Credit: TVBChannel.com (Original Source: Mingpao)
Mingpao Interview: Felix Wong does not chase after fame and fortune, chases after soccer balls
Sunday, December 12, 2010 Hong Kong
Source: TVBChannel.com (Original Source: Mingpao)
Translation: llwy12@ http://asianfanatics.net
Felix Wong – a 30 year veteran in the HK entertainment industry -- graduated from TVB’s Acting Class in 1980 and almost immediately took on the role of leading actor in TV series. He’s known for being a bit ‘explosive’ at times when it comes to his work, but that is because he takes his work seriously and has high expectations – in other words, Felix is merely trying to do his job well. Felix does not fight for any awards and actually feels that earning too much money is troublesome, so in terms of chasing after fame and fortune, there’s no need to include him – he is perfectly happy living a quiet, leisurely life doing what he loves best: ‘chasing balls’ on the soccer field. So then, what is it that has motivated Felix to film so many classic and memorable television series all these years? Felix replies: “Since I promised to do the job, I have to do it well! Actually, I don’t like this career (being an actor) at all and do not have an ‘acting addiction’ – to me, this is purely a ‘job’, but I still have to do it well!”
Even though he has been doing this ‘job’ for 30 years, Felix never mentions anything about having a passion for acting; instead, he claims that he only ‘loves’ soccer.
Felix: “After graduating from high school, I tried enrolling in the army, but was not successful, so I applied for TVB’s Acting Class. My personality is not a good fit for the entertainment industry, as I dislike being hypocritical and am not the type to ‘network’ or be sociable – I feel that trying to force myself to change in order to accommodate someone else is extremely painful. Even when my work became very difficult and exhausting, I never thought about giving up – I guess this is one of the attributes of those born in the 60s: willingness to endure hardship. I also don’t like changing to new environments, so if I had not entered the entertainment industry, I would probably be a soccer player. Luckily though, I was not drafted to any soccer teams back then because the career of a professional soccer player only lasts about 10 years, so it would have been hard for me to make the type of living that I did in order to have a good life now. I never did too well in school, however those from my generation who did do well in school may not have the same type of leisurely and carefree lifestyle that I have now either. In my opinion, those who are easily satisfied are the happiest.”
More Money = More Troubles
In the past 10 years, Felix has not ‘worked’ a whole lot and gave up on many opportunities to earn money. Why? Because he chose to allow himself to ‘slow down’.
Felix: “I worked very hard in the 1980s because at that time, I had a mortgage to pay; it wasn’t until I had accumulated a decent amount of savings and no longer had to worry about being burdened financially that I was able to choose for myself the life that I wanted to live. The amount of money that I earn from filming series in mainland China is several times greater than what I earn in Hong Kong, plus the filming schedule is already determined at the time the contract is signed, so it’s not as exhausting, however it would require me to be away from home for 4 to 6 months in the year, which won’t work for me. Filming in HK is more exhausting and difficult, but at least I’m able to go home to rest – that’s why I rejected a lot of opportunities to film series in mainland China. Even if it’s live stage performances in China, I try not to do too many either – though if I were willing to accept those job offers, I could have bought several houses already! Actually, my thought is that more money equals more troubles. A person needs to be able to pick up and let go – if the more you are willing to give up physically, the more you’ll eventually gain.” Though the opportunities to earn money are right in front of Felix, he doesn’t bother to pursue them. Even Felix’s assistant admits that when he arranges jobs for Felix, the primary ‘requirement’ is to ensure that the work does not affect his ‘Happy Wednesdays’, as that is the day that he has soccer practice with the HK Celebrity Soccer Team.
Teaches younger generation to build a solid foundation
Earlier, when Felix agreed to film the series <
Felix: “The artists I collaborated with in this series are all very hard-working and really threw themselves into their roles – it was a very happy experience. I didn’t put myself on a pedestal when interacting with the newer artists, but rather I chose to act as a role model for them by fully preparing my scenes before entering the studio. A newbie once asked for my opinion, saying that he has been in the industry for a year already but still has not encountered many opportunities for growth. I told him to look at artists such as Wayne Lai and Evergreen Mak – they worked for 20 plus years before they encountered such an opportunity. In this industry, a lot depends on fate as well as luck – there are even more older generation artists who never get such an opportunity in their entire lifetimes. Before trying to ‘stand out’ and be above everyone else, it’s necessary to first perform one’s own duties well; once that solid foundation is built, then the opportunities will come. I was one of the lucky few, as I entered the television industry during its golden era, so I was already playing the lead role in my very first series, <
He continues: “In the past, filming series was really about working as a team and even though everyone spent most of the energy hard at work, emphasis was on team spirit. This time, when I returned to TVB, I felt that things have become more ‘systematic’ and no one dares to overstep their bounds. True, the company is physically ‘bigger’, but there is less of that family-like feel – luckily, I had already prepared myself emotionally for the ‘change’ in the work environment, so it was a matter of getting used to it. If TVB asked me to film another series, I’m willing to think about it – if it could be a comedy, that would be great, but most important is to be able to work with a group of colleagues who take their work seriously. My only ‘requirement’ would be to make sure I get good lighting so that I can look younger on screen and the audience can’t see the bags under my eyes…haha!”
Award ‘in the bag’ but ‘fell’ out
Felix’s performance in <
Felix: “The awards ceremony is merely a game and I already made it clear that I would not participate. The fact that the series itself garnered good feedback and word of mouth, I am already very happy; I don’t need awards. I’ve never been ‘lucky’ in terms of winning awards and I’ve already accepted this fact – I once had a good chance of winning an award, to the point of it being ‘in the bag’, but in the end, it ‘fell’ out. Back in 1997, during the first year of the anniversary awards, I was nominated for my role as Kiu Fung in <
Enjoy life and it will last longer
Slow down, enjoy life, and it will last longer. These are words of wisdom from Felix Wong.
Felix: “The amount of working I did in the first 20 years of my career is equivalent to 40 years worth of work for someone else, so I should be allowed to rest now, right? This industry is very weird – when I’m working hard, people advise me that I should slow down and rest, but then when I’m ‘resting’, people are endlessly asking me when I will be going back to work. Looks like the best thing to do is knead me together with Andy Lau, then redistribute, as he is quite the opposite – I’m constantly advising him to rest, but he always tells me it’s not exhausting and he likes working.”
Other than his Wednesday soccer practices and occasionally performing in mainland China, how else does Felix keep himself busy?
“Haha! I’m very busy! I ‘hang out’ at home playing video games, watching TV, gardening…also, there are 2 new ‘members’ of the family now, 2 dogs that I have to take care of. I also need to take my daughter to school and take care of some matters related to the Celebrity Soccer Team. Who says that I have a lot of free time? I’m also constantly re-watching my old series – recently, I re-watched <