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Friday, August 21, 2009

Mingpao: Charmaine Sheh Convincing Audience Through Acting

[Mingpao 21/08/09]

Guys that appeared around Charmaine Sheh has always been the focus of media, be it her on-screen co-star, taking ride the same car or even sharing a table at meal were also used as source of gossips. She was labeled as 'Rumor Queen' and her list of rumored boyfriends is too lengthy to publish. Referring to the 'criticizing' trend, if you want to attack Charmaine you can look at the magazines; accusing her for having many rumors, being flirty, looking coy... However, when it comes to her performances, Charmaine convinced the audience through her acting. Among the current generation of actresses, her acting is certainly acknowledged.

From the raw acting and 'chicken voice' as Miew Yeurk Lan [FFOSM] to her recent role Miu Miu in [You're Hired], Charmaine have experienced 12 years of bittersweet trials and tribulation.

Enjoy challenging new roles

Charmaine says: "I initially participated in TV series out of curiosity. Facing the increasing criticism, I thought of giving up. I asked advice from Wah Gor (Felix Wong Yat Wah) and other seniors on how to improve my acting. I don't understand why people keep criticizing when I have tried so hard. Luckily my work schedule was busy with filming of more than 100 episodes of TV series annually. I barely had time to rest, therefore I did not have the chance to stop and consider whether I should give up. I was pushed to keep moving forward. When I was feeling unhappy or tense, all I can do was to cry heartily while driving myself home for a brief nap. It's tiring; I will forget my unhappiness the next morning and continue my work. I have endured this emotional roller coaster for 1, 2 years. I'm fortunate that the company did not give up on me. They gave me a lot of opportunity to perform and broaden my acting range.

[Return of the Cuckoo] is the turning point for me. Watching the bright and cheerful "Kwan Ho", the audiences felt that I have finally 'enlightened'. Actually, this character closely resembles my real personality. Receiving praises, my self-confidence increased and later I'm even plucky enough to recommend myself to Zhen Jie (Catherine Tsang) for the role in [Country Spirit]. Due to filming outdoor scenes where I pulled the raft across the river daily, I felt that I have transformed into Shun Fung. I fell in love with acting and till now I'm still passionate about it. I still enjoy accepting challenges in new roles."

Afraid of the 'Rumor Queen' title

Since Charmaine fell in love with acting, did she find it hard to detach from her role and fall in love with her onscreen partner? The rumors always start when she accepts a series and ended when the series finish airing. If they collaborate again, the rumors will be recycled. She has so many rumored boyfriends that a table for 10 couldn't fit them. "A lot of the rumors were simply made up by magazines. If I've really dated the actors in the 'list', why would they be celebrating my birthday together? I admit that I have more male friends than female in the entertainment circle. This is because you can't avoid gossiping, rivalry and jealousy when it comes to girls. I like hanging out with male friends, it's relaxing and we can even discuss about work and personal matters. I'm afraid of the 'Rumor Queen' title; I'm not really invincible but the media is uncontrollable. I can only bear with it and regard it as publicity."

Does not avoid liaising with Kevin Cheng

Charmaine's rumor with Benny Chan has lasted for 5 years. For the past year her rumor with Kevin Cheng is getting juicier, it doesn't seem to be mere 'publicity'! Charmaine clarified the status of her relationship with Kevin as 'friendship'. "Before a pair of lover begins dating, they have to be friends and understand each other. I don't sneak when I'm going out with male friend, it's just normal socializing. I know that the outside world consider Kevin and I as going 'half dating publicly'. We are liaising with each other, but not at the dating stage yet. Apart from filming [Beyond the Realm of Conscience], we rarely went out together. We have different mindset and approach. If two people keep arguing, how can they get along in the future? Therefore I will carefully consider before taking the next step. Right now I don't have the feeling of dating, because I'm afraid that break-up will be unbearable. Therefore I rather be single or remain being friends."

Still friends with Benny Chan

Benny Chan once exclaimed that he is still waiting for Charmaine Sheh! "Waiting for what? He did not say such thing. He often speaks nonsensically. We are still friends; we still contact each other on the phone. If I have chosen to be with him, there's no need to wait till now. He's often away from Hong Kong, we are staying in the same building but I have never run into him. (You did not choose Benny because of his playboy personality?) That is his personal business, I will not comment."

Getting married and having children – a part of future plan

Benny Chan is the past, Kevin Cheng is in progress. How will the future turn out? "I want to know the future too. A woman will only feel fulfilled if she has experience marriage and having children. All these are part of my future plans. Recently I have a reunion with Christine AuYeung, she told me that she married her husband after dating for just 3 months. She now owns a happy family. I really envy her. However, I asked myself if I have the courage to take the first step if I'm given the opportunity!"


With an appearance of a delicate girl, she is one tough lady inside. Though Charmaine's love life is colorful, but she handles them in a low-profile manner. She will safeguard her love and do not show weakness. We have learned a lesson the hard way from her in the past. When asked about her relationship with Benny Chan, she will end the conversation with one line: "Not discussing!" No matter how you attack and insinuate, she still refused to talk. Now that the leading actor role has changed to Kevin Cheng, we ask the same question and she smiled: "We can discuss about it!" She clarifies their progress without the need for bureaucratic or denial. Has Charmaine Sheh changed? Or it's Kevin Cheng who changed Charmaine Sheh?

Being [lazy] to accompany mother

[Mingpao 21/08/09]

Charmaine Sheh going to take holiday break in Hawaii! We still remember that she have just returned to Hong Kong from Hawaii not too long ago. Now that she has finished promoting [You’re Hired], she's taking a break again? Compared to the Charmaine who filmed more than 100 episodes in the past, has she become a 'Lazy Sheh'?

"I'm going to Hawaii to accompany my mother. I only requested for 1-2 months of annual holiday because I want to reserve my time for my family. If it weren't for my mother going into a coma after a surgery in 2006, I would have not have reflected on my lifestyle and continue being a workaholic, family-less person. I remember when I received information about my mother going into coma; I was in middle of attending an award ceremony in Beijing. I was very anxious and upset, I tried so hard not to cry – but it turns out that tears can flow through the nose. Luckily mum went through safely. That time I was filming [Glittering Days] and could not visit her immediately. I blame myself for being unfillial. Onn Zai (Roger Kwok) shared his experience with me and taught me how to manage my emotion and continue working. Afterward, I do not allow myself to do something wrong that I will regret. Being able to accompany my mother shopping, chatting or having a meal is more important than anything else."

Exchanging devious tricks with Dayo Wong

[Mingpao 21/08/09]

Charmaine Sheh and Dayo Wong have met their match during filming [You're Hired]. They keep playing tricks on each other and their emotions run high almost 24/7, making Charmaine feel tired but also very happy. She said that Dayo is quick-witted therefore she couldn't let herself fall behind. They are really competing in acting. Charmaine especially recommend three scenes where they exchanged 'devious trick' – audiences should pay attention.

"There's one scene where Miu Miu discovered Ah Song's secret and rushed back to the restaurant to tell Mou Lin. Dayo tried to stop her. When we are filming, Dayo suddenly knelt down to beg me, that moment I was dumbfounded and spontaneously retort 'You are resorting to this!' We completed the scene in one take.

I also have some 'surprises' for Dayo. Ah Song looks like a jerk and is so irritating that I constantly have the urge to punch him. One time while we were sitting together, I cannot stand him and threw a toothpick holder at his head. He couldn't evade in time and it landed right on his head. Afterward I told Dayo that I really want to throw things at him.

Dayo caused me to NG more than 20 times, breaking my highest record. Miu Miu and Ah Song were dating but she dislikes him for not sharing his feelings. He was forced to discuss his 'concerns', but all he talked about is breakfast, lunch, tea time... annoying Miu Miu further. During filming we cannot stop laughing, because it's really nonsense!"

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