Saturday, November 25, 2006
If you can choose, would you like to be like Bowie Lam or Moses Chan? They have important roles in a series, but these male leads are also burdened with the pressure of TV ratings. Or would you rather be like Wayne Lai or Ram Tseung? They are a supporting actor in almost every series. Recently, Kenneth Ma has attracted the attention of many viewers with his character Mak Ka Fai in “To Grow with Love”. He said frankly: “Actually, I am quite an irresponsible artist. When I have the opportunity to carry the ratings, they definitely have to hold you back. At the moment, I want to try out many different roles. Perhaps being a siu sang in one or two series, then it will be good for me.”
People have always seen the TVB acting classes as a kind of Shaolin temple that trains actors. However, not one graduate from the Shaolin temple skyrocketed into popularity in one go. They all had to work hard and climb up the ladder one step after the other. Without three, five or seven years, the viewers will definitely not remember your name. If you have a look at the current upcoming siu sangs like Raymond Lam, Bosco Wong, Ron Ng and Sammul Chan, they all started out as kelefe. Even if some of them didn’t go through the acting classes. Can the TVB ratings guarantee today’s position of the artists to the ones who doesn’t work hard for a few years, even a dozen of years? It’s also the same for Kenneth, graduate of the 1999 TVB acting class. He started out as a kelefe as well, however he was more fortunate compared to others. He only needed three years before he had the opportunity to have a true role in a series. After five years he performed important characters in a series. Although the majority of these characters aren’t very pleasing, he believes that the most important thing is to satisfy himself.
Bad characters even more fun
“I think I can satisfy myself even more with bad characters. I have portrayed a character that was so bad that he even caused trouble for his own mother. I have also been a voyeur. These kind of characters are all bad, but just because of that it is fun to play them. You can be those kind of characters that you can’t be in reality. For example, I was a panty voyeur in “Survivor’s Law”. How can you keep on staring at women’s legs in reality? People would definitely say you are a pervert. In addition, I am quite an irresponsible actor. As long as I am not a leading actor, I will not feel the pressure of the TV ratings. This means that I can still take risks for a role and I don’t have to care too much about the opinions of others.”
Has Kenneth never thought about being the male lead? “When you get the opportunity to carry the ratings, the producer will hold you back a lot. I still feel that I should be able to take risks now. Moreover, I am not a very ambitious person.” Asked him whether he has strived for a male leading role, he said surprisingly: “At TVB, you can’t strive for it on your own initiative. If the company thinks that you are OK, then they will look for you. However, I believe I am a very lucky person. Many producers have thought that I was suitable for a specific characters and have thus asked for me. I am very grateful for them to give me so much space (to develop my character). For example, when producer Kwan Wing Chun asked me for “To Grow with Love”, he only said that he had a very cute character for me. As soon as I heard it, I accepted it. Initially, Mak Ka Fai was such a minor character that his personality wasn’t even described. When I understood this character, I told the producer how I wanted to portray him. I even had his appearance and speech in my mind. The producer also gave me a lot of freedom. In the end, if the viewers liked it then I am also happy.”
Grateful for seniors giving me advice
Besides obtaining the favour of the producers, many seniors also treat him very well and often give him advice. However, he wasn’t willing to say which seniors have praised. He only disclosed that Roger Kwok, Benz Hui and Wayne Lai has taught him a lot. Smilingly, he said: “
Having been with TVB for seven years, he has just won his first award. Was it fast or slow? Kenneth only expressed that he has never thought that it would come so fast, because he thought that the competition was very strong. That is why when they announced it, he just stayed motionless and didn’t understand the reaction. He also said that although his body lives in this entertainment industry, but many people has told him that he wasn’t ambitious. He continued to say that the reason he entered this industry is because he loved acting. Asked him about the senior who praised him, after some time he quietly said one sentence: “Won’t the person think that I used them to promote myself?” Asked him about the rumours with Margie Tsang, he wouldn’t care about what has been said as long as the female doesn’t mind it. Actually if others wrote that he was very unhappy after dinner, at that moment, Kenneth seems to resemble Ka Fai a lot.