Forced to Mature as a Child: Charmaine Sheh Didn’t Have an Ordinary Childhood

Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼) had a very eventful year. After starring in The Story of Yanxi Palace <延禧攻略>, her popularity skyrocketed. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Charmaine shares her thoughts on her success and where she sees herself.

Almost Turned Down “The Story of Yanxi Palace”

It’s hard to imagine what The Story of Yanxi Palace would be like without Charmaine, but the 43-year-old actress initially didn’t want to star in it. “I really liked the script when I first saw it. However, I was already working in Malaysia, I didn’t want to travel back and forth between two countries. I also didn’t think producers would like me flying around so much. Secondly, I have neck pains and was advised by doctors to avoid historical dramas. Also I was afraid that the audiences would resent me if I play a villainess.”

Fortunately, the director personally convinced her the head costume was not too heavy and persuaded Charmaine to star in the drama. This decision made Charmaine the most grateful in 2018.

Grateful for Mom’s Support

With a successful career in the entertainment industry for two decades, Charmaine is most grateful for her mom’s love and support. Life wasn’t always easy for Charmaine as she had to mature fast. When Charmaine was five years old, her father passed away in a car accident and Charmaine’s mother was left behind to take care of Charmaine and her brother. As a child, Charmaine remembered watching her mother crying and offered to comfort her mother to sleep. It was through the hard times that Charmaine’s bond with her mother grew.

Speaking of her childhood, Charmaine knows that her childhood was not ordinary. “Everyone has their own mission on earth, my mission is to overcome challenges. I won’t look at my dad’s early passing with sorrow. The biggest change to my dad’s passing is that we no longer have more family photos. My mom had to take care of the three of us alone. She kept the same standard of living without complaining. She is my hero.”

Charmaine described her mother as someone who understands her the most. For example, Charmaine always wanted to be a kindergarten teacher because she likes children. However, her mother knew that Charmaine is someone who won’t like staying still and recommended her to join the Miss Hong Kong pageant. That decision started Charmaine’s career as one of Asia’s most acclaimed actresses.

Plans to Settle Down?

A shaman once said that Charmaine would find her Mr. Right in 2019, but Charmaine replied, “I don’t believe in feng shiu; I only believe in fate. Maybe God knows I don’t like to settle down. Maybe if I meet God, God would think that I am too busy and decide it is time to settle down.”

Secret to Youthful Looks

Even though Charmaine is 43 years old, she can convincingly play the role of a character who is only 24 years old in The Story of Yanxi Palace. Charmaine laughed at the compliments and said that she is like everyone else, “When I don’t get enough sleep, my skin dries up and I get acne and edema. My beauty routine is applying facial masks twice daily. I’m lucky to inherit my mom’s big eyes and not have any eye bags.”

Charmaine continued to share the real secret to beauty, “It is happiness. Being happy is the cheapest way to being beautiful. The body changes with emotions. When you are happy, the cells and hormones are naturally working well and will fend off disease and pain. Happy people look the most radiant.”

Source: Cosmopolitan

This article is written by Sammi for

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  1. That is one cute baby photo worthy of a meme.

    This article however got 2 facts wrong to the point of “really? seriously?”

    1. one of Asia’s most acclaimed actresses
    Really? Seriously? Even her Yanxi performance wasn’t that level of greatness. It was ok. And she was dubbed.

    2. Even though Charmaine is 43 years old, she can convincingly play the role of a character who is only 24 years old
    She stayed slim, which is great but hardly 24. But I’d imagine with the constant deceits, pretension and lies, even a 24 year old will age a lot. No. She looks 43. She has aged a lot.

    3. t’s hard to imagine what The Story of Yanxi Palace would be like without Charmaine,
    It is easy. Any competent actress can play that role. A better actress would have played her better.

    1. @funnlim
      Those aren’t ‘facts’ you have mentioned. They are opinions of her acting skills and appearance. The writer is entitled to have her opinion and you are entitled to have yours…

  2. Eh she really doesn’t look like a 20 something year old and her acting wasnt that great imo. Although I got to say she really did step her game up in Yanxi considering how she had been so mediocre for past projects. It’s also thanks to a good plot because I’ve seen many good acting but a bad plot can ruin a drama as easily as the bad acting. Hopefully Charmaine will keep improving instead of just trying to finish it. The thing is she can’t be blamed though as most actresses tend to become mediocre or not improve at all once they’re popular.

  3. I guess it is very hard to have everyone like every artiste. However, in my personal opinions, Charmaine Sheh acted very well in the past few years. She is definitely one of the top ones from TVB.

    If someone has prejudice against a certain artiste, no matter how hard/good she acts, she will always get criticisms. On the other hand, if the artiste is one of your favourite ones, you will always accept all her flaws and the barely-acceptable acting.

  4. It would be nice if she can be with Louis Koo since they’re both single for a long time too I think they can make a cute couple let’s hope that would happen one day.

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