Linda: Winning Star

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Linda: Winning Star

Post by summer7879 on Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:36 pm

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Linda: Winning Star

To promote the airing of Moonlight Resonance in Malaysia, Linda Chung did an interview for Malaysian newspaper “The Star”. It’s a nice article that offers new insight and news (mostly about Linda’s upcoming second CD).

This Canadian lass has been on a winning streak ever since her triumph at a beauty pageant in her university days.

Linda Chung Ka Yan sounds almost altruistic when she spells out the roles of an entertainer, a job that she’s been handling with aplomb since she was crowned Miss Chinese International in Hong Kong in 2004.

“We’re not just out to entertain. We can influence people while making audiences happy as they listen to our songs and watch us on TV. When we go out in the street, fans will tell us how much they’ve learnt from our dramas that have different messages. So, we do things not just for ourselves,” the beauty queen-turned-actress/singer states over the phone in a recent interview from Hong Kong where she is a contracted artiste under the Chinese territory’s dominant station, TVB.

Those close to Chung will not be surprised at her zeal for being an “educator”. For if she had not represented her birth country Canada and beaten 19 other contestants from around the world for the Miss Chinese International title – which provided her an instant passport to the Oriental world of showbiz – at age 20, Chung would very likely to be educating young children now.

Looking back, the 25-year-old says she had wanted to be a grade school teacher ever since she was young and would have done so if she had not gone into entertainment.

“When I was young, I loved to play teacher with my teddy bears. I asked my parents for a chalkboard and read a lot. I really looked forward to school as teachers taught me so much. Plus, I love children,” the star remembers during the phone interview which was set up to coincide with the premiere of her series, Moonlight Resonance, on Astro Wah Lai Toi (Channel 311) this week.

The 40-episode drama, a hit in Hong Kong last year (a record 3.14 million viewers tuned in to its finale last September), revolves around a bakery family specialising in Chinese delights like mooncakes. It is to be shown in conjunction with the upcoming Mooncake Festival (the fest ends on Oct 3).

However, where she stands now, Chung will not exchange her glamorous career for anything.

“If you ask me now, I will not go back to that. I can’t find a more exciting career than what I’m doing now!” the comely lass exclaims.

“I love my job. It gives me an opportunity to learn so much and do so many things – singing and acting in movies and TV series,” she speaks in a mixture of English and Cantonese. The soft-spoken Canadian is also able to converse in Mandarin and understands French and Spanish.

“In contrast, other jobs would be repetitive and boring. This is a career you can never get tired of, as you can continue growing as an artiste. Everybody dreams of doing something like this,” she adds.

Yet, Chung is in no hurry to further herself in the industry. “I don’t mind taking things slowly if that will help my career last longer.”

With age on her side as well as a future that looks really promising, surely the rising star can take her time to find greater fame and success. As it is, in just five years, the actress has built up an impressive portfolio that includes 16 TVB series (among them, Always Ready, The Biter Bitten, Forensic Heroes), starting with her debut in the epic comedy Virtues of Harmony II (2003-05), theme-song performances and an album.

While she is effusive in her comments about her career, she is understandably less so about the unpleasant aspect of her job, and that means the nasty gossip and negative publicity that come with the territory. Thankfully, the young beauty is zen about these “job hazards”.

“As long as you learn how to deal with the resulting stress, it’ll be OK. Honestly, during my first year it hurt a lot. I eventually learnt that people like reading about bad things – unfortunately so. I’ll be fine as long as I’m happy and I know I have not done anything wrong.

“I still go out with my friends and family but I’m more careful in protecting the privacy of others, if they are not from the industry. I don’t want them to be in the news when reporters start taking pictures,” she sighs.

Born in Maple Ridge, in the western province of British Columbia, and raised in Vancouver, the youngest of three children (she has an elder brother and sister), the lovely gal has been triumphant at several beauty pageants. She got her first taste of the limelight in 2002 when, as a student of the University of British Columbia, she became the Crystal Mall Teen Cover Girl. She was also Miss Chinese Vancouver.

In 2004, she became the third participant in four years from Vancouver to walk away with the Miss Chinese International title after Bernice Liu (2001) – who’s another well-known actress with TVB – and Shirley Zhou (2002).

At present, Chung is busy recording her second Cantonese album, which is slated for release in November.

“The concept is similar to my debut album (Yat Yan Man Chan, Yee Yan Sai Gai – loosely, “Intimate Dinner for One”) except that it’s slightly more mature. The first album was about first love and some of it was rather silly,” she says. Her maiden effort won her several best newcomer awards at leading Hong Kong events last year.

Her new album includes some light rock and R&B numbers in addition to the usual Cantopop ballads. Though she welcomes the opportunity to try different genres, the lady is reluctant to explore too many genres too soon.

“I’d like to do something well before moving on to other things. I don’t want people to say they don’t really remember Linda because she does too many different things.”

In Moonlight Resonance, Chung plays the gentle Yu So Sum, who is sent by her mother Yan Hung (Michelle Yim) to study medicine in Britain to keep her away from baker boy Gam Wing Ho (Raymond Lam), who dropped out of school to help in the family business. Yu returns to work in a Hong Kong hospital where she falls in love with the jovial Dr. Ling Chi Shun (Bosco Wong).

The show notably scooped six trophies at the TVB Anniversary Awards late last year, including best drama, best actor for Ha Yu and best actress for Yim. It’s a sequel of sorts to 2007’s award-winning drama, Heart of Greed, featuring almost the entire ensemble cast from the prequel.

Leading the cast of Moonlight are some of Hong Kong’s best-known veterans, namely Yim, Ha, Louise Lee, Susanna Kwan, Lee Heung Kam and Wayne Lai. Besides Chung, other popular young stars like Lam, Wong, Moses Chan, Tavia Yeung and Kate Tsui complete the list.

Both shows are centred on clans involved in food business; abalone and marine delicacies for Heart of Greed, and mooncakes and other Chinese pastries for Moonlight Resonance. In the latter, the family is split into two households – Chung and Gam – after the patriarch (Ha) divorces his wife (Lee) to marry her scheming friend (Yim).

Chung recalls having an enjoyable time filming Moonlight on Hong Kong’s Lamma Island. “It was my first time shooting there. It was a fun place with many things to do. Also, I didn’t realise there were so many islands out there. So I was really glad to discover their rustic beauty.”

Incidentally, Lamma Island was also the location for her most memorable scene in the drama, which she shared with Bosco Wong. “We were at the jetty waiting for the ferry and it started raining. He took off his jacket and put it over my head. It was such a sweet and romantic scene.”

In Heart of Greed, she acted as lawyer Sheung Joi Sum, a role for which she was named “Favourite Character” at the Astro Wah Lai Toi Awards held at Genting Highlands’ Arena of Stars in February. Her successful pairing with heartthrob Raymond Lam in the drama also won them the “Favourite Couple” award.

Talking about her on-screen partnership with Lam, with whom Chung has been romantically linked, she admits that she was not familiar with the actor during their first collaboration but got better in the second. “Now I know how he works. Initially, it was a bit awkward to act as a couple.”

This year she is starring in three TVB series: the modern A Watchdog’s Tale, period drama “The Legend of Pu Song Ling”, and mystery series “Cross-Boundary Exploration”.

“I enjoy the action element of costume roles as I love to fight like a martial arts expert. But the archaic language can be quite a challenge and I’ll be concerned with memorising the script. In that sense, I’m more confident taking on modern roles because I can understand the language. So my lines flow smoother and I can better convey my emotions,” reveals Chung.

Like many of her fellow TVB artistes, Chung has also contributed to the soundtracks of a number of serials. These include tunes in The Gem of Life (2008), Legend of the Demigods (2008), a duet with Steven Ma in A Journey Called Life (2008), a duet with Raymond Lam in Heart of Greed (2007), and Best Bet (2007).

The versatile lass has also featured in three Hong Kong movies: last year’s L for Love, L for Lies, and Playboy Cops as well as Love is Not All Around in 2007. Her film debut in Love is Not All Around landed her a best new artiste nomination at the 27th Hong Kong Film Awards.

The former beauty queen with the porcelain skin is also known as the queen of advertisements for her regular product endorsements and commercial deals.

Who can blame Chung for thoroughly enjoying herself in the glittering world of showbiz?

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