Roger Kwok, Twins, and Leo Ku Film Series in China

Leo Ku, Charlene Choi, Gillian Chung, and Roger Kwok were filming new mainland comedy series, Happy Marshal <歡樂元帥>. It has been a long time since the last collaboration of Twins in a series. In Happy Marshal, Charlene will portray a pure and lovely character named Little Dragon Girl. Gillian will portray the role of Sky Cat Girl, possessing a good nature and having several love relationships.

With TVB artists complaining of the low compensation and leaving the company after their contracts expire, Roger Kwok indicated that he did not have the intention of leaving. “Mainland productions do offer a high compensation, however each person possesses a different value on money. I will place priority on the quality of the work. Whether in China or Hong, I will receive a ‘Roger Kwok price.’”

Source: Mingpao

Jayne: When Gillian and Charlene are together, I still see them as young girls from old Twin days.

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  1. WOW, looks like a cute and lively series. Can’t wait to see it when it comes out. I love seeing Roger and Leo in a series and have not seen Leo in one for awhile already. ROger is really cute in comedies and I am glad that he still stays with TVB even though he films in CHina. It is nice to see Twins together again too. Hopefully the plot and script are good.

    1. comedy princes and princess, just hope theres also a cantobese version too, much of those made in mainland don’t seem to be dual..

  2. I can only imagine the acting as part awful, part wonderful

    1. I will imagine the awful part will come from Twins because those two can’t act, sing or do much except for act cute. Actually, I think the cute part for Gillian is kinda history ever since she was seen with Edison’s dong in her mouth……I am still trying to figure out what is it about these two that has gotten them so many followers in HK – at least for Charlene’s part now that Gillian is kind of outa the limelight.

      1. I completely agree that Twins can’t act. I hate that they’re still popular despite the fact that Charlene is extremely weak when she sings solo.

      2. Lets be glad Charlene sings better than Gillian. She at least don’t look half asleep on stage like Gillian. I don’t mind too much about either girls but in the last 2 years Charlene improvement did gained her respect in the music industry. She is a decent singer now compared to Twins early days. Sadly, I can’t say the same for Gillian.

      3. @ Pang

        I didn’t follow their career. But, I’ve listen to their songs when they were sill Twins. I always though Gillian was the better singer while Charlene has the better voice.

      4. Yuaida, for once I agree with you completely, except for the seen with Edison part. if she can act as natural as she was with Edison, the part about acting innocent won’t be a problem.

        I too am wondering how on earth they can stay famous for so long. They must have a strong fanbase. Between these 2 they have one sex scandal, one marriage/divorce scandal and still here they are, together, as Twins. So I can only conclude no scandal will ever kill their “disneyland” image which Gillian has so succintly put it in her awful come back interview that she never wanted such an “innocent” image. So I suppose the Edison Chan image must suit her just fine.

      5. @ Kidd: If you are talking about live singing then Ah Sa won. Gil can’t sing live without out of tune or off key. But Gil is more feminine. I’m surprised at Ah Sa’s marriage because she dun look married.

      6. Must admit Gil is very popular with the boys since admittedly she is very beautiful although those tragic looking one. I always thought charlene cute but a pity none of them can speak properly, more so sing or act.

      7. @Funn

        I support your statement that none of them can sing or act to save their life. Gil is pretty and Charlene is cute and that’s it.

  3. The budget for the series is over 150 million and there will be over 50 guest appearances from artists in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland. Charlene and Leo are the female and male lead in the series. Ron is expected to join the cast too and Gillian is only a guest in the series. From the looks of thing, the series will be based around Marshal and Little Dragon Girl’s love story. Marshal is the piggy from Journey to the West. Little Dragon Girl is the character from The Return of the Condor Heroes.

    1. Thanks for the info and gosh I was looking forward to this series. I wonder if they are doing that since they are running out of ideas??? No wonder they used the name Little Dragon Girl…

      Everything seems to be banned or restricted in China or something. I read an article awhile saying that they wanted to ban series that involved a time traveling element from the present to the past. I actually enjoyed those kinds of series but now they don’t even want to allow it anymore… The article was saying how they did not like to see characters travel back in time trying to change history… I agree with that, however, I don’t find anything wrong with traveling back in time…

  4. JTTW cross ROCH? Interesting concept. On wonder if it will be affected by China recent ban on adapting the 4 Great Classics because the authority said too many productions butchered the classics badly.

    1. The production crew is aware of the recent ban in China so the storyline will be a new one. The director announce that they are borrowing the characters from the classics but the storyline will be a new one.

  5. The old version of this one is a series for kids. This time, will be the same.

  6. I’m surprised that Roger has put it out there that he won’t leave TVB anytime soon.

    I wonder what this “Roger Kwok” prices is…

    1. @cinsin I’m actually very surprised to hear Roger say that too. He has been with TVB for over 20 years now and he’s still so loyal. I wonder what causes that. Furthermore, I can’t believe TVB placed him in the silly comedy, Show Me the Happy. It’s a complete waste of talent.

      Most artists leave TVB after they achieve a certain level of popularity. Those who leave usually have a representative work of themselves and for Roger, it was probably Square Pegs. However, after so many years, he’s still with TVB. He never took the opportunity to make money elsewhere. In the last few years, we’ve seen less of him so I believe he doesn’t film as often for TVB anymore. Is he filming elsewhere? Is he even under TVB management or did he sign a per series contract? It seems more like the latter.

      1. @Chriselle,
        Roger films for China a lot. But I guess if you don’t watch China series you may not see him. I have seen him in quite a few China series. I think he has a contract to film a number of series for TVB per year and then the rest of the time he can film wherever he wants. I enjoyed many of the series that Roger films for China. I highly recommend you to watch them if you haven’t yet.

      2. @Chriselle

        That’s not true. Roger has filmed many China series and some movies too but maybe you don’t watch them. Roger is also still treated nicely in TVB

  7. Charlene is almost 30 years old now she should stop overdoing this cute acting. She’s not a teenager anymore

    1. You guys jealous that she can still be convincing acting as a cute young girl despite being almost 30?

      1. Jealous for what? She’s barely convincing as ‘cute’ now and was terrible in TJATP and Beauty on Duty.

      2. I have no problem with cute, if she can act. problem is how much cute can she be when she ruins a picture? And why is all negative comments mean we are jealous, etc? Not jealousy but a fact. Even if she isn’t convincing her fans still watch her. Who says a 30 year old can’t play a cute young girl? My criticism of her is she is an awful actress, and all these adulation is fluke.

      3. @ Funn

        My comment is specifically for those who say she shouldn’t act cute because she’s almost 30.

      4. @ Funn

        Why I said that is because she still look cute and young despite being almost 30. So, there shouldn’t be a problem with it.

        “And why is all negative comments mean we are jealous, etc? Not jealousy but a fact.”

        I thought you know me well enough to see that I’m half joking.

        Anyway, you give so many negative comments, how many times did you receive a ‘you are jealous’ reply? I doubt many. 🙂

    2. I think Charlene’s acting is ok since I have seen even worse than hers, so I give her some credit. If she can act well or decently, then what is wrong with acting cute? She has the looks for it so why not??

    3. She can’t help if she still looks cute despite of almost being 30. I like her in Beauty on Duty, and super love Sandra!

      1. Charlene has a somewhat cute face but she’s no more the cute girl she used to be. I cringed now when she’s still acting in the same cutesy mode just like how she did 10 years ago.

  8. I don’t know them well but have seen a few films with them acting (either together or separate). I always felt that Gil’s acting was better and Charlene always had the “too cutesy” roles. I cringed watching her and Wu Zhun in the remake of “The Butterfly Lovers”. I thought Gil would have done a better job and would have been less comical and fake. Can’t say much about the singinG

  9. hmm….wonder if this series is going to be in cantonese or mandarin version?

    1. Mando…

      Canto dubbed if they going to air it or pirated on BT or a cheap store.

    2. It should be Mandarin since it is a China series. It will then be dubbed in Cantonese. But I wonder if the Hk celebs will use their real voices for the Cantonese dubbed version??

      1. Unless TVB picks it up and get real people speaking in the series….

        ATV or CableTV will use lackluster dubbers to do it…

      2. If TVB’s really going to air it in their channel, most likely they’ll get voice actors to dub for them because it’s way cheaper than getting the original actors.

  10. i really dont know why twins are even famous. their acting is joke, their singing even on a full stomach sound like they’re drowning and out of air. as for looks…let just say money can do wonders.

    1. They’re famous because of their looks and timing and EEG promotion. They debuted at the time when no Chinese girl is doing the cute songs and cute actions. EEG promoted them as cute and pure little girls. Young girls and a lot of men love them.

      1. I feel it isn’t just them, that goes for many many of the untalented celebs of any time period. Yea, promotion and timing is really important as well as connections. I don’t think even looks is as important as those other factors anymore since there are way too many celebs in the circle and plus many of them get plastic surgery too.

      2. For some of them looks doesn’t matter it’s true. William Chan has a face that turned me off everytime I look at him and EEG is promoting him heavily as a supposedly cute guy. This is so wrong! He can’t sing to save his life! He did so many movies but still can’t act

      3. EEG/Mani does seem to know how to shove ppl in our faces just like TVB xS

      4. Lol William sounds like a triple failure in looks, singing and acting instead of a triple threat

      5. EEG artists such as Boy’Z and William Chan are as much of a joke as Twins. They’re only good at looking good, with no acting or singing talent whatsoever. 🙁 Vincy Chan was an exception from that trend though. She’s actually known for her singing talent. Unfortunately, I’m not a huge fan of her music.

  11. I have always found Gillian prettier. I still like her but not as much as before. Edison, why did you take that laptop the store??? And why that technician had to be money grubbing zombie and exposed such private matter. *sigh*

    1. Do you like her less now because of the scandal? That is normal and understandable. However, she is human just like the rest of us. I guess many have learned once again that the image that you see of celebs is really different from how a lot of them really are behind the scenes. At least we know the the truth of how celebs can be behind closed doors.

  12. twins are they most talentless i have seen. that’s why i think the quality in HK showbiz is so crappy. Very few talents

    1. I absolutely agree. Although I have seen and heard improvement in their acting/singing compared to when they first debuted 10 years ago, they are still rather mediocre. I’m especially bothered by their acting – they are not very good actresses, lol.

      1. Some people are just naturally born with the talent to sing and act, therefore, even when they first enter the circle you can already see how good they are. However, there are others that can sing and act for years and years but still be mediocre at best. They just weren’t naturally born with the talent.Experience would make them a bit better but not as good as someone that just naturally has the talent. I think Twins and many of the young actors/singers of today are like that…I guess the really talented people don’t want to enter the circle while others that aren’t so talented would do everything that they can to enter.

      2. I agree with you HeTieShou it all depends whether someone wants it and you’re marketable. I know Twins may not be the best talent out there but they’re marketable. They had the cute act going on, they were young and they were willing to work for it. Like many other artists. Some people may have lots of talent but don’t have the looks or personality. And we all know most of us would prefer some eye candy…

        For example, I remember Mandy Cho (who I think is talentless) stepped out of the entertainment circle for awhile due to the fact she didn’t really want to do half the things TVB wanted her to promote. Therefore she took a stand and TVB basically shut her out for a long period of time. I think unless you’re willing to work with your agency/company you’ll never make it big.

      3. @cinsin,
        I agree with you as well. My mom would always tell me that there are many really talented people but they just don’t have the personality and looks in some cases to enter the circle. I think the ones that do want to enter a lot of times thinks that it is an easy way of making money and getting famous. However, it isn’t all that simple. It’s not like everyone is able to make it big, especially in todays’ age where there are sooo many new celebs arising everyday. I remember way back in the 70s when there wasn’t so many celebs how much easier it was to make it big due to the lack of competition. I remember Wong Yuen Sun enjoyed the fame of the 70s, but when the 80s started to settle in, he was getting neglected since the number of actors/celebs were increasing more and he couldn’t handle it so retired from the circle and became a monk for a couple of years. I guess he just didn’t have a competitive personality. In this time and age, you have to be competitive to at least a certain degree if you want to survive in the circle.

        I totally agree with you about Mandy Cho. She is just not fit for the circle. She is not talented and just doesn’t have the personality so I think it is better for her to retire and do something else. Maybe she is just more fit to be a housewife??

      4. Everything seems like fair game in the circle… no? Lol. In the past decades, it was less opportunities and there are less rising fadans and siu sangs. Even if they could enter the industry, not everyone was promoted. Michael Tao, Bobby Au-Yeung, and Sean Lau didn’t become popular until the 90’s even though they started off in the 80s. Therefore, even with talent, they also needed luck. Nowadays, it’s easier to enter and someone with seemingly no talent can be promoted. However, at the same time, it’s also more difficult to get to the top.

        I also agree that being marketable is important. Advertising is more prominent in today’s day and age than in the past and it would be understandable that companies use it more to their advantage. When they can use marketing to gain money, whether or not the artist itself is talented is no longer important to the company. After all, they are still a business. Even if the owner has a passion and values talent, I’m not sure if he’ll “pour their own rice down the drain” to promote people whom they know the public will not like. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of the Twins (Gil is prettier than a Sa, btw), but I believe they have a decent fanbase to be able to stay in the industry for so many years.

        Mandy Cho was never into acting and she admitted that it was a tiring and difficult. She didn’t enjoy it and I agree that she isn’t the competitive type with boundless energy like Charmaine to demonstrate to everyone out there that she can act. Actually, being a housewife definitely seems more like her thing and she is the type who values and wants a family over a career. However, I feel like she’s a little too dependent on family and doesn’t even have a career altogether unless we consider her appearing at a random event as her career…

      5. @Chriselle,

        I actually don’t agree that everything is fair game in the circle. If things were fair, I highly doubt that many of the celebs that are famous today would be where they are if everything was fair. I also do NOT agree that there were less opportunities back then. I actually think that there were more opportunities since there was less competition back then since the number of celebs was a lot smaller than now.

        THe ones that you mentioned, Micheal Tao, Bobby Au and Sean Lau were partially not promoted back then because they honestly weren’t that talented and did not have any leading actor qualities or looks. My mom and I to this day still wonder how they made it to be leading actors. I do agree with you that they also needed luck and I think they finally got it after years.However, do you honestly think that they can compare to the 5 tigers when it comes to acting(even back then)?? Not really so I think that back then it was based on talent more than now.. These days it is more of luck, connections, promoting… I remember Felix Wong mentioning that before….The circle just doesn’t seem like it is the same as it used to be anymore…

        I totally agree about Mandy Cho. She just isn’t talented and does not have the personality to be an actress or any position in the circle. I guess she doesn’t have any job or career because she is too dependent and needs others to support her. I am not sure if it is just because she values family over career. She seems like the really old fashioned type that just wants a husband to support her while she stays home and has kids. If that is how she really is, then she is honestly not fit to be in the circle or have a job of any type.

      6. @ HTS
        However, do you honestly think that they (Micheal Tao, Bobby Au and Sean Lau) can compare to the 5 tigers when it comes to acting(even back then)??

        Yes, they can.

        so I think that back then it was based on talent more than now.

        And what a coincidence that the 5 Tigers are all handsome guys.

      7. @HeTieShou, It as fair game in the circle back in the 80’s because the industry was primarily based on talent (with the combination of good looks) and not connections and shameless promotion. By less opportunities, I meant that not everyone had the luck to rise to the top and only a selected few were leading actors back then, e.g., the 5 Tigers. You can say there were more opportunities back then because there were less artists back then, but at the same time, many semi-talented and the talentless were shutoff to very minor or supporting roles. In comparison today, an artist doesn’t need to be really talented to make it big, but back then being non-talented meant good-bye. My definition of opportunity is that it was tougher to get to the top while yours depended on the number of calebs, no?

        Also, I suppose we can also define opportunity as ways of entering the circle. Back then, it was mostly training class. In today’s day and age, it is mostly through beauty pageants, singing, or modeling. Most artists are involved in more than one area.

        Despite Bobby, Michael, and Sean’s popularity, you don’t think they’re talented? I’ve always loved Michael out of the bunch even he played evil minor characters back in the 80s. I believe his looks were comparable to that of the 5 Tigers (but each person can think differently in terms of looks). Have you seen his Flaming Brothers with ATV in 1999? He was amazing and it even stole ratings from TVB! 😀 (Some people like him, some people don’t maybe because of some of the evil roles he’ve played. However, I think he’s equally convincing in both.)

        Bobby looked boring and I didn’t like his acting back then, but I didn’t mind watching him in minor roles either. I agree that Bobby and Sean aren’t good-looking enough for lead actor which is probably why Sean didn’t make it big until he entered the movie industry. Personally, I feel that Bobby only does well in comedic and expert (Forensic Heroes) roles.

        Haha, not sure if she’s old-fashioned. Her dream back then was to become a fashion designer, but that never came about. She’s probably not the type to go after her career and now that she’s married to a wealthy man, she doesn’t need it either. She did say that she wants lots of children. I’m not sure if the way she was raised has to do with her current lifestyle but she comes from a well-off (not extremely rich) family. However, I don’t think she’s a gold-digger as she seems nice and all. But in general, she doesn’t stand out to me as someone with a unique personality. Sometimes I wonder how she won her MHK title as there were other stronger competitors during her year. Selena was pretty good and I prefer her sweet and caring personality with an added twist of intelligence and business-like mind. I can’t imagine if Selena had won, where she would be in TVB today. Selena likes acting, works hard, and if she won, she would’ve had the opportunity to take on lead roles. When Mandy was given her first lead role in Guts of Man, she wasn’t ready and didn’t seize the opportunity. I’m pretty sure Selena would’ve handled the situation differently.

      8. Sorry to say that, but are you are that all 5 tigers are not based on their looks to be famous?

        Among these 5, I can see Tony is the one who has the best acting ever. But Kent, Felix and Micheal, they 3 in their first roles, all based on look, not talents :P. Especially Felix whose acting was high criticized when he debuted.

        BTW, I don’t agree that someone can’t have talents if they look good. When you see a famous star with disadvantages in look, you will immediately say: “Oh this star is talented”. Then you see a good looking star and the conclusion may come: “This one has look, therefore doesn’t have talent”. It’s true to some but not all. I know it happens to a lot of ppl. It’s pretty unfair for the ppl who look good :).

        Actually I think all the centuries has look and talent artists. With experiences, the old time artists might look better in ppl’ mind. And what in the past is always better than the stuffs in present. The lost fish is the big fish.

        (It’s true to some cases but not all).

      9. @Fox, In general, the 5 Tigers back in the 80s were the most popular and they dominated the industry. Only a few would criticize their acting and I’m sorry if you don’t find them talented.

        Actually, I never thought Michael Miu, Felix, or Kent to be good looking despite the numerous praises about how good Felix looks. I recall from interviews that Jamie and her classmates were all over Felix because of the way he looked and Carina Lau entered the industry because of Felix. Michael has charisma and presence, but I’m not sure if I’ll define him as handsome. A lot of Kent’s features reminds me of a girl despite many claiming him to be the most handsome of the five. I never liked Kent as much as the I liked Michael and Tony because I didn’t like any of the roles that starred him. What did people say about Felix’s acting at the beginning of his career?

        Lol, did we ever say that talented artists can’t be good-looking? Nope… We’re just saying that it’s easier for them to enter the industry because looks and connections play a big role. It’s definitely NOT true that every pretty artist doesn’t have talent; that would be an unfair claim. However, I have to admit that my liking for a certain character/role in a series would blind my opinion on their looks. If I like their role, I would be more lenient on them and I find them more attractive. In this case, talent becomes so powerful that even the not-so-beautiful actress will become prettier.

        I do agree with you that we always see the past as better than the present. It’s inevitable that those who grew up watching 80’s series will like the system based on talent more than the one today. However, those people who are growing up watching the 2000s and who haven’t seen the series from the 80s would see those wuxia and martial arts dramas to be slow-actioned and incomparable to the computer graphics and swift moves in today’s drama. The same argument applies to ancient costumes. I remember having a difficult time liking the colorful ancient costumes today, but I’m use to it now. There would be different opinions on the expectations for artists and series depending on which era we’re more use to.

        Overall, it’s probably better to analyze the trends and the differences that hav evolved in the industry rather than say which system is better. From the perspective of the viewers, it is understandable that we would want higher quality in terms of artists and shows. But taking it from the company and business perspective, the economy and world has revolved to the point where advertising, being marketable, and having connections means a lot. Now can we have both? What needs to be done?

      10. I don’t say I don’t think they have talents, but their look contributes their popularity more than their talents, that’s all (mentioning of Kent, Felix and Micheal).

        Felix is highly criticized in his debut for bad acting (only have look). Then he gets better.

        Until now, I still think Felix’s acting is insufficient. It’s ok but not outstanding in acting. I watched too little of Kent so I won’t give comment on him as I can’t recall any role of him other than the most handsome 燕青. See, that’s look.

      11. @ Chriselle

        “However, I have to admit that my liking for a certain character/role in a series would blind my opinion on their looks. If I like their role, I would be more lenient on them and I find them more attractive. In this case, talent becomes so powerful that even the not-so-beautiful actress will become prettier.”

        Good roles and talent is not interchangeable. They mean different thing.
        In your case, it is really ‘talent becomes so powerful that even the not-so-beautiful actress will become prettier’ or ‘the role become so powerful/likable that even the not-so-beautiful actress will become prettier’?

      12. Excuse me, Felix Wong had plenty of charisma. That was his main attraction. Michael was tall and handsome. Still is. But acting is seriously lacking. Tony Leung, yes a very good actor but at times rather painful to watch with his serious method acting whatever. Kent… can act but a pity about his career. And Andy, never improved since his debut until Infernal Affairs came along and now he is just creepy, albeit a very good actor.

  13. I also wanted to add that there were many talented actors and actresses back then and lesser talented ones now. These days it is more of just people that want to enter the circle hoping to make big bucks even without the talent to do so. THe circle just isn’t the same anymore which I actually feel is really sad. It seems to now be filled with people that just want money, fame and attention. How many of them are still deeply passionate about singing and acting??? Not many…

    1. How many ppl in the past has deeply passionate about acting and singing?

      1. I know that we may not be 100% sure who is and who isn’t but from what I know/feel, the ones that really like singing and/or acting are Felix Wong, Andy Lau, Adam Cheng, Damian Lau, Law Lok Lam,Tony Leung, Jacky Cheung and some others too. Although we don’t know for sure, just the fact that they have stayed in circle for over 20+ years shows something doesn’t it?? It is true that some need the money as well, but for the really big stars, they have made a lot so do they really still need to stay for money?? If it weren’t because they really were passionate about singing and/or acting or at least enjoy it, I highly doubt that they would continue to sing and act for so long… But that is just what I think and feel after liking celebs for so long…

      2. Then who ever in industry for over 20+ years means they really like singing/acting? Then the current artists are still fit your requirement.

        Money and passionate always go together. Actually every jobs required passionate and money.

        Habit is also a factor. Someone do the job although they are already famous because acting/singing become a part of their life, a habit. What will they react if one day they wake up and have nothing to do?

        To sum up, I don’t think ppl in the past has deeper passionate than ppl now. Just depends on each artist.

      3. @ HTS

        So, how can you prove that actors/singers nowadays are less passionate?

        If length of years in the industry is proof of passion, you should wait until 20 years later and see whether they are still around to judge the current batch of actors/singers.

      4. Just quoting Fox and Kidd;

        To sum up, I don’t think ppl in the past has deeper passionate than ppl now. Just depends on each artist.

        If length of years in the industry is proof of passion, you should wait until 20 years later and see whether they are still around to judge the current batch of actors/singers

        It takes a lot of passion and effort to stay for years as an artiste(besides having skills, talents and luck). There are heavy challenges. I personally believe it’s unfair to label the current batch of actors/singers as less passionate. If they only want money and don’t have passion, they would have quit years ago and make quick bucks elsewhere instead of staying for 10 years and endure being hurled with malicious gossips and strenous filming schedules.

        Even the leng-mos such as Angelababy and Chrissie Chow need to have passion to continue what they are doing now 😉

      5. I’m saying the same thing with you, Mashaharu :P.

      6. Want to add.

        In the past, a singer can earn big bucks just by selling albums. Nowadays, a singer have to do a lot more things to get back the return. They have to do advertisement, hold concerts, do shows, act in movies/series etc. Selling albums alone is not enough.

        If they don’t have the passion, will they stay on for years?

        Talent and passion are also not interchangeable and means different things. Not having natural born talent does not equate not having the passion.

        It might be true the music industry nowadays care more about the charisma/look/marketability of a singer than the singer’s talent. But, this does not mean that the less talented singers are less passionate. They still work hard.

        Look at Fiona. Many people might think that she’s fluffy and not good in acting. But, does she put in the effort? Yes. She can’t read chinese, and need people to pinyin and translate for her. She need to put in the extra work to memorise the script and lyrics of songs. But, she still do it, for many years too. Is that not passion?

      7. Perhaps no other career perhaps? Sometimes you are in a career and you stick with it despite not having passion for it. I am sure many of us are in dead end jobs and not many of us have the privilege to say I LOVE MY JOB.

      8. @Funn @Fox

        The grass is always greener on the other side of the pasture. We look at other people’s jobs and desire them. Some of my friends get very good pay as medical professionals but the amount of stress they deal with is commensurate with the pay. We have a choice to change jobs and changing careers takes careful planning, but not impossible. To a certain extent, we must like aspects of our jobs to be willing to come to work each day.

        The internet age affords a lot of entrepreneurial opportunities, such as e-bay and blogging. Passion drives dedication. Hehe that’s why I’m a gossip columnist on the side, it fulfills my yearning to talk.

      9. Good! Good! Let it all out! Now now, feel better?

      10. @Fox and Kidd,
        Well, I did not mean to say that EVERY SINGLE artist of today was not passionate. However, for some odd reason I just don’t feel that a number of them are as passionate as they are in the past. Maybe that is just me being nostalgic that’s all… But of course I know that it will depend on each individual and does NOT apply to everyone…. Also, I was not trying to PROVE anything but is just my own feelings ok??

        I will also not doubt that back then and now, a lot of them really need the money as well. Being passionate is one thing, but money is also important as well since how can anyone live a decent life without money..

      11. I also want to add that maybe it is not only passion and dedication that is keeping them going, but also because they have no other career or way of making a living?? Like Jayne has mentioned, you can change careers and all but it takes a lot of time and work do so. Also, if you are in urgent need of money, then will you even be able to do so??

        However, I think being in the circle is a lot more complicated then just having any old job or career…

      12. @HeTieShou,
        I’ve made a career change a few years ago, which required going back for another degree and cutting my paycheck. There was an opportunity cost in going back to school because that meant I would not have a full-time job while attending classes. Fortunately, I didn’t have great financial burdens at the time, otherwise I wouldn’t be afford to do this.

        Many people switch career tracks once or twice in their lifetimes, but it’s not easy. Sometimes it involves cutting your pay because of less experience in the new industry. Or going back for further education. Making a career switch is also not pratical for everyone because of financial obligations. Some people live paycheck to paycheck to pay for rent/ mortgage or maintain a certain lofty lifetstyle.

        Practical finances aside, most people just have a fear for change. Such as people tolerating a poor relationship because they are afraid of what life would be like without a companion by their side. We all need a certain amount of money to live, but the standards can be juggled, but it is a matter of choice. Many people emotionally cling to those standards and feel they can’t let go. I do think the older we become, the more importance we attach to our possessions and feel they drive our happiness, when it is really the people around us that are keys to our happiness.

      13. @HeTieShou @Kidd @Fox

        Passion/interest is a driving factor in choosing a profession, but I believe practicality is primarily the long-term reason for why a person remains in the same career track. An interest in acting may be a reason why artists enter the field, but there can’t be true, sustainable passion until you try the job for a number of years. What started out as passion may even fizzle due to the job’s situational factors and people you work with.

        Initially, many people choose a profession/ career because they want to make the best use of their greatest skill/ asset. For artists, they may feel their looks (rather than other skills ) may be their greatest asset. The primary motivation to enter the industry is still money, which did not change in the old days versus now.

        I think more young people enter the industry with the lure of money these days, since TVB artists have more cross-over opportunities to model, sing, film movies, and collect fees from promo events. They constantly talk about money, buying homes, complaining about filming hours and schedule, rather than discussion of loving of their jobs and theories on acting. These discussions do send a signal that they are in it for the money, rather than pure passion for their craft.

        After the Hong Kong handover to China, much more economic opportunities opened up for artists in Hong Kong. The emphasis in today’s HK entertainment industry seems more about looks and packaging rather than true craft. If the market only demands a good looking face and an attractive personality, then the supply of artists may not be the higher-caliber of true talent that we saw from past decades.

        I read an interview on Chrissie Chau. Tabloids estimated that she made approximately $200,000 (USD standards) last year. Not bad since she had a high school education and reportedly had poor grades in school. She worked as a sales clerk previously. Does she have passion for her work? She enjoys it enough to continue her career track, but I’ll say money and practicality are the greater reasons. If she doesn’t remain as an artist, is there a guarantee in the short-term that another job will may her an equivalent salary?

        Btw, I do think money is addictive. Once Chrissie has made $200k as an artist, even if she doesn’t love her job and may not have the greatest passion for it, she will continue to do it. Very few people lower their paychecks dramatically because once you’ve enjoyed a certain standard of living, there is no going back.

        I would categorize Chrissie Chau under the group of artists who enjoy what they do because of the money perks and practicality.

        Wayne Lai is someone who comes across as having true passion for acting. I read many of his interviews and his love for acting is clear. He mentioned in real life, he is a very boring person and acting fulfills him as a person. He spoke about his theories on acting, how he would approach roles, and what acting means for him. Wayne even wrote a book about acting theories (perhaps a ghostwriter wrote the actual words for him, but no doubt the principles and ideas are definitely Wayne’s).

        Length of time in a profession should not be used to determine an artist’s passion. Some people stay with their jobs for many reasons, including money, fear of change, doubt that they will succeed in another career, etc. etc.

        The collective actions and words from artists tell us whether they are in the entertainment industry for practical reasons or driven by true passion. Collectively, I do agree with HeTieShou that more artists today are in the industry for practical reasons rather than pure passion.

      14. @Jayne,
        Thanks for your nice and detailed message. I guess I also have a feeling that we are more money oriented these days as compared to back then in general since times are tougher now, especially when it comes to finances which is why I felt that more of the artists of today entered the circle more because of money(not everyone but a larger number than before). Of course, the length of time in a particular career should not always be used to show how passionate someone is in a particular career/field. However, for a number of people, the length of time that they are in a career/field is because they actually enjoy what they do, especially in the circle because we all know how hard it is to be successful due to the high number of new artists entering the field everyday.

        Wayne is a good example of someone that is in the circle because he actually enjoys acting. He worked his way all the way up to being a leading actor after playing extras and supporting roles for over 20 years.

        I personally would like to enjoy what I do more rather than just think of money all the time. I also question that even if you made a lot but had to work at a job that you don’t like at all, how long would you last?? I personally would not be able to do that since I would rather be doing something that I enjoy. I find it really really sad and really hard to be able to do a job or stay in a career that I originally did not like or enjoy. Hey, but everyone is different…

      15. @HeTieShou,
        Chinese people in general are very money-conscious. Going back a few generations in China, too many families experienced poverty and money has always been a dream they chase. In my parents’ generation, poverty was so extreme, my mom ate nothing but congee with preserved bean curd or a little salted fish for meals. Money was the reason why the first Chinese immigrants arrived in the USA for the California gold rush. Money was the reason why our family, and countless humble families tolerated 12 to 14 hour work schedules in blue collar jobs, hoping their kids would be able to forge better lives with better educational opportunities and good job market.

        When there are family members to take care of, such as elderly parents with little economic resources, or young children to feed, you have less freedom to choose the type of job you want. If you are lucky, you can match the interest with a job to maximize your earning capabilities. Personal happiness entails taking care of those family members’ welfare and financial needs as well.

        When you are young and single, there is more freedom to choose. The best time to change careers is when you are single. Rather than changing careers, changing jobs might be an easier, and quicker way to changing an unhappy work situation.

        Lol, I have a practical job to pay the bills while maintaining this site allows me to fulfill personal interests and connect with people. It’s a win-win situation. 🙂

      16. @Jayne,
        I know what you mean. When you have lived in poverty then you would put more importance on money. My family was never rich or anything and have been through poverty and all, but maybe not as bad as what you mentioned. But we always struggled to make ends meet back then as well. Our life is better now, but my parents always taught us to be fruggle and to live a simple life. I was born and raised in the US so never really understood how life in back in Asia.

        Of course everything is always a lot easier to do when you are single. Once you are married and have kids, it is really hard to do a lot of things that you enjoy like traveling for example. Even your career would have to take a back seat after you have kids, so I try to enjoy being single since you have a lot of freedom that just don’t have once you get married and have kids.

      17. I don’t think it’s so much that artists nowadays are less passionate than those from the past. I think it’s perceived that way because it seems that artists these days seem less talented (some, but not all). That’s because an artist nowadays has to do everything-sing, act in both dramas and movies, dance, modelling, endorsements, commercials, etc. They barely have any rest, let alone time to reflect on their performance and how to improve. They’re trying to be well-rounded in everything that not one skill seems to stand out, and neither would it seem like they are especially passionate in any area. I think that’s the problem with the industry now. There’s more competition and therefore more pressure for artists to try to venture into other areas that may not be their area of expertise to get exposure and of course, more money as well. I actually think that an artist nowadays has to work even harder than those in the past because of more competition, so they have to learn to do everything, not just focus on one area such as just singing, or just acting. Sometimes, I don’t think it’s always their choice.
        And it’s very true, some artists stay in the field because of money, some stay simply because they don’t know what to do with themselves after leaving the business. Either they are not educated enough or lack experience in a professional position, or will get lower pay in a different field. Some people are so used to being in the spotlight that they wouldn’t know what to do afterwards. Not everyone has the skill to be an entrepreneur. I once watched a special that featured former Olympians and athletes that have retired have trouble looking for a job change. Their career as an athlete is short-lived as they retire in their late 20’s. But these athletes have been practicing their sport for as long as they can remember and probably have no other experience in anything else growing up all their life. They haven’t been exposed to the outside work force all those years because of practice, practice, practice. So, it does become a bit scary for them. It’s the same with artists who have not done other jobs outside of acting. So it doesn’t mean that just because they’ve been in the industry for a long time that they’re passionate. It also does not mean that those that enter quickly or easily are less passionate. As some of you mentioned, “passionate” can mean different things. It can be driven by money, success, recognition and fame, lifestyle, or the craft of the job itself.

      18. @ Aly

        Exactly what I’m trying to say. Artists nowadays have to do more things to stay afloat. So, it make them look like ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’. In the past, a singer can earn good money just by performing and releasing albums. So, they can focus on their chosen art, and train and practice that art only until good. Now, the artists have to do a lot of other stuffs. So, there’s not as much time to hone their skill.

        So, I do believe that the among of passionate artists nowadays and today are the same. The industry just work differently.

        In the past, maybe the industry allow the passionate and talented artists to shine more and have more chances. In the past, technology was not as advanced. So, you really have to be able to sing and hold a note in order to be a singer. No auto-tuning programing to make you sound good. So, I do agree that the old bunch of singers are more talented because the less talented or skillful want will be filtered out. But, now, it’s more packaging and marketing and following a formula. There’s auto-tuning to help the the singers sound good. And the music company work them to death with many other projects/work that might not help them improving their art. I’m sure a lot of artists will want to do their own thing, the music they love, the kind of film they want to do. But, they can only have a say after they achieve a certain status. So, in the mean time, just be obedient and follow what the boss and marketing people say.

      19. I agree about the rising competition and the change of how things work now and then.

        One more thing, I don’t know about before but nowadays most of the artistes are “young and hopefuls” who entered the industry when they were only teenagers. Some of then even get coaxed by entertainment companies(possibly with “promises”) to join. Even if they entered with their own plan and ideas of what kind of artiste they want to be, due to their young minds they might succumb to what the market needs and what their management dictates.

        There are singers who had to abandon their individual songs preference – to enter the mainstream HK love ballad market and there are actors who just took all characters offered – bad or good the writing so as to not offending anyone and in hope of securing a good role someday.

        When some of these young artistes spend years without fruitful results, they have already aged due to their long intial contracts and most are left without other skills since they spend their whole young adult years after high school in the entertainment industry; and they can just stay in this field.

        Whoops, sorry for the ramblings 😛

      20. I still remember Felix saying in his interview several years ago about how the circle has changed so much. He actually felt sad about it…I think that may be one of the many reasons why he is now semi-retired. I should try to dig up that interview to read again to see what he said… I don’t remember a lot of the details since it has been so long….

        I guess it just fair to say that there are advantages and disadvantages to the circle back then and now… Luck, timing and connections still play important roles now and back then.

    2. @Jayne,
      Thanks for sharing your experience and no doubt making a career change is really hard and takes a lot of time and money as well. One of my older brothers did but it wasn’t that bad for him. THe thing was he originally wanted to be a pharmacist and had a BS in biochemistry. But then he went to have a career in computer science due to the boom back then. However, he then got laid off and then went pharmacy school to get his PharmD and now has a successful career as a pharmacist. That was originally his career anyways…
      One of my friends also changed her career a few times. She was a nurse, then a gym owner and then a teacher. Now she is stay at home mom… She never had financial burdens since she married a rich guy, so it was not hard for her to change careers. But sadly, we don’t all have that option…
      I changed my major 3 times while in college/university but not sure if I am brave enough to change careers like that. Changing majors versus changing careers are 2 different things.

      1. @Jayne,
        Sorry if I was confusing you but when I am talking about back then, I guess I am envisioning the Hk artists whose lives were probably pretty good compared to many others back then(since we were talking about the artists not really normal citizens in general right?). I was not talking about normal citizens living in China since that is a completely different world and I know that they had a hard life back in the 60s, 70s and even 80s. I know that a lot still live in poverty in China, but it has gotten better…

  14. Why does everyone who comments on this site always look to the past, the past is over and most of the new HK talent is not that good, but so far it’s what people like or else they wouldn’t be that famous. But stop comparing people to the past, the time is different and the people are different. It’s kinda hard to say who’s talented in my opinion, it’s not like there is a colour spectrum that determinds that. I think I might be the only one here who actually likes twins, but more as a duet group, seperately they are kinda weak, it’s cause their voices comes together and it sounds nice. As for there acting it’s decent, eventhough I haven’t really seem much of ah gil on screen except for that twin movie, which they were quiet good in. But ah Sa’s acting is better in comedies since she has that kinda of thing, and I think she was pretty good in Beauty on Duty, eventhough it was a total copy of miss congeniallity(can’t spell). But this series sounds cute, probably won’t see it tho.

    1. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with talking about the past. It is good to compare the past and present to see what the changes are. I think that due to the high number of artists these days, the artists today face a lot more competition and need to work hard. However, it does not mean that the artists back then did not work hard because they did. I still cannot forget Felix Wong mentioning all of the hardships that he went through when he worked for TVB back then. He mentioned that in a long interview that he did several years ago before he went into semi retirement. I remember him saying that the artists of today have more advantages compared to the artists of the past. I somewhat agree with him but not 100%. The artists of yesterday had advantages and disadvantages just like the artists of today. I can’t remember the details of it all since it has been a long time… I should try to dig it out sometime…

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