Angela Yuen, who made her foray into Hong Kong’s entertainment industry two years ago, has become one of the most idolized actresses, with fans swooning over her comely, winsome demeanor. That simple appeal is a product of her upbringing and childhood in Sha Tau Kok, Hong Kong’s backwater on the border with the mainland.
Show business is always a vanity fair of fame, fortune and supine views of entitlement, which sometimes distresses Angela, in particular when she is under the flashing bulbs. “It’s hard to actually settle in … I’m still learning to be an earnest person even amid all the fickleness,” she said.
“Life in Sha Tau Kok used to be a very secluded one. You needed to go outside to search for a mobile phone signal, and if my computer is down, we would bring it to Shenzhen to have it fixed,” she said.
Despite the remoteness, the village where Angela grew up was a quaint, pastoral paradise. The slow pace and gentle lifestyle also made Angela a television addict. A slew of Hong Kong and China TV dramas ignited her histrionic passion.
Angela joined her secondary school’s drama society and also enjoyed performing in church activities, despite her parents’ reservations that getting straight As and acing exams should be her focus.
That reservation began to slacken after Angela was admitted into the Baptist University, where her campus life was all about modeling and shooting ads while attending lectures.
Glossy pictures of the ravishing young woman plastered in malls and train stations gained Angela initial fame, and her crossover from modelling to show business was a natural progression. Before long, the charisma of the 23-year-old began to permeate the scenes.
Angela’s entire family showed up at the premier of her latest movie in which she is the leading actress, and her mother even made a surprise appearance during a meet-and-greet event with fans.
Her friends since her tender age would always be the first ones to watch her new work, as both complimenter and critic.
Now Angela is no longer just a starlet but the center of attention.
But her life as a celebrity has never been easy. Earlier this year, she had to stay up late shooting ViuTV’s melodrama Margaret & David while cramming for her graduation paper.
In the hit TV series, Angela stars as a gregarious florist entangled in a love triangle but she said she would never play both sides and mess with someone’s ex in the real world. She has a boyfriend.
In the drama’s final episode, the playgirl florist ultimately met her retribution after trifling with other people’s affections.
Having played a role that is exactly the opposite of what Angela is in real life, she holds dear such traits as sincerity, kindness and simplicity.
“For everything we expect from others, perhaps we should offer before we ask. It’s not always easy, but it should not be an excuse not to stay simple and sincere.”
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Aug. 16
Translation by Frank Chen with additional reporting
[Chinese version 中文版]
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