Chilam Cheung (張智霖) will start off the 2013 New Year with Born to Love You <大叔，我愛你>, a romantic comedy film directed by new coming director, Hu Chongxi (胡崇曦). Chilam brushed off his youthful and handsome image to portray the middle-aged Fong Ka Sing, who falls in love with young musician Shen Qi, portrayed by Mini Fu (付梦妮).
In an interview with mainland Chinese news portal iFeng, Chilam revealed that it was his character’s mature image and age that prompted him to accept the offered role. The 41-year-old actor also stressed that he did not have any communication problems with 23-year-old Mini Fu, stating, “I feel that as an actor, we should not place too much of our own emotions into our work. We should use our heart to learn about our characters, and experience them through their lens, not our own.”
A May-December Romance
“I am very happy to be able to portray a mature character,” Chilam excitedly said. “It’s really hard for me to be cast in these roles because I have a baby face.”
Born to Love You tells the story of a middle-aged Hong Kong man, Fong Ka Sing, who forces the young Shen Qi to pretend to be his girlfriend so he can get out of a relationship with another woman, portrayed by Hong Kong actress Yvonne Yung (翁虹).
Asked if it was hard for Chilam to spark any romantic chemistry with Mini due to their large age gap, Chilam immediately shook his head. “Not at all. We were all just following the script. If the story tells us to have problems with each other, we will have problems. If the story tells us to be sweet, we will be sweet.”
Chilam added, “In a relationship, I actually think it is better if the man is older than the woman. Girls mature much sooner than boys, so it would be a better match if the man is older.”
As he recalled his filming experience with Mini and new director, Hu Chongxi, Chilam exclaimed that his most memorable moment in the film was a very simple embrace scene with Mini under the water. “That scene was my very first scene with Mini. That day, I had a slight fever, and the water was cold. It was a long scene, and I could feel my physicality weakening the longer I stayed under the water. I was starting to get very sick… I couldn’t see very clear underwater either. But I am very satisfied with the results. I’ve never done so many things underwater before, and it was quite an enlightening experience.”
Chilam Lives for the Future
Although Chilam’s character is struggling with trying to relive his past in Born to Love You, Chilam expressed that he is a person who will only look to the future. “It will be very painful if all we could do is to struggle with the same problems in our lives. This would also cause pain to our families and friends, and it would be much harder if we want to start anew.”
It was not until after joining in the industry when Chilam learned to live for the future. When Chilam was a teenager, he was extremely attached to his first girlfriend. The young couple immigrated to Australia together when they were in their teens, but as they lived in different states, they could not see other often.
“My first girlfriend was a very problematic child. She always ran away from home, and would always hide in her friends’ houses. I would get really worried if I could not contact her. Because we lived in different states, I would take ten-hour bus rides just to visit her. It was not a good experience. Thinking back, I felt like I was being played on.”
This may be a reason why Chilam was fast in warming up to Anita Yuen (袁詠儀), whom he met while filming a movie in Beijing nearly twenty years ago. Anita is known for her bluntness, and this is what Chilam really wants in his life – someone who is honest to him.
After the birth of their first son, Morton, Chilam learned to cherish the simple joys of life. “It has become a challenge, trying to separate work and family life. In our lives, we do not have just our careers, but we also have family, friends, and our own private lives. Every bit of those is important. My career still comes first at the moment, but I will always leave room for my family, friends, and myself.”
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.
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