Personally, I'm not a fan of Jessica's by any means (I like some of her series, but overall, as an actress, she's just not my cup of tea), however she is definitely an experienced, talented actress and I respect her for that. Plus I've actually been watching the series Tiger Cubs the past couple weeks and must admit that the series is truly quite good, so I enjoyed reading this brief article about Jessica as well as the series itself.
Anway, not really going to comment much on the article except to say that Jessica's contract with TVB ended last year and as a free artist, she has pretty much been focusing her career in the Mainland. Ever since her contract ended, there has been speculation as to whether she will join one of the rival TV stations. Well, now with the success of the Tiger Cubs series and TVB approaching Jessica to re-sign a per series contract with them, looks like the answer to that question is most likely 'no' -- after reading this article, it looks like the chance of Jessica re-siging with TVB is extremely high.
With both TVB and CTI fighting for her, Jessica Hsuan intends to ‘return’ to HK television on her own terms
Source: Mingpao Weekly, Issue 2283
Under the leadership of its chairmain Ricky Wong (王維基), City Telecom (CTI) has been aggressively expanding its footprint in the HK television circle these past few months. After successfully ‘poaching’ a large group of veteran and talent-path artists from rival TVB, CTI is now setting their sights on recruiting first line siu sangs and fa dans, which they currently lack. One of CTI’s latest recruitment ‘targets’ is actress Jessica Hsuan (宣萱), whose popularity once again soared recently due to the TVB series Tiger Cubs《飛虎》. After losing so many artists to rival stations as well as to the Mainland [China] market, it is said that TVB does not want to take any chances and so will likely use the ‘lure’ of a Tiger Cubs sequel to get Jessica to re-sign with them. Towards this, Jessica made her position very clear: “My number one request is for a good role and good script – otherwise, I wouldn’t have declined at least 5 TV series in HK and Mainland. To me, the chance to film the sequel [to Tiger Cubs] is not necessarily the most attractive offer.”
It has been rumored that Ricky Wong’s CTI has been consistently in contact with Jessica, giving her numerous scripts to review in the hopes of recruiting her to join their company. According to behind-the-scenes personnel [at CTI], many of the roles that were offered to Jessica for review were specially written for her and cater to her strength in playing ‘professional’ roles. Asked about this, Jessica expressed: “I have been in discussions with CTI, however the offers so far were to once again portray a cop and other ‘professional’ roles – this is the primary reason why I declined the offers. Tiger Cubs was the last series that I filmed in HK and since a large amount of time has passed, I hope that my return will give HK audiences a different feeling. It’s not that I won’t play a cop or lawyer ever again, but rather I prefer for my ‘return’ series to not be the same type of role.”
Declines offer to film 5 series, loses 8 figure earnings
Jessica continues: “As for TVB, we were in discussions previously and recently resumed discussions once again. However, I still need to look at suitability of the role and also a confirmed good script. There was talk of a possible sequel to Tiger Cubs, but all along, I’ve never been a fan of sequels. For example, back when Dicey Business 《賭場風雲》aired, the audience reaction was also very good, however as soon as the company suggested filming a sequel, I immediately said no. I feel that whether it’s a HK series, movie, or even a Hollywood film, sequels rarely ever live up to the original – I would much rather leave behind beautiful memories of the series and not wait until the story is filmed to death before stopping. Recently, I’ve given it some serious thought and asked myself if a sequel were to be filmed, what would be the most attractive ‘selling point’? But I will say that with the good ratings and word of mouth for Tiger Cubs, it truly does give me a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. If there truly is a sequel, I wouldn’t mind using my ‘friendship cards’ and invite friends such as Bobby [AuYeung] (歐陽震華), Louis [Koo] (古天樂), Gallen [Lo] (羅嘉良), etc. to participate.” (What do the salary offers look like from both sides?) “Of course CTI’s salary offer is more attractive than TVB’s, however I would not request an amount comparable to Mainland salary. More important for me is who I would be collaborating with – I’m not necessarily requesting to ‘choose’ who I want to collaborate with, but I do prefer working with artists who have more of a professional attitude. Right now, all I want is to be happy doing my work – if the people I work with can’t even meet the ‘basics’ of being punctual and studying their script, I don’t want to get myself all upset over it.”
If the amount of salary is not the most important, does that mean that Jessica has already earned enough money? She replied: “Earned enough? I don’t think anyone will ever say they’ve earned ‘enough’ money! As a kid, when I earned my first dollar, I would think how great it’d be if I earned 10 dollars, then when I have that 10 dollars, I would think about earning 100 dollars – when I started working and earned my first hundred thousand, I’d think about how satisfying it would be to earn more…it’s an endless cycle. However I also know that I can’t earn all the money in the world and slowly I realized that all these years, I’ve put so much focus on my work that I ended up missing out on a lot of things around me….earlier, I actually declined offers to film 5 series in both HK and Mainland – quite a lot of money involved.” (Loss of earnings in the 8 figures?) “Since I already declined the offers, no point in calculating.”
Ready anytime for new relationship
With all the time that Jessica has spent working, what does she feel are some of her ‘regrets’? Jessica expressed: “I missed out on the weddings of many many friends and it’s something that I can’t make up for anymore. In the past, work always took first priority – when my friends would invite me to their weddings, I would always tell them that I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make it and in the end, I would choose work over attending the wedding. But things are different now…” (Missed out on [love] relationships as well?) “Yes, but it’s not entirely regrettable, as I believe in fate when it comes to relationships. I once had a 6 year relationship during which I asked myself whether I would regret it in the future if I were to give up my career for the relationship – the answer was: yes, I would regret it! If you were to ask me to choose again now, I would still make the same choice. I feel that modern women, even if married, still need to have a career – I would never be able to endure being locked into a housewife role at home with nothing to do! Doesn’t matter how much money you give me, I just can’t do it – I have my own interests such as going diving or meeting up with friends for dinner and such.”
In recent months, Jessica definitely appears more relaxed and happier, which caused many people to think that perhaps she’s in a new relationship – in reality, Jessica actually hired a personal trainer to help her get back into shape. Asked whether she is currently in a new relationship, Jessica replied: “Nope! Since I’m not currently tied down by any contracts, I figured I’d use the break to get myself back into shape and also to look after my health. Pretty much right now, I’m ready for whatever that may come my way – whether work or relationship. I’ve always been a bit on the skinny side and with age, my body doesn’t work as fast as it used too – therefore I felt it was necessary to tone myself up, do more exercise, upgrade myself. I must admit that after I started doing this, I’ve felt a lot more alert and energetic! Even my fans and other friends have asked me whether I’m dating – it’s quite funny actually!”
Since breaking up with her veterinarian boyfriend Ruan last year, Jessica has not started any new relationships yet. Towards this, Jessica laughed and replied: “Leave it up to fate! My life right now is very happy – I have a pretty steady circle of friends, both male and female. If I were to start a relationship, I’d have to find someone whom I can ‘click’ with – someone I could mutually rely on and take care of each other.” (Are you accepting of an ‘older woman/younger man’ relationship?) “It would depend upon whether the other person is mature in his thinking or not. If I have to ‘take care’ of him like a son, then no thanks! I already have 3 people that I ‘take care of’ at home: my elderly parents and a housekeeper who helped raise me since birth – sometimes I do wish that I had a shoulder to lean on, but if it’s not the right person, can’t force it! My 80 year old father used to nag me about finding a good man and getting married, but now, he actually tells me not to rush into things – if not compatible, then don’t get married…being happy is most important. Those are my sentiments exactly!”
Success of Tiger Cubs opens up a new timeslot for TVB
In the hopes of opening up a new weekend timeslot , TVB arranged for Tiger Cubs to be the inaugural series to help test the waters – the results were very successful, as the series beat out all of the variety shows with its unprecedented high ratings in that timeslot. Previously, the ‘grand production’ variety special TVB Singers Red and White Battle, in which more than 100 singers participated, only averaged 19 point ratings in the weekend timeslot – so far, Tiger Cubs has been able to garner peak ratings of 26 points in the Saturday timeslot, with ratings reaching 31 points in the Sunday timeslot, which is even higher than some of the regular series airing on the weekdays! It’s no wonder then that TVB would try so hard to persuade the series’ stars Joe Ma (馬德鐘) and Jessica Hsuan to re-sign filming contracts with them. Head of production Tommy Leung (梁家樹) has already confirmed that there are plans to film a Tiger Cubs sequel next year and he hopes that they will be able to maintain the original cast. Joe Ma has already re-signed a per series contract with TVB – now all they are waiting for is Jessica to give the green light to re-sign with them.