Starting her entertainment career at the tender age of 14, Adia Chan (陳松伶) left a deep impression among television fans with her beautiful voice. Although she found success early in her career, Adia’s youth was plagued by loneliness and unhappiness and it took her 20 years to find direction in life.
Known as Nnadia at the time, she took part in a Sally Yeh (葉蒨文) impersonation contest in 1985 and her singing career was launched. In 1989, Adia landed the role of Zhou Xuan in TVB drama, Song Bird <天涯歌女> which propelled her to instant stardom. The clinching the role of Zhou Xuan had been accidental. Adia said, “At the time when [producer] Siu Sang (蕭笙) was looking for a leading lady, I was hospitalized from a home accident. Because the record company recommended me, Uncle Siu Sang paid me a visit. Seeing that I looked so delicate and charming lying in bed, he offered me the role.”
Despite not knowing the culture and background of China in the 1930s because of her Indonesian heritage, the young Adia portrayed Zhou Xuan successfully. The role also propelled her singing career to greater heights when she released the Song Bird soundtrack album, which has gone platinum 6 times, beating even Alan Tam’s (譚詠麟) Dream Stage <夢幻舞台> at that time. Adia was only 17 years old then.
Adia’s success did not bring happiness, and she felt empty and lonely. “I was like a machine, working 24 hours every day. Two years ago, I watched the movie You Are the Apple of My Eye <那些年，我们一起追的女孩>, and I have no feelings about it because I did not go through that part of my life,” Adia lamented about her missing youth.
Life became an endless juggle between school and acting. Though she had enjoyed her entertainment career, Adia was already tired by the time she reached university. Adia also had to deal with the pressures of work, such as kissing scenes which she rejected as they made her uncomfortable. Adia’s school principal, who sensed her unhappiness, told her to quit school to concentrate on her acting job.
Following her principal’s advice, Adia threw herself into her acting, scoring leading roles in many television serials including Instinct < 笑看風雲> and Cold Blood Warm Heart <天地男兒>. Despite the success, Adia was at a loss when it came to managing her daily life.
Adia said, “So what if I was the leading lady? When it came to my everyday life, I was a handicap. I did not know how to pay the bills. I had no idea how to apply for credit cards. I didn’t even know how to ride the MTR! So, no, I did not feel proud to be a leading lady.”
Everything had been arranged by Adia’s manager at the time. Eventually, Adia’s popularity in the industry dropped. Adia had expected it, “Right from the beginning, I had been lucky. I had never really put in effort into my acting. Without effort, naturally my work would deteriorate.”
The setbacks that life threw her in 2005 finally caused Adia to drop everything. The press had been relentless, reporting rumors that Adia was lesbian. After a rift with her manager, Adia was left alone and at a loss.
In addition, Adia had a recurring ovarian tumor which needed to be removed and following that, her father passed away. Adia said, “From 1985 to 2005, it has been 20 long and tiring years. I felt so lost and insecure about my life ahead. I just wanted to leave Hong Kong.”
Ultimately, Adia settled down in China. Living in recluse, Adia gave away her branded bags to live life simply. She let her hair grow, and did not put on any makeup. For the first time in years, Adia was able to live an ordinary life. Adia recalled, “I looked in the mirror one day and I realized my hair has grown so long. It was then that I realized I do not care about my image anymore. And it’s also then that I find I have begun to grow as a person.”
In 2007, Adia met her husband, Zhang Ze (張鐸) while filming Blood Isn’t Cold <血未冷>. A graduate from the Shanghai Theatre Academy, Zhang Ze had impressed Adia with his knowledge about the television industry as well as his worldly confidence. Perhaps it had been fate that the two connected instantly.
When she realized that the man she was falling in love with was 8 years her junior, Adia’s insecurity almost caused the couple to split up. “Looking at how mature and independent he was, I never expected him to be so much younger. When I told him that I wanted to consider our relationship, he had said, ‘If I’m not afraid, what are you afraid of?’”
Adia was not pressured by the subsequent bad press, in which she was called an “old cow who eats tender grass”. Adia said, “When you find a good life partner, age is of no concern. When that is the case, you won’t mind what others say.”
Married in 2010, Adia is happy to play the role of a supporting wife to Zhang Ze. Residing blissfully in Beijing with her husband now, Adia would follow Zhang Ze whenever he goes overseas for work, to make sure that his daily necessities are well taken care of. When Adia is not by his side, Zhang Ze will sometimes flying back every day just to be with her. When Adia was in Hong Kong last year to promote her album, the couple used Face Time to talk to each other every night.
Even without her husband by her side, Adia can find comfort in the company of her parents-in-law. Her in-laws had misgivings initially about her, but Adia’s sincerity and their love for their only son finally touched them to accept and love their daughter-in-law wholeheartedly.
Forty-two-year-old Adia Chan finally found meaning and happiness by pursuing the life she wanted to live. Filled with love and hope, Adia lives simply and does not need material goods to make her happy. Having found herself, Adia is ready to go back to acting and singing, but her family will always come first.
Relive Adia Chan’s Classic Song, “Dreams Come True”
[vsw id=”3JcjGLMbT0A” source=”youtube” width=”500″ height=”404″ autoplay=”no”]
Source: Sudden Weekly #920 via ihktv.com
This article is written by Karen for JayneStars.com.