Thursday, March 29, 2007
[3 Weekly - Issue 388 - 15/03/07]
Translated by Em @ TVBspace
Sharon Chan - The Shorts of Growing Up
When Gigi Leung split up with Ekin Cheng, she used the song 'The Short Hair of Growing Up' to symbolise her transition into maturity using her icon of her short hair.
From another perspective, it is similar to the short trousers that have accompanied Sharon Chan on her road to adulthood.
When arranging to meet Sharon for an interview and thinking where to hold the shoot, the first suggestion my colleague gave me was: "You don't need to think, just find the shortest pair of pants you can get and just photograph her long legs!"
Such a direct response reflects on Sharon's trademark 43 inch legs. Nothing else seems to matter.
Even the PR from the costume sponsors commented: "You have chosen some very long shorts!"
'Long shorts!' - I am done for!
After much contemplation, the long shorts were maintained and handed to Sharon, because I do not wish for the focus to be placed solely on her legs.
Three years ago, when I met Sharon for an interview, I borrowed some super short hot pants for her and she wore them without a word of complaint.
Three years later as I interview her again, she is still willing to put on the shorts again without a word, but there is now a hint of questioning in her eyes. Although it was over very quickly, even I noticed it and I am usually oblivious to these things.
"I know a lot of people just pay attention to my legs, but I do wish for people to notice my other parts. I don't want to be 38 in ten years time and still be remembered only for having long legs."
Even if these 43 inch legs are the envy of many young girls.
Truly, as you grow up, then of course you do not want everyone's focus to be solely on the stage of your life when you just flashed your bust and revealed your thighs.
So if you are still interested in reading this interview, then place yourself into Sharon's current mentality: look upwards! Take a look at the Sharon Chan beyond the legs and hot pants.
As a student of Komuro Tetsuya, Sharon had five other 'student sisters', but after they each went their different ways, they have lost touch now, just seeing each other online once in a while.
Filming in a sitcom is a great job for any artiste because the filming schedules are stable and it is easy to increase your airtime and increase your income. Your image is easily accepted and so you reap the benefits three ways. In the example of Sharon, how many people will still remember what her character's name was in "Dream of Colours"? However, most people will remember her for her role of 'man-eater So Fa' in "Welcome to the House". With the conclusion of "Welcome", then 'So Fa' will also become part of history now and this also indicates that Sharon will be entering a new era too.
Sharon says that she has never been choosy about her roles, whether it is a lead role or a cameo lasting two or three days, she is still as welcoming because she feels that no matter what her role is, she will have an opportunity to shine. The only difference is how much you can gain from it.
"Many people say I am docile and obedient, but it is just that I do not have much ambition. If you ask me to be a lead or a cameo, I will be just as happy because what I need most at the moment is experience. As an artiste, you are just waiting for an opportunity, if you have this opportunity, but you do not have the experience to support it, then you will just ruin it."
After entering the industry as a part-time model, then being selected as a student of the Japanese musician Komuro Tetsuya and undergoing training in Japan, this made Sharon the envy of many. However, the dreams of being a pop star did not materialise and Sharon was then signed by Raymond Wong to make films. During a slump in the movie industry, Sharon found her opportunities after signing for TVB. In 2004, she was finally recognised in her role in "Dream of Colours" and was picked out by TVB executive Virginia Lok as a potential star and 'daughter of TVB'. Although she has found her fame in television, for Sharon, singing is still her true passion.
"I am very lucky in that I have worked in music, movies and television. At this moment, I do like filming for TV, because it is very challenging and satisfying. Today I can be a very girly girl, then the next I can be a strong businesswoman. It is great satisfaction, but I do truly love singing and if I could choose, the would still like to be a singer."
Sharon in the past was more playful in front of the camera, but now she has matured and become more sophisticated
Counting back including her modelling days, Sharon has been in showbiz now for 13 years and since her modelling days, her 43 inch legs have been her trademark. Long trousers and skirts have not been her scene as the super mini hotpants and skirts are selected for her. Although it is losing some of its appeal after ten years, at least it has become her icon.
The first time I met Sharon was in 2000, when she was still a student of Tetsuya. She was just 21 years old at the time and was very obstinate young girl who wanted to try everything. Before going on set, she would be chatting away with everyone. After seven years of just brushing past her or meeting up for interviews, I have found that she has changed each time and she is no longer jumping around or someone who is happily chattering away all the time.
"Even you have noticed, I don't know why myself though. I am not unhappy, in fact I feel happier than I used to be, but I don't like to talk as much now and I will not talk endlessly like I used to. When my father passed away in 2003, I found that I began to change. I used to like going out to play all the time in the past, going to karaoke through the night. Now you will rarely catch me going out partying late, unless it is a friend's birthday or my own birthday or a party that I have to attend. I will pop in and sho my face, but I would rather stay at home and read or watch a video."
TVB has brought Sharon plenty of fans and each time she appears at events, they will be there to support her, touching her greatly.
Since she became a model at the tender age of 15, Sharon has always made her own money and has never asked her family for spending money. As a result, even after the stock market crash of 1997 or the death of her father in 2003, she has always faced her problems independently. "I am quite like my father, no matter how hard things are, I will still seem to be very calm. At the time the pressure was very great, so much that I would hide away in my room and cry, but what can that achieve? After crying, I still have to come out and keep on making money."
Sharon's true love is still for singing, so having the opportunity to sing for TVB's "Lady in Red" album helped realise her ambitions once again.
Showbusiness is a very cynical industry, when you are famous, the world is at your beck and call, so for Sharon as the student of Tetsuya, she had a team of assistants, make-up artistes, wardrobe mistresses and even an interpreter following her around and the press were crawling all over her. After joining TVB as a regular artiste, she found herself alone and the reporters did not even greet her when they saw her and she saw how realistic life can be when you are down.
When Sharon first joined TVB, she was a host on the magazine programme "i-files" and although it wasn't quite falling from heaven into hell, her popularity was not as great as before and even though she took on many supporting roles and even an leading role in "Dreams", the press still referred to her as a second-class artiste. However, Sharon did not mind at all.
"I really did not mind. I was actually thankful to be classed at all by people. Many friends say I am not ambitious and I admit that. I also know that I am not good enough yet, so if you forcefully push me upwards, I will be even more sacred. The higher I go, the harder you fall. Even children understand this principle."
In 2004, Sharon was photographed leaving Kevin Cheng's home after spending the night there, but they denied any relationship. With Kevin now being linked with Niki Chow, this story has become history.
In her many years in the industry, Sharon has met with much gossip, including links with Kevin Cheng, Raymond Lam, Timmy Hung and her only open relationship with Matt Yeung. In response to these affairs, Sharon's attitude has also changed. In the past she did not mind revealing her relationships, but now she does not respond, saying frankly that this is all thanks to the media.
For Sharon who rarely smiles in general, when it comes to gossip, she is even less smiley. She says that if the rumours were true, then she does not mind so much, but over the years, not one has been true, but it is reducing the number of friends she now has.
"To be honest, I really don't have any male friends any more. One male friend from outside the industry that I have known for ten years called me once to invite me for dinner and to catch up. I accepted straight away, but then he did not call me back because he was afraid of being photographed by the press and then what they would write. In the end I did not want to affect him and his relationship with his girlfriend, so I did not even meet him once."
Having once revealed her romance and her love affair with someone within the industry, Sharon says frankly that her outlook on love has not changed much, but what has changed is the way she expresses her feelings. "I don't think I will date anyone from within the industry again, because I have tried it and there is no sense of security. As soon as you are spotted, whether you are holding hands or not, you will be written about and you cannot get away from it. Also the temptation from showbiz is greater, so you will worry about whether he will be able to detach himself from his role when he is working opposite other women and fall for them instead. At least with someone from outside the industry, then it is not so easy for you to spot and you can sneak away more easily. There is less temptation from outside and it is more regular, giving me greater peace of mind."
"I will not reveal my romances any more. Whenever I am spotted, then you will ask me for a comment. At first I did reply, but then what? You don't believe me and keep asking, so why do I bother responding? Although my gossip is nothing too negative, it is very tiresome and so I have decided not to respond and just let you write whatever you want. I know what the reality is and I believe that as long as I continue not to respond, then the press will soon lose interest in writing about me and I can breathe a sigh of relief."
In the past, Sharon was either continuously talking or continuously laughing. She would answer whatever you asked her and ask you questions back. During this interview though, she has noticeably become less talkative and as she waited for the shoot, she just played with her phone on her own, leading to the photographer asking me if I had upset her.
I had also wondered the same thing, but fortunately Sharon explained herself during the interview: "I have already become smarter now, when I meet the press, then no matter how unhappy I am, I will pretend to be happy to avoid people saying I am being arrogant and miserable. I will only be myself in front of people that I know quite well."
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