Edward Ma on Accidental Fame: “I Never Thought I’d Be a Lead Actor”

The 33 year-old former deliveryman never thought he would become famous one day.

Successfully catching viewers’ attention with his character in the drama I Bet Your Pardon <荷里活有個大老千>, Edward Ma (馬志威) did not scare off audiences with his fearsome looks, but was praised for looking like a crossover between male gods Shawn Yue (余文樂), Sammy Sum (沈震軒) and Kelvin Kwan (關楚耀). Originally weighing 200 pounds, Edward had worked as a deliveryman for as long as 10 years. Determined to shed his image, he picked up wushu, making the career switch and impressing with his tall, handsome figure as a model, and landed his first movie lead role.

Entering the industry six years ago, the 33 year-old actor is finally making his mark. “The neighbors know I am an actor, but have never seen my works. After I Bet Your Pardon was aired, they can finally call me by my name in the show. Needless to say, I’m overjoyed,” he said, never expecting the popularity he now enjoys.

Stuck in a Soulless Job for 10 Years

Edward became a deliveryman after graduating from high school. “Repeating the same job every day, I felt soulless, like a stringent practicing monk.” When asked why he stayed in the same job despite not enjoying it, he replied that he needed the money to survive, and could not think of other jobs as he was not highly educated. “I did not have a happy childhood, and lacked confidence. Although the job was boring, I did not dare to jump out of my comfort zone, worried that I could not cope with a sudden switch.”

Feeling tired from work every day, Edward did not have the energy to think about his future seriously. “One day, I suddenly ‘saw’ a future version of myself and asked, ‘Would I want to continue delivering and collecting parcels for the rest of my life?’ I felt a little fearful and did not want to accept this,” he shared, mustering up enough courage to quit his job.

Wanted to Go Behind-the-Scenes

While idle, Edward’s passion for drama motivated him to turn to the entertainment industry. When he was young, he often begged his mother to rent movie discs for him, watching up to five or six movies a week, choosing deep shows like Ashes of Time <東邪西毒> which he might not understand fully, but still enjoyed.

Initially, Edward wanted to work in production, but a friend who made the job referral recommended him to go in front of the camera instead. Despite his self-doubt, Edward became a model, and was even spotted by director Patrick Kong (葉念琛) to star as male lead in his romance film A Secret Between Us <第一次不是你>. “It’s really unbelievable that a blank piece of paper like myself had entered the colorful entertainment circle within a short year. Knowing nothing, I felt thrilled yet afraid.”

Restrictive Diet Makes Him Depressed

His six-feet tall height, close-to-perfect physique and propensity for both good and nasty roles gave Edward an instant edge when he first entered the industry. Few knew that he was never always as fit, but he is not ashamed to bring up his past. “I am naturally fat…weighing 200 pounds at my heaviest. In primary school I was called a fatty. Though I exercised in secondary school, I was still over 180 pounds. I was definitely not the school beau, but a cute fatty at most.”

The actor only managed to lose weight the year before he quit his delivery job, as thinking about his unhappy future made him depressed and lose his appetite. As he was also learning wushu, he managed to lose a lot of weight.

Preparing for new wrestling film Fist Fight <入鐵籠> with Lam Yiu Sing (林耀聲), Edward has been working out intensively to achieve a fighter’s physique. He trained continuously for a month and a half, and while the physical work is bearable, having to control his diet made him depressed and even have childish thoughts of quitting, though the next day he would go back to his training routine.

Not as Smooth-sailing as Expected

Despite already landing three lead roles, Edward’s acting career is not as smooth-sailing as expected and he had to wait for two years after his first film before his next acting opportunity came. “I took modelling and other advertising jobs, enough for me to get past. But deep inside I missed movies, not having any films to shoot made me doubt that I was not good enough. That made me feel very negative.” He admitted to sitting at home the whole day without doing anything, or walking on the beach aimlessly.

Despite his macho appearance, Edward loves chasing dramas at home. “Although I didn’t complete my studies, I did pretty well in literature and history. I love quiet and peace, dislike alcohol and late nights.”

“Will Surely Get Married”

As for his love life, Edward has a girlfriend of six years who is not from the industry. Not a romantic boyfriend, the couple enjoys spending time together. He shares, “She is my best friend, and I can be myself in front of her. Recently we’re doing pottery together, that makes me really happy.”

The couple, who already see each other as lifelong partners, have over 40 toy bears at home. “I will ‘chat’ with my bear every day. He will tell us to be more honest, haha. ”Much like his quirky, good-boy character, Edward says he will definitely get married when the opportune time comes.

Source: Cosmopolitan HK

This article is written by JoyceK for JayneStars.com.

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