Chapman Denies Taking Hiatus from Acting
Chapman To (杜汶澤) has been under pressure lately for his poor box office results. Boycotted by Mainland viewers due to his opinionated political views and arrogant personality, Chapman published a special column in a Hong Kong newspaper on May 25 to announce his disappointment. When speculations arose that Chapman chose to take a hiatus from acting, he swiftly denied that he will easily give up although hitting a bump in his career.
In a Facebook statement posted in March, Chapman publicly showed his support for Taiwan’s Sunflower Student Movement, a protest against a trade agreement Taiwan has recently made with China. Adding more fuel to the fire, Chapman called the Chinese netizens “barbarous” and dared the Chinese to boycott him. As a result, Chapman’s recent starring film Let Go for Love <放手愛> bombed at the Mainland box office. Faced with unprofitable results, film’s official Weibo account was updated with the status, “We made a mistake by choosing an actor without ethics. We’ve learned our lesson.”
The Pang Ho Cheung (彭浩翔) film Aberdeen <香港仔>, in which Chapman had a one-minute cameo appearance om, is also underperforming at the box office.
In his May 25 column, Chapman recalled his debut 21 years ago, the time when he graduated from ATV’s acting class and began his television career. “I was given a chance to earn money. I’ve always strived. My only goal was to have enough food and clothing. Because of luck, I was able to achieve that.”
Chapman had struggled for years before finally became a topic of interest again with the category III film Vulgaria <低俗喜劇>. “The Hong Kong audience had finally accepted me again. In the three years after [Vulgaria], I filmed 21 movies. I’ve earned a bit of money, and my life was changed for the better. In the films I headlined, there would be at least one that would focus on the Hong Kong market. Thanks to everyone’s support, films like Vulgaria, SDU: Sex Duties Unit <飛虎出征>, and Naked Ambition 2 <豪情3D>, were able to succeed in the box office. I’m very thankful.”
China’s boycott on Chapman had been put in action in the last few weeks, but he never bothered to step up to respond to the issue. “I didn’t think there was a need to explain myself. The people who like me don’t need to hear it. The people who don’t like me wouldn’t want to hear it.”
Chapman finally wrote, “No matter how popular I get, how much more money I earn, I cannot buy myself. In the future, no matter how long and difficult the road may be, I will not feel lonely as long as my family, friends, and the audience will be there to support me. I’ll be back.”
Chapman’s “Goodbye message” spurred reports that he was taking an indefinite hiatus from his acting career. He clarified that he is taking a one month vacation in the United States instead. “I’ve been acting for a decade. If I don’t act, what else can I do?” He added, “Why would I retire from the entertainment industry because of some negative reports?” When Chapman returns, he will be working on two film projects.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.