Selena Lee on Starting Over: “No One Rejected Me in Hong Kong”
When Selena Lee (李施嬅) left TVB after 16 years of working at the station, people thought it was very surprising and sudden. However, it’s been a long time coming. During her last several years at TVB, the actress had already turned her focus to foreign productions and explored opportunities in the United States, Canada, and Malaysia. “It was time to see what else I can learn in this world,” Selena expressed.
She Denied Having an Unpleasant Experience at TVB
Still, many outsiders saw Selena’s departure as TVB’s loss. They blamed the station for not giving Selena sufficient acting opportunities, and thus creating an unhappy work environment for her. However, the actress defended her former company and stressed, “Those rumors of unhappiness, etc. are false. Actually, I’m really grateful TVB taught me so much. I felt I learned a lot and matured, so it was time to move onto the next chapter.”
She was Rejected at Auditions in the US and Canada
Since her acting career took off in Hong Kong, Selena rarely had to audition; she just waited for TVB to cast her. However, that was not the case in America, Canada, and other places. Selena had to work hard to get chosen for roles.
“No one knows who I am overseas, but it’s very interesting, it’s like I reincarnated,” Selena said. “Sometimes I’m auditioning alongside people who never acted before – we’re doing the same thing and there’s no disparity between us. I was lucky at TVB, but overseas, I have to start from the bottom. I’m not really used to it, and it’s a big blow to my self-esteem when I get rejected, but it’s impossible to get chosen at every audition.”
She continued, “If there are reasons why I didn’t get cast, I would be unhappy. In Hong Kong, no one would reject me, but every time I get rejected here, I wouldn’t know the reason. They don’t tell you why but I think about which areas I need to improve on. It fuels my passion to improve.”
Selena compared the auditioning process to the hit movie La La Land. “In reality, there are thousands of people competing with you for the same role,” the actress expressed. “It’s actually quite exciting because you have so many opponents, so you will be ecstatic when you get the role.”
The Impact of Bruce Lee (李小龍)
Chinese actors are often playing the role of an assassin or a Kung Fu master in foreign films, due to the image of Bruce that is deeply rooted in the audience’s minds. Likewise, Selena said she is mostly cast in fighting roles and a lot of people call her a “killer”. “Many think Chinese people can only fight or kill, but I hope they’ll realize that Chinese people can do other genres,” she said.
Awards Can’t Represent a Person
Due to her acting skills, netizens often say Selena should’ve won a Best Actress award at TVB long ago. However, Selena doesn’t think it’s a pity. “I thought about it in the past, but I don’t think about it anymore. Of course, I would be happy if I get it, but it’s not representative of my achievements. It doesn’t mean I’m a bad actress if I don’t win an award.”
She compared it to the beauty pageant. Even if she doesn’t win, it doesn’t mean she’s ugly. “So I don’t think awards can represent a person. If one of my good sisters wins this year, I’ll be really happy. Maybe I’ll also get a nomination,” Selena said.
This article is written by MelodyC for JayneStars.com.