Samantha Ko on Successfully Reimaging Herself

In recent months, Samantha Ko‘s (高海寧) dramas have been broadcast consecutively, but she still manages to give viewers new surprises each time. Starring in Death by Zero <殺手>, On-Lie Game <迷網>, and Al Cappuccino <反黑路人甲>, Samantha successfully portrayed diversified characters. Though the 33-year-old actress’s entertainment career was not always smooth-sailing and she was typecast in her early career, Samantha is finally gaining more recognition and receiving increasing filming opportunities.

Initially known for her voluptuous figure, Samantha was branded a flower vase, making it difficult for her to break out of the stereotype. The former Miss Hong Kong contestant said, “Becoming known overnight because of a great figure is a good thing. At the very least, you bypass over the phase when no one knows or recognizes you. However, this [voluptuous] image of me is too ingrained in people. I had to spend years trying to break away from this image. It was difficult. A lot of people will gain recognition after filming a scene or two, but for me, it took me years of filming. The audience primarily focused on the revealing aspects of all my scenes, which made me really frustrated.”

Thanks Charmaine Sheh

With more than 12 years in the industry, Samantha met many great friends and acquired a lot of good advice from more experienced actors. Specifically, Samantha recalled the advice given to her by Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼), who encouraged her to continue doing her best.

“Charmaine told me that no matter how many scenes I have, or whether it is a main character or supporting character, I have to always put in the effort and film as though I was the main focus in my scenes. As long as you work hard and do your very best, people will eventually notice you. Since then, I have embraced this perspective and worked hard in all my roles. I have never put in minimal effort just because I was a supporting character.”

Her hard work eventually paid off and viewers started noticing Samantha’s acting instead. She enjoys fleshing out her characters so that each performance leaves viewers with a distinct impression. Finding happiness in viewers’ praise towards her role in Al Cappuccino, she said. “In the past, producers typically liked casting me in calm and sophisticated characters. In On-Lie Game, my character is restrained. Then in Death by Zero, my character is very logical. In Al Cappuccino, however, my character has extreme emotional fluctuations. When she is happy, she is very happy, but when she is sad, then she will torment those around her. The range in which I can portray the character and its breakthrough potential is extremely high.”

Happy in Being Herself

Through her onscreen roles, Samantha has continued to grow as a person. “Through my characters, I am able to experience life in many different ways. I’ve realized that there are so many different types of people in the world who have different views and perspectives on everything. I reflect on myself and wonder whether I am too stubborn about certain things. I’ve discovered more of myself through my characters and improve myself through these lessons.”

In addition to her filming roles, age has also contributed to Samantha’s life experiences and increasing maturity. She is now a happier and more confident person. “Before I turned 30 years old, I would do things outside of my norm in order to prove myself and make other people like me. However, it was only after I turned 30 years old that I realized I was living for other people and was not living for myself. I decided to turn the focus back on myself. Cutting my hair short was a way of testing how I can change my image. As I cared less and less about what other people thought, more people started appreciating me.”

Source: Hket

This article is written by Huynh for

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  1. I used to not really like her but I definitely see her improvement in recent roles, like since My Unfair Lady she’s been a solid supporting actress able to take on different personalities. But I don’t think she has the charisma to really carry a series on her own yet though. Still, loads better than FYY who really shouldn’t be an actress.

    1. @bubbles23
      FYY is super annoying. hard to compare her to anyone else. i don’t like linda chung but even she’s more bearable.

      1. @m0m0 haha yes, it’s so hard to be immersed in the drama with FYY in it. So far it’s Grace Chan and FYY that I absolutely cannot stand.

      2. @bubbles23 hahah…I know right..FYY – OMG I just don’t understand why Vincent Wong’s series always pair up w/unbelievably average actresses and this new series Al Cappuccino FYY as one of the FL’s? ahhaah lol….Crazy.
        I tried and episode and couldn’t even finish it. VW is a good actor but alot of his dramas are not that great and most of the time paring up w/weird actresses.

      3. @bubbles23 Yes, I don’t know but VW is a great actor and he looks great but the ones he pair up is just lacking somehow. FYY and the other First Fight one are really horrible mismatches. I can’t even finish one episode.

      4. @bubbles23
        i don’t mind GC as much, at least she’s not so annoying. she was okay w/ several dramas. and GC is very beautiful so easy on the eyes.

  2. SG’s acting is decent. her as a tiger mom in the ghost story was touching and right on.

    1. @m0m0 oh yes, I actually thought she would win Best Supporting over Candice, but still a fair result. Sam looks way better with longer hair.

      1. @bubbles23 I actually prefer Sam with chin-length hair, I personally think she looks more intelligent like that, long haired her for some illogical reason looks a bit “bimbo”?? (like I said, it’s illogical, LOL)

  3. I really liked her in Death by Zero. Her character in AL Cappuccino is annoying, but she plays it well. They should have switched her role with Crystal. Crystal is too limited and has no chemistry with Vincent. Kathy hasn’t impressed either but her character has more potential.

    The only good thing about AL Cappuccino so far is when Vincent and Owen are together, but that is too little so far. The series feels like it is taking too long on exposition.

    1. @potatochip i agree even tho it’s been less than a week in… Owen is definitely the star of the show for me, but the series is lacking in many ways. This comedy is not doing Vincent justice, its plot is too loose and his character is getting annoying. I can’t see this series getting awards, but then again it’s only a week in. Death by Zero will only have to fight LW 3 for best drama now.

      1. @bubbles23 Yes, Owen is the best in this series so far and is the only one that is funny. Vincent has played characters with a humorous side, it may be the bad writing or him not letting loose enough, but he has not been funny at all. This character is too earnest and annoyingly foolish.

        Owen has been interesting with Winki’s and Kathy’s characters. My dream would have been if Ali played Kathy’s role and brings her charm and energy to this meek character. Samantha as Crystal’s role. Add more flavor to the veterans and you would have had a much better series.

        Compare this to DBZ. DBZ wasn’t actually a comedy, and the storyline wasn’t that unique, but it felt much more light-hearted, vibrant and humorous due to the great characterizations.

      2. @bubbles23 Ali just needs to be in every series lol because she’s such a good actress and has chemistry with most of her co stars. Rare breed.

      3. @bubbles23 Yes, the best are the ones that don’t try hard to be funny but is funnier effortlessly. My favorite scene was when Siu Bing was trying to bait the cop with a virus laden s*xy picture of Sam. Moses was so certain that no man can resist that bait. The look Ali gave him and then his backtracking… Haha. They should have had more scenes like that.

  4. Have to agree with her, always remember her as the voluptuous actress 😛 but glad she’s improving herself. I think it’s that lisp she kind of has, but that’s not as noticeable now I believe. She is a very pretty.

  5. I like her outlook, positivity, and confidence as an actress. While I don’t think she’s great enough yet to carry an engaging drama on her own, I hope she’ll continue experimenting and improving.

    1. @minhee Actually, I really like her in the On Lie Game series. I don’t like Mat Yeung but I find the series watchable due to her and the other support casts. At least I didn’t give up after the 1 episode.

  6. all you gotta do is hang in there, grit you teeth, once all the talent from the same batch as you left TVB, they bound to pick you as lead.

  7. She’s gotten better over the years. I hated her in my unfair lady. I liked her character in DBZ and I don’t mind her in al cappuccino. Her hair is SO much better in al cappuccino. She’s not really that pretty? Not sure why everyone thinks that she’s a goddess. But good personality.

    Her character is boring in on-lie game but that whole series is a dud so I’ll give her a pass.

    1. @tt23 lol she’s a “goddess” for her body not her face. Why did you not like her in MUL? I think that’s when I actually started to notice her more for her acting.

      1. @bubbles23 oh lol well I don’t think there’s anything wow about her body? maybe it’s just me.

        Personal opinion – I didn’t like the character and the way she played that character. It wasn’t believable and I felt like she tried too hard to be this cunning/shady person. Tbh many tvb actors are not great at playing a villain character, I always feel like it’s over the top… only a few can pull it off in my opinion

        She was better in flying tiger and who wants a baby

      2. @tt23 Some actors that are good in villain roles are Roger Kwok, Krystal Tin, Evergreen Mak, Wayne Lai, Eric Li, Alice Chan, Kwok Fung, Eddie Cheung, and many more.

  8. I don’t like her onscreen, it’s just the lack of that X factor for me. However, now that I know she’s a good friend of Ali, maybe she’s not that bad….

  9. I never liked her as her acting was really bad and her accent bothered me a lot. Now her Cantonese has improved, so has her acting, at least in the latest drama.

  10. Is there a problem with scheduling at tvb.. last time they were showing tony hung nonstop in back to back series and it’s Samantha now. They should space out to avoid overexposure.

    1. @arc78 Either they show dramas in the order they’re filmed or if they want to promote someone, they’ll show multiple dramas of them in a row.

  11. I never liked Samantha but I have noticed a huge improvement in her acting. She is probably not best lead actress material yet but in supporting roles she has proven herself in emotional scenes. And she has been practicing on her accent hard and her enunciation is much better now.

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