Hey all, at last yearís New York Asian Film Festival, Director Pang Ho-cheungís outrageous comedy, Vulgaria had audiences rolling in the aisles and in awe of actress Dada Chanís sweet and sexy character called Popping Candy. While visiting New York to introduce two new films at the festival, Dada chatted with us.
The Lady Miz Diva: How do you feel about having your new films, Tales from the Dark and Hardcore Comedy shown at the New York Asian Film Festival?
Dada Chan: I havenít seen Hardcore Comedy myself, yet. Iím very excited to see it on big screen with the audience tonight. This is the world premiere of the film. People have seen the trailer of the film in Hong Kong and their response has been very good. The film has three stories, directed by three new directors, and I feel like there are many different elements mixed together. My part is kind of the easiest part; itís a transition between two very extreme stories.
LMD: Many of us first saw you at last yearís festival with Vulgaria. Would you talk about how that role came to you?
DC: Iíd collaborated with Director Pang Ho-cheung before. Before Vulgaria, I was helping him with his books. I was the voice for his audiobooks. For Vulgaria, he didnít have a script for me, but I knew the name of the character, Popping Candy; at that time it was the title of the film. I didnít have to know the script because I knew the director was very talented and his filmmaking style is very new and very good, so I just went for it.
LMD: Films like Vulgaria are made in a more audacious, uniquely Hong Kong style that has been hard to find in recent years. Do you think the creators of Vulgaria and Hardcore Comedy are trying to stay true to that individual spirit of the Hong Kong film?
DC: When I got the role, I didnít think too much into whether it was a cultural statement or not. I was a new actress and I didnít have many works, so I was just focused on the very interesting character and the very good script. I didnít really choose whether or not it was a cultural statement. I have been watching Hong Kong films since my childhood, and I believe itís a very unique culture and I grew up with that culture. I feel recently that the industry is kind of recovering and many more Hong Kong films are being made, so Iím very happy about that.
LMD: Hardcore Comedy is your second starring role in a comedy. Are you more comfortable being funny on film or do dramatic roles also appeal to you?
DC: I actually am working on all different kinds of roles and there will be more different kinds of films coming out in the future. Before they just cast me, so I just took the role; now I can pick the scripts. Now, I feel that if I try different kinds of roles and gain more acting experience, itíll help me make progress.
LMD: In a very short time, youíve worked with some very interesting filmmakers. Has that spurred you to take an interest in writing or directing a film of your own, eventually?
DC: Oh, Iím very anxious to become a scriptwriter.
LMD: You came from the modeling world. In the West, itís very hard for models to cross over into acting and be taken seriously. Is it the same in Hong Kong? Did people have preconceived notions about you when you began acting?
DC: Itís not easy in Hong Kong to become an actress from being a model, either. When I was modeling, I didnít think too much about my career as an actress: Opportunity found me, so I just went for it. So once I started making films, I found I really liked films. Iím very satisfied by acting and I can explore different selves. I believe that in cinema, there are unlimited possibilities and the characters touch me and I want to also use my acting to touch the audience and influence the audience. After Vulgaria, there were so many more opportunities that found me and I can also use those opportunities to do more meaningful things. For example, some of my roles were handicapped people; although Iím not sure if my acting can help those people, I believe my acting can bring the audienceís attention to the lives of these kinds of people and I really like that.
LMD: Popping Candy was such an outrageous character. What was it like to win the Hong Kong Film Award as Supporting Actress for playing her?
DC: I felt the award was a new start for me and I was very happy. I felt it was like a dream come true, but Iím very humble: It was the good character that won the award, not me. I donít have as much experience as other actors and Iíll make up for that with my hard work, and I hope that I can make more good films in the future.
~ The Lady Miz Diva
July 6th, 2013
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