[News] Linda Chung, Poised for Explosion

"Good Girl" Linda Chung, has been going along with the training in time, from nearly falling into depression when she first entered the industry, until now, when she is filled with ambition. Linda has shown different aspects of herself, be it in singing or acting, like her lead character in [Yes Sir, Sorry Sir], where she dug up her inner "coolness". Looking back on her near-seven years of acting career, from the time when she found her name too commonplace, nearly wanting to change her name to "Chung Choi Hung" (meaning rainbow), to being being suspected of "acting innocent" by her seniors, she has been keeping to her own pace.

The 27-year-old Linda Chung was the Miss Chinese International 2004 Champion, and signed a contract with TVB to go from Vancouver to Hong Kong. November this year would mark the 7-year mark, and she would be able to receive her Hong Kong Permanent Resident pass. She has had smooth development in her career and continuous opportunities, and to date she has filmed nearly 20 dramas. 4 years ago, Linda accepted an interview and she commented that when she first came to Hong Kong alone, she fell into depression and helplessness for a period of time, but luckily she was able to pull through. Today, she has become more confident of herself.

7 Years in Entertainment, 3 Years in Self- Closure

"Actually I don't feel that I have been in the entertainment circle for 7 years already, it only feels like 3 years, the time in entertainment has passed especially quickly. I remember when I signed the contract with TVB, I told my parents, I'll try this for 2 years then I'll go back to Canada to work or get married. In the end, 2 years passed followed by another 2 years, and another, and now it has already been 7! The whole plan has changed! I really like Hong Kong, and have made many new friends here, many people love me a lot, and I will continue staying here to work. My seniors and directors say that actors will be enlightened upon their 7th year, but for acting skills to mature it would take 10-12 years. I am still in the developing stage, there are many things for me to learn. I have not set the mark for myself to be a main actress for sure, or a singer, doing my job placed in front of me is the most important." Charmaine Sheh has left Hong Kong to the Mainland for development, she is an actress with prospects, but she commented that she felt her abilities were insufficient, and needed further training.

Unhappy Experiences, Maligned to be Acting Innocent

Linda is a proclaimed good girl in the circle, she doesn't smoke, drink or pub, with an unwavering innocent personality, gaining many people's love and constructive comments. "In the past, when I was going through my hardest period, I would cry daily, pull out my hair and cry for help, and at that time there was a manager who asked me to stop going crazy, having opportunities is a good thing, I need to face them calmly, a rubber band cannot be pulled too tightly, I needed someone to scold me for me to wake up, or I would continue to wallow in self-closure. The first 3 years in industry, I didn't talk much to my manager or colleagues, when I was filming [Always Ready] I would often just buy a lunchbox and sit by myself to eat, and only let myself go in recent years, trusting in other people more, and becoming more happy.

Linda, who has had few rumours, also has had instances where she was misunderstood. "In the entertainment industry, there will be many weird misunderstandings, I remember there was one time when I went for a celebratory dinner for the completion of a series. I felt that everyone had quite good cooperation with each other, and like each other alot, but that time there was an artiste who came to me and said "Linda, I will not work with you again!" At that time, I was wondering what happened; did I offend the other person? The other person then told me "You are so lucky, I only tell you for your good, your innocence and stupidity should be for life, not halfway before being found out by someone." At that time, I was confused, the other person was saying that I was acting innocent! When did I act stupid? Although the other person may have been drunk, I was still hurt and felt maligned, I asked my friends around what had happened. The other person did not understand me at all, a resolution could not have been made. Luckily, in 7 years I have only heard such comments twice, I continue to be myself. Even if there are online comments to put me down, I will see it as motivation to do better."

Ambition to Act and Sing

Linda has an ambition in acting, "Now I do things in my own direction, other than acting, I love the feeling of going onstage to sing, I hope that I will have a chance to hold a concert, and communicate what I want to my fans. In the past, I heard Gigi Leung and Kelly Chen's songs, they are all many children's idols, and I see them as my role models. The thing that made me the most encouraged was that many children studied hard under the influence of 'Ho Choi Mui' in [Legend of the Demigods]; the role had so great an impact on the children, and I am very happy and satisfied, this cannot be measured by any award or prize. I need to continue fighting and improving, to raise higher my expectations of myself and try out more roles and genres of music, later on there might even be a fast-paced dance song, I can sing sexy songs but am afraid to shock my family members. I have many good things that I would like to show the audience, but now is not the time. Lately, my fans gave me a keyboard for my birthday present, I will use it to try to write more songs.

Previously Wanted to Change Name to "Chung Choi Hung"

Linda once found her name too common, and not 'explosive' enough for the entertainment business, thus wanting to change her name. "I never thought that "Chung Ka Yan" could accomplish so much, I always thought that 'Ka Yan' was such a commonplace name, not cool or star-like such as "Cheung Man Yu", "Chung Chor Hung", "Sheh Sze Man", even their English names "Maggie Cheung", "Kelly Chen", "Faye Wong" are all like stars' names, but mine is "Linda Chung", it does not seem star-like enough. Back then, I really wanted to change my name to "Chung Choi Hung" (Rainbow Chung) to be like the feminine, explosive "Chung Chor Hung", but in the end I gave up on it, I never knew that "Chung Ka Yan" could become such a label today.

Choice of Partner requires Two Types of Hearts

Having succes in her profession, Linda is like Moses Chan, the entertainment circle's 'featured listing'. It is inevitable that her romance life has been unlanded, rumoured boyfriends being limited only to Raymond Lam and Philip Ng, and she is still waiting for her dream man to appear. "I believe that God will give me a good man, and my future partner has to be single-minded about me, compassionate, motivated, love and dote on me, appearance is not a factor."

5 Roles, 5 Changes

Helping Linda to count, she has acted in about 20 films, but she laughed upon hearing this, "Not that many, at first there were guest appearances; those don't count, saying that I filmed 20 series makes me feel like an antique! 19 lah!"

"Sheung Joi Sum" Professional Crying
Among all her dramas, 2007's [Heart of Greed]'s Sheung Joi Sum brought Linda the most tears, and was one of her favourite characters. There were others such as Sze Ka-ka in [A Journey Called Life], Ho Choi Mui in [Legend of the Demigods], Chung Yee Tak in [Twilight Investigation], and Miss Koo in [Yes Sir, Sorry Sir], they are all her beloved characters.

"Ho Choi Mui"-- Strong, "Sze Ka-ka"-- Painful
"While acting as Sheung Joi Sum, I still had slight depression, I was unhappy and did not let myself loose, but the script was very clear about the character, anyone acting it would also succeed. (Did your rumours with Raymond Lam start from this drama?) During filming, we were all very into the show, but the rumours are not true. "Ho Choi Mui" made me very strong, and "Sze Ka-ka", the Mongkok wayward girl made me feel alot for her, she had no love, and I felt it difficult to understand upon first receiving the script, because I have a whole family with parents and elder brother and sister, and am given a lot of love. Afterwards, being exposed to real wayward girls, I slowly and gradually began to understand their situation and felt the pain during the acting.

"Chung Yee Tak" and Wong Hei
Being partnered with the infamous "Troublesome" Wong Hei, Linda conversely felt that they cooperated quite well. "I was very happy while filming [Twilight], although rumours were that Wong Hei does not cooperate well with other artistes, we had quite a happy collaboration and good relations with other artistes. "Chung Yee Tak" is a very retarded and stupid character, somewhat like my own personality, I put the way I communicate with my family into this show. Normally, I give others the idea that I am very strong, but when I go home to be with my parents, I am very soft and stupid! This is to the extent that I dance with joy."

"Miss Koo"'s Cool Side
This time, Linda played the role of Miss Koo in [Yes Sir, Sorry SIr] and displayed her cool facet. "Before, I acted as many pitiful, silly-happy characters, and having the chance to act as such a calm and composed, cool bowling coach is really a new experience for me, and I referred to [Joou no Kyoushitsu]. I personally do have a very cool side to my personality, but under normal circumstances this personality would not show through." In recent years, Linda Chung decided to play her 'happy cards', getting on happily with other artistes. She said that her happiest series filmed would be [Twilight] and [Jiujiang]. Filming [Jiujiang] was a very happy experience, artistes were like a big family and everyday there would be nice food to eat; they treated me like a doggie and bribed me using snacks, in the end I put on 7 pounds."

Translated by ibellchu @ lindacottage