Tuesday, February 05, 2013
In the entertainment industry, there are quite a few popular celebrity couples – recently one couple in particular has been in the limelight quite often: HK actress Ada Choi (蔡少芬) and her husband, Mainland actor Max Zhang (张晋).
In renowned director Wong Kar Wai’s (王家衛) new film The Grandmasters (一代宗師), Max Zhang takes on the main villain role through his portrayal of the character ‘Ma San’. Likewise, his wife Ada Choi, one of HK television station TVB’s top fa dans, successfully portrayed the role of the evil Empress in Mainland China’s hit palace series Legend of Concubine Zhen Huan (甄嬛傳). With both of these villain roles, both husband and wife were recently able to gain success and newfound popularity on the big screen (Max) as well as the small screen (Ada).
Recently, the ‘Empress’ Ada Choi – currently pregnant with her second child – graced the small screen once again: she participated in Mainland TV station Dragon TV’s popular cooking competition show Master Chef (顶级厨师). During the program, Ada not only discussed her culinary skills, she also shared with audiences her current blissful life with husband Max, eldest daughter Zoe, and the anticipated newest member of their happy family.
R = JF Daily Reporter
A = Ada Choi
The role of ‘Wife’: ‘He’ [Max] is the master of the house
R: When Max was filming The Grandmasters, did you go visit him on set?
A: Nope, not even once. The main reason was because I didn’t want to interfere with his filming, but I was also busy filming series myself, so I didn’t have time to go visit him. After The Grandmasters premiered in theaters, many of our friends went to watch it and all of them praised his excellent performance. All of the good feedback that his performance generated has made him very happy – to have such an accomplishment is already the best gift.
R: Since our show is about cooking, of course the topic of ‘food’ will come up. When it comes to eating, do your tastes differ much from your husband’s?
A: No, our tastes are actually quite similar. I love spicy foods – since my mom is from Vietnam, I ate spicy foods throughout my childhood. My husband is from Chongqing [China], so of course he loves eating spicy foods as well. Ironically, his family’s taste for spiciness is not as heavy as mine – my parents and brother often ask me how come I’m able to eat spicier foods than them when I’m not even from that region.
R: How are your culinary skills?
A: You should probably ask those who have tried my cooking – they often tell me that if I were to compete in a cooking show, I would get high points! Last Christmas, I invited a group of friends over for dinner and decided to cook a meal consisting of 7 dishes, with the hot and cold dishes separate. I came up with the idea of preparing the dishes that were simpler and could be refrigerated first and also washing and cutting up whatever I could ahead of time -- I also was planning to grill some steak, but was afraid there would be too much smoke, so I decided to cook it in the oven instead. There were about a dozen friends who came over for dinner that night and all of them said the food was great – they even praised my cooking as ‘amazing’! This past Christmas, I decided to make mushroom soup, but after doing some research on the Internet, I discovered that the process was quite complicated, so I came up with my own recipe and added my own ingredients instead – my entire family said it was delicious!
However, I’m not able to cook every day – I only do it when I have time. My husband sometimes cooks as well, but it takes him an hour just to make one dish – of course, I eat what he cooks happily, but then afterwards when I see the ‘mess’ he made in the kitchen, I feel like fainting!
I will say though that for all matters, I always ask my husband’s opinion. Of course, I take care of all the financial matters in the household, since he has no clue how to do it, but I still consult with him on most of the major decisions. For example, before I buy something, I would ask what he thinks – if he feels it’s not a good idea, I won’t buy it, even if I think it’s a great idea. After all, he [Max] is truly the master of the house!
The role of ‘Mother’: Consider the children first and foremost
R: Even though you’re pregnant, it doesn’t look like your workload has decreased much.
A: I’m the type of person who just can’t stop and stay still – if I feel that attending a particular event will give me an interesting or different type of experience, or will help me meet new people or travel to interesting places, then I do it. For example, attending this particular event [Master Chef show] is very interesting to me because I get to see the contestants creating various masterpieces and critique them a bit – it’s a lot of fun! Of course, if I’m not feeling well or my doctor tells me I shouldn’t go, I will consider my baby first and foremost.
Right now, every time I participate in an event or function, I feel that it’s a beautiful memory for me: I get to ‘bring’ my child along with me when I work.
R: With this being your second pregnancy, how different is it from when you were pregnant with older daughter Zoe?
A: The first and second pregnancies are very different! During the first pregnancy, I was very nervous but also excited at the same time. The ‘excitement’ came from discovering every day how the baby would grow and change inside of me – every time I felt her kicking me, it was a happy feeling. With this second pregnancy, I feel a lot more tired, probably because I have to take care of Zoe at the same time. It’s almost like she senses that she will have a little brother or sister soon and so won’t be the center of attention anymore – every day, she wants me to hug her and carry her – the feeling is like concubines fighting for the emperor’s favor in the palace!
In any case, I treat both children fairly when it comes to recording their life process – from the time I become pregnant all the way up to 1 year after the child is born, I buy a notebook and put all their pictures in there, even ultrasound pictures! I recently went on a work-related trip to Taiwan and in the 4 days that I was away from my daughter, I discovered how much I truly missed her! In the future, I will choose job opportunities where I can be closer to home and not have to part with my daughter for too long.
R: This year, how are you planning to spend Chinese New Year?
A: Our entire family will spend New Year’s Eve together in Hong Kong. My husband’s family is afraid I might get too tired from flying around too much, so they will come over from Chongqing and our two families will have dinner together. With everyone here, this year’s celebration will definitely be the liveliest one for us.
The role of ‘Actress’: Once dreamed about becoming a lead actress
R: When watching Legend of Concubine Zhen Huan, we saw a lot of palace dishes – did you get the chance to try all of them?
A: When we were filming, some of the dishes were real and some were fake, so didn’t get to try all of it. Today, the production team for Master Chef specially made a palace dish for me to try: osmanthus jelly -- it made me feel like an Empress all over again! I filmed Legend of Concubine Zhen Huan over 2 years ago, but thinking back on the experience now, it still gives me a lot of joy!
R: Director Zheng XiaoLung (鄭曉龍) revealed recently that Legend of Concubine Zhen Huan will air as a TV series in the U.S. in the near future. How do you feel about that?
A: Yea, I read about that on the Internet, but not sure if it’s true or not. However, a lot of people told me that the information is true and that all the dialogue from the series will be translated into English as well! It sounds like a lot of fun – I’d be interested to see how the dialogue is translated.
R: In the series, your character of the Empress is a beautiful woman with eloquent bearing – in real life, you’re one of the audiences’ most beloved TVB beauties. What are your thoughts on female beauty?
A: For a woman, outward appearance is important, however intrinsic beauty is even more important – to me, being able to possess both is truly the most perfect female beauty. Guys might value outward appearance in a woman more, as they are usually attracted first by their outer beauty. With that said though, if a woman understands in her heart how to respect and love her man, that is the kind of beauty that will last the longest.
R: What kind of woman do you admire the most?
A: I’ve always admired women like Brigitte Lin (林青霞) and Maggie Cheung (张曼玉) – both great actresses and also beautiful! Brigitte recently wrote her own book – so talented! Maggie has a ‘designer’s sense’ and always does a great job when it comes to matching up her outfits.
R: You started in the industry after participating in the Miss Hong Kong pageant. How different are your goals and aspirations now compared to back when you were 18 years old?
A: Definitely different! When I was 18, my ‘dream’ was to get the opportunity to become female lead and film a lot of series. Now after becoming a mother, my dream is a lot simpler – that my children grow up in a healthy environment and get the best education as well as unconditional love from the family.
R: Your onscreen image is usually that of a competent woman with a strong personality. Do you mind people referring to you as a strong career woman?
A: It doesn’t matter to me – people can address me however they want, I don’t mind. The most important thing is that I fit the character and the audiences enjoy watching the performance. Though of course, I guess I do consider myself the strong career woman type in real life as well – I’m not the type who has to rely on others or attach myself to others in order to survive. I have very high standards for myself, especially when it comes to taking care of my family, but there are also some things I’ve learned to let go. My husband is very respective of my abilities and appreciates my competence as well – to be able to find someone in life whom I can interact so well with is quite enjoyable. I’m very grateful!
Source: JF Daily News
Translated by: llwy12 @ AsianFanatics
Labels: Ada Choi 蔡少芬