Maggie Cheung Recalls Difficulties in Career

In the entertainment industry for more than ten years, Maggie Cheung (張可頤) was unfortunately diagnosed with Thyroiditis in 2006. Due to the negative symptoms of the illness, such as depression and weight gain, Maggie decided to take a filming break that lasted for almost two years. “This illness made me understand that no matter how hard you grasp on to something, anything can be lost overnight, including health. I’ve learned to live in the moment.”

Bed Scenes are the Biggest Challenge

Although Maggie did not place within the top three during her competition in Miss Hong Kong 1994, her career soared quickly at TVB. Despite her extensive acting resume, Maggie is still plagued by the fear of filming bed scenes. “There was a scene [in To Be or Not To Be <來生不做香港人>] where I had to simultaneously kiss and strip with Poon Chan Leung (潘燦良) from the hallway, into the bedroom, and onto the bed. I was so nervous that I almost asked the director to edit the script!” Fortunately, Poon discussed the scene with Maggie in detail and they were able to complete it without embarrassment.

Although the HKTV drama touches on the sensitive topic of the relations between Hong Kong Mainland China, Maggie believes that everyone can learn from the material. “Hong Kong and Mainland viewers will grasp a different perspective from the drama. They will understand that when they compromise with one another, China can become very strong. We only need a little more time to overcome cultural differences.”

Maggie further praised the quality of HKTV’s productions, including the detailed script. She added that Ricky Wong (王維基) is a good boss who often visited the filming set to communicate with the cast and crew, treating everyone as a valuable contribution to the company.

Gossip is Inevitable

With great popularity comes great sacrifices. Maggie’s successful career in the entertainment industry did not come easy. Maggie recalled the difficult times she endured to reach her star status. “In the early stages of my career, I remember filming two dramas Cold Blood Warm Heart <天地男兒> and One Good Turn Deserves Another <地獄天使>. Not only did I lack sleep, I hardly even had time to eat. I was tired and all I could do is hide in the corner and cry. I didn’t dare talk to anyone because I was afraid of gossip.”

Due to the heavy load of filming projects and commercial jobs, not only was Maggie’s health jeopardized, but it also took a toll on her professional relations. Having previously been rumored to be on bad terms with Old Time Buddy <難兄難弟> costar, Jessica Hsuan (宣萱), Maggie responded, “Gossip is unavoidable. I maintain good working relations with other female leads. I will not rule out future opportunities to work with Jessica. But are we considered friends? Not necessarily, because friendships take a lot of time to cultivate. When we finish filming a drama, everyone loses touch. It is difficult to maintain friendships.”


This article is written by Huynh for

Related Articles


  1. i like maggie, her show with hktv is great, porbably one of best tv shows i’ve ever watched

  2. She’s beyond even charmaine sheh. It’s like she’s on the level of sheren tang

    1. No, her acting is boring and bad. She always have the same facial expression….but she did improve in the last few years. Sharen is better.

      1. She cant beat Charmaine in acting, Maggie and Sharen have the same style of actings, extremely boring….

      2. Charmaine acting is the worst in My sister of Eternal Flower. Yet, Lilian claimed she can beat the two. How about the others like Esther, Ada or Flora? Can’t Stand her ‘Teh Pau’look!

    2. Maggie Cheung is surely a good actress. I haven’t compared her acting with Charmaine Sheh’s, but she acts very well.

      Maggie Cheung and Sheren Tang belong to the same generation (age wise), though Sheren started way earlier than Maggie in TVB’s artistes’ training course and Maggie started after Miss HK Pageant Show.

      1. maggie started in 94 and sheren started in the 80s, early or mid 80s. that’s a 10 year gap, i wouldn’t consider that the same generation.

      2. Sorry, I meant same age group and similar aged characters in a drama series.

      3. Maggie Cheung can act? Guess it’s a matter of opinion. She may have starred in award winning films with “deep” meaning. There are many who doesn’t like her acting. It’s hard to compare now like you said, different generations and so would you get different opinions from generations of viewers.

      4. Sorry My previous comment was about Maggie Cheung Man Yuk. Ignore it. I agree Maggie Cheung Hoi Yee is great.

    3. Charmaine is nothing to other television company. Only stand out in TVB because no other to compete.

      1. Charmaine has won Best Asian TV Queen award, Maggie n Sharen are nothing to Charmaine, they need to improve in their actings. Moreover, they cant act like Charmaine in Line Walker..Haha

      2. Maggie n Sharon acting are better than Charmaine.She is the one who needs improvement Lilian not them. Do u think Charmaine can act in Rosy Business? Her acting in Line Walker is just so so.Moreover, there’s no competition this year. If she is in their generation I doubt she stand any chance to even win anything at all. It’s just pure luck for her ..hehe

      3. In terms of acting, I personally think Sheren is No. 1, Maggie is No. 2, and Charmaine is No. 3 among these 3. However, Charmaine is the youngest actress and can do more flexible roles.

      4. I think all three are very good and versatile actresses, with each a different style of acting. Because of one’s ‘looks’, one can be more fit in a certain role than another. No, I don’t think Charmaine would be a good fit in Rosy Business/No Regrets, because she doesn’t have that ‘image’ of 四奶奶/九姑娘. Neither do I think Maggie or Sheren would be suitable for many roles Charmaine has played over the years. As for Ding Jie in Line Walker, in my opinion, Charmaine was really the best fit and she was great in it. I really can’t imagine another actress would be able to make this character so alive as she did.
        One may be not a good fit in a certain role, but it doesn’t mean her acting is lesser than the one who is a fit in that role. At this moment, because of their ‘looks’, Maggie and Sheren are suitable in more serious roles, while Charmaine still can play more different type of roles. I can say that Charmaine isn’t typecast in any kind of character, while many other actresses -current fadans- are. But I admit that Charmaine can’t take up the (last) type of roles Sheren had, yet. Neither do Maggie. Not in terms of acting ability, but because of the image of the character that’s required. Sheren has that kind of image of a ‘strong and powerful’ woman.

        Sheren, Charmaine and Maggie, and many others mentioned in this discussion forum (Ada, Flora,..) have always done a great job in their respective drama’s (not meaning that the drama was always that good). I won’t rank their acting, because they’re all good and there’s always place for improvement. There’s no best, only better.

  3. Feel sorry for Maggie that she has to take such a long leave to get better. And that was during the peak of her career, and when she’s all set to come back, it wasn’t the right time for her as all the roles were already taken by the younger actress. No doubt she can act and I love her more than Jessica Hsuen. But too bad she’s old now and show biz don’t really treasure old actresses…so there are limited roles for her to take. Sigh…

  4. Maggie Cheung Ho-yee is one of my favourite actresses. It’s unfortunate TVB chooses to promote younger actresses, a lot of them can’t act at all.

    Regardless of age and # of years being active in the entertainment industry, Maggie Cheung Ho-yee, Sheren Tang, perhaps even Ada Choi, have done pretty much every genre (action, comedy, horror, sci-fi, crime etc.) with great success, in my humble opinion (IMHO). They had to portray multiple personalities in order to fit into specific roles and they did very well. In other words, IMHO they are what u called multi-genre actresses – they r actresses so versatile that can play pretty much any part in a script equally well.

    I’m looking forward 2 c-ing “To Be or Not To Be”.

    1. TVB didn’t overlook her. She suffered from the illness at the time. Kwong Wa her co star suffered similar fate because of illness. It’s a real shame.

      1. Maggie Cheung previously went back to TVB to film about two series after she recovered from her illness. She wasn’t happy with TVB so joined HKTV. In her previous interviews, she sounded disappointed with TVB.

  5. I too like Maggie, no doubt she has great acting abilities , loved every series she was in when she was filming for tvb. Her last one at tvb, beauty knows no pain was really good. Though I always see her as a very ambitious woman , so I didn’t see her staying in tvb for long even after her return, which she left eventually. Didn’t see tvb favouring her anyway after her return. Whatever her career path is in the future, wish her all the best!

  6. I watched Hakka Sisters! I love it so much. The quality of HKTV drama is surpasses TVB’s by leaps and bounds! TVB should be ashamed. Will continue to support HKTV! All the best!

    1. I like Hakka Sisters too. Good script. It reflects the China vs HK issues but it doesn’t take sides. And solid acting by Maggie, Prudence Liew and Poon Chan Leung.

  7. Maggie is my all time fav HK actress! She is great actress!

  8. Maggie’s personality seems to suit that role in To be or not to be (aka Hakka women), I reckon she behaves like that in real life.

  9. I must say that she can really act well and she’s only someone that has very high expectations towards herself. It’s true to that friendship needs time to prove and it’s not easy to find true friends these days especially in the entertainment industry.

  10. Maggie reached the peak of her career at TVB prior to her illness. She could have become TVB’s #1 Big Sister kind of thing, but then she was sick. Not much of a loss since I didn’t see her staying there forever.

  11. I really love her acting. Wish to watch more of her show.

  12. Much better actress than what we have on screen these days. A pity that tvb politics and her burning bridges means that views will not get to see much of her on screen

    1. She is in a lot of China series so you can always in those,but sadly she plays a lot of bad characters.

  13. Always love Maggie! It’s great that she get to showcase her acting chops in the HKTV series. I felt bad for her when Aimee, and not the her, was nominated for Best Actress from The Last Steep Ascent.

  14. I prefered Jessica over her… HKTV is really not my cup of tea they try to much to be like american serie. However did like her in a couple of series though back in TVB.

    1. Hahahah! HKTV tries too much to be like American series and TVB does not?! At least HKTV series try to make good series, TVB copies but keeps shitting out crap.

      1. TVB and HKTV both attempt to copy American television series, except HKTV can actually churn out good material, and TVB can’t save themselves even when their life is depended on it.

        Give it a few more years, if TVB doesn’t change their course, they will suffer the same fate as ATV today.

  15. She was the best in War And Beauty. Her acting was natural and on point. I nearly balled my eyes out when she convincingly convinced Charmaine about living a simple life in her village when she was about to die. That scene alone trumps Sheren’s entire acting ability in that drama series.

    1. It is so much easier to act Maggie Cheung’s character in “War & Beauty” because she was not a royal family member. Dialogues were easy to say. However, I must admit that Maggie Cheung acted well in “War & Beauty”. She was my No. 2 actress in it, second to Sheren Tang. Gigi Lai was my worst lead actress.

Comments are closed.