Natalie Tong Reflects on Tough Times When She Had No Money
Natalie Tong (唐詩詠) has been in the entertainment industry for 18 years. Despite her memorable performance in in A Fistful of Stances <鐵馬尋橋>, Natalie’s career failed to take off and she continued to portray second-line roles. However, Natalie may finally be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Natalie’s role in My Unfair Lady <不懂撒嬌的女人> and onscreen pairing with costar Vincent Wong (王浩信) in the drama has boosted her popularity.
For the first time, Natalie is nominated in the Best Actress category for this year’s TVB Anniversary. Although chances are slim that she will win the award against such strong contenders, the nomination is recognition enough.
In a recent interview, Natalie opened up about the difficulties she faced in her early career. Natalie debuted in 2000, starring in the TVB idol drama, Hearts of Fencing <當四葉草碰上劍尖時> but her career failed to take off. By 2004, she was still living off a meager salary of $3000 HKD per month, making life difficult.
During her most difficult time, Natalie stumbled across former TVB executive, Stephen Chan (陳志雲), who straightforwardly asked about her salary. Natalie recalled, “After I told him, all he said was, ‘Really? Is that enough to live on?’ I told him that it’s a bit difficult. Afterward, he told me he gave me a raise. I thought he may have added a couple thousand dollars to my salary, but it was actually $10,000 HKD! I was very touched in that moment! During my entertainment career, I have been very fortunate to have people help me get through difficult times.”
Despite hoping to focus on her career, the 36-year-old actress has gained more recognition for her tumultuous relationships with Amigo Chui (崔建邦) and Tony Hung (洪永城) than for her work as an actress. Perhaps due to her sweet image and forgiving nature, Natalie was branded as “Best Girlfriend”. This title indirectly strained her relationships. “It is as if no matter what they [Amigo and Tony] do, it’s wrong! If I start dating again, I have to handle my boyfriend’s mentality carefully. Perhaps I have to do a little more to avoid having him feeling that way.”
She also hopes to keep her future relationships more low profile, so that the media will not affect the relationship. “Although I know that the news is fabricated, the person next to me might feel uncomfortable about it! If I can choose, I would like to be in a stable place in my relationship before announcing it publicly. This will hopefully allow my other half to really get to know me first.”
This article is written by Huynh for JayneStars.com.