Sunday, June 17, 2012

Oriental Daily interview with Michael Tao and Kenix Kwok: ‘Old couple’ reminisces about their past relationship

Here’s an awesome interview with one of my favorite onscreen couples from the 90s: Michael Tao and Kenix Kwok!

I actually knew about this interview for a few months already, as Michael had written about it on his Weibo a few months back (he had said he was meeting up with long-time partner Kenix for an interview with Oriental Daily). At that time though, Michael didn’t say anything about when the interview would be published (probably because he didn’t even know himself), so I pretty much would ‘stalk’ Oriental Daily’s website everyday to see if it was there (LOL…well, actually reading HK entertainment news is part of my daily routine anyway, so it’s not like it took too much additional effort). It wasn’t until last month when Michael wrote on his Weibo that the interview would be published in mid-June that I was finally able to get confirmation of the date.

Anyway, I truly truly enjoyed reading this interview! It was so great to see these 2 back together again (I was actually one of those ‘fans’ mentioned in the interview who reposted their reunion pic from Timmy’s wedding when I saw it on Weibo…hehehe) – I definitely miss them a lot! Reading this interview really makes me want to go back and re-watch the DIF trilogy all over again (for like the millionth time…LOL!).

If you’re a huge fan of DIF like I am, then this interview is a definite ‘must read’ for you!! :o)

Lastly….this interview proves that my memory isn’t as bad as I think it is (when I did my ‘classic onscreen couples’ post a few months back, I remembered thinking that Michael and Kenix had collaborated in 6 series at TVB, but for the life of me, I could only recall 5 – DIF trilogy, Shine On You, Love Bond – I had totally forgotten about Glittering Moments…). Well, since Michael and Kenix brought up their collaboration in Glittering Moments in the interview, now I know that I was right initially…haha!


Oriental Daily interview with Michael Tao and Kenix Kwok:  ‘Old couple’ reminisces about their past relationship

Source:  Oriental Daily

Translation:  llwy12

Michael Tao (陶大宇) and Kenix Kwok (郭可盈) are an onscreen ‘golden couple’ that has endured for 17 years , starting from their first collaboration in TVB’s popular trilogy Detective Investigation Files《刑事偵緝檔案》from 1995 to 1997. When ‘Ko Jit’ [Kenix’s character in DIF] bumped into ‘Dai Yung’ [Michael’s character] again a couple months ago at Timmy Hung’s (洪天明) wedding, the two of them excitedly took a picture together and uploaded it to Weibo, which triggered fans to fondly remember this ‘classic’ pairing. Recently, this ‘golden’ onscreen couple got together to talk about old times and even revealed that they back in the day, they were ‘one step away’ from developing a relationship in real life! Kenix also joked that Michael ‘lost out’ because he wasn’t proactive enough.

M = Michael Tao
K = Kenix Kwok

Reunited at wedding, their picture together is wildly circulated online

M: Seeing you again after so many years, you’re still very beautiful – I see a more mature beauty in you now! When we bumped into each other again at Timmy’s wedding, it was quite unexpected!

K: You haven’t changed a bit either – still able to laugh heartily without restraint! Actually, when I posted our photo on Weibo earlier, it was primarily because audiences requested it, then when fans started commenting and reposting, it spread like wildfire! Back when I filmed the Detective Investigation Files trilogy, I was still a newbie who didn’t know anything – that series was the turning point in my career!

M: Because you were a ‘blank page’, that’s why you were able to absorb so much! And that’s why you were able to play the character of ‘Ko Jit’ so naturally!

K: Actually, the first series of my career was Glittering Moments 《Catwalk俏佳人》, which was my first collaboration with you – I guess you could say I also gave you my ‘first time’ [filming series]! Right after that, we collaborated on the DIF trilogy – throughout most of the first installment, I was kind of dull and didn’t really know what I was doing. The second installment was actually filmed because the audiences requested it – after they watched the ending [to the first installment], a lot of audiences were upset and wrote letters to K-100 [TN: TVB’s former entertainment news program] complaining about it. For the second installment, the producer Poon Ka Tak (潘嘉德) specially designed the ending scene at the airport where, after I lose my memory, I decide to leave and then turn around and look at ‘Dai Yung’ one last time….after that last scene, a lot of audiences were very heartbroken!

M: The producer was very smart, as designing the ending that way meant that there would definitely be a third installment! But I remember that when we filmed the first few segments of the 3rd installment in Beijing, it was pretty miserable for you ….you had a bad case of diarrhea, plus the weather was also freezing – since you played 2 different characters, almost every scene required you to be in it. Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t help you!

K: The only thing that would have helped at that time was anti-diarrhea medication! I remember one morning right before we were scheduled to film an exterior scene, I had a sudden bout of diarrhea and was in the bathroom for a long time. You even knocked on the door and asked if I was ill…but, I survived it.

M: The hardship was worth it -- even now, more than a decade later, whenever I go to Mainland China to perform or film series, a lot of audiences still remember the classic pairing of ‘Dai Yung’ and ‘Ko Jit’!

Rare for a classic couple to be so compatible

K: The two of us can definitely be considered a ‘classic couple’ – you are my ‘classic’ partner! Our ‘compatibility’ wasn’t just in terms of physical appearance – to be honest, there are many physically attractive people in the industry, but to find someone who matches so well on all levels, it’s definitely rare! Our pairing was very well-received. In the beginning, I had 2 different feelings toward you – one feeling was that you were a big brother who very patiently taught me a lot of things and the other was that you were truly a big star!

M: A big star? For real? I actually felt that I was a bit dull back then!

K: Dull? How so? At that time, you were already in the industry for awhile and had lots of experience. Out of all the male actors I’ve collaborated with, you’re the one that left the deepest impression on me. I pretty much ‘grew up’ with you!

M: I had gone through the ‘blank page’ phase as well, but I have to say, Kenix, that you’re very smart and also a quick learner – you also have strong perseverance and a personality that doesn’t accept failure easily. I remember you cried in front of me before – knowing that you don’t cry easily, for you to do that, it proves that you trust me!

K: Yes! I’m actually quite stubborn too! I remember I had cried that time because I was wrongfully accused of being late – I’m the type of person who will admit if I’m wrong. After that time, our relationship took a huge step forward.

M: A lot of people ask whether we had ‘sparks’ in real life, since we spent so much time together back then.

K: Logically, we should have! Hahaha! I still remember that both of us had rumors, which wasn’t surprising since we were playing a couple onscreen, plus neither of us were married yet back then. But in the end, no ‘sparks’. For me, it was primarily because I was too focused on work at the time and most of my time was spent studying the script – I barely even had time to redo my makeup, so of course I didn’t notice the handsome guy standing next to me! Lost opportunity! I’d venture to guess that you did have fanciful thoughts about me though, right?

Went out to watch a movie, no further advancement

M: You were so young and beautiful back then, I don’t dare say I didn’t have thoughts! Perhaps because both of us were so busy, neither of us took that one step forward – it could very well have just taken that one step!

K: Yes, it just lacked that little bit….but, I recollect that the two of us did go out and watch a movie together! Back when we were filming Glittering Moments, I remember we had gone out to watch Jurassic Park together. That time, I was the one who invited you….I’m curious why you agreed to go?

M: Well, it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary to me, so I went! Watching a movie together doesn’t mean anything – after the movie, we said ‘bye’ and that was it, nothing further happened! But I do remember that back when we were filming a kitchen scene for the series Shine on You《青出於藍》, I had asked you what would’ve happened if I actually did ‘pursue’ you back during the DIF days.

K: I remember too….actually, back when we were filming DIF, you had asked me the same question, but at the time, I was already dating Frankie [Lam] and our relationship wasn’t publicly known yet. I also remember you asking me if Frankie hadn’t already appeared in my life, whether you would’ve had a chance?

M: And what was your response at the time?

K: I said: ‘I don’t know?’ But in the end, you didn’t make an attempt to pursue me, so it proves that you didn’t fight for it! You understand my personality though – we have the same strong temperament, so being together would be like Mars crashing into Earth! If we truly had been together, I believe it would not have been a happy ending!

M: For us to have such a harmonious relationship now, it proves that my decision back then [not to pursue you] was right – otherwise, we probably wouldn’t be talking to each other anymore! Now when we see each other again, we are able to think back fondly of the past and have beautiful memories of those times when we endured long filming days together and also when we accepted an award (best onscreen couple) together!


Chinese version:

陶大宇郭可盈 舊相好爆當年情



陶:陶大宇 郭:郭可盈



















陶:冇咩特別就應約啦!睇戲都唔代表咩,睇完戲就Bye Bye,冇下文!不過記得拍《青出於藍》時,一場廚房戲我曾經問你,如果我當初(指拍《刑》)「溝」你估會點呢?






  1. Oh thank you so much for such a 'classic' interview. This brings back so much fond memories for me as the audience as well. I love all 3 instalments of the DIF trilogy. Normally the sequel cannot live up to the original one or there is bound to be an instalmnet which I don't like but this is the exception.

    MT used to play a lot of baddie roles so I am not fond of him until FOJ & DIF. Although his role in FOJ is a better one, I still didn't like him much until DIF. Initially I was reluctant to watch but once I started, I was hooked & marathon it. I still have the VCR cassettes at home haha....

    Their chemistry is awesome, their actings are fantastic, the script is suspenseful, the plot development is logical, the guests are well chosen & there is continuity in the storyline. No random or boring cases. I can't sing enough praises of this trilogy. I feel it has set the crime/detective drama benchmark which no TVB drama has yet to surpass.

    At that time I did wonder whether Kenix & Michael have any real feelings for each other as they are so compatible. I guess it is a matter of timing. If they had started dating while filiming the original DIF, Frankie will not have his chance in Down Memory Lane. Anyway as they said their characters are too alike to make it work. I also think likewise as Kenix seems like the domineering one & Frankie seems to be easy going, mellow & will give in to Kenix, so a perfect match.

    1. @BOGAEfan: Haha! It's obvious you like DIF as much as I do!

      To me, DIF will always be the best 'cop/investigative' series that TVB ever made! And yes, as I saw in my review of the series, this is one of those rare exceptions where (in my opinion), the sequels were better than the original.

      Yes, Michael did play alot of baddie roles prior to FOJ and DIF, but I actually was ok with him as an actor, probably because I remember most of his performances from the 80s and he was quite good (in terms of acting). For me, one of his most memorable role prior to FOJ (which is really the series that made him a star) was in the series "On the Edge" from 1991 where he played the villain opposite Deric Wan and Francis Ng (the cast of that series was amazing) -- omg, his character was so evil in there and I hated him so much. Of course, a few of his other pre-FOJ memorable roles for me were in The New Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre (Tony Leung version) and The Breaking Point....

      Haha...yup, I still have the VCR tapes of the series at home as well...though I've re-watched them so many times already that some parts are starting to get fuzzy...hahaha...

      Yea, I'm also glad Michael and Kenix weren't together in real life because to be honest, I think Kenix matches alot better with Frankie (who definitely comes across as alot more mellow than Michael is). Though like I said in my earlier 'classic onscreen couples' posts, alot of people though that Michael and Kenix were actually a couple in real life -- well, now everyone knows for sure that they weren't! LOL.

  2. Because of its good online reviews I tried in past to watch it online but uploaded video quality was bad so gave up after the 3rd episode. Now reading your translation, I decided to give it another try and fortunately find a better quality video channel to watch, needless to say the series is now much more enjoyable to watch.

    1. @tamaya: Yay! Good to hear that you decided to give DIF a try again -- I'm sure you'll enjoy it just as much as all of us have. Even though there were definitely some flaws in the casting and script, overall the trilogy was very well-made and put together -- definitely well worth watching!