Carlos Chan Reflects on Tough Road to Stardom
Like many actors, Carlos Chan (陳家樂) has been through his share of rough times before finding success. Although his popularity is on the rise after starring in TVB’s Daddy Cool <逆緣>, the 31-year-old actor has not forgotten about the difficult times he endured following his debut.
“Before showbiz, I was just your everyday worker. I worked in insurance and I was in sales. I don’t know if it’s because I was hounded by people a lot during these times or what, but I don’t really have a temper. At the time, I had saved some money before participating in EEG’s New Talent Singing Awards and joined the entertainment industry. When I first started, I thought my savings was enough to live off of. I didn’t think that I would have no income for the first few years. After about four years, I was broke. I was 24 or 25 years old at the time, and I felt like I wanted to die.”
In order to survive, Carlos turned to his friends for financial assistance. He often asked to borrow money in order to buy food and daily necessities. “My company gave me $500 HKD a month as a base salary. If I had no work, then I would only have the $500 for that month. This $500 was gone in an instant, so I had to ask my friends to lend me money. Later, even my friends began to feel that they can’t keep lending me money like this. When my family saw how it was for me, they would secretly place money in my wallet. I became more and more confused. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. When I go out, people feel that I am a celebrity, and so I must be well off. But in reality, I didn’t even have money for clothes or food. I only ate bread that cost $2 HKD. I am really thankful to director Heiward Mak (麥曦茵) for seeking me out for work later.”
In addition to being grateful to those who helped bring him back out on screen, Carlos is also thankful to have met a group of great friends in the past two years. “In the past, I felt very lonely. In the first six or seven years after I debuted, the Hong Kong film industry was very slow. Very few people invested in the creative productions of film. I had very few casting opportunities. Fortunately, the film industry has been back on the rise these past few years. A group of fresh new actors, including myself, have a consensus. We want to unite and work together to contribute to the film industry.
“For example, I and a group of the guys helped Charmaine Fong (方皓玟) film a music video. This is a start. Later, we plan to start a soccer team and get together to read our scripts. There was nothing like this before. Many new actors also got awards at this year’s Hong Kong Film Awards. I am very happy for them.”
This article is written by Huynh for JayneStars.com.
I hope Huang Xiaoming is reading this. This is a ‘real’ struggle.
@jimmyszeto I know, right? HXM should be ashamed of himself for “crying” about so-called struggles that weren’t really struggles. Makes my blood boil when I hear rich, arrogant actors like HXM “whining” about being criticized for their acting or singing or whatnot back in the day – who the hell cares? My sympathy is reserved for artists like Carlos and many many others who truly did have difficult paths to fame and had to struggle with “real” issues such as trying to put food on the table or keeping a roof over their heads or had to deal with a variety of health issues resulting from their work, or struggled with family or other circumstances, and now that they’ve overcome those struggles, are immensely grateful to those who once helped them, even if it was someone who did something as simple as paying for their meal or lending them clothes. These are the types of “tough road to stardom” stories that we want to hear, not the “I got laughed at for my poor English omg it’s the end of the world” kind….
There are plenty who have been living off tiny base salaries and cheap bread in the past and currently now. Just need to look at the group of support actor/actresses that went to HKTV. There likes of Huang Xiaoming tries to gain sympathy because his ego is hurt from being criticised for crap at English and singing. There are actors earning pennies and treated like extras by crew and audiences but they have to grit their teeth and work on until one day they can be recognised enough to be criticised by viewers. Something that Huang Xiaoming thinks is the ‘end of the world’…
@jimmyszeto you took the words out of my fingertips. What Carlos experienced is a real struggle. My respect for him has gone up some notches. He deserves all the good things that are coming his way, he paid his dues
@IIwy12 as usual, very well said. I too commented on the unnecessary whining from Huang Xiaoming about trivial, petty things. I too was totally miffed at his pri Madonna attitude. Such a silly, entitled spoilt brat. A real struggle or crisis will kill him, for sure.
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