Leila Focus, Doesn't Matter,

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Leila Focus, Doesn't Matter,

Post by summer7879 on Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:41 pm

Credit : to Leila.T Connected @ http://leilatconnected.wordpress.com/

Leila Focus, Doesn't Matter,

Some snippets of the interview:

The release of the album made Leila’s popularity increase in mainland China and there were times when fans spent a few days to travel from other provinces just to see her, making her very touched.

The mandarin album was only released in mainland China and it was very difficult to find in Hong Kong’s cd shops.

The very young Leila was a well known child star who acted for many famous directors and TVB.

Leila was very cute when she was young, making her very lovable.

The audience in Hong Kong watched Leila grow up but her looks doesn’t seem to have changed in these twenty years.

When being asked which was her favourite between movies, dramas and stageplays, she said without thinking much “I like it as long as it’s acting. “

Leila’s fans are looking forward to hearing her new cantonese duet with newbie Bonald Leung.

She said that singing is only her interest and her real passion is still acting.

Facing the setting sun, she followed the photographer’s instructions, putting on a relaxed and immersed experession. “Snap”, the photo is taken and she continued to sit in the position for the interview “The sunlight is scorching?” The reporter suggested to change another location. “Doesn’t matter, I like the feeling of being under the sunlight.”

“Doesn’t matter,” this is the phrase that Leila used the most during the interview. No sunblock or whitening used, allowing the sun to shine directly on her – doesn’t matter. No rumors resulting in no exposure for her – doesn’t matter. Scenes in dramas are not as heavy as other characters – doesn’t matter. Album sales -doesn’t matter.

“It’s good enough as long as I can continue to act,” This is the sentence which shows that something mattered.

Starting out as a child star at the age of eight and participating in more than 60 movies and series, Leila, who is about to turn 28, has been in the industry for almost 20 years. “Oh ya, if you didn’t mention it I wouldn’t have felt that it has actually been so long!” The speed at which time passes, made the protagonist feel unbelievable as well.

Others said that the path of a child star is difficult. However, the path that Leila took is unexpectedly smooth. Because of her cute looks and big eyes, she was chosen by John Woo to act as Cherie Chung’s character (when the character was a kid) once she entered the industry. After that, she was doing quite well in the film and television industry and has worked with mega stars such as Chow Yun Fat, Leslie Cheung, Joey Wong, Stephen Chow etc. Even till the so-called awkward period at age twelve or thirteen, offers for movies and dramas continued to come her way.
No hardships and not being forced, she reminisced about the past when she had to stay at the filming site most of the time, it was because she felt that this extracurricular activity is quite interesting. It was until she finished filming ‘Those Were The Days’ when she was sixteen years old, she started facing the choices that she had to make for her future. Between filming and studies, she chose the latter. As she can only got for one out of two, she decided to fade out from the scene.

That year, she enrolled in a fashion designing course, determined to find an interest apart from filming. However, she did not expect to get to know her current manager before she finished her studies. “She convinced me to stay in the entertainment circle. Actually I was really interested in filming. Thus after meeting her a few times, I signed on with her.”

Saying Goodbye to the child star era

To embrace a new beginning, the first thing she had to do was to get rid of the child star feel. After signing on, her manager brought her to see a feng shui master who gave her a couple of names, explaining that some of the names can help her to gain popularity. As for ‘Tong Ling’ this name, it will only help her to gain popularity slower, but things will become better and better. “I’m not a person who will go for quick success, and being progressive is my character. I rather have a good foundation and go step by step. ‘Tong Ling’ this name, suits me best!”

Her orginigal name ‘Kong Lai Na’ was given to her by her parents, and it means that hoping the daughter will be come a beautiful girl. On the other hand, she became quite boyish and even have quite boyish hobbies like playing video games, piecing model frames and play with cameras etc. The new name was in fact more suitable for her character after she grew up. However, wouldn’t her parents mind even she changed the surname? “I explained to them that ‘Tong Ling’ was jsut a name. It’s just like Jackie Chan whose surname isn’t actually Chan. However, my english name remains as Leila Kong”.

Staring out as a calefare

Getting rid of the burdens, everything started from the beginning. After filming 2-3 years of movies, Leila signed on to the television station in 2001. Even her roles also had to start from the bottom. The director arranged for the to act as a sales girl without a name and had only 1-2 sentences. She did not grumble and even when she met her old working partners, she did not feel embarrased for being demoted to a calefare. “I did not receive formal acting classes, so it was very normal for me to start from the bottom. I was in fact happy as the number of scenes do not determine the importance of the role!”

Although she was only a contracted artiste, she took very short time to gain the favour of the big producers with her girl-next-door image and obedience. However, depsite the increase in opportunites to act, the characters were mostly second or third lead, giving people the feeling that she was nowhere here or there.

There were also times when people advised her to fight for more chances to make the papers. However she rather watch movies or play with her dogs when she’s free and insisted on not creating news. “Instead of doing so much stuff, I might as well just put my effort in doing my own job” At work, she sees Teresa Mo as her goal and only hopes that there’s one day when people mention ‘Tong Ling’, they will know that she’s a good actress and not link her to all kinds of rumours and negative news.

It is a fact that this girl’s acting has matured in the recent years. Due to her passion for acting, she tried out all kinds of stuff these few years, and this includes going into the stageplay industry. “I enjoy the process of putting up a stageplay and during rehearsals, I will find lots of new approaches to acting and also reacting to sudden difficult situations with the cast. These are stuff which give me a kind of satisfaction which cannot be described.”

Releasing album to fulfil her wish

Apart from participating in stage plays, Leila who is also a good singer, released a mandarin album two years ago. “It was really by chance that I get to release the album. I was in mainland China performing that year and it so happened that the boss of a new record company was there. He heard me singing and offered to help me release an album.”

It was said that the album was very popular in mainland China, however she has only released one album till now. It was because this girl had a very clear target. Singing was an interest to her, acting was her ultimate love. No wonder when being asked about her album sales, she only had the ‘doesn’t matter’ attitude and replied, “I’m very happy to have an album of my own. The album sales isn’t important to me and I wouldn’t care.”

New cantonese song to hear

Although Leila has no plans to release a cantonese album yet, her fans will still have a chance to listen to her sing cantonese songs. Leila revealed that she will be singing a new cantonese song with newbie Bonald Leung at the ‘和谐星光善同行暨国庆六十周年’ concert on 9 September. “This song is composed by Bonald and is a medium tempo song. The feel is refreshing and I think everyone will like it."

Bonald Leung said that he heard Leila’s voice on the internet last year and felt that her voice was very sweet. Thus he invited Leila to sing the new song with him. As for his partner’s performance, Bonald had nothing but praises and said that she was pretty clever and managed to reach the producer’s standards very quickly.

Even though she had lots of experience singing onstage, Leila expressed that she was rather anxious for the concert this time as other performers include more seasoned singers like Joe Junior, Woo Wai Hong and she’s worried that she will end up performing badly.

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