Mui-interview of those days



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City Entertaiment Film Bi-weekly 313             April 4, 1991


Anita Mui 10 years' Glory     

How much success, how much regrets, talked about in great details.

A singing artist, besides taking up a role in the movie, or giving a concert, doesn’t have any other form of performance.  Anita Mui has new idea, besides concert, she will organize an exhibition of herself this year.

This [Anita Mui 10 Years Glory] Exhibition will include 6 different phases: concerts, her growing period, music video, movies, stage costumes and how the back stage staff feel about Anita Mui.  Anita Mui herself actively involves in the formulating, planning and execution of this Exhibition.

[The purpose of this Exhibition is not to show off how much money I have made,]  Anita Mui emphasized: [I have been in the entertainment circle for exactly 10 years now, I have gone through difference experiences.  It is an important part of my life, worth to be a memory.  As many people want to know the real me, with this exhibition I wish to tell them what I have done in the past 10 years, what change I have gone through, and what remains the same.]

The childhood, and from being discovered to soaring to stardom, Anita Mui is reckoned as a legend of Hong Kong.  After she has struggled for 10 years,  this is a suitable time to make a review about her career, love life and her own career development.

[The cool wind lightly blowing, the sun is covered up, as a layer of dust is formed.] "Season of the Wind風的季節"

The original singer of the song [Season of the Wind] was Paula Tsui, but this song has special meaning to Anita Mui.  It was by this song, Anita Mui in long curly hair, in her singing costumes, won the New Singers Singing Contest. Among all the winners of this singing contest, up to now, none of them can be compared to Anita Mui in their career development.  It is easy to say now as 10 years after she won the contest.  But in reality, how Anita Mui, step by step advanced towards success is really not simple.

[At first, none knows what I can do, as they didnt know me well.]  The Big Sister reviewed her past.  [One year after I won the contest, I was still very conservative in dressing, I could not follow the trend. I couldnt find my direction.  I started to change since Eddie Lau designed the cover for my album Red Wonder赤的疑惑.]

Anita Mui  got famous by Paula Tsuis song, she became [Paula Tsi the second] in others eyes, she lived under Paulas shadow.  To have her own style and to have success, Anita Mui knew the chance was not that big, so she worried for a long time.

[Eddie Lau created image for me.  He told me I looked like Momoe Yamaguchi.  I felt so happy when he told me that.]  So Anita Mui tried to change the impression people already formed about her, she started to read more fashion magazines, trying to dress as other people dressed, and to make up.

[It was after about 2 years after the Contest, I dared try new things.]  Anita Mui recalled in memory: [When I hear a song, I will create a new image in my head.  Such as when performing this song, if dressed as an Arabic dancing woman, would the effect be better?  I myself created all the images.

[At first, people around me had no confidence in me.  I remember only starting from Bad Girl people then felt that I could be adapted into different images.  At that time, I not only changed in images, my images changed so muchtoo.]  When talking about images, she smiled with great satisfaction.

[At the beginning of 80s, there was no such thing as image at the HK music industry.  Paula Tsui, Kwan Kwok Yin all just performed singing, nobody ever thought what image was.]  Anita Mui proudly talked about it. [I created the idea that singers have to be good in image.]

[I travel by myself, searching for my road.  Who has accompanied me during my journey?  When feel lonesome, I find company in my songs and dances.]  - Walk my road alone孤身走我路

The Exhibition was named as [10 Years Glory], but many people know Anita Muis singing life is more than 10 years. Actually Lai Siu Ting asked Anita Mui about this at the Singing Contest. At that time Anita Mui was only 19 and nobody knew about her, she just replied Lai casually: [More than 10 years lar!]  Lai had a very deep impression about this.  Anita Mui can perform freely on stage, does whatever she likes, it has a lot to do with her experience since childhood.  She has a motto for herself [Whatever you do, you must have confidence in yourself.]

Anita Mui started her singing career at 6.  All people around her looked down on her. [School mates felt that I was weird creature, their mothers warned them not to play with me.  “She is Gor Lui lar (singer girl)!歌女呢”] All these comments really hurt the little Anita Mui.

[I made a living by singing.  At that time people would not call you singing star, singer, would only call you gor lui, I really felt very bad at that time.

[I remember every night I, in singing costumes, had to run around from one place to another place to perform.  I only had enough money for bus.  All passengers looked at you as weird creature with contempt, scrutinizing you from head to toe, thinking that you are prostitute.  I was badly humiliated at that time by the look of those people.]  This part of painful history had affected the character of Anita Mui greatly.

[This experience of my childhood made me to feel very inferior.  But it is so true that inferior complex ends up in self-importance.]  Anita Mui laughed. [Because I feel inferior, so I wont like to remain as what you thought.  I feel we should not be shy.  When I was little, I put on make up, others would say not look nice.  But even not nice, I still had to put on.  Must have confidence in myself.  You say no good, I would say good.  When I insist, I can persuade others.]

Anita Muis [Walk my road alone] describes her struggle in her career for all those years. [For all these years, I persisted all by myself so I got the achievement of today.]  She said she felt very tired up to such a stage, but [The applause from audience ]is the only consolation, that makes her forget all her other problems.]

[There are tears in the songs, who can be relied on to help her to release her problems.  Fate in romance comes and goes, dont want to chase after it once fades away, bury the grief in the heart.]  - "Tears in songs歌衫淚影"

Since young Anita Mui was in performing business, she was used to face the audience, but only limited to singing.  She didn’t know how to act.  [When you sing on the stage, everything is under your control.  But acting is different, you have to have exchange with the other party.]  It is more difficult than singing.

Anita Mui took part in almost 30 movies.  She got the Best Actress Award at HK Film Academy and the Golden Horse Award, she is a very experienced actress now.  But when she first started she had no experience. Her first experience in filming was her role in [Summer kisses winder tears].  She recalled that it was lucky and unlucky to have that role.

[It is more difficult for one to have one’s first acting experience in a TV soap opera.] Anita Mui Said.  It is because when you act for a TV soap opera, when it starts to shoot, the actor has to remember all pages of dialogue, it is quite difficult for one who never has had such experience.  But when working for [Summer kisses winter tears], she got many experienced seniors teaching her, she learnt a lot for acting.

[For the first week, I worried a lot, I studied the script well.  I had to play lots of part with Tsang Kiang, and he was best at leading me into the story.  I felt very scared, because he looked very fierce.  But he told me not to be afraid, asking me to concentrate and watching him how to act.  Then I found he was not that fierce, I felt relaxed and then got myself immersed in the story.]  Tsang Kiang was the one who gave the first help to Anita Mui, that made her, from one who knew nothing about acting, gradually knew what is called movie and acting.  Then she found filming is a lot easier.

At this Exhibition, Anita Mui selected photos from 7 films out of 30 in which she played a leading role to exhibit,  Inspector Chocolate (1986), Happy Bigamist (1987), Rouge (1988), Mr. Canton and Lady Rose (1989), A better Tomorrow III, Kawashima Yoshiko. Au Revoir Mon amour (1991).  She has her own reasons.

Inspector Chocolate [Among all the comedies I played, I like Inspector Chocolate the best, because I could cooperate with the comedy star who I like most, Michael Hui.  This is a new match for the comedies.]

Happy Bigmist [I like Happy Bigamist, because it was approached in a different way from Inspector Chocolate.  Though both are comedies, the role in Inspector Chocolate is exaggerated; Happy Bigamist is about every day life.  Friend Chan and Kenny B have their own way of handling a comedy.]

Rouge [I started my acting career in 82/3, acted mainly for comedies.  No director wanted me to take a role of serious character, because my look is more modern.  Nobody would think that I could handle a role of 20s or 30s.

[Kwan King Pang was very courageious to choose me.  My success in “Rouge” made other directors to have confidence in me.  Therefore this film was a turning point for my filming career, it was a new start for my filming life.]

Mr. Canton and Lady Rose [Jacky Chans film is well known for its large investment and cast.  It is memorable.]

A better tomorrow III [I know Im not pretty, but I hope I can be stylish, and  to please the audience by character.  I have confidence in dressing as a male.  Even when I walk, I like to mimic male.  I give people the impression that Yin, yang mixed

[When I was young, I dreamed to be a heroine, such as a lawyer, can be very dignified and respectful.  In this movie, Tsui Hac arranged me to shoot with a gun, to fight, just like a heroine.  I could do something in movie that I cannot do in my real life, so I like it.]

Kawashima Yoshiko [I have read the book about the movie of Kawashima Yoshiko, she is a legend, from the high status to the pitiful ending.  To play this role is a big test for acting skill.

[Also Kawashima Yoshiko liked to dress like a man.  I have confidence in that and I look handsome as a male.  This is the similarity between us.]

Au Revoir, Mon amour [The shooting took 3 years, is a big film.

[The similarity between Kawashima Yoshiko and Mui Yee is their stubbornness.  Besides this, there are lots of contrasts between them.  Kawashima Yoshiko was Chinese but brought up in Japan.  Mui Yee grew up in China but settled in Japan; Kawashima Yoshiko acted like a man, very cruel; Mui Yee very feminine.

[Au Revoir Mon Amour demonstrated the thinking of a woman, was the country more important or her own love life?  It was a decision between love and loyalty ().  It was a movie about feeling, very difficult in acting.]

Anita Mui feels it is different experience to work with different directors.  But among all, she feels she has more sparkling feel when she worked with Kwan Kin Pang and Tsui Hac.  Kwan knows the most exquisite feeling of female, and he is willing to spend a whole day to discuss the script with the actor and he won’t feel bored.  She likes Tsui Hac, it is because [he thinks so quick that the actor has to react quickly too.  Though there is pressure, it is another very valuable experience]

Comedy, action movie, melodrama, Anita Mui has tried all.  Recently she has acted a few roles of 20s and 30s character, its enough.  She would like to try some roles of ancient time.  Right now, she is negotiating with Tsui Hac, might work with Kong Li for the film Green Snack.  If very thing is okay, then this will be another new try for her.

[How much tears, how much joy, all become limitless love, relive all the past affection, and then keep deep in my heart.] -  Red Wonder赤的疑惑

There are many kinds of affection (love) family, romance, friends, country.  What expectation Anita Mui has from affection?  What doesnt each kind of affection mean to her?

Affection of the family

[Im very introvert in this sense.  I love my mother, but I wont tell her or show her.

[Though I dont live with her, I care about her everyday life.  Those things of her everyday life which Im not able to take care, I ask someone else to do it.

[When I stayed with the family in the past, there were so much conflicts, I didnt like to go back home.  Now I moved out, I miss them.  I like the feeling of missing them.

[From the traditional point of view, Im not a filial daughter.  Suddenly I show up and suddenly I disappear, but I actually love my mother very much.  I am really afraid that if she gets sick.]


[I had my first love when I was around 13 or 14 that was when I loved my tutor secretly.  At that time I was very pure, every day at 6:00 oclock, would sing in the park while playing the guitar.  But we never held hands. 

[If talking about real dating, then it should be around 16 or 17.  I dated that early, I didnt mean to get the fatherly love, which I never had, from my boy friend. 

[Since very young, I have been very independent.  Im afraid to have a man around me.  I had a stepfather, but I never got any feeling of warmth from him.  He always scolded me, not only no fatherly love, in contrary I felt lots of pressure.

[When I was young, I got to know boy friends, I wouldnt purposely go for a man much older than me; dating is dating, father is father, I have a clear cut for them.

[I only expect that all can be very romantic.  Actually I dare not expect anything, because greater the hope, greater will be the disappointment.  I only hope every body happy.

[I hope my future husband will love me, wont grumble all the time, very gentleman, stylishactually all these are not practical, the most important is that he loves me.  All the things I talk about actually only summarize to one thing, that is love.

[Wont care how long, only care once have, this statement is from the ad.  If I like a man, I hope I can have him forever, Im very possessive in the term of love.]

Love for Friends

[friend, when I was young I had no friend.  I had my first friend when I was 15.  So once we became friends, I wont leave her easily.  I invested all my feeling and love for a friend in her, she is closer to me more than my own sister and mother.

[Maybe because I didnt have any friends when I was young, I was rather lonesome.  After I grow up, I like crowds of friends,  more hilarious.]

Love for country

During the June 4th pro democratic movement, Anti Mui was the most active one among all the performing artistes.  Till today, most people would have already forgot about this incident, Anita Mui said she still remains pro democracy.

[Whatever I do I will be very active, will get immersed fully.  If my supporting of June 4th pro democratic movement was dropped half way, then all did before will all be wasted.  If I give it up now, then there wont be any slight chance.]  Anita Mui said with feeling and sincerity.

Because being too active in supporting the June 4th pro democratic movement, Anita Mui was black listed by the communists of China.  But Anita Mui declared that she would not relinquish due to fear.  She didnt accept role in Kwan Kin Pangs Yuen Ling Yuk, self safety was not the main concern, [though the related party said they wouldnt mind that I have involved in the pro democratic movement, if someone gave me hassle, and wanted me to write letter of repentance, I definitely couldnt stand that.  If both insisted our own way, really can't imagine what would be the ending, and that might affect all the other working staff.]  After very serious consideration, she decided not to take up the role, giving up the role Kwan tailor-made for her, a movie Yuen Lin Yuk that had been prepared for 2 years.  She made sacrifice in the field of arts.

Anita Mui said now she just made the bet.  [I originally already got my Canadian passport, will move there in one or two years.  Before June 4th, I applied to stay there enthusiastically.  But after June 4th, I have thought very clearly, I wont go there anymore.  Im not that type who dares speak up because I already obtained foreign passport.  I will stay here till 1997.  During this period, I will try my best, then this can be said I have no regret for this life.]

[Dusk is limitless, however the brightness only lasts very short, it disappears with the dispersing clouds, the fading light will not come back.  .]  Sunset Song夕陽之歌

[Sunset is extremely beautiful, but just near the dusk.]  this can best describe the thinking of Anita Mui at this moment.

Since 1985, she was honored with Best Female Singer Award in 5 consecutive years. In filming, she got Best Female Actress Award.  No matter in singing or filming, she is prominent in status and also profitable in monetary sense.  Recently there is news that she is retiring.  People cant help thinking that she is just like Momoe Yamaguchi.

Momoe Yamaguchi retired when her career was at the peak, she gave up everything for her husband.  Anita Mui is influenced greatly by Momoe Yamaguchi in this area.  [No matter how successful a woman is in her career, her ultimate wish is to have a family, husband and children.  This is the life of a real woman.  I look very modern, but my character is very conservative.]

Is it because of Leslie Cheung retired from the entertainment industry, after very careful consideration, Anita Mui decided to retire too?  But only retires from stage.  It is because when you plan for concerts, you need to have exposure for the media, let audience to know what new ideas there will be.  She also considers that physical burden will be too much, so she decides not to have any more concerts.  But she still has great interests in performing,  she will continue to release album and work for films.  However, she will try to release only 1 to 2 albums per year, or 1 to 2 movies annually.  Must be perfect in quality.  Also she wants to put more time in her management company, to train new people with her own stage knowledge, trying to contribute more to the performing industry.

[Dont look back during your life, only look forward for new dreams.  Must try hard, dont be afraid of suffering, dont panic, by a pair of hands, can climb to the peak.  Even with the body covered with wounds, dont stop, must let dream come true.] Fly over Stage飛躍舞台