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An Exclusive Interview with Cathy Chui
(Part I)



We had an exclusive interview with Hong Kong actress Cathy Chui in September 2002. Despite her busy work schedule, Cathy still accepted our interview request. She was very nice and it was very comfortable talking to her, that it was like chatting with a friend. She told us about her past, her recent life and what she would love to do in the future.

Please enjoy the interview!

* The interview was conducted in Cantonese.

Who is Cathy Chui?

Cathy Chui is a very young actress in Hong Kong. She is not a full time artist right now, since she is pursuing her college education in the UK. Nevertheless, she still works part time during her school vacations. She has starred in five movies so far, including Tsui Hark's Time and Tide.

  Cathy Chui  

The past

Cinespot: How did you become a movie actress?

Chui: I was raised up in Australia. Later I returned to Hong Kong, I studied at an international school. When I was 14, my school encouraged the students to participate in more extra-curricular activities. At that time, Elite, a model agency, wanted to recruit some young girls to be models, and they picked me. Being a model is the dream of many girls, and I was one of those too, I really wanted to try it out, and so I told them I needed to consult with my parents first. At first, my parents opposed to it, they knew that there were many crooks in the industry, and they were also afraid that I was too young to work. I promised them the job would not affect my academic progress since I would work harder at school, and they finally approved it. After I have been a model for two months, director Gordon Chan invited me to do a casting, and it was for Teaching Sucks. The first role I was casted is a student character called Bobo. After that, they suggested me to try out the role of the teacher, which is the protagonist of the film. They thought I had a mature appearance. It was pretty funny actually, I was only 14 but was able to play a teacher character already! Moreover, I was having my summer vacation at that time, so this was like a summer job to me. If the shooting was to take place at school time, I guess I might not be able to work on it. That's how I got my first job in the filmmaking industry.

Cinespot: Did you feel any pressure as an actress? How do you release the pressures?

Chui: Yes, I think the existence of pressure is necessary, since it means you care about your job. For most of the time, I try not to give myself too much pressure. As you know, I am only a part-time actress, to a certain extent, acting is a hobby. However, personally, I do love acting a lot. What I think is that, if people hire me to act in a film, that means they acknowledge my ability, that's why I have to do my best and not disappoint them. If you try to do your best, working under pressures is inevitable. To release the pressures, I will do more exercises. Running or taking a hot tub is what I love to do.

Cinespot: Can you tell us any of your unforgettable experience in acting? Among all your films, which one do you love most?

Chui: As far as I remember, I have been in five films, Teaching Sucks, Time and Tide, When a Man Loves a Woman, Cop Shop Babes and The Saving Hands. The most unforgettable one must be Teaching Sucks. You know, I was too small at that time, that I really didn't know what I was doing. Moreover, to me, this film did not have a complete script. The director always told us what he wanted on the set and let us perform on our own. Veteran actors Jan Lam and Anthony Wong are very smart people, acting without a script did not affect them at all. Conversely speaking, I had no acting experience before. The only thing I could do was to follow my instinct. Perhaps that's their intention to shoot without a complete script, since they could capture my spontaenous reaction. Working in Time and Tide was also impressive. There was a scene that I was supposed to play with a dog happily. This was a difficult scene for me, because I was very afraid of dogs. When they knew it, they sent me to a dog farm. They wanted me to get rid of the phobia by playing with dogs every day. On the first day there, they brought me a big dog, it was totally unacceptable to me. Then we started with a small puppy. After some training, I was not afraid of dogs anymore. From this example, you could see how professional they are.
Among the five movies, I think The Saving Hands is the most meaningful one, it carries a positive message. However, as a lover of romance and comedy, I like Teaching Sucks more.

Cinespot: In Teaching Sucks, you are a teacher. In Time and Tide and Cop Shop Babes, you are a cop. How come you are always playing such mature roles?

Chui: It is probably because I look older than my actual age. But I don't understand why the filmmakers always love to cast me as a cop. I believe I don't look like a cop at all!

Cinespot: So do you enjoy being a cop?

Chui: I think not (laugh). I would appreciate if there is other choices. I have been a cop in several films already. I really want to try out some other roles in the future.

  Cathy Chui  

For Part II of the interview, please click here!