Caption: The Thousand Mile Horse (“Chin Lei Ma”)
“I’ll start from when I was small, shall I?” Kenneth smiles, “I have a nickname called ‘Crazy/Silly Ming’, really naughty. Once I banged my head into the television and my mum and dad both were really angry at me and treated me to ‘stick beaten pork’ (expression to say that they hit him with a stick). When they finished, I chucked the stick into the bin so I wouldn’t have to be beaten again…” Tall and handsome Kenneth laughs as he reminisces. As he grew older, his relationship with his family became very good and he slowly became influenced by his mother’s favourite idol. This led to his entering the entertainment industry.
Mrs. Ma’s idol is someone everyone knows, Leslie Chueng (famous hk actor/singer from 80s). The Ma family always had his voice in the background and Mrs Ma even said “I want to have an English name called Monica(name of one of his most famous songs)!” After that, Kenneth began to like Leslie also; his favourite song is [not written here] and his most unforgettable moment is “when Leslie made that soft drink commercial, in the moment when everyone held up a bottle of soft drink, i love that bit!”
Coming into the industry in 1999, he became a part of the 14th TVB Acting academy. This was his first test story before officially entering the industry, where he met stars such as Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Sean Lau Ching Wan. All of these encounters made his heart beat fast. He, however, is not a fanatic, but when faced with an idol with mesmerising screen presence, as well as a friendly easygoing attitude, he would be moved completely.
Artists getting close to fans, things have changed.
Kenneth says, “They all are cultured and have manners. Anyone that greets them, they will respond with a nod and smile. When the waiter brings them food, they will say thank you! Getting close to their fans with no arrogance. Look, a successful artist must do well in other areas as well. If they treat others with respect, then obviously only good things can be said about them.”
When Kenneth first entered television industry, his kind personality and manners naturally showed his honesty and friendliness. He says, “I only wanted to be an artist, but sometimes friends tease you about having fans, people asking you for photos/autographs, you’re famous! Inside, I really don’t feel all those things they described. I tell myself, now is only the beginning, the support fans give me is very important, but truthfully, I don’t have a bit of that feeling of fame.” He says it in one breath, and one can see that his words are filled with truth and honesty.
Don’t choose roles, do your homework!
I told him, “Others have told me in ‘Scavengers Paradise’, Kenneth’s character is a bit fake, but they’ve also said that you’re very open. How do you feel?” Kenneth listens intently, and then replies, “I know that the pressure is there. A compliment is always followed by a complaint. When I’m lost, i will tell myself, listen to the director, cooperate with the other artists, with all my power, bring to the character all the traits it should have. Then I will have done my homework for every series!”
His previous roles have included a murderer, pervert, cameos and in ‘Loving You’, a gigilo. In all honesty, “Are you happy to portray those roles?” A quick reply, “As an artist, no matter what character I am given to play by the company, I am very willing. This is because its what’s required in the job. Besides, I see it as an opportunity to improve!”
Take in skills, its a neverending battle.
“I hope that one day, I can act in various different roles. For example, homosexual, romances with large age gaps, mentally disabled people. As long as the role comes to me, I will give it my best to portray.” Kenneth has a positive outlook and sees the upcoming future as an opportunity. When I directly asked him “So have you thought about being a siu sang (famous respected male actor)?” He looked me in the eye and replied, “Even with when I have that chance, I hope it will be due to my hard work, to become in the audience and other’s minds, a siu sang with experience!” Up til this point, the writer thinks of those artists that are classified as siu sang and fa dans (famous respected female artist), who are actually just relying on outside appearances. Taking a closer look, they’re just ornaments, perhaps, in Kenneth’s heart, the acting industry is an neverending battle. Those artists that reside in his heart: Tony Leung Ka Fai, Chow Yun Fat, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Sean Lau Ching Wan and so on, are the most experienced and seasoned actors. Their common point is the fact that they are not arrogant and are willing to be “Fan friendly”.
Do your best, it will have returns.
Recently watching him in ‘Into Thin Air’, even though he is not the lead,he has improved his performance. He says, “Every time I walk into the studio, I tell myself to keep focus, I am an artist. In my opinion, each scene is an opportunity. If you can’t do it right, even with a second or third chance, would there be a fourth chance?” At this moment, I thought of Andy Lau Tak Wah and what he said to a reporter, “Today you get an A, and you hear endless applause, but it doesn’t mean your next product will be an A+. There are ups and downs in life, but by being diligent, your results won’t change too much.”
Last entry: Using soccer’s team spirit to kill the entertainment industry
Kenneth loves soccer with a passion, no matter forward, centre or goalkeeper position, he can prove himself as a pro. “Soccer is about team cooperation, no matter how you kick or pass, there needs to be team synergy. This can be said about anything as they all require team spirit. If each person keeps to their position, the chance of another team kicking the ball in the goal is lessened.” He didn’t mention the topic of entertainment industry in this conversation. A swimming upstream Kenneth, under pressure, he tells himself, diligence is the most precious object.
Credit: meteorstar @ AF
Editted by bbfreak
Pictures are not from this article. I just felt like adding some pictures to the post!