Bowie Lam Didn’t Want to Hang Out with Catherine Chau After Work

Upcoming ViuTV drama series The Gutter <歎息橋>, produced by Bowie Lam (林保怡), is his and Catherine Chau’s (周家怡) first collaboration since 2016’s Margaret & David—Green Bean <瑪嘉烈與大衛系列-綠豆>. The Gutter is Bowie and Catherine’s tenth collaboration overall.

“I wasn’t in charge of the casting,” said Bowie, who gave full casting responsibilities to The Gutter directors Fatball and 25. “Catherine and I are too close. I would have chosen her regardless, so it wouldn’t be fair to other actors.”

But even after receiving the go-ahead to cast other actresses, Fabtall and 25 insisted to have Catherine star alongside Bowie. It was a move that Bowie didn’t mind at all.

“Practice makes perfect,” said Bowie. Contrary to popular opinion, Bowie and Catherine do not find their frequent collaborations as a bore. “We’re in the process of perfecting it.”

“We get better and better at it,” said Catherine.

Bowie clarified, “And we’re not referring to the acting, but the byproduct of it. We all struggle to get out of character.”

Out of the many characters he has portrayed in the past, David from Green Bean had been one of Bowie’s most challenging roles to get out of character. It took Bowie nearly two years to finally remove himself from David and the character’s history with Margaret, portrayed by Catherine.

“And every time I’d see Bowie, I’d feel regretful,” shared Catherine.

“I literally wouldn’t even want to hang out with her,” said Bowie. “Whenever our mutual friends would suggest inviting Catherine to hang out, I would make an excuse to not go . . . It was torture.”

Catherine added that even her family got too involved with the characters of Green Bean. Her own mother would treat Bowie as her own son-in-law. She joked and said she hopes her mother would not hate her after seeing The Gutter.

The Gutter also stars Michelle Wai (衛詩雅) and Hanjin Tan (陳奐仁). The four with them are involved in a “love square” that is more than what meets the eye.

As for his relationship with Catherine, Bowie said, “We live together, in separate rooms, but we not quite there as lovers. We have never said we loved each other.”

Bowie described The Gutter as a different kind of romantic drama, saying, “It’s not very easy to understand. It requires a lot of analysis and organization. It’s like you’re watching a crime drama.”

The Gutter premieres May 11, 2020 in Hong Kong.


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. I’ve never truly buy into “can’t get out of character” excuse. Then again, I’m not an actor and never had to be get into character so… who knows? Maybe? IDK.

    But it’s annoying now that almost every actor claims how difficult to get out of character or can’t get out of one as some sort of honor badge to proclaim their acting is good and deserve praises. *roll eyes* This is close to as annoying as one claiming, oh this role is the toughest or conplex character to portray. These vanilla/go-to answers are boring af and don’t add any flavor or shine any light to the character itself imo.

    I’m not dissing Bowie or Catherine here, just making a general statement like they are …

    1. @jjwong I think the problem is that most artists use the “not able to get out of character” thing all wrong. To me, there is no such thing as not being able to get out of the character they portrayed – most of the time, what the artists are referring to when they say that is the emotional toll that portraying a particular character had on them, to the point that afterwards, they struggle with detaching themselves from those feelings emotionally and in some extreme cases, it impacts them in real life. With that said though, this usually only happens to artists who are / were emotionally invested in their roles, plus there are also usually external circumstances that come into play at the same time – overall, it’s actually a pretty rare occurrence. I don’t want to say that all artists who say they are “not able to get out of character” are using that as an excuse because we’ve seen over the years examples of it being true with some artists and the devastating impact it had (the 2 most prominent examples that come to mind in terms of HK entertainers are Sammi Cheng and Leslie Cheung, both during the early 2000s)….but by the same token, there are also examples of artists who hide behind the “not able to get out of character” thing to excuse their own actions (I think we all know which recent example I’m referring to), which to me is the worst type of artist. But yea, as with everything related to the entertainment industry, whenever I hear artists say stuff like that, regardless of who the artist is, I always take it with a grain of salt…

      **For the record, my comment above is also a “general statement” and not judgment on Bowie or Catherine — in fact, I actually like both of them as actors (Catherine especially) and was also a fan of the Green Bean series (definitely looking forward to this new collaboration from the GB team!)…

      1. @llwy12
        I agree because even us as viewers can get emotionally attached, fixated and even obsessed with a fictional character we see onscreen. It’s not as serious and it can happen even from our short time watching nevermind an actor portraying a character for a few months. Yeh idiot newbies do make me laugh though like the recent example of both ‘not being able to get out of character’. That’s called seeing each other a lot in filming, flirting and then deciding to have a secret relationship. It really an insult to the actors who put so much time and emotion into falling into their characters…

      2. @llwy12 Aye, exactly, it’s the mental toll on the actor when s/he prepares for or does a role, especially if it’s emotional heavy/defect character. I can see how that effect their thought. Om the other hand, I’m not buying the whole can’t get out of being that role or person.

        If you play a murderer, the things you learn how a murderer behaves, what makes them kill, why they kill are distributing and impact your psyche; but you’re not gonna start killing people or finding joy in seeing blood. If you do, there’s something off about you to begin with lol. Same applies to the recent usage of their characters/roles to cheat. It’s your own moral, or lack there of, that you cheated.

        In Sammi and Leslie case, iirc, they were both somewhat in fragile state of mind / depression to begin with, no? So I can see how they sank longer in that state after preparing and playing the role.

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