Jessica Hsuan Drops Manager Who Told Her She Was Too “Fat and Old” to Continue Acting

A familiar face who has fronted many classic TVB dramas, 51-year-old actress Jessica Hsuan (宣萱) recounts how she parted ways with her manager five years ago after the latter deemed her too “fat and old”!

Portrayed String of Confident Women
Proving her versatility in an onscreen career spanning three decades, the actress had a part in some of TVB’s most successful franchise dramas File of Justice <壹號皇庭> series and Detective Investigation Files IV <刑事偵緝檔案IV>, not forgetting period comedy Square Pegs <戇夫成龍> and modern romance My Unfair Lady <不懂撒嬌的女人>, to name but a few.

The accidental actress, who holds a masters in aerospace engineering from Imperial College London, recounts experienced anxieties about hitting the big 3-0 back then. “I felt that I was past my prime, is it time to get married? What should I do…?” she shared, recalling how she teared up and cried for a few moments then.

However, hitting her forties and fifties ironically refreshed her perspectives, as she had the novel feeling that life was only just beginning. Pouring her heart out on talkshow Lu Yu You Yue <鲁豫有约一日行>, it dawned on Jessica that reaching forty was a great new beginning for women.

The big fifty was another milestone she had somewhat dreaded — that was, until the very eve of her birthday. While she had put her career at the top of her priority list all along, she felt that she could finally slow down to appreciate everything she had accomplished so far, and really “look forward to enjoy(ing) life”.

Still Loves Her Job
Talent-spotted by chance, Jessica had became an actress after signing on to TVB, and counts herself lucky that she still enjoys her job very much, even after thirty years.

Recounting an episode five years back when she was 46, she was told by her artiste manager that she was getting “old and fat” and advised to find another job. “My voice turned low, and I asked her, ‘For sure?’ But very quickly, I looked into the mirror at home, and (thought to myself), ‘it surely isn’t that bad!’” Feeling confident about herself, the actress made the decision to terminate her contract with the said manager instead.

A well-loved onscreen couple, Jessica remains good friends with Louis Koo (古天樂), whose company One Cool Film Production Limited she is currently signed on to. Describing their friendship as “brotherly”, she says he is like a sibling to her. “I treat myself as half a man, and he also treats me as half a man,” laughs Jessica, adding the duo have been supporting each other through the years, and she feels happy that he has been doing great throughout these years.

Source: HKOn.CC

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Responses

  1. It’s true…. That’s why it’s so sad most tvb actress get married and start a family in their 30s… The fear of being cast as a mom to a younger actress. It’s so sad. Here in the US we embrace our older actors and actresses. Look at Jamie Lee Curtis. She is even more famous than ever and can age gracefully. Same with Michelle Yeoh. But not in Hong Kong or China. Jessica doesn’t look a day over 35, still beautiful. Too bad he Louis never got together.

    1. Can’t remember if it’s this interview or another one where she mentioned not having issue portraying the mother role to the younger actresses as long as the setting makes sense.
      Love her cp with Louis the most (LJ!) but they have their own lives. I just wish there was a DIF V and they could have a HE there.

  2. Hollywood, as bad as they are about aging actors, are still rons ahead of the Asian mentality about said matter. Women like Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, Halle Berry and Judy Dench are still getting meaningful roles at their age.
    Good for Jessica Hsuan for kicking that silly, insulting manager to the curb. If only a certain young stud would take a page from her book and dump his bossy, controlling monsterger. Then again Jessica was not bedding her manager so it was easier to give the manager the much deserved boot.

  3. Jessica looks really young for her age, which is probably why she will struggle to get roles as she doesn’t look old enough to be the mother of a 20-something year old, but not young enough to be that 20-something year old.

  4. Not my fav TVB leading actress but I did like her the most among the 5 main fa dans of that era (Ada Choi, Kenix Kwok, Maggie Cheung, Flora Chan and JH) even though her acting wasn’t the best.
    The Asian entertainment needs to embrace actresses of different age groups. In TVB, we still see much older actors (e.g. Joe Ma) partnering younger actresses rather than meaningful roles for the older actresses.

  5. C’mon. We don’t hear often that men are too old to be on TV but women have to experience that all the time. Jessica looks great. I agree with another poster that she looks young for her age so it’s strange seeing her play the mother of an adult or playing a young character herself. Kind of a double-edged sword but I think if there’s a right script she’ll fit in just fine. Sheren Tang played more mature women in Rosy Business/No Regrets without having to play someone else’s birth mother or 2nd lead. The Confidant (Michelle Yim), The Executioner (Maggie Shiu), The Defected (Kara Wai) all featured mature women in lead roles and were successes. Really couldn’t care less about her weight. As long as she’s still got the passion and acting chops paired with a good script, it’s all that matters. The manager was a jerk. Glad she dropped him.

  6. It’s good to read articles like this because women’s age is always an issue in Asia. I think HK is ok, but this issue is even worse in China. Once you’re pass 30 and still film idol dramas, people will criticize you. But many roles are only made for young actresses. Many middle aged actresses are left with nothing to film besides mommy roles. It’s so rare to see dramas like “Nothing but Thirty”. Personally, I believe there can be many good scripts written for middle aged women, it’s just a matter of whether scriptwriters want to give it a try.

  7. As someone in the same age Group as Jessica, I have to say I dont feel useless, or too old for anything. I can still do lots of things I want to do… Jessica is good to get rid of bad energy around her..

  8. Theres plenty need for actresses of all ages, of all shapes and sizes. She may not receive the same calibre of leading roles she once did but theres certainly no need to tell her to find another job altogether.

  9. Now that I think about it, it’s not just women. I think they just don’t treat their veteran workers very good. Like lau Kong, he finally had to leave. Even Wayne lai is there just to babysit siu Sung’s now. I feel like it’s actually really rare to have someone be like Roger kwok or sheren tang. The heck for a while they even sidelined ruco Chan.