Grace Chan Going Through Immense Stress From First Lead Role

Grace Chan (陳凱琳) is experiencing immense stress and pressure due to her first lead role in the TVB anniversary drama Captain of Destiny <張保仔>. As the drama’s only female lead, Grace expressed her burden of having to carry a series after only one year of debut.

Captain of Destiny, a historical sci-fi drama about a prince and a pirate, also stars Ruco Chan (陳展鵬) and Tony Hung (洪永城). In the series, Grace portrays a 21st century cop who accidentally travels back in time to early 19th century Cheung Chau, meeting the renowned Cantonese pirate Cheung Po Tsai. Grace develops romantic feelings for the two male leads, and finds it hard to leave them knowing that she would have to return to modern-day Hong Kong.

Grace’s character, Wong Tai-mui, is heavily disliked by netizens, calling her one of the worst characters on television. Netizens also criticized Grace for being a poor actress, making an already poorly-written character even poorer. Anthony Wong (黃秋生) commented that Grace’s performance was “a nuisance” in the series, and Grace’s own boyfriend, Kevin Cheng (鄭嘉穎), remarked that her acting was still very elementary.

Facing negative reviews in all four sides, the 24-year-old Grace said she is in extreme stress. “Before Captain of Destiny, I filmed Overachievers <名門暗戰> and Raising the Bar <四個女仔三個BAR>, but [Captain of Destiny] was my very first drama as lead. I was in a great amount of stress. Now that it’s broadcasting, I’m nervous about it again.”

Grace admitted that she was quite upset about the negative reviews on her performance. She said, “There’s been a lot of comments [about my performance], and some people would use whatever they could to attack you. My grandmother once told me that it’s impossible to get everyone to like you. She then asked me, ‘Did you try your best? Do you have any regrets?’ I answered no. Since I tried my best, there is nothing else I could do. Her comment made me feel a little better.”

The former Miss Hong Kong revealed that she tends to cry when she gets extremely stressed. Asking if her boyfriend, Kevin Cheng, had consoled her, she said, “He would. He is my senior, and very experienced. He advised me to not care too much about what outsiders say, but listen to the opinions from experienced coworkers and producers. If you take in what everyone has to say about you, you will definitely make yourself unhappy. That’s why it’s important to listen from those [with experience]. The drama started airing after he came back from the Mainland. He told me he would monitor my performance and share his opinions.”

On how it was to work with seniors such as Ruco and Tony, Grace said, “Tony Hung is very playful, while Ruco Chan is very serious. He would ask me for my thoughts about the script and then analyze it with me.”

In Captain of Destiny, Grace has kissing scenes with both Ruco and Tony. She shared that she finished her kissing scene with Tony after only one take, because they did not want to film it again. Would Grace make Kevin watch her intimate scenes?

Grace laughed, “It doesn’t matter. We’re all professionals. I actually don’t want my Daddy to watch it. I also had a kissing scene in Raising the Bar, and Daddy asked me why I had to shoot those scenes. He really does not understand them. When the time comes again I’ll have to shoo him away, haha!”


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. “Grace’s character, Wong Tai-mui, is heavily disliked by netizens, calling her one of the worst characters on television. Netizens also criticized Grace for being a poor actress, making an already poorly-written character even poorer. ”

    I think this is over exaggerated! Guys give her some leeway, she’s just starting her debut as a female lead and she barely been in this industry for a year!

    I do feel like a hypocrite for saying this because I did criticise her before this. Maybe she is terrible now, maybe her character is horrible, but give her some time, and I’m sure she’ll improve. It’s sad to see her facing so much pressure!

  2. I’m not a fan of Grace, but I do feel sorry for her. I haven’t seen Captain of Destiny so no comment on that. She was not bad in Raising the Bar. Hope she stay strong!

  3. To be given a lead role in such a short time is unfair.
    There are other young actresses who don’t get this opportunity…grace’s Cantonese isn’t clear either.
    I still prefer Eliza Sam.

    1. @janet72 Grace Chan’s Cantonese should be a lot better than Eliza Sam. Eliza’s Cantonese is not clear, and definitely NOT Grace Chan. She was born and brought up in Hong Kong and only went to Vancouver for her university study.

    2. @janet72 Everyone has her favourite artists, not necessary for her acting/Cantonese. However, Grace Chan speaks beautiful Cantonese in her dialogues or being a TVB anniversary hostess as a newbie. I am not crazy about Grace’s look or acting, but I can’t complain about her Cantonese vs. Eliza Sam’s.

  4. She is level headed and she has high EQ. That being said, she must watch herself again and not ask if she did her best but rather if she herself like watching her own performance? The answer has to be no. She is still young and new, so she will improve since she has potential. But again having potential alone is not enough if you never realise that potential. Saw Whiplash the other day and I so agree with one crazy teacher who said;

    There are no two words in the English language more harmful than “good job”.

    In her case it is true. She may have tried her best but she wasn’t good enough. She must stop trying her best but improve and go out and just be. That’s all.

    1. @funnlim “She may have tried her best but she wasn’t good enough. She must stop trying her best but improve and go out and just be. That’s all.”
      i totally agree with that. improving yourself that’s all about not only acting but in all facet of life,but its easier to say than to be done,lol.

  5. grace may have succeeded winning beauty queen…but her acting still lacks behind. how she acted her character Mui made many cringe.

  6. Everytime she comes on I want to stop watching. However it’s not her fault but tvb’s terrible policies. They don’t do training classes anymore. How do they expect actors /actress to have a min level of skills in acting. Plus she just started her acting career and had to learn on her job. They basically throw her in the deep end and expect her to swim.

    1. @esther Totally agree with your statement. It’s not Grace fault she was cast as a main lead so soon. TVB are just throwing her into the deep end with no life raft and its basically a case of sink or swim.

      They need to properly build up their leads for the future by slowly integrating them into minor roles.

    2. @esther totally agree too! Without training classes, the actresses/actors have no way of learning HOW to act. You can’t just EXPECT ALL beauty pageant winners to be capable of acting!

  7. She was put in a lead role too early. Do feel bad for her as she is trying hard.. Should go back into supporting role and practice before leading another series next time.

  8. It’s not her fault that Mui is a horrible character. That’s on the writers. She can’t help that. However, she can help with her own acting. Instead of being stress out, focus your energy in honing your skills, taking acting classes and being better at your job.

    Yes, she is promoted way too early in her career. Yes, that’s a big blame on management. However, it’s done now. She has potential and opportunity to develop. I don’t feel too bad for her. She’s not fortunate. She’s much luckier than a lot of other actors/actresses, who have the acting chop but don’t have any opportunity. EVER. So stop whining, focusing on the negative or making excuses for yourself (‘oh, I did my best and has no regret’ ain’t gonna cut it). Do something, make a difference, and better yourself. Get your ogle eyes and long face away from your bf for a minute and focus on your own career.

    I can’t stand her acting right now and hate all the scenes she’s in CoD but who to say she can’t be the next Charm. Whether you like Charm or not, you can’t deny that she is muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch better since her debut and she is doing extremely well in the entertainment circle.

    There’s hope for her. She’s new and mallable. So add oil! 🙂

  9. The recent generations of actors are so raw and unprepared for any significant roles compared to the crop of actors from the 80’s and 90’s, where most had to undergo significant training before they were allowed to be on TV. Not one TVB actor that had debuted in the last 15 years stands out as possessing potential to become a great actor. Mostly due to the fact they are hand picked for their good looks to fill in those roles rather than someone that is less attractive, but with a much higher ceiling to be a great actor. You can’t teach someone to become a great actor, they either possess that talent or they don’t.

    All you have to do is watch the series of the 80s and 90s to know what I’m talking about.

  10. “Grace’s character, Wong Tai-mui, is heavily disliked by netizens, calling her one of the worst characters on television. Netizens also criticized Grace for being a poor actress, making an already poorly-written character even poorer. ”

    Cruel, but true, actually. However, Tvb plays a bigger fault here. Giving her such an big and important role to her so early. And agreed with Anthony Wong precious statement, saying that not entirely her fault, but the directors too, as they accepted her performances. The directors could had corrected her annoying similar expression and her screaming dialogues.

    Grace just cant seems to detach from Kevin’s name now, it seems….

    1. @dramadrama TOTALLY agree. only 2 years in tvb and given a lead role. tvb must be blind.
      even if her character is irritating, grace’s mentality is no better.
      birds of a feather flock together…she and kevin deserve each other. if grace can act, she will shine even in a supporting role. if not because there is ruco to look at and divert the attention away from her, the whole drama is a flop.

  11. I think she needs to rewatch her performance so that she can improve as an actress. she will never improve if she just keeps “just giving her best.” I have never watch CoD and dont plan on to because of the criticisms on the drama (and i dont like wasting time watching a drama that clearly has bad reviews). But from what everyone is saying about her acting, it’s still the executives fault for no longer providing acting classes for the newbies (i.e. Sisley, Tony, Grace, etc.) so every newbie is now pretty screwed if they dont improve. So im expecting Grace to garner even more criticism if she doesnt change her work morals from “giving her best” to “improving.”

  12. No Grace, Kevin is one of the worst to come to for acting advise!!! His acting is still mediocre and he’s just too prideful and into himself that you don’t feel connected with his character at all. If she listens to him she will never improve (look, he himself has never improved!) She already thinks she has tried her best. That mentality is so Kevin.
    True I was annoyed by her character and by her acting in COD like everyone else. She needs help with delivering lines. Well and a lot more. Her over the top, exaggerating acting sometimes feel comedic to me. With that I feel she would be good as a show’s hostess too. Man I’m just not liking her acting right now…
    And a pair of extremely humongous eyes…But that’s not her fault.

    1. @kaykay408 she has sucked in all of kevin’s pride…and the ‘I’ve done my best’ mentality. tvb loves to make grace and Sisley scream. if she has won Miss HK title, surely tvb sees potential in her…at least send her for acting classes.

  13. I think for someone who is still a rookie, she is ok, yea she seemed to work too hard in her role but that’s nothing. Given time, she will come around nicely.

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