Award-winning actress, singer, entrepreneur and loving wife, Myolie Wu remains in the hearts of million of fans across the globe. Now, that love is sure to grow with the superstar announcing plans to have a baby, writes Artemis Lam.
It seems that we are seeing less of Myolie these days, at least not as much as we were used to during all those TVB drama series. In summer of 2015, Myolie left TVB after 16 years to explore new avenues of creativity.
Now splitting her time between the mainland and Hong Kong, Myolie has starred in a number of Chinese dramas. She won the Best Actress Award at the 12th annual Chinese American Film Festival held in Los Angeles in 2016 with a consummate performance in the mainland TV drama series, My Stepfather is a Hero – the latest accolade in a long and storied career, which began with the Most Improved Female Artiste Award at the 2002 TVB Anniversary Awards. It is Myolie’s third Best Actress award. Her first was at the TVB Anniversary Awards in 2011, with another at China’s Huading Awards in 2012.
“It was quite unexpected, but I am certainly excited about it as it is recognition for my efforts,” says a modest Myolie. “I also look at it as a reminder, which encourages me to keep things up.” she says with a grin. “Every new role is the birth of something new. I really enjoy working with actors, directors and crews I haven’t partnered with before. I am always refreshed with the new encounter. Not only do I learn more about different acting skills or expression of emotions, but also their wisdom.”
But Myolie has something bigger on her wish list. “My husband and I are preparing to have a baby, so I will be doing less acting. You know, having a baby does not just happen when you wish for it. Children are the key to parents’ happiness, but there are also responsibilities. I want to give the best to my baby, so I will take time to build a stronger body, such as adjusting my diet and doing proper exercise.”
Myolie definitely has a clear goal in mind. Indeed that is how she describes herself. “I always know what I want, it is important for me to position myself and know where to head to. And … hmmm, I have will power, I am dedicated to what I do as I want to do my best,” she smiles. “But when there are changes or challenges, I am flexible in the way I deal with matters. I am open to new ideas and I like to try new life experiences, though sometimes it doesn’t turn out as expected, at least I tried.” She even mocks herself as “workaholic”, grinning: “I enjoy working, I feel energetic.”
In My Stepfather is a Hero, Myolie co-stars alongside Lin Yongjian, who plays as a widower with two stepchildren. Myolie plays a lawyer and Lin’s love interest.
“Although I played similar characters before, the role is still stimulating. There are a lot of mainland legal terms in my script with which I was unfamiliar and I had to speak in Putonghua! But the storyline is interesting and my role is the intelligent, well-dressed and very demanding woman who falls in love with a hardworking, average type of guy, who is also a widower.”
Myolie is full of praise for her co-star Lin, who plays the stepfather. Lin is well known for his acting talent and versatility. “The series is a comedy and Mr Lin is a great comedic actor. He has a presence and charm. When he acts in a humorous scene, he may not be smiling or laughing, but his performance radiates wit and joy, stirring up the atmosphere.”
However, in another recent TV series, Nothing Gold Can Stay, Myolie’s role is not as comic or joyous. In this Qing Dynasty drama, co-starring Hong Kong actors Niki Chow and Tse Kwan-ho, Myolie plays Wu Yongmei, a tragic character. The story revolves around female relationships, relaying the story about talented businesswoman Zhou Ying (played by Chinese actress Sun Li) and how fate, family and the external environment affects her and others in her circle.
“I actually feel heartbroken for my character, who is not really a bad person. Wu Yongmei comes from a wealthy family, she is smart and good-looking. However, tortured by fate, she losses her love and later her family. Her life completely changes after all these traumatic events, so does her mentality. Hate fills her heart; the idea of revenge occupies her mind. She turns from an innocent girl to a dark soul. It is a rather complex role and proposes certain challenges,” Myolie says.
Nothing Gold Can Stay may not deliver a happy ending but Myolie enjoyed filming. “It actually took quite a long time to film, we were on it from summer to winter. But it was a remarkable experience working with Sun Li. She is an easy-going person and I am glad we are able to connect, on and off screen. She shares with me the bits and pieces about her kids, I think she is very successful – having a great career and taking good care of her family.”
Myolie admits to a lot of luck throughout her career. “I always meet nice people and some become mentors, even if they don’t really train me in a formal way. They taught me a lot.” Myolie recounts a few, including the great Liza Wang – a role model of many artists – who she starred with in the 2005 TVB costume comedy series Wars of In-laws; veteran actor Damien Lau who appeared with Myolie in the 2011 romantic drama series, The Rippling Blossom, in which Chilam Cheung plays her bickering lover; and Kevin Cheng who she considered as a big brother; they had great chemistry in 2011 TVB drama Ghetto Justice.
While we all appreciate her as an outstanding actress, have we overlooked Myolie’s singing talent? We shouldn’t. The actress has released two albums and has sung various theme songs for TVB series. Last year, she appeared on Beijing TV’s Transboundary Singer, surprising the audience with her sweet voice and vocal ability.
But acting remains Myolie’s first choice. “It is an amazing experience. I can be someone else, digging into their lives, understanding their feelings and experiencing something that does not belong to my normal life. Yet after filming, I am myself again.” But she mentions that being herself can be a challenge in show business. “If you want to stay in the business, you first need a sharp image, although it can be rather different from you own. And then you have to, more or less, look at things as a big picture and cater to the needs of various parties. You have to consider others and can’t just focus on yourself when working in a teamwork environment.”
Myolie’s is also tapping into the fashion market. She has started a partnership with Hong Kong couture designer Kev Yiu to form a designer bridal-wear brand “Kevolie”. Their first store opened in 2015.
“Last year the market was slow and our business was stable. We focused on product quality and customer service to be competitive. This year, we are planning to introduce our brand into the mainland,” Myolie says.
Work is her excitement, what is her favourite place? “The Maldives is a wonderful place with breathtaking environment, yet it is the most endangered from climate change. It carries gorgeous natural beauty and also the negative impacts caused by humans. Maybe it sounds too hard, but I hope everyone can start with little steps to help preserve the environment. It would be a big loss if the Maldives was to disappear under the Indian Ocean.”