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Monday, August 06, 2007

Charmaine Sheh: My EQ have improved significantly

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TVB Dong Ka Fadan Charmaine Sheh has a coy voice, but actually has a forthright attitude like a guy. She always stands by her answers and is not vague when replying questions. Facing different types of attacks; negative news, slander and rumors, she remains dignified and unfazed, continue to move forward.

[Source: Sina] Interview article by Cha Siu Yan (famous HK radio DJ)

Succeeding after Dodo Cheng, Charmaine Sheh is one of the artistes with the best 'phone ethic'. Every time we leave a message to her, even though she is too busy to reply personally, she will ensure that her assistant to call back. Sometimes when she just woke up from her valuable and scarce resting hour, she will immediately call back. Her attitude is indeed rare in the entertainment circle. This shows that she place attention to aspect, giving her best in all directions. From being criticized in acting since her debut 10 years ago, to being cast aside, till being promoted to official fadan, these are the results of her hard work, and do not come easily.

TVB Dong Ka Fadan Charmaine Sheh has a coy voice, but actually has a forthright attitude like a guy. She always stands by her answers and is not vague when replying questions. Facing different types of attacks; negative news, slander and rumors, she remains dignified and unfazed, continue to move forward. She has the characteristic to become popular.

In order to act in [Drive of Life]; the collaboration series between TVB and CCTV to commemorate HK handover 10th anniversary, Charmaine declined three series offer, which is equivalent to declining a 6 figure sum income. However, she has no complaints: "This is my honor".

Filming series one after another, Charmaine has filmed approximately 30 TVB series in 10 years. With an average of 3 series per year (around 100 episodes), she also have to make time for filming mainland series, movies, advertisement and spokesperson, overseas stage performance and promotional activities. Even if there are 48 hours daily, it'll still be insufficient for her. The reward: Becoming a rich lady in the entertainment circle.

After the interview, there's negative news related to her that appeared on the front page of a tabloid magazine. The paparazzi secretly took some pictures of Joe Ma entering the building that Charmaine lived in and before long he came out with Benny Chan and took a cab to have dinner. However, the magazine's version: Joe found out that Benny was at Charmaine's home, therefore he rushed over to chase his love rival away. Both of them fought in her apartment, and when they realized there were reporters downstairs, they pretended to be buddies when leaving the building.

The truth is, Benny and Joe have long became good friends after filming series [Journey to the West 2] and often goes to each other's house for gathering. Benny lived downstairs Charmaine, and that day Joe was supposed to visit Benny's home and go out for dinner together. At the same time, Charmaine was at Taiwan that day, how could she be the leading lady of this 'jealousy love tale' that resulted in fighting?

Being accused of fighting with Joe, Benny feels that this has damaged his image. To set things straight, he publicly condemns the article and sent legal letter to the magazine.

As for Charmaine, she calls back when she have free time during filming outdoor scene. Regarding the rumors, she firmly said: "Regarding that magazine report, I will not respond." Do they have grudge against you? They always wrote bad stuff about you. Her intonation remained calm: "Perhaps. Maybe there is a grudge." I can feel a hint of helplessness.

S: Cha Siu Yan
C: Charmaine Sheh

After winning TVB award, her fees have increased and jobs keep coming in

S: How much income tax you have paid from 2005 to 2006?

C: Very painful, because having to pay more than a million. (In order to qualify paying taxes of that amount, one has to have income exceeding $10 million. A lot of artiste will avoid this question, but Charmaine will still answer, her straightforwardness is very obvious)

S: After receiving the title of "TV Queen" (both Best Actress and Favorite Leading Actress in TVB anniversary award), will you buy another apartment to reward yourself?

C: I painstakingly set up the furnishing of my ideal home; therefore I do not have the plan to move at the moment.

S: Describe your home.

C: The whole apartment use white as primary color. The most unique is the hidden giant shoe cabinet, like a secret trap. It looks like a part of the wall, but when you pushed it open, it reveals decks of shoes from the ceiling till the floor. I really love shoes and very generous when it comes to buying them, I won't necessary bought clothes when I go shopping, but will definitely buy shoes. Therefore, I have to custom made a huge shoe cabinet.

S: Every time you film a series, there will be rumors with the male co-stars. For example Chilam Cheung, Roger Kwok, Raymond Lam, Ron Ng, Joe Ma etc. Was it due to constantly seeing them during filming series that sparked true feelings? Or just another publicity ploy by the marketing people?

C: When you film more that 100 episodes in a year, with more than one co-stars, how can one spark true feelings?

S: Which aspect of yourself which you think has improved significantly?

C: I believe it's my EQ (emotional quotient), with the reporters getting more 'terrific' these days, you’ll get upset easily if you doesn't have high EQ.

S: Any special method in training your EQ?

C: I'm not a petty person, my personality is more optimistic. When facing tricky questions, the reporters are making things difficult, and with the camera on standby to capture my upset expression any moment, I will try hard to control my emotions and give my reply with a smile.

S: There is often news of you not getting along with other female artistes. Last year there was Myolie Wu, and previously in [War & Beauty] was Gigi Lai. Does this badly affect your personal connection in the entertainment circle?

C: No. I have plenty of friends in entertainment circle. Sonija Kwok, Roger Kwok, Gallen Lo and Joe Ma, they're my good friends which I could talk to.

S: Why did you become good friends with Sonija?

C: Because both our personality is very straightforward. Once there was report saying that Sonija and I do not get along. At that time, we have yet to know each other. This incidence has allowed us to know each other and became good friends. We often share our deepest secrets. If some of these secrets leaked out, tabloid magazine sales volume will definitely benefited. I also have a lot of friends, mostly are ex-schoolmates more than 10 years, we chat about everything. When filming [Dance of Passion] and [WAB] in mainland, I interacted with a lot of female artistes. Be it Gigi Lai, Ada Choi or Sheren Tang, they're all optimistic women with lovable personality. After finishing work, all guys and girls happily have meals together. It's really enjoyable and I do not need to pretend while being with them.

S: What have changed since entering entertainment circle for 10 years?

C: I have learned to complete my work well under a difficult environment, such as insufficient sleep, mental stress etc.

S: After winning "Favorite Leading Actress" last year, have this affected your fees?

C: It definitely helps. For overseas stage appearance and spokesperson fees, there can be increase up to 40% - 50%. Especially the period after receiving the award, the fees have increased and job offers kept coming in.

"I am a person who needs personal space, doesn't like interacting with others"

S: What have you lost most being an artiste?

C: Losing the time to spend with family and friends. Luckily my mother is not in HK, or else she'll feel very lonely. Mum has extremely high trust and confidence in me. Since studying overseas at Switzerland at the age of 18, I am already used to living alone, solving problems by myself. When I really meet unhappy things, the first thing I'll do is look for my mother because she will have a method to make me get over it.

S: Do you hire any maids?

C: No, I only employ weekly housekeeping. I really need personal space and do not like to interact much with other, plus household chores are no big deal for me. If I'm too tired, I'll leave the work for the housekeeping maid.

S: Is there time when you feel depressed?

C: Once I finished work 5 a.m. in the morning, but I have to go to work again at 6 a.m. With only an hour to spare, going home to shower and removing makeup, there was only 30 minutes left to get back to work. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to wake up after falling asleep, so I called my mum in Hawaii, chatting half hour of long distance phone call. Minutes before making the call, I felt so lost, I don’t know why I’m suffering so much for.

S: How is your cooking skill?

C: I took cooking lesson during high school, and studied hotel management in university. I consider myself being able to cook in classes, mainly western food. My mum and grandma are expert cooks, my skills are way behind them.

"I will not allow myself to get drunk"

S: Have you ever met any men that attracts you?

C: Of course there is. An actor have to have certain level of attractiveness, this is the foremost requirement to be a leading actor.

S: When you first entered entertainment circle, have you ever invested real feelings into your partner and unable to draw back?

C: Once I was afraid of falling in love with Sunny Chan, because he was my on-screen lover for 18 hour daily. He taught me how to detach my feelings away. After filming romantic scenes with your partner, remind yourself of his fault, and you will be able to detach away easily.

S: What is your basic requirement in boyfriend?

C: Ambitious, filial and treat other people kindly. Financially stable, able to meet basic living standards, he doesn't need to be extra successful in career.

S: Must he be able to take care of you financially?

C: That would be ideal.

S: Does he have to be taller than you?

C: Yes.

S: What if he's younger?

C: Yes, but the age gap mustn't be too wide. Because women's mind mature faster than men does.

S: Have Mr Right appeared yet?

C: Not yet. I want to be in love with my marriage partner, and do not want divorce. If I meet a man who is serious in love, I will consider seriously before accepting him, because I don't want drag other people and myself.

S: You have been rumored to date Benny Chan for a few years. What is your real relationship like?

C: We have always been close friends.

S: Any chance for further development?

C: He's constantly away from HK due to work. When a pair of man and woman is separated by distance for a long time, how is there going to be opportunity to understand each other better? When meeting, it's usually gone out for 1, 2 meals – definitely not possible to understand each other more deeply.

S: According to my knowledge, you're pretty good drinker.

C: I will not allow myself to get drunk, I know my limits. I want to return home safely, if I'm drunk, how would I be able to go home safely?

"You are the strong grass in the wind"

S: You are a very rational woman.

C: I must maintain a high level of awareness, because I live alone. I am focused into work, very into playing, but I must distinguish clearly who are my real friends.

S: When meeting new friends, will you consider their motive acquainting you?

C: No, this kind of thought would hinder me knowing friends.

S: You are a capable and intelligent woman. Living alone in HK, do you feel exhausted?

C: I am very independent. I only focus on moving forward, owning my own assets, a stable life. I already bought car as well, so my life is not bad.

S: Your ambition is to open a kindergarten?

C: Yes, but I'm a little wavered now. The children nowadays are really formidable, you have to be really skillful to teach them well. Earlier I joined an older group of friends for BBQ gathering, they brought their children along. When I played games with them, they called me "Dai Sam" (Auntie, in a rude way). They're just a group of 4-5 years old kids, but their speech manner is frightening. In the future, when I have my own children, I will let go 90% of my career to properly teach them.

S: Do you mind having children before marriage?

C: No, as long as I am financially stable.

S: Are you proud of your achievements?

C: All I achieved today are from my own hard work, though it's not considered as highly successful, but I'm still happy for myself.

S: Charmaine, how would you describe yourself?

C: Siu Yan jie, what do you think?

S: You are the strong grass in the wind. From 'babyish voice' to TV Queen, doesn't care about rumors, focused in goals, achieving your dream step by step.

C: Thanks!

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Image Hosted by Finally done translating the article above, which have been bugging me for 2 weeks. My eyes are so tired from subbing the interview below and the article above... so if I missed anything, please excuse me.

p.s Went to do facial last Saturday, and even my beautician complained how unsettling my dark eye circles are. If this goes on, no amount of eye gels and bilberry supplement can rescue me. I think I need a job that doesn't require me to stare at pc monitor 24/7...

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