Esther Kwan Feels Guilty for Neglecting Husband Nick Cheung

Twelve years later, TVB’s golden duo Esther Kwan (關詠荷) and Bobby Au Yeung (歐陽震華) finally reunite for the television drama Always and Ever <情逆三世緣>, a time-traveling drama currently airing on TVB Jade. Esther, a mother and a wife, semi-retired from the entertainment industry after marrying film king husband Nick Cheung (張家輝), but she returned again in 2007 to shoot the TVB sitcom, Best Selling Secrets <同事三分親>. Her daughter Brittany Cheung (張童) was not even a year old when she decided to make her television comeback.

In March 2008, a year into shooting the sitcom, Esther made the sudden announcement that she was leaving the cast of Best Selling Secrets so she could take time off to be with her daughter.

“At the time my daughter was only about one year old. I had no vacation time; I even had to work on Saturdays and Sundays, from day to night. With such long working hours, we would all eventually turn dry. The crew took care of me very well, but my daughter was always alone, and without a family member by her side to care for her. That’s why I decided to quit.”

Brittany is now 7 years old. Though Brittany is now fully capable of accepting her parents being away for work, Esther expressed that she is willing to semi-retire again for her daughter. “Can’t lose the chance to have her by my side! I need to spend more time with her, talk with her, and teach her.”

Esther expressed that her husband and her daughter always come first. While Nick was busy with filming movies, Esther stayed home to care for Brittany. After coming across the script of Always and Ever, Esther immediately gave up three months of her family time to shoot the drama.

Asked if she will film more dramas in the future, Esther said, “There was never a rule saying that both parents could not go to work. Even if I did plan out a schedule with [Nick] after I accepted Always and Ever, he still never really followed the original plan. One day when I was filming in Foshan, my daughter called and said, ‘Ay, no dad and no mom.’ On the second day when I had my day off, I immediately returned to Hong Kong to see her. She has others taking care of her, but she always misses her parents. She has no siblings, so I have to be her sister as well.

“I don’t have enough output,” Esther joked when she was once again asked if she would return to film another drama in the future. “It depends on faith and the script.”

Feels Guilty for Neglecting Husband

Both former ATV artists, Esther and Nick began dating in the early 90s. A popular ATV actress at the time, their relationship garnered negative reactions from the media as Nick was still struggling in supporting roles at the time. Was their relationship a case of a man being inferior to the woman?

“It wasn’t like that! [The media] made it seem so! When we are with each together, we do not consider who is the better or the worse. A relationship is a relationship. We do not talk about work-related business. In my eyes, he was a boyfriend, a husband. He’s doing so well now. He’s hardworking! He’s my pride!”

Despite their harmonious relationship, Esther expressed that she once felt as if she did not do her duty well as a wife. When Nick was in depression, she admitted that she was not there to help him, and she felt guilty. “I was taking care of our daughter at the time. When he came back home from work, he didn’t really want to start a conversation with me. When he was working in mainland, I could sense that he was feeling uncomfortable. He had a terrible temper and would do weird things. I actually didn’t know it was serious until he told me and went to see a doctor.

“He knows how to face difficulties. He knew he wasn’t feeling well, so he went to see a doctor himself. I feel guilty for overlooking him. He didn’t want to talk because he didn’t want me to worry. He thinks a lot. After all, the social scene in the film industry is much more complicated than the TV industry. The most important thing to do is to make him comfortable at home and help him rest. That is where I come in to take care of him, but honestly, I haven’t encouraged him much.”

Esther’s Second Pride: Bobby Au Yeung

Esther’s other pride is Always and Ever costar Bobby Au Yeung, her good friend and colleague. “He really knows how to set up an atmosphere. From stoned faces to relaxed expressions, he has the personality that can make the entire crew smile. He’s very good with people. When I work with Nick, we would argue a lot, but never with Bobby. He’s adaptable. You give him any dialogue and he can improvise on the spot. He’s very flexible and not stubborn. For someone as stubborn as myself, it’s good to meet someone who is not.”

In the middle of filming Always and Ever earlier this year, Bobby developed acute pneumonia and was hospitalized in the ICU for an entire week.

“He almost died!” said Esther. “But when I visited him, all he spoke was nonsense. That was when I knew he was back!”

Bobby’s accident reminded Esther that she must watch out and take care of her body. “It was literally a step to and back from hell for him, and that was just because he choked on his food.”

Esther On Current Fadans

Esther’s performance as Miu Chui Fa in Lady Flower Fist <苗翠花> won her the Best Actress award at 1997’s TVB Anniversary Awards – the first ever Hong Kong TV Queen in history. As a senior, Esther definitely has the qualifications to comment on TVB’s current leading actresses.

Esther laughed, “They’re all good in their own ways. A positive quality is that they’re all taller than me! They can look good being pilots or firefighters. I really don’t know why TVB cast me as a firefighter [in Burning Flame], and I had to carry very heavy machinery with me all the time. The girls nowadays are braver. Back in the day, I would never wear just a bra!”

Esther also expressed that she supports TVB’s current voting system for the TVB Best Actor and Actress awards. She said, “It doesn’t matter. If the actor does well, the audience will support him/her. If you have good relationships with the company, you are bound to get awarded. [Managed artists] especially, but it’s hard to keep people nowadays. They can’t give you enough money, but they can give you a name. If you want to be spotted by the company, you have to have good faith with the audience. The company has the right to choose. With audience voting, it is fair. One half goes to the public, the half goes to the company. I do not disagree with this system.”

Source: Apple Daily

This article is written by Addy for

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  1. Esther looks very pretty in this photo. I didn’t know she and Nick started out with ATV and gained fame with ATV? I’ve only known her and Nick in TVB.

    1. I don’t remember seeing Nick but I saw Esther in God of Sword and she was so sweet in there. My mom was shocked to see her since we all thought she started out at TVB.

      1. Which series was that? I don’t think I ever saw it which is why I don’t remember seeing Nick act for ATV.

      2. Was it that minor? Did he play any supporting roles in any ATV series??

      3. He did play supporting roles but ATV did not promote him too much… He has better success in TVB and movies.

      1. True, always pretty. Exceptionally pretty here. 🙂

  2. nick was in who’s the winner back in atv.

    esther looks very pretty…

  3. If you don’t mind correcting, there’s a few grammar/spelling mistakes.

  4. They truly are a sweet couple and I admire how they love each other so much. I can see how Nick can get depressed since he experienced a lot in order to get his success now.It must be hard that your wife is more famous than you or doing better than you. For most men, that would really hurt their ego, but Nick and Esther handled it and worked it out. It is hard to care for the family when you have work to support it as well since it is the old days anymore where the guy works and the women just stay home to care for the kids.

  5. I always enjoy the two of them speak on each other’s attributes. In an old interview, nick cheung said he got the hottest girl from ATV and it was love at first sight. ever since that comment, i knew all these rumors about nick and esther not doing well were unbelievable.

    glad she mentioned burning flame I since that was one series I absolutely adored her in. in fact, other than the recent series with Roger Kwok, I have enjoyed every single one of Esther’s series.

  6. i love what esther said. she’s pretty, a good mother, a good wife. love her acting!

  7. Wow she looks so so pretty and young!!!!!!! I love her acting too. I forgot the title of this serie but it was about a small private detective firm and she was a secretary or assistant to the detective, she loved/liked the detective but he had his eyes on other girl. She always used her heels to hit his head when he made her upset. But in the end, he realized that he fell for her as well. I saw it like 20 years ago haha. That must have been my first tv serie ever thats why I still remember it till this day.

  8. TVB made a smart move by bringing Esther back to film with Bobby. Having Francis and Chilam back for TITS2 was great too. I assume Lawrence is going to be excellent in THC2.

    That means November’s award ceremony is going to be the biggest joke of the century because none of these awesome veterans are going to win anything (not that they care).

  9. Esther Kwan is one of the good actresses. I dont know why actresses those days have more quality, they’re so natural in their acting that you feel it’s so real, you’re not watching tv.

    1. To be fair, these young not good yet actresses nowadays need time. They will become better and great actresses in the future. I remember people didnt like Charmaine Sheh back then but now most people love her.

      1. Not sure about most people liking Charmaine. Many people that I know do not even like her at all.

      2. I used to like her when she was in Detective Investigation Files IV and when she wasn’t #1 sister. Haha funny huh. After that she was just a huge big star to me.

      3. She did horrible in Detective Investigation Files 4 was very newbe-ish.

      4. Do not like Charmaine then and still don’t like her now… Hate and dislike sounds too strong – so let’s just say don’t like 😛

  10. Esther is always be my fav idol! Esther n Nick is such a supporting and loving husband. Bobby is always so fun, i love him hahah

  11. Thanks for all the news about Esther Kwan. She’s my favorite actress.

  12. Ester Kwan is pretty woman, she was very pretty when she younger.
    She has the sad looks on her face, is her sad eyes, but very pretty.

  13. For Esther, please don’t live by comparing one with another, live to accept and cherish with what you have. Give, more than you take is all you need to do to live a happy life for yourself, your husband and your children.

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