Corinna Chamberlain: Multi-talented Star of “Inbound Troubles”

TVB’s new prime-time television drama, Inbound Troubles <老表,你好嘢>, is full of fun and fresh surprises. Although the light-hearted drama has accumulated over 70 complaints due to its “derisive” portrayals of both mainland Chinese and Hong Kong people, the drama is nonetheless critically praised for its carefree filming style, laid-back humor, and refreshing cast.
Caucasian actress, Corinna Chamberlain (陳明恩), is one of the many up-and-coming rising stars of Hong Kong that has attracted widespread media attention due to her starring performance in Inbound Troubles. Corinna portrays Ng Tsz Ching’s (Ivana Wong 王菀之) crybaby best friend and university classmate, Nip Siu Sin.
As an ethnic minority in Hong Kong, it is difficult to catch up in an entertainment circle that is dominated by Asians. It took Corinna many years of street performances and auditions in order to get noticed by a talent agent.  It was also Corinna’s impeccable ability in speaking Cantonese that put her in the center of public interest.
The 31-year-old is born and raised in Hong Kong. Her father, who is from New Zealand, and her mother, who is from Australia, immigrated to Hong Kong in the late 1970s to work as missionaries.
Corinna is a graduate student at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, majoring in musical theater and dance. She worked as a backup vocalist for Sandy Lam (林憶蓮) in her 2007 concert, and has had many duet performances with William So (蘇永康). Corinna is also a jazz dance teacher for many grade schools in Hong Kong; some of her interests include street jazz, lyrical jazz, pop jazz, and modern jazz.
Inbound Troubles, however, is not Corinna’s first television drama. After signing an artist contract with TVB in 2008, Corinna has made guest performances in the 2008 season of sitcom Best Selling Secrets <同事三分親>, 2009’s You’re Hired <絕代商驕>, 2010’s Every Move You Make <讀心神探>, and 2012’s Silver Spoon, Sterling Shackles <名媛望族>.
Corinna will also be prominently featured in the upcoming period drama, Detective Columbo <神探高倫布>, portraying Ngo Ka Nin’s (敖嘉年) wife.
This article is written by Addy for

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  1. She may or may not be talented but her character has no credibility whatsoever. I am not sure if the director demanded she over-act or she misinterpreted the role. I’ve never seen a Caucasian woman with such body language; they don’t talk like that; and her behaviour is akin to a neurotic cat.

    1. I should add she was much better in Silver Spoon, Sterling Shackles

    2. Don’t think was meant to be playing a typical Caucasian girl. Don’t forget, this us a silly tvb light hearted comedy where characters are exaggerated.

      I have noticed her previously and if you YouTube ‘Cantonese speaking Australian’ there is an episode of her on a programme about non-Chinese people living in HK by ATV.

    3. Ever occurred to you that this was the way her character was supposed to come across.? Obviously, if her character is so annoying, she has done her job well.

  2. >As an ethnic minority in Hong Kong, it is difficult to catch up in an entertainment circle that is dominated by Asians.

    I disagree. If you’re caucasian and you speak fluent cantonese, you’re pretty much in already.

    1. With that said, TVB stylists need to stop giving her Asian-style make-up. There’s just too much, I think she can look real nice with a lot less.

      1. Yes, totally agree. They need to focus on her identity instead of trying to make her a stereotypical Hong Kong Chinese ‘girl’.

    2. “. If you’re caucasian and you speak fluent cantonese, you’re pretty much in already.”

      AND if you can read Chinese, you’re in Heaven.

    3. This was my experience in Japan as well… caucasian actors/actresses that probably wouldn’t have been given the time of day in North America were stars in Japan because of their command of the language, and the ability to make fun of themselves.

    4. Except how many Hong Kong or Chinese drama or movie series have an non-Asian (or even a non-Chinese) headlining it?

      There are Caucasians that live in HK that can speak and write Chinese more fluently than those who are of Chinese heritage but in TV series, if they need a Caucasian, they will always put the same actor to fill the role (Anyone remember Gregory Charles River? Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s drama, no matter what time period, whether it is French/English, etc, it is always played by him. Now the role is taken over by Brian Burrell.)

  3. I love her acting and singing! This is what TVB needs, not beauty pageant winners who cannot act. (There are some beauty pageant winners who could act and sing but a good majority of them suck)

  4. Please check out Corinna’s singing abilities, canto pronounciation is impeccable, even better than Eliza Sam (tho I like her too and her canto pronounciation reminds me of Fei Fei Lydia Sum whom I love).

    I havent seen SSSS or the other series mentioned but if tvb cast her they should let her be her.

    For your info, on a comparison note with Caucasian speaking cantonese, she speaks even better than Bey Logan (no disrespect but Bey is also fantastic).

    1. Bey Logan’s Cantonese is not fantastic. His tones are awful. What’s worse is he tries to show off dropping Cantonese into his sentences when not necessary. When he does this and the tones are off, he sounds like a tool.

      1. Fung,

        Cantonese is probably the hardest language to learn because of the many tones. It’s actually really hard to track down if an individual is speaking it correctly unless you’ve studied the language intensely. That also means those who are speaking with an accent, it might be a mix of improper Cantonese and the foreign accent, but usually people detect the accent first…so they blame the accent, but it could be a combination of both.

  5. Not the best actress but serviceable. And she speaks better cantonese than some hk-ers.

    1. You’re from Malaysia right? I bet her cantonese definitely sounds better than yours. Not some nonsense 知冇!

      1. Have you not heard Malaysians speak cantonese? You can spot them right away. It’s awful! Their English accent is even worse!

      2. I have but they have to deal with English AND Malaysian as well which influences the accent.

      3. I speak Japanese and Mandarin on top of my Canto and English and I know how juggling so many languages wrecks your coherence.

        It’s really frustrating.

      4. Of course her cantonese is better than mine. She is from HK. But I can speak Cantonese, fluently but with Malaysian accent, English fluently but with Malaysian accent, Mandarin not so fluently but a decent Chinese accent, Malay. That’s all. Not much really but does me no harm to speak more than 1 language. As I always said, accent is not a good judge of whether someone can speak good English or Cantonese or Mandarin. The point is anyone who comes to Malaysia won’t get lost like they’re in Japan or Korea, potentially. And you have just insulted everyone who doesn’t speak cantonese fluently, Hk-ers included. And she does speak better cantonese than some hk-ers.

        Where are you from? HK I suppose and those who can’t speak good cantonese perhaps? Because you sound like you have issues with what I said.

      5. @ Djojs

        How many Malaysians have you heard speaking Cantonese?

        Malaysians from KL and Ipoh speak very fluent Cantonese and I doubt you can spot right away.

        2 Malaysian actresses that speak impeccable Cantonese are Angie Cheung and Mimi Chu.

      6. Lol… Actually, my cantonese is not perfect having grown up in Aus… Must admit, I can’t tell the difference between some of the 9 tones.

        And no, I’m not trying to offend everyone… I was just talking about you.

        Like I said earlier, Mimi Chu’s cantonese is like a Hongkie but her English is def Malaysian. I don’t know the other people. Anyway, my point was that Corinna speaks better cantonese than many other cantonese speakers in hk and around the world, myself included.

        And 99% of Malaysians (all areas) I’ve come across have their accent… I just find it more funny than others….. OK la!

      7. Yes we do have our accents but it’s our accents that made us trully Malaysians. I know Mandrin, English, Malay, Cantonese, Hakka and Hokkien and most Malaysians know more than one language. So i guess our accents is a product of our capability to speak more than one language. Insulting our accents is kind of uncalled for.

      8. Dont insult malaysians sheesh… So what if we have an accent? As if nobody has accents? Each Malaysians know at least 3 languanges, and how many languange do you guys in your country averagely know? The more language we know, the better, even if we have an accent. Oh and to all HKers, your Cantonese isnt all perfect. Take a trip to Canton and compare your cantonese with the original cantonese speaker.

      9. I don’t understand this obsession with accents. Africans speak English with an accent but as far as I know, they’re more grammatically correct than sayyyyy Americans. Does anyone criticise their English?

        Same with Cantonese. As far as I am concerned my intonation is good even if I speak with an accent. That’s what makes each country unique.

        Same as Australians speak English with an accent. I don’t see people coming here and say they can’t understand Australians or they have a funny accent.

      10. “Must admit, I can’t tell the difference between some of the 9 tones.”

        Well news for you. I can differentiate between 9 tones or whatever. Many here I am sure can and they are from Malaysia. Talking about someone who can’t understand the language criticising others for having an accent. You can the perfect canton accent but what’s the point when you know less words than someone with non-canton accent but can understand well?

  6. TVB should have sign her in Best Selling Secrets sitcom at that time. She has a bright future to be more keeleefee TVB roles and maybe supporting actress status now. Oh well…. too bad her character cries way tooo out of ordinary.

      1. Everytime she cries, i just want her to shut up. So anoying, gives me a headache.

  7. Acting in Hong Kong would have to be a stepping stone for her as Cantonese is a minority language

    1. Yeah no-one really speaks Cantonese here in Hong Kong.

      It’s all mandarin now due to the handover.

      1. I mean that as a world language, Cantonese is in the minority

    2. She’s able to speak Mandrin as well. so technically, she’s able to dominate both the Western and Chinese market.

  8. I guess she’s the female Ho kwok wing? She speaks well. I always get amazed by non Chinese people speaking fluent Cantonese, considering all the tones involved.

    1. She was born in HK. It’s equatable to an Asian-American speaking perfect English.

      1. Really weirded corinna did not speak in Aussie or nz accent. Very americanized Chinese speaking. Unique

      2. You could look her up in Youtube videos, She did sing in English at a opera performance and other promo and show stuff.

    2. Well tvb news department has hired a Indian background female reporter. Damn she speaks really well in cantonese.

      Must be living in hong kong for many years greatly adapt the market.

      1. I think she might be Pakistani Muslim, but anyway, that’s beside the point.

        It’s great that TVB is now allowing other races to take part in more prominent roles.

  9. i like her,she is pretty and can speak cantonese fluently also a good singer/actress,i hope she will come far and become a leading acterss.

    1. I hope she has a bright future as well but I don’t think she’ll make it to leading actress unless she works really hard. Besides that, she’ll need someone to actually giver her a chance at TVB which I think won’t be likely.

      I think TVB will hire and utilize Caucasian actors/actresses for specific occasions only. This is speculative of course, but given Gregory’s case, I’m inclined to believe that she will be lucky if she can rise to a support role.

      On comparison though, I think she has even less of an accent to the point where if I closed my eyes I probably couldn’t tell she wasn’t native. Gregory’s I could detect even thought it was minma, almost like an Englishmen speaking NA English but still with a hint of that accent they’re so famous for.

      1. I don’t think she wants to be a leading actress. Perhaps acting is to supplement her income and give her exposure as she is a singer?

      2. i also think it wont be easy to go far for her.i think its the same problem as for asians actors/actress in hollywood.

      3. Yea, I don’t think she can become a lead actress, she will basically become like the western actor tvb used to have for every series, be it a tourist or the head of the police >_< basically, every single supporting caucasian role. also, because she speak so fluent canto that while watching SSSS, seeing every of her scene give me a sense of confusion lol, hard to explain but yea.

      4. @Funn

        That might be true, I haven’t read or seen her enough to know what she’s thinking. I know Gregory wanted to act more but after 20 years with TVB, it came to a point where he had to decide if he wanted to continue in the 3rd/4th line acting roles or pursue another career. She’s still young though so there’s time still to see how accepting the audience is and if TVB may promote her if she wants to seriously try her hand at it.

  10. I don’t think she’s pretty. She’s so so. The bleached hair doesn’t look nice on her.

    1. Agree. She is not pretty at all, a typical white (in nationality).

  11. Brave Corinna, to dare face the HK public knowing they tear her to pieces is she did not speak their kind of Cantonese. I, too, do not think she is aiming to be lead actress. She’s so talented in other ways than acting and perhaps this is a challenge to her, to be able to act in a Cantonese serial, a rare feat for a foreigner like her. I think Malaysians should be proud they can speak not only one but several dialects plus Malay and English. We may not speak perfect Malay or the Queen’s English but I daresay we are articulate enough and wherever we go we can be understood which is more important than what accent we have.

  12. I love people who say her accent is so good and then compare it to Eliza or Christine.


    People need to stop looking at the colour of her skin and realize that for all intent and purposes she’s just as much Hong Kong Chinese as anyone else born there.

    1. Agree with you. Don’t find it as something extraordinary. She was born in HK and raised there, so it is normal for her to be able speaks fluent Cantonese.

    2. Exactly, when you’re born in Hong Kong your Cantonese will be the exact dialect of the main language there.

      Eliza was born in Vancouver where 2nd generation Chinese are afraid of speaking their own native language because of negative Chinese stereotypes. I know this because Vancouver has very ignorant people that hate on Chinese mostly. Eliza is humble enough to admit her Cantonese is not great and that she’s learning.

      1. Have you lived in Vancouver?

        I thought Canadians were more tolerant of other races.

        But i guess because there are so many chinese/asians there.. now having a negative effect.

      2. That’s very interesting, I never knew that’s how Vancouver reacted towards Chinese people. I’m from Eastern Canada and the idea of multiculturalism here in the Toronto Area certainly hasn’t been lost. In fact, we celebrate it each year with the whole GTA linked together that showcases every culture in various parts of the cities and transportation is free for locals so people can experience everybody else’s culture while attracting sizeable tourism for the economy.

        I do think though that no matter how tolerant or open policy a country has against other races, that there will always be some people who think otherwise and just hide the fact really well now that Racism is a crime against humanity by law.

        I’m 2nd generation too but I actually went to the community schools that teach us our native language so to speak so if you ever heard me, you would probably think I grew up in HK or Mainland rather then Canada. I have no accents at all speaking Canto, Mando, English or French. Lucky me!

        As Djojs said, do you live in Vancouver? No offense or anything, I just wanted to know how you know its a fact as it’s the first time I’ve heard about it.

      3. Djojs, yes I live in Vancouver.

        The Chinese stereotypes are clear and evident, such as Chinese are bad drivers, they’re rude and don’t know English. They even nickname the biggest university here UBC as the University of a Billion Chinese because most students there are Chinese.

        Every news site have racist comments directed at other races expect for the majority race here. When the jobs become scarce and the economy goes back Canadians will show their true face.

      4. I wonder if that has anything to do with how Canada is in general. I know that the more West you go the more Conservative the attitude is in general. It’s usually reflected in our voting too, the West being a Conservative powerbase and the East mostly more Liberal.

        Probably also has to do with how early immigration affected the areas as well. This actually peaked my interest, might look into it some more now.

      5. SD, here in BC it’s split with the more interior cities and rural areas less tolerant and Conservative.

        In Vancouver it’s a more NDP and Liberal.

        Living in Vancouver for over 30 years have taught me that there will be always intolerant, ignorant people.

        By showing a good example in the community I try to teach them that there is nothing fearful about Chinese and other races.

        There will always be stupid people that no matter how much I try to reach out to them will always use racism as an excuse.

      6. I agree with you wholeheartedly on that, in fact, if there weren’t laws in place I’d think some people would be more vocal and active on expressing racist views which is pretty pitiful if they can’t look past stereotypes and the color of skin. Every country and race has its fair share of bad apples, if anything, that should prove that in the end we’re all just human and a person should be judged on how he is as a person.

        On a side note, you’ve lived there for quite sometime. That’s more years then I’ve been alive 🙂

      7. That’s disappointing to hear about the Chinese in Vancouver… but as someone said, the more West you go in Canada, the more Conservative/”redneck” you get. I live closer to Toronto and there are Chinese who live in the Toronto/Golden Horseshoe area you can’t speak any English at all and they get along fine.

        When I shop in the Markham area I am at a disadvantage because I can’t speak Cantonese! And you know, I’m perfectly 100% fine with that. lol… personally, I love it. It makes me feel like I’m in a different country altogether.

  13. Sorry, she is just simply out of place and so annoying to watch!

    1. @JP, can you elaborate on what you mean by Corinna being out of place?.

  14. Initially I hated her character in inbounds. Now, I think she’s alright and fits in.

  15. I’m an Australian Chinese. Corinnas Chinese cantonese is so much better than mine. She’s so talented and versatile and beautiful too

  16. I think you is great and super cute, couldn’t believe, she speaks cantonese so well.

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