face doesn’t fall down…hahaha!
F: It’s already been 20 years since we did Files of Justice, so for us to get together again is definitely a rare opportunity and is worth treasuring! The thing I remember the most is that when we used to film series, it always involved ‘flying papers’ [TN: ad-lib dialogue / scripts written ‘on the fly’]. But since I’m working for a new company now (CTI), I don’t have to worry about that anymore, since the company does not allow it!
Could not stop kissing Flora Chan
B: Back then, the audiences actually liked watching the scenes when us ‘brothers’ would sit around the house chatting with each other, but I personally liked to watch Michael’s kiss scenes the most! The kiss scenes that he did with Flora Chan (陳慧珊) and Jessica Hsuan (宣萱) – WOW…the kisses were so ‘noisy’ and even when the cameras were shut off, they would still be kissing!
M: Hey, I wasn’t the one who requested it! But usually, the people I kissed were very good to me – for Flora Chan, that time was actually her first on-screen kiss!
F: The two of them have more open, Westernized personalities, so they take the initiative more. But I definitely agree that the kiss scene you had with Flora was truly ‘awesome’!
M: How do you know it was ‘awesome’? Even if it was, I’m the only one who should know….hahaha!
B: Talking about kiss scenes – one time, when I filmed a kiss scene with Esther Kwan (關詠荷), I actually learned some ‘tips’ from her! I’m actually a bit shy and nervous when it comes to filming kiss scenes -- that time when I had to do a kiss scene with her, she actually started talking to me while we were in the middle of the scene…she told me not to ‘squish’ her with my face! I told her to quit talking and concentrate. Later she told me that talking while kissing makes it look more real -- sure enough, when the scene came out, the results were truly very good! Michael -- if you don’t believe it, you should try it some time!
M: No, it won’t happen…at this level, I already don’t have the courage to kiss a girl in front of the camera anymore! A quick ‘good morning’ kiss is fine, but if you asked me to do the ‘madly in love’ type kiss now…wah, so ugly!
B: There was a time when I had a passionate kiss scene with Ada Choi (蔡少芬) – I was so scared! I mean, if I had decent facial features like Michael, the kiss scene would look good, but for someone like me who has such a ‘flat’ face, as soon as my face touches the other person’s, it looks as though my entire face (eyes, nose, mouth, ears, etc.) disappears! That’s why I came up with a ‘trick’ for filming the scene, which I told Ada: “So when we actually film, I’ll just kiss your cheek and if need be, I’ll kiss your forehead as well – that should be enough.” I was surprised when she actually responded: “Aiya….I was thinking the same thing!!” Darn….
Felix Lok is more ‘fit’ than Him Law
M: Felix’s police scenes were quite exhaustive for him, as he pretty much ran around all of HK when filming the scenes where he had to investigate the cases. Luckily, Felix has a very disciplined lifestyle…back then, when I went to his home, I already saw that he had his own personal gym – even now, he has been able to keep himself physically fit, even more ‘fit’ than Him Law (羅仲謙)!
F: Back then, when filming the investigation scenes, it could take us up to 11 or 12 days to complete! Of course, we were young back then. Even now, I still try to keep up with my exercise routine, as I still need to be ‘presentable’ in front of the cameras!
M: Actually, all of us desired to look good in front of the cameras. When we filmed FOJ, I requested to change clothes for every scene and each outfit had to be a different color – all of the bowties were from my own personal collection!
B: You (points to Michael) even requested to have all your pajamas made in completely white silk – wearing them made you look like Bak Lung Wong (白龍王)! One time, when we were filming a scene on location, you had quite an embarrassing moment! I remember that day was a Sunday and we were doing a scene at Statue Square [TN: famous location in HK’s Central district] – the two of us were holding the outfits that we were supposed to use for the scene and originally, we thought about changing at the hotel nearby, but since we needed to change quickly, we figured it was best to just change in the trailer at the location. When you unbuckled your pants, you had forgotten that your wallet was in the back pocket – it weighed your pants down and as a result, your pants fell all the way down to your ankles! All the Filipino maids in the area who saw you ‘flash’ your underwear couldn’t help yelling out: “Oh! Michael….small!” I laughed so hard! I remember telling you afterwards: “Next time, make sure you buy new underwear more often -- the rubberband in that pair looks so worn out already!” Hahahahaha….!
M: Well, you also had that embarrassing moment when we were filming at the mall! We were on the escalator and because you were wearing a pair of dark sunglasses and couldn’t see where you were going, you missed a step and ‘PK’ed’ right there! Hahaha! [TN: ‘PK’ actually represents a phrase that is considered a ‘curse word’ in Cantonese slang – the tamer ‘two letter’ version is usually used to describe when someone trips and falls flat on their face].
B: And you dare to even mention it! That time, if it wasn’t for your roaring laughter when the situation occurred, it wouldn’t have caused everyone in the mall to know! Everyone looked over in our direction when they heard you laughing – it was so embarrassing!!
Close-knit brothers, friendly competition
Back then, these 3 ‘brothers’ didn’t engage in any internal fighting or backstabbing – instead, they became close-knit brothers who encouraged and motivated one another. They would even meet together after work for coffee and give each other advice on upcoming scenes.
B: Even though us brothers were a ‘playful’ bunch, when it came to work, we were quite united. Every night after we finished filming, we would go to the nearby café and talk about our scenes – everyone’s mentality was very good! At one point, I had asked producer Gary Tang (鄧特希) why he chose us second line artists to film the series – he said that if he were to choose first-line artists, most of the scenes would probably be focused only on those few artists, but if the entire cast consisted of second-line artists, then the scenes could be shared and it would create ‘friendly competition’!
F: I also discovered an interesting phenomenon – not only did we have ‘friendly competition’ as the producer predicted, there was also never any hostility between any of us and we also never fought for screentime. We were able to maintain a close friendship that didn’t change even after filming 5 installments of the series – it’s definitely very rare! If it was any other series where the cast had to be together for such a long time, arguments are bound to occur!
B: That’s why I’m really hoping that there will be more installments of FOJ in the future. Also, we should definitely arrange more get-togethers….
M: Since most of our ‘playful’ crowd have already entered different stages in life, if we were to get together again for another installment of FOJ, I believe that the producer will need to come up with a different ‘feel’ to match too in order to make it work!