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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Joe Chen: From leftovers in the refrigerator to shark fin

Source: Sohu
No matter how many people term Taiwan idol drama as “retarded”, we have to acknowledge that in the whole Chinese-speaking region; only Taiwan is still managing to hold up the title of “idol drama”.

In the industry for 8 years, Joe Chen used a rating that broke 10 to prove that she is indeed a real idol drama “big sister”.
“Fated to Love You” which she had a leading role in broke a new record of having more than a million people viewing per minute;
And the previous record holder “Prince Turned to Frog” was from her too.
This occasionally blur yet charming lady,
Her acting, hosting and singing… the spirit and charm in each field is equally shocking.

Hope for another Golden Bell Nomination next time
Although defeated and Joe seemed sad during SETTV’s celebration party, she still invited a group of close friends to have their own celebration with a bottle of pink champagne after SETTV’s party. Just to celebrate her nomination.

When talking about the award that she missed, Joe doesn’t hide her emotions on that day.

“Frankly, the claim of I don’t care isn’t true. I did hope to win, then I can shout Yu Shan Jie (FTLY producer) I love you! There’s definitely a bit of disappointment but I’m happy for Ariel too. No matter who win this time, it is a good example and an acknowledgement for the idol drama actresses. In the future, we will have more opportunities and everyone can see my hard work.”

When sitting at the nomination seats at the award ceremony, the fearless Joe actually was so nervous that she had stomachache. She laughed and said that this was a good experience. When she’s nominated again in the future, she will know how to respond.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, Joe Chen acted in 10 plus idol dramas in 8 years and slowly developed and matured in her acting

Joe was once very headstrong, till the extent that she almost became jobless. Faced with a relationship that turned bad, she tried to use alcohol to numb herself and attended recordings reeking of wine smell. This made her manager Sun De Rong very mad and ordered for her to be frozen.

But now, she has turned from leftovers in the fridge to shark fin. In 2003, when SETTV excutive Su Li Mei specifically selected her to act as the female lead in “100% Senorita” someone harshly remarked “You’re taking Joe out of the fridge, do you often go and dig for leftovers in your refridgerator?”
Su Li Mei responded than that “She’s not leftovers but shark fin. Even if you usually freeze her, occasionally, there’s still the need to bring it out into the sun to shine!” And thus, through “100% Senorita”, Joe had a major turnover.

In 2005’s “Prince Turned to Frog”, Jungiery Star started to heavily promote Ming Dao and her manager’s comment regarding Joe’s excellent performance was “Joe’s getting too old and is no longer suitable for idol dramas”. This resulted in her having no dramas for almost a year.

Interviewer: Did you really have no drama during that period?
Joe: Yes. I don’t know why but all the dramas finalized was cancelled. If not, they stopped filming halfway… It was really disappointing because I love acting. Compared to hosting, singing and commercials, I can drop them all but I cannot give up on acting.

Interviewer: Are you still scared now? Scared of those time without a drama?
Joe: Not anymore. When there’s no dramas to film, I will start doubting why I have no dramas? Was it that I wasn't doing good enough and that my acting was bad…
Then I realised that what was frightening was not when I have no job but rather when I start doubting myself. Because when you start to doubt yourself, you will think of a lot of bad stuff and it affects your emotions.

Interviewer: Did you doubt your acting before?
Joe: When I was the supporting lead, I used to doubt myself and I’ll be afraid and worried, was it good to act that way? The director didn’t ask me to act that way but I chose to do it. I’ll also be worried that I’m not enunciating the words clearly and I’ll start to talk too fast. Now, I’ve learned to slow down and transit into the character’s emotions at that time and expression to say the dialogue. I have more confidence in myself and my style of acting and I’ll add in a lot of my own stuff. When I started acting, I didn’t really know much about the camera. Afterwards, I started to examine how the camera is positioned, why the director was filming it that way and from that angle, what expression would be more appropriate.

Fated to love acting
Before “Fated to Love You” aired, many did not think the pairing of Joe Chen and Ethan Ruan will succeed. “Joe Chen and Ethan Ruan, what can be good about their acting?” that kind of remarks did flow into Joe’s ears but now, she finally proved herself and became “shark fin”.

The obedient girl in “Lavender”, the pink Barbie in “MVP Valentine”, “100% Senorita”, “Ying Ye 3+1”, “Rocks Papers Scissors”, “Xuan Zhang Lao Ye”, Joe has flowed along many different idol dramas but the one that really shot her to fame is still “Fated to Love You”

Interviewer: Which character are you most satisfied with?
Joe: I like Ye Tian Yu in “Prince Turned to Frog” the best. Because for “Fated”, just base on the character, there’s very little drastic actions. As for Ye Tian Yu, she was a slightly idiotic and a little unusual character so I can really exaggerate on her. Chen Xin Yi however is already a mother, I needed to limit myself.

Interviewer: What’s your view on Chen Xin Yi this character?
Joe: Chen Xin Yi isn’t that comical, because she has too much past. I still prefer more comical stuff.

Interviewer: Among the many characters, which is most like you?
Joe: In reality, I’m most like Ye Tian Yu but I have yet to come across a personality that is really like me. I’m a more emotional person and slightly rough. I’ll move about a lot so I’m quite interested in a wild girlfriend kind of role.

Interviewer: Will the males that work with you treat you like a male?
Joe: My personality makes me befriend males very easily and I love to fool others so the males I collaborated with all are reluctant to treat me as a female. Because of the good relationship, we are more confident when acting too and more open. For example, in a lot of those fooling around scenes, if you’re unfamiliar, it’s hard to be that casual.

Interviewer: Will you keep acting in idol dramas? Do you want to attempt movies etc?
Joe: I’m trying to have a breakthrough in every drama, hoping to act something different. I really want to act in movies because in a drama, you take three months to tell a story. For movies, a story is told in 2 hours so your emotions will be more drawn into the story. I’m really incline to act those abnormal, cold-blooded or ghost film characters.

Interviewer: Then did you see “Painted Skin”?
Joe: Yes yes. I really hope to act Zhou Xun’s type of character. Her acting is really fantastic.

Fated to bring luck to male partners
Joe who has filmed many romantic dramas has an extreme opposite cold view on love in reality compared to “idol drama females”
“Filming idol dramas give many girls a dream. But reality is not as romantic as idol dramas. I’m more of a independent, self-centred, weird type of person. I won’t be able to give up on what I love and I won’t change myself for love. I’m just me. I don’t have much dreams on love.”

Among the male leads that Joe worked with, she had 3 rumors. One was with Wallace Huo, and another was Ethan Ruan. Joe denied all three rumors but when she talked about her current Australian boyfriend, she was much more open. “He’s not in this industry. He’s from Australia, and has golden hair and white skin. He’s soft-spoken and refine. Very concerned about me!”

Because she brought luck to both Ethan and Ming Dao, many termed Joe as one of the female stars that are best at bringing luck to their male partners. Besides them, even Ah Ji Shi and James who worked with Joe in “Xing Nan Da Zhu Chu” started to rise to fame in Taiwan. It was a no wonder that Joe was heavily praised as bringing luck to males. Recalling the collaboration with those males, Joe laughed and said that she has no idea where she “lucked” them in. “Actually, I really don’t have what luck charm. It’s because they’re really very strong actors.”

Ethan Ruan is like an idiotic kid
“When filming, I’ll make faces at him and make him NG by laughing. He’ll return the gesture by making faces that make me laugh too……”
“Actually, Xiao Tian is a real gentleman, he’s very nice-tempered but can be very crazy when playing. He once called me “Chen Qiao Pig” and it was in the middle of the road. I was too embarrassed to turn back. I had really gained weight at that time……”
“When filming with Ethan, at the start, it was quite tiring. Because he has everything set and no matter what I had said, he will follow his route. But after we got close, we started to have mutual understanding and we can add in our own scenes. He even added in a kiss scene!”

Still has chemistry with Ming Dao
Many finds Ethan and Ming Dao similar and it’s not just in terms of looks. Even their route to fame is similar. Regarding this, Joe is in disagreement. “The two are really not alike! Maybe their eyebrow is similar. Many people probably think Ming Dao is more handsome but I prefer Ethan that type. Xiao Tian’s very handsome and has character. He’s more of the refine and white type. I can’t accept males that are too dark.”
Starting November, Joe will be filming in Beijing with Ming Dao in another idol drama ”Staying by Sunshine, Staying by You”. This will be their third collaboration and faced with a old partner, Joe hopes for new chemistry. “When I’m acting, I don’t notice much about other people’s character. I care about the filming process, whether you can give me something. Ming Dao’s the type who will think of the ending. When the two of us are acting, there will be a bit of sparks.”

Joe’s actually this type of girl
- Suddenly decided to buy a Scottish Fold cat and has him for almost three months already
- When leaving her house, she will have a weird conversation with him where she will answer her own queries. “Darling, darling, mommy loves you……” which causes her nearby friends to go crazy
- When having a break, no one can ask her out. She wants to accompany her cat.
- When she has nothing to do, she loves buying shoes online. She even bought a very comfortable bath tub online just the other day
- Regarding online rumors, big or small, as long as they’re not too unreasonable, she won’t get angry
- But if she sees rumors of Ming Dao or Xiao Tian, she will go angrily “Rubbish! Where got?!”
- Didn’t have the chance to really tour Beijing but loves Beijing’s Hu Tong.
- Current aim is to be like a tourist and go to Tian An Men to take photographs and buy local products to give others.
- Because she was adamant on taking a picture next to the sign “Beijing Welcomes You” , she got laughed at by Ming Dao
- When Sam Wang opened a shop, she specially bought a luck doll from Beijing as present.
- She hopes that fans can go visit her when she’s filming. But they need to bring along different kinds of food.

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