Ali Lee Reflects On Her “Frozen” Status: “I’m Actually Quite Lucky”

By on July 19, 2020 in Hong Kong Drama, NEWS

Ali Lee Reflects On Her “Frozen” Status: “I’m Actually Quite Lucky”

In June 2019, Ali Lee (李佳芯)—then freshly crowned as Hong Kong’s TV Queen—went on Instagram to tell her fans to register to vote. The post attracted the ire of mainland Chinese fans and, as damage control, TVB pulled Ali off the casting list for several dramas, including the Chinese co-productions Legal Mavericks 2 <踩過界II> and Big White Duel 2 <白色強人II>. Ali’s screen time in a teaser trailer for Death By Zero <殺手> was reduced to only one second, and all on-screen work featuring Ali were either postponed or temporarily halted. She was henceforth officially deemed as “frozen” by the media.

Now, one year later, Ali is officially out of the freezer following the premiere of Death By Zero on June 29, 2020. Death By Zero is not only a popular success, Ali herself—who has been out of public’s eyes for a year—is still as popular as ever. For many artistes, being frozen for a year would mean a huge reduction in popularity and income. But for Ali, being frozen for a year actually increased her popularity with the public. Even those who don’t normally follow TVB artistes have become members of Ali’s growing fanclub.

While Ali has never exactly avoided questions about her being frozen, she has always been very careful with how she answered them. “I don’t want to respond to those questions anymore,” she said. “Every time I say something, people would just end up repeating the question again, as if I never responded to it in the first place. So the best thing is to not say anything anymore.”

Ali never inquired about her forced hiatus from TVB. Truthfully, she never needed to. “That’s the media’s job,” she said. “The game is to write something interesting so the viewers have something to read and talk about. Why would I do their job? I don’t find it necessary.”

Reports like to describe Ali as unlucky—within months of winning Hong Kong’s TV Queen award, her career had to be put on hold. But Ali, surprisngly, actually considers herself to be one lucky woman. “People say that if you have negative news, you are successful. I guess I made it. I actually think I’m quite lucky. I’m a very simple person. I only want to do what I like to do, and I like to be an actor. At least, at this very moment, I still really like acting. I want to comfortably continue this career my own way. I don’t know how far this career will take me, but I am on target with my goal.”

Ali debuted in 2005 as a model. From 2008 to 2012, she worked as a TV program presenter for Cable TV. Upon the end of her contract, she signed with TVB, and in 2014, she had her acting debut in Outbound Love <單戀雙城>. Ali maintained a prolific resume in the next two years, and became known among the industry as TVB’s “favorite mistress”. Most of her roles were either money-hungry seductresses or the third person in a relationship. It negatively impacted Ali’s image, to the point where even her friends had told her to quit.

“They were concerned that I would get typecasted,” she said. “But then I would ask, why not? If I turned those roles down, then I lose my job. Of course I want to continue playing the mistress. It’s just acting. It’s not real life. In fact, the more I play those roles, the more I want to do better in them. I just really enjoy watching my own work. I would immediately know if I did well or not. That’s just my personality. I really like to consistently challenge myself, so I know how to do better next time.”

After four years with TVB, Ali finally made it to first-tier, debuting her first performance as lead actress in 2016’s Law dis-Order <律政強人>. In 2018, she won Best Actress for her performance in Who Wants a Baby? <BB來了>.

Ali deserved to celebrate her success, but not only did that success not last long, Ali had to put her entire career on hold for next year.

But that hasn’t stopped Ali from being happy. “As long as I can eat and sleep, I’m happy. Find a reason for you to move on. That’s enough for me.”


This article is written by Addy for

14 comments to Ali Lee Reflects On Her “Frozen” Status: “I’m Actually Quite Lucky”

  1. bubbles23 says:

    I love her personality and think she’s a great role model for girls. Knows what she wants and doesn’t let negative stuff get to her. I’ve been going through her dramas and her roles get better n better. The only other tvb actress I’ve watched with this kind of diversity is Charmaine.

    TVB just dropped the quality of their dramas by 30% by not casting her.

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  2. luye says:

    Ali’s first lead role is Fashion War

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  3. tt23 says:

    Is she officially out of the freezer? My mom said she saw an article the other day that she’s filming another drama soon, as a sign of being unfrozen but I can’t find this story anywhere.

    I hope she is. She’s such a good actress and deserves way better.

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    • conan2209 replied:

      @tt23 she said in an interview she met up with a producer on a new show, more will be known in Aug. I hope TVB will not change their mind about casting her.
      She is a rare gem, natural in her acting and very versatile. Just waiting to be polished further. Stupid TVB better not cast her aside!
      i gave up all hopes on TVB actresses and shows till i saw her in the legal drama

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      • tt23 replied:

        @conan2209 legal mavericks was the first drama I saw her in too! and I was like whoa – she’s actually a good actress haha. Gave me hope. After that I pretty watched all of her dramas. Same thing with Vincent Wong.

        So sad she’s not in the second one 🙁

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      • bubbles23 replied:

        @tt23 when Legal Mavericks came out I binged it and was so immersed in it because of Ali + Vincent. I doubt the second one will be half as good.

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      • conan2209 replied:

        @tt23 she gave me hope of TVB shows, i stopped watching TVB (unless i include those i tried for an epi or two) till i watch her and lo and behold, i glue myself to the killer show nightly now

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      • conan2209 replied:

        @tt23 ohhhhh i dont mean legal maverick, i meant the one starring Alex Fong, i watched that show just to ogle at Alex and chanced upon Ali.

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  4. sev2 says:

    Come to think of it she is quite lucky. Despite being frozen she still got press. many supporters compared to other TVB actors that voice the same view as her.

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  5. I mean the year of hiatus allowed her to write her own book. If she was still filming I don’t think she would’ve had the time to do that and also publish it. Although I would’ve liked to see her more in dramas it’s nice that she’s made her own book. So in a way the break from her career actually helped her.

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  6. mulder99 says:

    I love Ali too, TVB is so stupid…

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  7. gnomageddon says:

    Love her personality. She seems very down to earth and humble. I think she is a great versatile actress and the best that TVB has today. Hope they continue to give her more opportunities and not drop her from dramas anymore.

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  8. abcd says:

    I think in a way it turned out to be a blessing in disguise for her. She said she didn’t realize how much her parents missed her so she had the opportunity to spend more time with them. On top of that she got to write a new book, so good for her. Her being frozen is TVBs lost, not hers.

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