Mui-interview of those days

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Thanks to Dana for the article and the translation!

 

[Movie Story] 2nd issue of 2004 (released on Feb 1, 2004)

A late night chat between Mui Yimfong n the reporter of 'movie story'


At the end of the year 1996, Mui Yimfong n Zhao Yung,  reporter of 'movie story', Yam Peiwen had a late night leisurely chat.

At the end of the year  2003, before dawn, Mui yimfong died of illness.

Is the leisure chat from that late night  lasted till this dawn? Why it seems that she just said those words  today?  Seemingly it is an omen of an encore of a kind of life

Yan Peiwen stressed that the article published in the 1st issue of 'movie story' in 1997, reader can feel a different kind of mood of Mui Yimfong.

She sat in that kind of old style  round carved chair, putting on make-up, in the make-up room. She wore a black dotted red sleeping robe w/an overcoat draped over the shoulder, earnestly reading a script. A trace of the afternoon sunlight  lazily blending onto the wall behind her like a warm hand enveloping her shoulder. She was in that way simply plain like a woman completely devoid of cosmetics.

We had consulted w/her manager, wishing to have an interview w/her. She accepted the magazine we handed over to her, observing us w/out repulsion nor indifference, as she spoke lightly: "I think perhaps you will have  to wait for a long time".

She was called to do a shooting, gracefully, she walked passed us, turned back her head n gave us a smile. I thought seemingly she was not a person difficult to approach. We felt assured and relaxed.   but that sunlight was slowly fading into retrogression.  Perhaps the beauty of our life was just at a blink.

When Mui Yimfong came out again, the sky had darkened. The beautician went forward busily arranging her hair which was messed up during  filming moments ago. I leaned towards her, so close that I could clearly see the fatigue shown by her eyes. "Recently heard that your health is not good?" I asked her. "Mmm.. tonsil inflammation". She touched her neck...her voice was not so low as  when she was singing  , she looked like a whiff of wind going to flutter away from me.

Seeing me taking out the recorder, she asked if she could   sit down. I said certainly, her hands held onto the chair showing how thin and bony she was,  that broke our heart. 


"Good heavens, you are thin,   100 catty (should be lbs.) " "A little bit over 100", she smiled faintly.

"Now that newcomers are increasing, as a big sister of the entertainment industry, any fear of competition?"

Hearing the word 'big sister', Mui Yimfong couldn't help smiling and repeated saying "big sister"  , I could feel that she was wearied. Is she really wearied?

"Competition? Won't be, ah." Mui Yimfong's mandarin was not too fluent,   "From my debut till now , I haven't felt any reason for competition.  I have never competed w/any one for anything.   Regardless of the present or past, I'm always the same, as for now there's  nothing   to compete for ."

"Why?"   I was startled by  her attitude, she gives people the impression that she is the type who likes to "fight"

"I don't have anything left." She said lightly. Seeing my astonishment, she continued "I feel that I'm old, indeed I  feel this way.   My whole self is old. Perhaps   I have experienced too much , my point of view is old,  I look at every matter lightly....   Now I  most like  to live my life the way I longed for. When I was young , I  never really attended   school,   now  I wish to go abroad to study, possibly in 1 or 2yrs time. If able to study, doesn't matter when to study,  but because of the brain can't  remember too many things, as my memory  is not too good  now, I'm old.  Therefore, while there's still a bit of memory   now...."

 "Still trace of youthfulness?  " I've noticed that she had expressed for the 2nd time that she's old. Just wanted to tease her to make her happy.

"No more trace of youthfulness  . I don't have any more youthfulness, its true." Mui yimfong insisted .

"Then, what do you wish to learn?" I changed to a new topic.

"Want to learn everything, want to study English, also want to learn painting. I want to do whatever I love to do."

Is it because sentiment matters have  become past, finally   realized that your own self is  most dependable  ?

"I could still remember your acting in 'rouge', really acted very well indeed!"

"Is it? It's been 8yrs." Mui Yimfong was cool and aloof, had she forgotten how charismatic she was 
? Why is there a feel  [been 8yrs, don't mention it anymore ]  

[Rouge], she retraced her recollection, "I came out to sing at 4-1/2yrs old, later on had to attend school, to sing at   night, that is why I didn't  really study, During classes I  always fell asleep n in dreams. I attended school  till   12yrs old then I stopped altogether. Later on, there was the new singer competition, my sister instigated me to participate, I sang the song of  Paula Tsui, achieved the newcomer biggest prize. At that year, I was 17yrs old. I love singing, most probably this is  the only thing I can   do."

"In the   movie,   you play the role   an outdated   sick dancing girl, not afraid it will be harmful to your image," I asked.

"Why should it? What sort of image do I have? I am very ugly. Since small, I'm afraid to look into the mirror, I feel that I'm very ugly."

" How can that be ? " It was my turn to say  . "How can   you be ugly?"



"I feel that I'm not beautiful.  In the past  , I dressed up very weirdly, very exaggerating in order to cover up myself, using a different way to look appealing to others."

Does it mean lack of confidence by peculiarity  and exaggeration ?

"You should not have  no confidence. Beauty is one kind of charm, you are very charming." I sincerely think so. "Alternatively, what type do you consider as  pretty?"

"Like Maggie Cheung,la, Rosemund Kwan Chi Lam  la, n also Siu Sin (Ng Siu Lin)
." She looked at  Ng Sin Lin who was sitting opposite to her. "All of them are very pretty. I am not pretty."

Mui yimfong lowered her head fidgeting  w/her nails, I have never thought she could be so frank but this kind of frankness could make a person feel sad.

"My next life must be a man." Mui Yimfong suddenly announced. "My previous life was a man. So now as I'm in between I must be a neuter."

Unable to control by her provocation, we laughed.

"I have the disposition of a man." she said. "To women, be it mother or sister, I always give in to them. I have a foster   sister,  I give her everything.  But to men, its different, I will strive for  everything with him. But if I love him, Ill give in to  him, give in to him for everything  "

"Then ever think of having a family  ?"

"I do." Ah mui blurted out, but after some thought, "Previously, did wish for. After all   I' m still a woman, a woman needs a home, with kids. But now, I don' t wish anymore, I'm old, never mind, just take it easy.  "

Mui Yimfong was totally disappointed and lost hope  she once told  reporters that she would ask Leslie to marry her even he would have grievance.    This joke seemed to have a bit of teary fragments.

"You should give birth to   a child."


"I cannot give birth to  a child now. My mood is not good, I will hit him."

"Will you?"

"I will! My mood is good, I'll spoil   him, my mood is bad, I'll hit him thus this is not fair to him, not responsible  .  Therefore,   I cannot give birth to   a child now, I do not have the energy to take care of him, if  one can't take care of him    whole heartedly   that's irresponsible . As when I was small my mother often hit me."

"Your mother hit you?"

"Hit. My mother has 4 kids, I'm the youngest, but got   hit the most."

"Why? You should be the one being loved most  ."

"No. When we were very small our father had already left us. It was tough for my mother to bring up the 4 of us."

"Why did your mother hit you?"

"I think she must be in a bad mood."

For a while  , Mui yimfong was quiet.  The night had sunk in (or getting deeper) , it seemed that    we were not interviewing a prominent movie star, more like a couple of ladies  discussing their never ending topics about family matters, man, children.

"How will you look at   HK's return in 1997?"

Mui yimfong thought for a while, w/out any boldness in her words: "How should we say, if there's any natural disaster that happens in any part of China, my heart will feel   painful suddenly.  I will think, how can it be like that  ? I will worry a lot. Therefore,   I will participate in any charity performance for relief of the disaster.  But at times, if someone did something bad, I as a Chinese nationality will feel very ashamed, I will also think,   how can   it be like this?"

..............We requested her to go to the bedroom next door, she sat in front of the dressing table feeling bored, beneath the sleeping robe, her legs were visibly very thin, reflected on her pale face, lips were a different kind of red. I remembered her look a couple of years back   when she stood by the piano, singing [Years Flow Like Water].  Did  she   know  the lyrics of that year indicating   her present mood? [Sum jung gum taan chi sui lau leenbut hoh yi lau jue jok tin----Lau ha ji yau si nim yat chuen chuen wing yuen chin, ho hon yin boh lui, moon waai guen, mo lui ya mo yin,sui joi ming lui jue joi ngoh, yuen ging but gin daan ying heung jeuk chin...........] [Sighs with regret in the heart, years flow by like water, Can't hold back yesterday... what left is memory only, a string and string, forever entangled, in the vast smoky waves, full of weariness, no tears and also no words, who is controlling my fate of this life?  Situation hasn't changed, but still advance forward...]


(comment by Woodstock:  This interview was done at end of 1996, it can be seen that Anita Mui was in a very low mood, as she was bothered by her poor health, and was not really certain about the direction of her career after she re-emerged from her semi-retirement.  But in later years, you can really see the change in her.  She gradually became very positive and worked towards her goals in full blast even till the last day of her life in this world.  So don't really agree to what the the interviewer or the reporter said.  This interview was not an omen of the end of her life.  This interview only reflected the mood of Anita Mui on that night of that interview or days when she was shooting for Eighteen Spring.  She was too engrossed in the role and also as I have already mentioned that during that period Anita was not in her best condition, in terms of health and career.)




《電影故事》2004年第2期 (2月1日出版)

梅艷芳和《電影故事》記者的

一次深夜暢談


1996年年尾的一個深夜,梅艷芳和《電影故事》記者趙榮、嚴蓓雯有過一次深夜暢談。

2003年年尾的一個凌晨,梅艷芳病逝。

她是不是從那個深夜一直談到了這個凌晨?為什麼那些話,就像今天在訴說?堶惕洬誚酗@種人生謝幕的預兆......

重讀嚴蓓雯發表在《電影故事》1997年第1期的那篇文章片段,會讀出梅艷芳的另一種心境......

 
她坐在化妝室堛漱@個圈椅堙A那種老式的雕花圈椅。她身穿紅色黑點睡袍,肩上披著外套,正在那兒認真地看著劇本。有一抹午後的陽光懶懶地貼在她背後的牆上,像隻溫暖的手偎著她的肩膀。她是那麼樸素,像一個洗盡鉛華的女人。

我們通過她的經紀人轉告了想採訪她的願望。她接過我們的雜誌,抬眼看了看我們,沒有反感,也沒有冷漠,只是淡淡地說了句:「我想你們也許會等好久。」

說著,堶掖萓o拍戲了,她裊裊地從我們眼前走過,回頭朝我們笑了一下。我想她好像不是一個難以接近的人。我們的心定了,可那片陽光卻在慢慢地消退,消退。人生美景也許就在那一剎間。


梅艷芳再出來時,天色已黑了。化妝師忙上前撫擾她剛才因戲堛妍鶡荍侅痕瑰Y髮。她靠我那麼近,近得我能清清楚楚看見她眼底的憔悴。「聽說你最近身體不好?」我問她。「嗯,扁桃體發炎。」她捂著脖子......她的聲音不像她唱歌時那麼低沉,輕飄飄的,她好像一陣風就要從我的身體飄走了。

我拿出了採訪機,她看見了,問我她能不能坐下。我說當然可以,她的手搭在扶椅上,瘦得骨節分明,令人心痛。「天哪,你好瘦,有100斤嗎?」「一百多一點點。」她微微一笑。

「現在新人輩出,你作為歌壇大姐大,害不害怕被競爭?」

聽到「大姐大」,梅艷芳不由笑著重覆了一遍。我怎麼覺得她是那麼地疲倦。是真的疲倦嗎?

「競爭?不會啊,」梅艷芳國語說得不流利,一字一句的,「我從出道到現在沒覺得有什麼競爭。我從來不跟人爭什麼。無論現在還是從前,我是一樣的,現在更沒有什麼可以爭的了嘛!」

「為什麼?」我為她的能度大吃一驚,印象中她也應該是個「劍鞘」式的人物。

「我什麼都沒有了。」她淡淡地說,看到我越來越訝異的表情,她接了下去,「我覺得我老了,我的確是這感覺,整個人都老了。可能也是經歷得太多,心態也老了,看什麼事情都淡了一點。」......「我現在最想做的是過我自己想過的生活。我小時候沒有真正上過學,現在想出外去念書,可能還要過一兩年的時間。能學的話什麼時候學都無所謂,不過因為腦筋堶惆S有能力記錄太多的事情,現在的記憶能力不太好了,我老了,所以趁現在還有一點點的記憶力......」

「是一點點青春的尾巴吧?」我注意到她已經是第二次說自己老了,想說說笑話逗她開心。

「沒有什麼青春的尾巴了。我已經沒有青春了,真的。」梅艷芳還是這麼說。

「那你想學什麼?」我調開話題。

「什麼都想學。想學英文啦,也想學畫畫。我想做我自己喜歡做的事。」

是不是事過情遷,末了發現自己才是最可靠的東西?

「我還記得你演的《胭脂扣》,真是演得太好了。」

「是嗎?八年了。」梅艷芳無動於衷,她忘了她是怎樣魅力四射嗎?怎麼有種「八年了,甭提了」的味道?

《胭脂扣》還是勾起了她的回憶:「我4歲半就出來唱歌,以後上學了,晚上唱,所以沒好好讀過書,上課的時候都在睡覺、夢遊。我唸到12歲就不再唸了。後來舉辦歌手新人大賽,我姐姐慫恿我去參加,我去唱了一首徐小鳳的歌,得了新人大獎。那一年我17歲。我很喜歡唱歌,我會做的大概就只有這個了。」



「戲塈A扮演一個過時的舞女,病懨懨的不怕損害你的形象嗎?」我問。

「怎麼會?我有什麼形象?我很醜。從小我就怕照鏡子,我覺得自很醜。」

「怎麼會?」輪到我說了,「你怎麼會醜?」

「我覺得自己長得不漂亮,我以前打扮得很怪,很誇張就是為了來掩蓋自己,用別的方式來吸引人。」

難道奇異乖張是她不自信的表現?

「你不要這樣不自信。美是一種魅力,你很魅力的。」我真心這樣以為,「否則你認為什麼樣算美?」

「像張曼玉啦,關之琳啦,還有小倩,」她抬眼看了看坐在對面的吳倩蓮,「她們都很美。我不美。」

梅艷芳低頭玩弄著她的指甲,我沒想到她是這樣坦白,但這種坦白讓人無端的心酸。



「我下輩子肯定是個男人。」梅艷芳突然開口說,「我上輩子也是個男人。所以中間這段不男不女。」

我們忍不住被她逗笑了。

「我的性格還是像個男人,」她說,「對女人,我總是讓她們,像媽媽,或者像姐姐。我認了一乾妹妹,我什麼都讓她。對男人就不同了,我會跟他爭。但是如果我愛他,我就會讓他,我什麼都會讓他。」

「那你想不想有個歸宿?」

「想啊,」阿梅脫口而出,轉而又言道,「以前想。說到底我還是個女人,做女人嘛都想有個家,有孩子。可現在不想了,我老了,算了,隨它囉。」

梅艷芳心念俱灰,曾對香港記者說只好委屈張國榮來迎娶自己了,這玩笑中有淚花點點。

......

「你應該養一個孩子。」



「我現在不能養。我心情不好會打他。」

「你會嗎?」

「會啊!我心情好就會寵他,心情不好就打他,這對他不公平,不負責任。所以我現在不能養孩子,我沒有精力去照顧他,但如果不是全心全意去照顧他是不負責任。像我小時候就常被我媽媽打。」

「你媽打你嗎?」

「打。我媽四個孩子,我最小,但打得最多。」

「為什麼?你應該是最寵的一個。」

「沒有啊,我爸爸在我們很小的時候就離開了我們。我媽媽帶我們四個孩子很辛苦。」

「你媽為什麼打你?」

「我想她可能心情不好吧。」

梅艷芳半晌無話。夜那麼深,我們好像不是在採訪大牌明星,而是幾個女人在聊家常,男人、孩子是她們永琲爾傶D。


「你個人怎麼看待1997年香港回歸?」

梅艷芳想了想,沒有「豪言壯語」:「怎麼說呢,中國有什麼地方發生災難,我的心媟|一下子很疼,我想怎麼會這樣?我會很著急。所以有義演救災我都參加。但有時候,有人做了不好的事,作為中國人我會覺得很羞唌A我也會想啊呀怎麼會這樣?」

......我們又請她去隔壁的臥室,她坐在梳妝台前百無聊賴,睡袍下的腿精瘦精瘦,蒼白的臉映得那唇是別樣的紅。我想起幾年她站在鋼琴邊唱《似水流年》的樣子,她是不是知當年的歌詞預示了她而今的心境?「心中慨嘆,似水流年,不可以留住昨天──留下只有思念,一串串,永遠纏,浩瀚煙波堙A滿懷倦,無淚也無言,誰在命堨D宰我?處境不變,但仍向著前......」


撰文:嚴蓓雯