Men of Chaozhou descent are often described by their partners as gentle, considerate, and responsible. Steven Ma (馬浚偉) embodies that all-inclusive sense of benevolence. The only boy in a house of four sisters, Steven succeeded his father as the leader of his family. The 41-year-old actor already developed a sense of responsibility at a young age.
“From as early as I can remember, my father was the breadwinner and my mother stayed at home. Although I have three elder sisters, I was the decision-maker of the family. We have fourteen members in my family now, and at every family reunion or dinner, I would be the one who pays the bill. This is out of habit. When it comes to family, it really doesn’t matter.”
Steven’s mother was diagnosed with cancer when he was 6 years old. “I could not accept it,” said Steven. “I watched her relapse, watched her losing her smell, hearing, sight, and to the point where she could not eat. Once, she vomited blood when she was eating. This scenario doesn’t only happen in movies!”
Steven’s mother passed away in 1999. A year later, it was his grandmother’s turn to vomit blood in front of Steven. She too passed away soon after. “On the night of her death, I was shooting a wedding scene. After that, I developed a mood disorder. I drank all day and every day. I cried when I was drunk, cried when I was sober.”
Plans for Marriage
“[My girlfriend] and I share an understanding. We definitely want to start a family with each other. [She] loves children, but this really depends on timing.”
Steven expressed his hope to expand his career to behind-the-scenes film production in the next two years. “We share the same target. We will finish what we must in the next one to two years. I believe we will be happy.”
Is Steven positive that his current girlfriend, Vivian Hui, will be his marriage partner? “I don’t think I am the type to marry twice, which is why everything has to be planned carefully. I am living with my family, and if I were to marry in the future, I will definitely move out. At least we will be living in our own quarters. I will not allow women to spend money on me.”
Steven expressed that he would rather save money to purchase his own home than to rent one. “Wouldn’t that be more dignifying?”
Steven said, “Right now, I am typically dedicated to my work for 365 days of the year. I rarely get the chance to see my girlfriend. In the past five to six years, I’ve consistently learned about filming, screenwriting, and editing. I am working towards an image-changing career that will allow me more time with my family. By the time it comes, I plan to film only one project per year, and use the rest of my time to directing and screenwriting.”
Steven sought an early end to his TVB management contract in 2011. He clarified, “We could not come up with an agreement to my work. I had some things that I wanted to try but [TVB] did not approve of it. This bottleneck relationship had been going on for a while, and it finally led to my decision to leave. By the time I had to leave, I felt unwilling, but now, my mindset is calm.”
For 18 years, Steven had starred in numerous successful TVB dramas. Although a multiple Best Actor-award nominee and a four-time My Favorite Male Character winner, Steven failed to earn a single Best Actor win at the TVB Anniversary Awards.
“It’s fine!” exclaimed Steven when he was asked if he felt disappointed at his Best Actor losses. “Honestly, no one dislikes a [TV King] coronation, but if I hold expectations for myself, I will only find disappointment in the end. You asked me if I want to win an award, I do, but I didn’t in the end. It doesn’t matter anymore. I cannot control this. I’m not very upset. If it should be mine, then it will be mine. Although I never earned one, there are a few in the audience who thinks I deserve it. I am very happy. Definitely do not work in the business for the award! This is a painful way of thinking.”
Under a short per-series contract, Steven has now returned to TVB to shoot Property Protector <守業者>, a period drama costarring Tavia Yeung (楊怡), Evergreen Mak (麥長青), and Maggie Shiu (邵美琪). Afterwards, Steven will shoot a film in Beijing, and then return to mainland Chinese studios to shoot a television drama. Steven will also be releasing his latest studio album, Cherish, in late June.
“I actually debuted as a singer, and I have already released fourteen albums!” exclaimed Steven happily. “I used to spend a lot of my free time in singing competitions; I’ve participated in about 44 of them. I joined the industry after I won first place at the Vanguard Singing Competition in 1993.”
Steven revealed that eleven new songs are recorded in his Cherish album, five of which are his own compositions. He will be engaged in the promotions of his album in the coming weeks, and will hold various concert tours in Hong Kong in July.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.