Gregory Lee’s Mother Turned Him into a Child Prodigy
The midnight rerun of TVB drama Looking Back in Anger <義不容情>, directed by Wai Ka Fai (韋家輝), has been well received despite it’s been 30 years since the original broadcast. Aside from the well-written script, the performances by talented actors Felix Wong (黃日華) and Deric Wan (溫兆倫) played a huge role in the drama’s success. Eight-year-old Gregory Lee’s (李泳豪) convincing acting even earned him the recognition of a child prodigy at the time.
His performance as Yammie Lam’s (藍潔瑛) son in the 50-episode series was the talk of the town, especially in the scene of him bawling as he witnessed the police arrest her. Gregory’s realistic crying made the audience sympathize and pity him. For a child to be able to touch people’s hearts through the screen is not an easy feat, but many viewers also had doubts and believed there was an external force behind his cries.
Rumor was his father Lee Ka Ding (李家鼎) would slap him a few times to get him to cry before the cameras rolled or his mother Shih Ming (施明) would beat him. Although it sounds berserk, it’s also possible, as Ding Yeh is known for being strict and has certain expectations of his son’s performance. “At the time, there were a lot of rumors of my dad beating me or my mom hitting me,” Gregory recalled. “But since young, I’ve actually been the type to stop crying if you hit me.”
In fact, it was his mother who helped him achieve the great crying results by staying at the scene and teaching him how to act. “I really love my mom, I’ve always stuck to her,” Gregory said. “She told me to put myself in the character’s shoes. It is her who asked me what I would do if I lost my mom. I cried really hard after thinking about my mother dying.”
It turns out his mom in the drama, Yammie, also looked after him during the two months of filming. “She really used her heart to take care of me” he shared. “Sometimes she would tell me, ‘Son, you should act like this in this scene.’ During lunch breaks, she would take care of me too.”
While he wants to thank the cast members for looking after him, he has always wanted to personally thank Ka Fai. Gregory always told Ka Fai’s younger brother Willie Wai (韋家雄) that no one would know he could do this type of scene if Ka Fai did not cast him for this role. However, he added, “Nowadays, the whole environment is different. I can still cry my eyes out but it’s not popular anymore, the audience will think I’m exaggerating.”
This article is written by MelodyC for JayneStars.com.