How Kate Tsui Successfully Won the Audience’s Acceptance

Above: Kate Tsui became an audience favorite, winning two StarHub TVB Awards this year.

Kate Tsui (徐子珊) began her acting career after winning the title of Miss Hong Kong in 2004. The road to success has not been easy for Kate, as many viewers criticized her early acting skills.  Despite the negative news and her involvement in quite a few romantic rumors during her career, Kate has been working very hard to gain respect and acceptance from the viewers. This year has been a transformative year for Kate’s career, will she be able to add TV Queen to her resume?

Early Beauty Queen Image

In the beginning of Kate’s career, she had to adopt a crew cut hairstyle in order to portray a tomboyish police rookie in the police drama, On the First Beat <學警出更>. As Kate had the reputation of being a beauty queen, the viewers did not accept her tough tomboy image. Afterwards, they did not like her look and continuously criticized her performances in many of her dramas. Even though the producers praised Kate for her great debut in her first drama, the viewers continuously criticized her acting throughout her career. Kate was confused and had difficultly finding the right balance between being a professional actress and being a popular actress well-liked by viewers.

A few producers advised Kate that the viewers will not suddenly change their negative views, so she had to accept it and continue to find a way to earn their respect.  With her passion for acting, Kate has been focusing on improving herself in all her roles.

Breakthrough in Career

When Kate was first cast to play a Drug Queen in Highs and Lows <雷霆掃毒>, she was not certain if the role was suitable for her. Aware of the viewer’s negative opinions, Kate was worried that they will not accept this tragic character who is a gang rape victim turned drug queen.

Once she accepted the role, Kate prepared herself emotionally for the role, by watching movies related to drug dealers and going out to observe real addicts at the rehabilitation center. Kate was feeling down during filming because she was so immersed in her character. In order to appear like a drug addict, her makeup was very gloomy. Kate did not even want to look at herself in the mirror. In addition, she was also worried that the viewers will not accept her unattractive image with snot and tears running down her face.

Upon airing, Highs and Lows was very well received by the viewers. They were touched by Kate’s sincere performance. Her tragic character generated positive media and viewer praise towards Kate. Her fan base has increased tremendously, and she is now the hot favorite to win this year’s Best Actress award.

This One is for the Fans

During the past award ceremonies, Kate did not feel excited attending since she felt as if she was only an adornment, only there to look pretty without any expectations of winning any awards. However, this year she is feeling pressure to win the Best Actress award in order to not disappoint her manager, the crew, the media and her fans. They have been working very hard to promote her to become the leading actress and have high hopes for her to bring home the TV Queen award. Kate said, “I don’t want to disappoint everyone and it will be devastating if I don’t win. With this year’s one person, one vote selection process, many things are unpredictable. With their hard work and dedication, if I still lose at the end, I will be very sad.”


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  1. I actually liked Kate Tsui opposite Kenneth Ma on La Femme Desperado. Her acting was a bit raw, but I felt some honest tomboyish youth not any faking cuteness.

    1. i agree with you, she did have that honest tomboyish in her earlier roles, but now she’s trying to hard/over-act to be sexy & sophisticated.

      1. How is she sexy and sophisticated in HAL? I also dont see any of that in sniper 2013 sales presentation.

  2. Kate Tsui looked very pretty in the above photo. All I can say is Kate is getting prettier and prettier …… better makeup or something else?

    1. Yeah! I loved her bangs from her hairstyle, makes her look more mature but yet remain a tad bit of that youth in her. Rooting for her for Best Actress!!!

    2. Hmm yea I wonder. Some people look better once they hit a certain age though so maybe that’s why… Must say she looks stunning in the above picture!

      1. Injection will bring a messy look, and rite now Kate dun have any messy thing on face.

      2. Probably a bit of PS to improve certain parts of her face and better makeup skills. I don’t believe that women will look prettier in their late 20s compared to their early 20s. More fashionable, trendier, better makeup skills, yes. But growing better looking I seriously doubt. I work a 9 to 5 job and I have eye bags and wrinkles. Can’t imagine how these actresses who work long hours look like without their makeup. I’m not trying to put down her looks or anything, just saying.

    3. Yes, normally the girls look better with time (with exception of course) due to many reasons, one is better makeup and right style.

  3. I have always enjoyed watching Kate act even in her early days after winning the MHK title. She has really improved over the years and did a great job in HAL. Her offscreen tomboyish personality is so different from the roles she normally gets. I would say the closest one to come close to how she is offscreen is the one from La Femme Desperado.

    1. I dun think LFD role is close to her characters. I think the one in On the first beat is closer.

  4. She does look very stunning in the pic. Go Kate Go! Hope she wins the BA award.

  5. Some people will look older when they ages, while Kate just get younger and prettier, I even have her as my wallpaper on the computer so it can motivate me to get healtier and excersise more 😛

  6. I had seen her in real life, she indeed beautiful. Her eyes truly sexy. Best we find her humble with natural smiles

  7. That’s the best shot I’ve seen of Kate in a long time. Wish I could see more of her dress.

  8. She didn’t win me over yet. Esp not with this role, its really overrated and it has hype only because it involves drugs.

    She has Virginia Lok’s backing. Because TVB has been trying very very hard to promote an unlikeable actress so when there is finally a chance, they just go overboard. Its just unjustified media frenzy over nothing, I don’t see whats stellar about her performance in Highs and Lows. There are some scenes where she still doesn’t deliver, she has unreactive expressions or just exagerrated face scrunching, its nothing subtle, nothing thoughtful, and nothing hard to display. TVB standards is just so low these days for acting.

    1. @ well,
      This is your view points. She indeed made a breakthrough in her acting. I am one of the guys silently won my audience.

    2. well said, the only credit i give her is the scene when she found her brother’s body. other than that i find she over act for the most part & she still cares to much about how she looks to be a good actress.

      1. Agreed! I thought she over-acted and yelled and screamed alot in HAL. It was kind of annoying! She is getting too much undeserved attention for that series. Not BA material to me. The BA award should go to a veteran actress instead of Kate or Tavia.

      2. I noticed too. Her fake eyelashes really stands out in a lot of her series…it’s extremely long and obvious o_O

      3. The BA award should go to a veteran actress instead of Kate or Tavia.

        Well said but with TVB politics and fans mentality a refined subtle performance by Michelle is criticized while TVB hype up Kate and Tavia’s over dramatic performances and make their young fans compete which each other to make their idol win!

        Support the deserving winners this year! RAY and MICHELLE!

      4. @RAYLEILAFAN if you say it that way, then we should let Damian or Wayne win. Because what you said about those actress and younger fans is the same as Raymond. Fans of Raymond and Kenneth keep fighting too, while Wayne is in the same boat as Michelle.

    3. I totally agree with you . TVB standards are practically kindergarten standards now . Kate doesn’t deserve to win TV Queen just yet , maybe fav actress or whatever but she needs much more work .

    4. I couldn’t have said it better. Our family can’t stand her. It’s her way of acting. It seems very forced or very pouty. Not a fan and you can’t convince me.

      1. totally agreed with u! my whole family watched HAL and we all felt she over-acted with her same old style. can’t stand her and we would rather see her character being killed earlier as she is messing up the entire storyline towards the end. only watching HAL for Michael Miu’s sake.

    5. Well said! I can’t believe people especially Kate’s fans are criticizing Michelle’s controlled performances and are praising Kate like heaven. I watch the two performances and Michelle’s acting is subtle and refined and belong in a different high standard. Kate’s performance is over dramatic and unreal at certain moments but I do like the time when she found her brother.

      What makes Kate stand out more than Michelle is just that Pat is always playing a victim card and is very sympathetic. Which audience won’t feel sympathy for a role this tragic?

      1. There are non-Kate fans or even Kate’s anti fans criticize Michelle, dun put all on Kate’s head.

  9. What has this world come to if someone like her actually wins Best Actress. Utter farce. Popularity due to storyline gimmick is one thing, but Best Acting is another.

    Why dont we see Linda hyped up like this and even Linda’s acting is better than Kate’s in an honest evaluation. Kate has been working very hard to shine Virginia Lok’s shoes since entrance in TVB. There has been mention of how she purposely gets close to Virginia at every chance and moment, from articles that mentioned it from the Lives of Omission celebration last time. In every picture, she is just always lingering around Virginia for every single event in the past.

    The only reason Linda didn’t get nominated for Best Character is because Linda poses the biggest competition in this area, because she has a bigger fanbase than Kate. Tavia already got it some last yrs so its a given they don’t want her to get it again, so they nominate her for two roles, causing the votes will be split in two characters, and those votes are not combined either. Tavia has become some scapegoat when in fact, they deprived Linda of a nomination cause she pose a bigger threat to Kate winning Fav Character due to Linda’s drama ranking much higher and also having a music fanbase to count in votes as well. TVB knows they are just manipulating the causes and results. When logically, it is just obvious what they are trying to do for Kate.

    1. YESS. I 100% agree with you. I wouldn’t say Kate sucks but Linda is better and that Kate has virginia’s backing. I have to admit Kate’s acting improved over the years, but so has Linda’s.

    2. I am with you on this one well, she is just not my cup of coffee kakaakak, there is so many more artist even supporting ones who I think deserve this spot than she does. But good for her for keep on trying, she indeed looks better then her earlier days.

    3. Just because Linda’s acting is better, she hasn’t been getting many exciting roles. That’s why she’s not exposed as much as Kate is. They’ve been similar ie. the weak girl who cries a lot. But that’s not entirely a bad thing. It allows us, the audience, to sympathise with her character, boosting her chances of winning the ‘My Favourite Award’. The best performances I’ve seen Linda give were in ‘The Gem of Life’, ‘A Journey Called Life’ and ‘Yes, Sir. Sorry, Sir’. She could’ve won in those years but the competition was clearly too strong (exception of YSSS)

      This year, Kate showed how much she has improved. What she showed in HAL was superior to what we’ve seen her deliver in the past. Linda’s acting, on the other hand, hasn’t been as well received as Kate which is why she hasn’t been as hyped as Kate and Tavia.

      That said, I believe Charmaine or Michelle should receive the award but I doubt that would happen.

      I do agree with your point about Linda not being nominated for My Favourite Character, though. I find it extremely unfair for her; getting robbed of the same award two years in a row.

    4. Yeah , Linda is 100% better than Kate . I just don’t see it in her singing or acting career . TVB is taking sides this year , or should I say the executives of TVB esp Virgina Lok . They are just bullying Linda and taking advantage of her humble personality . For an example , Witness Insecurity actually had 28 episodes but it was cut down to 20 in order for Kevin Cheng’s drama to air just because he was Virgina Lok’s god son . And TVB didn’t even bother to make any promotion’s for witness insecurity and it ended up being the highest rated drama so far .
      TVB has an eye in promoting untalented artist and seriously siding Linda Chung is not going to work , no matter how much you side her , her talent is recognized and her fans will fight for her rights , unlike some untalented people . Honestly , I think people will agree that Nancy Wu’s acting is better than Kate and can replace Kate as one of the four fa dans . I seriously doubt Kate will go far in her career if she doesn’t stop sucking up to her bosses . She will just be the same old person playing the same old roles with no improvement . TVB should take that into accounting before promoting untalented people . Seriously feel bad for Linda .

      1. According to Lau Ka Ho – director of WI – WI has never had 28 eps. It has 20 from the beginning :P.

    5. I agree too. TVB is hyping their fadans Kate and Tavia too much and neglect the real fine actress Michelle. I totally can’t believe that some of us here are actually criticizing Michelle’s subtle but fine performance in TC. What has the audience expectation for acting now come to? Is TVB acting nowadays just come down to which actress has the most sympathetic and different character, and who is hyped more by the magazines and newspapers? I hope Michelle can spend the rest of her time in mainland where at least she can get more money.

      I support RAY and MICHELLE for the award this year, too bad I can’t vote because I’m not a HK citizen.

    6. The real actresses who gives a fine performance this year Charmaine and Michelle are just used by TVB to fill up the nominations. Since Kate and Tavia both has strong backing from 620. It comes down to who 620 loves more now.

      1. 620 dun have that much power for sure. You must forget Cat Tsang who is also playing a favourism game.

      2. You make me worried that Cat Tsang will use her power and make Moses win 🙁

      3. No, Cat Tsang’s babie now is Ma Ming. Moses is also under 620.

    7. Haha too bad the Favourite Character isn’t for voting. It’s decided by Txb. Only Best actor/Best actress/Best series are the ones Txb said that they’ll use public vote. Hence Kate can’t be the reason for Linda to not be nominated because if Txb wanna Kate to win, putting Linda in it or not won’t change anything. If Txb want to open road for Kate to win, Linda must be cast out of Best actress category, not Most fave one.

      And Linda is always said to be one of 620’s kids :P, and she is. Anytime of her new music contract, 620 still goes. Both of Kate and Linda are under 620’s side. Actually, all of top 5 fadans of Txb now are under 620.

  10. @ well,
    No point adding other actress to support your hate viewpoint of actress . Thanks

  11. @ well – I think Linda had plenty of chances and plenty of press. She is good actress but none of her roles shined this year. She needs to take more risks.

  12. I think Kate has a very big chance of winning. I sure hope she does though.

  13. This is all her hardwork at least now people accept her

  14. You gotta admit she did improved a lot over the years, she’s in a majority of my fave series and she had a lot of good roles.

    Glad she got the recognition!

  15. She definitely improved, but she still exaggerated some of her expressions at times. Still has to improve tho.

  16. I do think this role has made the audience accept Kate more so I’m very happy for her. However, I don’t think she really immersed in her character enough to make her unattractive. For example, there were scenes after she became an addict and was not found for days, yet her hair was perfect instead of greasy.

  17. Kate hard works and passion for acting bear fruits this year.

    Kate won two awards at StarHub TVB Awards and I’m sure she gonna win some awards on Malaysia AOD Awards on 2nd Dec 2012 (awards based on audience voting )

    She indeed successfully won the audience’s acceptance…I’m one of the audience’s

  18. Hope she will win an award tonight at the Malaysia AOD award tonight. I’ll be there tonight. If you’re interested to see some pictures, you may follow me on my twitter @hcfoo later in the evening.

    1. My set of photos taken at the Astro On Demand #AOD Awards show #TVB

      1. Wow clear photos!! Must be very good camera! Row F? VVIP? VIP1?

        Ahhh so near me!! Me Row D. But not good camera.

  19. Kate isn’t superb actress but I really admire her on willing to take challenging roles. She deserves to win BA award, her role outshine others. Wish her all the best and hope she’ll bring home 2 awards on Dec 17th.

    1. I disagree. Kate can win Most Favourite Character for Pat Chan, but she’s not deserving Best Actress of the year. Despite those of you here write reviews to criticize Michelle Yim’s performance in TC, I still think Michelle is the Best Actress. She may look boring to some of you because she gives a subtle performances while Kate and Tavia are competing to be more dramatic.

      1. I know my wish won’t happen because Kate and Tavia have fanclubs which I think are lobbying to vote these two and compete. I feel sad that I can’t contribute to vote for Ray and Michelle.

      2. I also support Michelle to win but if the policy of Txb dun let Michelle to win, Kate is my second choice.

        Michelle also has FC :D.

      3. I support Michelle. Kate to me was not even close to a BA opinion. I still believe she is overly dramatic, the way she says her dialogue and overall acting really bugs me. That’s my thought.

      4. However, in saying she doesn’t deserve BA, since everyone seems to be liking her Pat role in HAl, I think ‘My Most Favourite Female Character’ should belong to her. BA- no..

      5. There is no such thing as a favourite character award. That award is just a consolation award for tv queen.

        Anyway, voting scheme for tv queen is one person one vote, which fav character determined by tvb execs. Since you said everyone likes Kate’s role in HAL, then it makes sense for her to get tv queen.

  20. I support Kate to win “my favorite female character” cuz her character was well praised on line, but for best actress I think she needs a few more years.

    I hope Tavia will win best actress because her role in SSSS has different levels of emotions, and she expressed really well. she already missed best actress award in 2009, so she should be deserved for it.

    I also like Michelle Yim in the confidant too, but I agree that her role is a littlle bit boring in the series. More interested in Maggie Siu.

    1. I support Tavia to win BA. She is the most deserving BA winner other than Michelle Yim. And like how other candidates for BA are thinking, Michelle & Linda have both expressed supports for Tavia to win BA. Even Kate was quoted saying with not much confidence since Tavia’s acting level is above of hers. No matter how HK media can be very biased & keep reporting malicious rumours about Tavia, this will not change the fact that her acting always shines the most among the top fadans.

  21. Agree. Tvb standard is low now. Either Kate or Tavia cant beat Michelle. But ok to give them award. It is award for best of this year not overall. Some time you do great job in a certain period 🙂
    Among Kate & Tavia. I vote for Kate.

      1. In terms of drama quality and ratings, this year was definitely better. But TVB politics have stayed the same – low.

        There were a few ‘underdog’ nominations that I was glad to see last year (Yoyo Mung, Kristal Tin, Elena Kong, etc.) but too bad none of them made it to the top 5 in their respective categories.

      2. No, this year was not rally better then the last year. The quality definitely degraded again….

  22. best actress:

    1 Tavia or 2 Kate

    Best actor:

    1 Raymond or 2 Ken

    That’s my choice, I hope it could happen.

  23. I really love kate in HAL! She has indeed improved through the years! Though many may criticised her role in HAL to be gaining audiences’ sympathy, overall she really did a great job in acting as a drug addict. Even though i think she may need more years in order to prove herself in getting this award, but she has already shown her very sincere acting in this drama. I think she deserves it.:)

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