Since leaving TVB earlier this year, Steven Ma (馬浚偉) was offered with many job opportunities in mainland China. After completing Legend of Yuan Empire Founder <建元風雲> in March 2012, Steven immediately began filming for Yuan Yang Pei <鴛鴦佩> a period drama directed by Ally Wong (黃家輝). In addition, Steven will establish a new production studio at the end of the year under his name, Little Ma Workshop, and will take on the new challenge as a scriptwriter in September. He also has plans to release a new studio album, and is slowly working towards realizing his directing dreams. However, few knew about Steven’s rough childhood and how he suffered nearly three years of depression after his mother’s sudden death.
When discussing about his new life in China, Steven admitted that it was hard to adapt at first, but it did not take long to get used to. “I got along with the crew very quickly,” said Steven. “We often eat dinner together after work. We’re like a family.” Steven expressed that life in China has been smooth and comforting. “I have time to study scripts now. After work I would have time for the gym to play badminton or work out and I met a lot of new friends there. If I had to choose something that I’m not used to yet, it would be the food. Hong Kong people and the mainland Chinese eat differently. When I make soup, it is difficult to find the ingredients I want.”
Steven treated the filming crew of Yuan Yang Pei to dinner on their last day of filming. Since completing the filming of the drama, Steven admitted that he missed his Yuan Yang Pei co-workers and had nothing but praises when talking about the crew. A crew member even expressed that Steven was one of the first actors to treat them to such a huge dinner! Steven said, “It’s tradition for me to treat the crew to dinner after completing a production. I want to say thanks to them for their hard work!”
Battling Depression After Mother’s Death
Although Steven has nearly 20 years of experience under his belt, few knew about his rough childhood and internal emotional struggle after joining the industry. “I have been going in and out of the hospital with my mother since I was 6 years old,” said Steven. “When I was 14 years old, I worked at an ice cream shop to earn extra cash for the family. I matured at a very early age, so I never experienced that rebellious streak of a teenager.”
Steven believed that his Chaozhou ancestry made him feel more responsible towards his family. “Besides my father, I was the only man left in the house. Because my father worked long hours as a bus driver, I had to carry on the responsibilities to look after my family.” Steven is extremely close to his sisters and father and spends most of his time with his family whenever he returns to Hong Kong. “We all cherish each moment of our time together as a family,” said Steven.
When Steven began to reach initial successes in his career, he decided to buy a new house with suitable facilities for his mother so she could live more comfortably. However, before renovation of the house was finished, his mother passed away in 1999, after 22 years of battling cancer. She was 48 years old. “She was so young. I was shocked and could not believe it! I felt terrible! After work, I would go to the new house and just sit there staring blankly at the wall. I remained this way for three years!”
When Steven finally decided to visit the doctor for his emotional problem, he was told that he had been suffering from depression. “I suddenly woke up and decided that I could not live this way anymore.” With the support of his family and friends, he gradually came to accept his mother’s death.
Steven: “TVB Will Still Be My First Choice”
Currently in high demand as an actor in mainland China, Steven’s income increased immensely. Rumors say that TVB was willing to hire Steven back for a high price. Steven responded, “If I come upon a good script and character I will consider it, regardless of the television station. But without TVB, the Steven Ma of today would not exist. As long as it’s a good script, TVB will still be my first choice.”
Before joining TVB, Steven debuted as a singer in the industry. Thinking back to his days as a singer, Steven laughed. “I still love singing. At the end of the year, I will establish Little Ma Workshop and plan to release a music album.”
Becoming a Scriptwriter for the First Time
In September, Steven will take on the challenge as a scriptwriter for his new drama, which will begin principal filming in Shenzhen. “The synopsis is already set. It follows the life of a single mother and her experiences with family love, romantic love, and tender love. The script promotes love as its main theme.”
As for Steven’s directing plans, he confidently said, “I will be taking things slowly. We should not rush into things too quickly. I will concentrate on working with this drama’s script first before taking the next step.”
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.
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