Though the Hong Kong TV Queen race happens every year, it never came to be that big of a deal for Kate Tsui (徐子珊). Now that she knows that she will get a top spot in the race, the Best Actress award has opened up to a whole new world for Kate – a whole new world of pressure.
Kate’s role as the Drug Queen, Pat Chan in Highs and Lows <雷霆掃毒> has garnered many support from Hong Kong viewers, and it is this performance that will nominate her in a spot to race for 2012 TV Queen along with popular candidates, Tavia Yeung (楊怡) and Michelle Yim (米雪).
Having starred in over 24 dramas with eight years in the making, Kate Tsui never knew that she would come up as a top contender with a dark Drug Queen role. Just two months ago, Kate was still running in and out of the studios trying to finish her schedule of the day without much thought.
“All of sudden, I’m living in a whole new world,” said Kate. “This all came too sudden! In the past, I always tried to maintain an ordinary spirit when it comes to the Anniversary awards, but Highs and Lows has created so much noise for me, and now many people think I have a chance to win. Although I am very lucky and honored to have such a great role like Pat for me to play, I do not dare to consider the role to be my representative work.”
When producer Lam Chi Wah (林志華) decided to cast Kate for the role of Pat, Kate already knew that Highs and Lows would be one of her most challenging roles. The amount of pressure that was built around creating the role of Pat almost caused Kate to mentally break down.
“Producer Lam Chi Wah made it sound like [my role] was the most important thing in the world! He literally said things like ‘You have to do really well! Drug Queen, it’s all on you!’ And he would remind me of that every day. I had built up a lot of stress!
“This year, the TV Queen will be determined by popular vote. The other nominees have a lot more fans, so I don’t know if I will win… but the fact that I am part of the race is already a kind of pressure all in itself. I really don’t know how to respond to it…”
Since it is so stressful for Kate to even be nominated for Best Actress, would she still want to win the award?
“Of course! Everyone wants to win this award. Not only can this award gain you acceptance, it can also bring you other things. The reason why we all work hard is to earn money. I don’t think there are many people out there who work for their own enjoyment…. Well, I do like acting, but I still need to support myself. There is no point to continue acting if I can’t even earn money from it. I have to take care of my family.”
Kate continued, “Yes, I do want to win, but I need to help myself to be well-prepared psychologically as well. Whether I win or lose, it is still a happy and honoring thing to be even considered. Not winning does not necessarily mean that I did badly. It just means that others did better.”
Even if Kate ends up losing the race, at least the audience has accepted her drug queen role. “Yes,” said Kate, her eyes now brimming with tears. “To get accepted… that is the best thing. I hope it is this… I really don’t know how to handle this….”
And with one look at her manager, Kate broke into tears.
“Even to this day, I know… I really know… there is still two months left, and I should not be worried about it now. Every time I go back home, I try to relax myself, but I could never do it. I know that I am just putting more stress on myself by thinking about it all the time, but how do I relieve it? How do I take it easy? I really can’t take it anymore…”
From Happy-Go-Lucky to Best Actress
Since the broadcast of Highs and Lows, more people are beginning to connect the name “Kate” to the epithet, “Best Actress.” Normally, many striving artists like Kate would be overjoyed to hear such a connection, but for Kate, it is just another stressful thing to live with.
“I haven’t had the appetite to eat that much recently. Every day, when I open the newspaper, they would only talk about that…. In the past when people watched my older dramas, they would tell me that I am too happy all the time, but now, whenever they see my name, they would automatically connect me to the Anniversary awards. I did not expect that all. I cannot really sleep at night anymore either. When I fall asleep, I wake up in minutes, and then it would be hard for me to fall asleep again.”
Kate has recently been doing a lot of volunteer work to keep things off of her mind. She also told her manager to find more jobs for her so her mind would stop lingering on the future and focus on the present.
As Kate’s family does not live with her in Hong Kong, it is hard to confide her feelings to anyone without bringing more stress to others. “I would love to talk about it with my friends, but they have jobs too. It is not right to have them listening to my problems and complaints all day and night if they have work the next day. They already have enough problems themselves. I don’t want to make matters worse.”
Kate to Her Friends: “Do Not Buy 16:9 TV”
Stress and pressure aside, Kate is actually a very carefree, loopy, and laid-back individual. Kate may seem gentle and lady-like on camera, but she describes herself to be nothing more than just a tomboy.
“I am very boyish, very frank, and very, very unlady-like. I am forgetful, clumsy, rough, and pretty simple-minded.”
Kate also debunked another myth of herself – she is actually a very, very skinny person.
Onscreen Kate looks perfectly healthy, and some even say that her face is too big for the camera. But real-life Kate is actually quite skinny in person – her cheek bones are high and prominent, her legs are thin like sticks, and she walks as if the wind could carry her away at any moment.
Kate smiled, “Yes, I know I look terrible. Everyone has been telling me this. They tell me that I look much smaller and childish in person. I really don’t know why I look so big on camera. I already warned my friends to not buy 16:9 aspect ratio television sets. It’s sad.”
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.
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