Alex Fong Reflects on Dark Days in His Past
Alex Fong’s stage name (方中信) was born from his role in Life is a Moment’s Story <朝花夕拾>, and was suggested by the director. Alex is a very easygoing person and did not mind at all. There are certain things that he is principled about and is adamant in sticking to them, as the 56-year-old actor reflected on his 33 years in the entertainment industry.
No Longer as Stubborn as Before
“If someone said things are going to be a certain way, I hope they keep their promise. For example, if it was promised that we would only film for 12 hours, I hope that they can honor our contract and the 12 hours are usually counted from the moment we enter the makeup room.” If the other party cannot keep their promise, Alex’s displeasure immediately shows through his facial expressions. “Maybe my EQ is lacking, I don’t know how to hide my emotions and definitely cannot control my facial expressions. Looking back, my method of expression has definitely affected my work and many people feel that I am difficult to work with.
“I am no longer as stubborn and am more thoughtful in my social interactions. However, it has definitely helped that I am no longer at the bottom of my career. When we are nearing the end of the shift, the producer will remind the director that he should wrap things up. However if we need to stay late in order to achieve some outdoor shots, I will compromise. If you don’t help people, no one would hire me again!”
Alex was one of the earliest Hong Kong actors to make the transition into the Mainland Chinese market. His drama The Legend of Mi Yue <羋月傳> received very high ratings and has helped boost his popularity to a greater height. “Because each episode’s production cost was so high, the team had planned specific shooting times and everything was extremely disciplined and efficient. The hardest thing for me was speaking in Mandarin. However since my voice would be dubbed, the director requested that I speak in Cantonese as long as I was able to match the mouth shape and the number of words spoken.”
The Lowest Point in His Career
1996 to 1998 were the lowest points of his career, during these two years Alex had no jobs. Luckily, Alex is not materialistic. To this day, he keeps a simple lifestyle and likes eating at local Hong Kong cafes and only owns three cars: one sports car, one scooter, and one mini-van for groceries.
“I was still young then, only 30, so I still had a lot of hope for my future. The obstacles that I faced then gave me a lot of insight and has a big impact on how I handle situations now.”
In addition, because life has thrown curve balls at him, Alex is constantly anxious that he will regress to those dark days again. He learned to save up and buy real estate as well as having cash flow in the bank.
Fate Led Him to Acting
A strong believer in fate, Alex used himself as an example, “I don’t like having my photo taken. I don’t like studying, but I somehow ended up being an actor where I constantly have to study scripts and memorize lines. I don’t like networking and socializing, but I ended up in the entertainment industry. It all started with my cousin telling me to leave Macau to pursue a modelling career in Hong Kong. A director spotted me, and I started my film career. I was also lucky to have the support of many mentors in the industry like Derek Yee (爾冬陞) and Henry Fong (方平).”
Source: Ming Pao Weekly
This article is written by Kiki for JayneStars.com.