TVB’s Big 5 Fadans: Then and Now

By on April 2, 2016 in Hot Gossip!, NEWS

TVB’s Big 5 Fadans: Then and Now

It was like the end of an era when Tavia Yeung (楊怡) tied the knot with longtime boyfriend Him Law (羅仲謙) in England last week. Tavia is the third out of TVB’s big five fadans to get married, after Myolie Wu (胡杏兒) in December 2015 and Linda Chung (鍾嘉欣) in February 2016. The remaining two, Fala Chen (陳法拉) and Kate Tsui (徐子珊), are still single, but they are no longer contracted with TVB.

With TVB’s former big five either married or gone, fans feel that they are witnessing the end of an age. The big five—Myolie Wu, Tavia Yeung, Linda Chung, Fala Chen, and Kate Tsui—dominated Hong Kong television screens for much of the late 2000’s and early 2010’s. But with only two out of the five still tied to a TVB contract today, 2016 may mark the official end of the big five era.

From TV Queen Competitors to Brides

With Myolie, Linda, and Tavia announcing their marriages one after another, the last few months have been a whirlwind of emotions for fans of the big five. The close proximity of their marriages has done nothing but encouraged the media to further pit the five against each other—while the competition in the past was strictly about winning TV Queen, the competition has now escalated to comparing their lives behind the silver screen.

Tavia: The Most Critically Successful

tavia yeung silver spoon sterling shacklesUnlike the other four, who was introduced to the industry through beauty pageants, Tavia started from the bottom. She made her debut in 1999 as part of TVB’s 13th acting class and achieved her first major breakthrough four years later, winning TVB’s Most Improved Female Artist for her performance in 2003’s Vigilante Force <智勇新警界>. She then went on to win Best Supporting Actress in 2008 and Best Actress in 2012, becoming the only one out of the big five to win all of TVB’s major acting awards.

However, while Tavia may have the most high-profile list of awards, her marriage and wedding was entirely the opposite. Her wedding to Him Law was kept under the radar, and it was only after her sister posted pictures of England’s Leeds Castle when people discovered that the couple had gotten married.

Tavia said her TVB contract would be up in April, but it is still unknown if she would be renewing it.

Myolie: The Highest-Paid Actress

myolie wu curse of the royal haremThough Myolie debuted in the same year as Tavia, her beauty pageant background gave her a significant head start within TVB. Myolie was already cast in lead roles four years into her debut, and hit dramas such as Triumph in the Skies <衝上雲霄> and Wars of In-laws <我的野蠻奶奶> boosted her fame. She won Most Improved Actress in 2002—a year before Tavia—and Best Actress in 2011—also a year before Tavia.

In 2015, Myolie announced that she would not be extending her contract with TVB, ending her 16-year relationship with the agency. She proceeded to sign a management contract with China 3D Digital Entertainment for a rumored estimate of $35 million HKD, making her the highest-paid former TVB actress. Myolie has also started a bridal shop, adding more to her wealth.

Myolie is not the first of the big five to leave TVB, but she is the first to announce her marriage. In December 2015, she tied the knot with boyfriend of one year, Philip Lee (李秉德). Unlike Tavia and Him’s, Myolie and Philip’s marriage was extremely high profile, with their two different wedding ceremonies and a 50-table wedding banquet that was attended by hundreds of guests. Myolie and Philip have only just returned from their 75-day honeymoon.

Linda: The Quickest to Rise

linda chung brother's keeperLinda shot to popularity almost immediately after her debut. Her first role after winning Miss Chinese International in 2004 was a pivotal character in the sitcom Virtues of Harmony II <皆大歡喜>, a role that had her star alongside Steven Ma (馬俊偉). In 2006, after only two years in the industry, Linda won Most Improved Female Artist. Though Linda lost out to Myolie and Tavia in winning TV Queen, she consistently stayed on top in popularity polls.

In February 2016, Linda married non-celebrity Jeremy Leung in a private ceremony in Vancouver, Canada, Linda’s hometown. It was a modest wedding, attended by only her closest friends and relatives. Nonetheless, she did welcome the press to cover the news. Rumored to be already five months pregnant at the time, Linda may be the first of the five to become a mother. Linda’s contract with TVB is not over yet, but it is unsure if Linda will return to TV screens any time soon.

Kate: The Most Successful Film Actress

kate tsui tomorrow is another dayThough Kate debuted in the same year as Linda, it took a while for her to gain affinity with the audience. Unlike Linda’s sweet, girl-next-door image, Kate took on a bolder, stronger character. She won Most Improved Female Artist in 2007, one year after Linda.

But Kate’s slower start in television gave her more opportunities elsewhere. She is the only one of the five to win an accolade from the Hong Kong Film Awards—Best New Performer for her role in 2007’s Eye in the Sky <跟蹤>. Out of the big five, Kate is the actress most likely to have a successful career in film. Though she may have already ended her contract with TVB, it is speculated that she would be signing a contract with Shaw Brothers, TVB’s partner in film production.

Fala: The Most Popular with Advertisers

fala chen triumph in the skies 2Fala is the youngest and the last to debut among the five. The Sichuan native, who made her debut after winning the 2005 Miss Chinese International Pageant, played a string of successful supporting roles before landing her first lead role in 2011’s Lives of Omission <潛行狙擊>, which was an immediate hit. Though she never won Most Improved Female Artist like her peers, she did win Best Supporting Actress twice, the first time in 2007 for Steps <舞動全城>, and a second time in 2010 for No Regrets <巾幗梟雄之義海豪情>.

Despite having the shortest filmography of the five, Fala is the most popular with advertisers, putting her as one of TVB’s highest-paid actresses. She is also the first of the five to leave TVB, in 2013, and is currently studying acting at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York.

Source: Yes News

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

28 comments to TVB’s Big 5 Fadans: Then and Now

  1. lileric says:

    It’s not the end because Sisley and Grace will rise up, jokez.

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  2. jjwong says:

    Isn’t Charm in this crop of fadans? She would be the orst to leave and probably most paid. Did Michelle Ye ever considered to be one?

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    • jimmyszeto replied:

      @jjwong
      No because Charmaine hasn’t had a long term contract for many years. Michelle Ye was the first of the lot to consider her career wisely and left TVB. She is the most successful of the lot by a big margin right now.

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      • anon replied:

        @jimmyszeto Michelle also got lucky too as her career could’ve easily gone the other way in China. The Mainland market for female actresses is heavily saturated.

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      • jimmyszeto replied:

        @anon

        I don’t think she got lucky. Michelle had good exposure from acting with the best movie actors and directors after leaving TVB.

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  3. jimmyszeto says:

    Kate and Fala still have the potential to become massive. However the other 3 are stalling and I can’t see much more progress made.

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  4. arc78 says:

    Fala isnt the youngest fadan… Linda is the youngest.

    Also wasnt Fala the first to be married to an entrepreneur last time?

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    • lyu310 replied:

      @arc78 Agreed. Linda is the youngest. Fala just debuted a year later. She also didn’t win Miss Chinese International – she was 1st runner up while Leanne Li won.

      She also did marry first but since she got divorced I guess people don’t want to broadcast that.

      I never really thought who the Top TVB Fadans of this era were. I still think of Ada Choi, Esther Kwan etc. as the top fadans. Then again, I really grew up watching them while with these actresses I was hitting my early teens.

      It’s still a little sad to see them go but good they are moving on. I’m sure the times at TVB were tough especially with the harsh schedules.

      I don’t really look forward to the “new era” of actresses though. I quite like Nancy Wu (not new but still here), Mandy Wong and Tracy Chu, but there are too many I do not/would not enjoy watching (Grace, Sisley, Jacqueline, etc).

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  5. tiffany says:

    Fala can be successful in Mainland. It’s surprising she didn’t continue her success after DMY.

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  6. happybi says:

    Kste should stick to movie. She is one of those that I feel does well in movies but in dramas….blah…..

    Wasn’t a fan of Fala in the beginnkng2 but she really grew on me after moonlght resonance. She was great there.

    Myolie i thought was good in the beginning of her career but only ok after.

    Linda i like her but i only really like her journey call life character.

    Tavia. Like her. Hope she will stay but in better roles.

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    • kaykay408 replied:

      @happybi I totally agree with you about Kate. I’m neutral about her but do hope to see her make it big in movies.
      Lol we’re completely opposite about Fala. I really really adore Fala when she first came out. I started to dislike her after TITS 2. I never thought of her as a great actress though. One of the big 5 fadans is a bit much.
      I didn’t like Linda at first. I don’t remember when she started to grow on me but I really like her in Daddy’s good deeds. Yeah too bad she hasn’t been making any progress lately…
      Myolie, lol, her biggest breakthrough was probably the role that she had to gain a lot of weight (can’t remember name). Don’t agree with the title fadan for her but hey for some reasons her name got HUGE!
      Tavia is probably the only one who truly deserves the title here. She might not be as pretty but she’s talented and I don’t get tired watching her on screen. Plus how many actresses are not annoying when they cry on screen? I love to see her cry lol.
      So who are the new batch?

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      • happybi replied:

        @kaykay408 tavia is def. The best fadan on this list for me!!

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      • kangaroo replied:

        @kaykay408 @happybi: Tavia has screen presence. Since the Mysteries of Love, I paid more attention to her & I like her – my opinion is that she has screen presence, while for the rest, you may just like that sweet character that she protrays. That is the difference between Tavia and the rest.

        Sad that TVB is not exerting itself to keep Tavia. She has more to go & more to contribute to TVB and the audience.

        I dont understand TVB’s strategy in relation to their actors/actresses – seemed very messed up.

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  7. orchid123 says:

    Based on the above photos, the best-looking actress is:
    1) Fala Chen
    2) Kate Tsui
    3) Linda Chung
    4) Tavia Yeung
    5) Myolie Wu (the worst-looking one with a big mouth and a narrow and long face).

    Based on acting, this is my order:
    1) Fala Chen (except crying)
    2) Tavia Yeung
    3) Kate Tsui
    4) Myolie Wu
    5) Linda Chung

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  8. m0m0 says:

    hum…i never really considered fala a fadan just leading a few series doesn’t consider her a first line actress…. i think nancy wu is one but not fala

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    • orchid123 replied:

      @m0m0 Nancy acts well, but she does not have the look for 1st lead roles if there are many good-looking actresses in TVB.

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      • m0m0 replied:

        @orchid123
        well, she’s got a nice body thought. i think she was prettier when she first debuted.

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  9. anthony says:

    I don’t think it’s a pity or sad that they are leaving because frankly all five actresses’ performances were retracting to begin with. I just hope there’s another five that can ACT.

    My bets are for the next 5 (young generation fadans) are Grace Chan, Sisley Choi, Eliza Sum, Priscilla Wong and Tracey Chu. Grace and Eliza are probably the only ones I have hopes on though.

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    • m0m0 replied:

      @anthony

      i like grace and eliza esp eliza. she’s so cute

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    • hellome replied:

      @anthony It’s weird because Priscilla and Eliza are more in the age group of these 5 fadans. lol. These 2 have a high likability factor, although not the best actresses (although I do see improvements in them. Tracy is off to a good start because her acting is pretty good for a newbie and the audience likes her.

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  10. anthony says:

    Of the 5 fadans though, they each did deliver a memorable performance at some stage:

    My most ‘memorable’ performances of the 5 Fadans

    Tavia Yeung – Beyond the Realm of Conscience
    Fala Chen – Moonlight Resonance
    Myolie Wu – Wars of In Laws
    Kate Tsui – Lives of Omission
    Linda Chung – The Gem of Life

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  11. hellome says:

    Actually, Myolie only got those first lead roles based on her breakthrough performance in Golden Faith. I doubt it had anything to do with being in MissHK. Her series are some of my favorite of all time including TITS and Survivor’s Law, so I hope she will film for them again one day. I hope Tavia extends her contract- should would basically be the #1 fadan.
    I remember during the awards, Nancy, Kristal, and Linda presented an award. That seems like a hint that those 3 are basically the top tier of contracted artists right now (and Tavia if she signs again).

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  12. olivegarden says:

    IMO, looks-wise is in this order:
    1-Fala -Classic look
    2-Kate -Unique sexy look
    3-Linda -Beautiful, goddess look
    4-Tavia -Simply Beautiful
    5-Myolie –

    Acting-wise:
    1-Tavia
    2-Myolie
    3-Linda
    4-Kate
    5-Fala
    Still like them all.

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    • jimmyszeto replied:

      @olivegarden

      Fala- Attractive and still young looking. Acting has improved continuously year upon year. After working with Francis Ng and realised her limitations compared to the top stars, she is striving to improve by studying. The most driven of the 5 and has tremendous prospects.

      Kate- Sexy looking and highly impersonated because of her attractive looks in Hong Kong. Started her acting career with terrible performances and has improved greatly since. Missed out on Best TVB actress twice with decent performances.Ambitious and shown she can hold her own in movies. Good prospects.

      Linda Chung- Good ‘girl next door’ image. Has improved a lot but is probably hindered because she is more familiar with English than Cantonese. Looks to be more eager to start a family than ambitious to reach the next level in acting. Best performance is still in ‘a journey called life’.

      Tavia Yeung- Mature looking now but very likeable. Been impressive since her debut as an extra. Had shown talent since the beginning but now for every good performance, there would be 4 or 5 similar unmemorable characters played. Reached a one dimensional approach in acting. Unlikely to improve but will carry on delivering solid performances at TVB. Best performance arguably vigilante force and moonlight resonance as support.

      Myolie- Still young looking but not sexy. Averagely likeable. Brilliant performance in Golden Faith 14years ago and that remains as her best performance. Missed her opportunity after chosen and gaining weight for ‘to grow with love’ which was a massive flop. Stalled and not much improvement can be made.

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      • @jimmyszeto See I always hear people say it but I don’t understand why they think Kate Tsui started out as a bad actress? I thought she was quite natural and talented honestly when I first saw her in ‘La femme desperado’. She had chemistry with and could hold her own against Sheren Tang.

        I feel like the public simply just didn’t like her when she first started out.

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      • jimmyszeto replied:

        @peanutbutterjelly

        You have a point there. I’ve not seen ‘Le Femme Desperado’. Was poor in ‘The Brink of Law’. She definitely wasn’t as bad as the ones TVB are promoting right now.

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  13. Old age is catching up, tvb needs to groom young artistes

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  14. asian2015 says:

    When they say Tavia married longtime boyfriend I don’t think 4 years is that longtime. If it was 5 to 10 years that probably would be a longtime. Tavia must be the lucky one only dated 4 years then got married and good looking one too compared to Myolie and Linda husband surprised she didn’t break up with him after all since Him are younger than her and never a million knew that he’s so serious about her I thought he’s only fooling around with her like he did with his exes. when the other 2 like Myolie and Linda they both dated for almost 10 years the marriage never come poor thing but luckily they both are happily married. It’s funny how Myolie and Linda are similar alike dated someone for a short time then announced saying they’re getting married.

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