The Last of the Five Tigers to Leave TVB
As of March 31, 2002, Felix's contract with TVB will have ended! He will not sign any more contracts, but has decided to live somewhere outside of HK.
Of the Five Tigers, Felix is the last Tiger to leave. Siu Sup Yut Long is Felix's last show before he leaves TVB. Felix's departure also represents the end of the era of the Five Tigers and the early ancient series.
After growing up in the entertainment world for more than 2 decades, the insight that Felix gains is: "No one suffered as much as I did! No one!" Being one of the greatest actors of an era, Felix has never gotten mad and continued to hold an optimistic attitude. Success starts from the "blood." Felix's success represents the success of TVB actors.
After the contract expires, Felix's newest desire is: "Be myself." So how does Felix "be himself?" "Relaxing! Playing ball! Fishing! When I am not busy, it would be nice just to bathe in the sunlight! And there is my daughter, too!" All these make up life's happiness. Work is no longer on Felix's timetable. Today, seeing him on the soccer field and wearing a soccer uniform, Felix is filled with energy and vitality. For an extremely long time, Felix's smile has not been seen. In fact, ever since he became a celebrity, he has never smiled.
"From the time when I was young to the time when I grew up, I have worked hard for too long. Right now, the economy is not that great, and policies are...and you know how my relationship with TVB is. For these past few years, I have seen a tremendous amount of people become famous but also disappear, too. The feeling is so strong! Wow! I can still sustain myself. Hehe! Although there was hard work, there was also happiness, too."
Entering the entertainment circle at 18 and becoming a new person after graduating from acting school, the greatest amount of shows he did in a year was 8 series. Therefore, he was seen at 7:00 a.m.; then at 8:00 a.m.; at 9:00, he was seen around again. Not only Felix, but Kent Tong was like that, too. Therefore, a period called "WongTong Period" evolved. (Wonton, get it?) Every day and night, they continued to work. They worked so hard that they lost their goals and dreams, their way of life, their health; most of all, though, their self-esteem was affected. This kind of life was not for humans.
"Today, when people found out that I would not sign any more contracts, I still have to explain myself! Wow! Why am I rejecting everything? If I can still make money, why won't I continue? People who say these words do not really understand me. I worked way too hard before; even money was not that important; my goal only was to become noticed, become popular. But today, I feel differently, and the pressure is different, too. I do not want to continue like this anymore."
If you know how Felix's life was in the entertainment world, you would be afraid even to speak. All you would feel is disbelief and shock.
Felix still remembers the first half of the year after he graduated from acting class and joined the entertainment world. "Every time I received a notice and entered the make-up room, I did not even dare stand a step higher! You. New person! When you are done putting on the make-up, go outside. These people really scared me. You were only a "new person." You didn't even have a name? On hearing these words, one would laugh. Right! Anyone could yell at you, really bad too! I can be considered lucky because half a year later, the director gave me a chance and let me be the main character in COME RAIN COME SHINE. Later, the company wanted me to shave my head and act as a priest. (Perhaps for Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils). I wanted to protest but could not. Acting in COME RAIN COME SHINE, I worked with Sister Dodo, and I encountered Uncle Ha and Auntie Cum. I was really happy. Everyone told me that I should not be afraid of working hard and to continue persisting. At that time, who carried their script to work? Everyone memorized their lines before they began work, unlike today... You have seen it. You know what I am saying?"
Understand! Today's new people reject any slight criticism. Maggie Siu has a strong self-esteem but really, it is self-conscious that is causing it. Why would people with self-confidence be afraid of being criticized? "I, myself, who cannot even act and yet try to act superior. I only know that #####ing up only causes more unnecessary news." Ai! Yong Yong really understands what Felix is talking about, but most of all, she understands that it hurts people who have once honestly done their work to see what the acting industry has come to today.
"I have grown up being scolded too; acted in a lot of mo hups; after NGing a couple of times would I be asked about by someone. Not only me, but my mother too! (Which is really offensive for Chinese people!) How would I dare yell back! You really did not want to block other people's work. Being yelled at is necessary! It is really powerful! Starting as a lion dancer to the time when I became an established actor, I kept on being yelled at. How can I face this? Just simply ignore all of it! Just completely ignore the fact that I even have a self-esteem. My eyes even hurt! (From crying, I would think)!"
"After acting, then you would be told to sing and produce songs. Being given this chance, you would think I would not reject it, everything will be fine! Once you reach the recording office, only water is available to wash the face. So, I continue to scrub until all the make-up is gone from my face!"
After weeks of no rest and over-exhaustion, Felix experienced liver problems. "Was it worth it?" If Felix had not gone through all this, he would not have survived until today. "Right! Even though I worked until I hurt everywhere, bruised everywhere, and most of my bones did hurt when I so much as moved them, I really did love to act, and my sacrifice was worth it."
Thinking back to when he was just a beginner, when Lo Hoi Pang taught him, it would always be for 3 hours straight. There were people like Sek Sau, Gigi Wong, Lee See Kay who taught him how to act, just too many experienced people. Felix feels that within these days, he may have suffered a lot, but he learned a tremendous amount of things. "I have not regretted picking acting as my career. With this career, it is not about solid talent; it is whether you have the luck or not. When talking about meeting people who are willing to teach, everyone is different. It is actually fate which is the determiner."
A person who is not used to doing crazy stunts or #####ing up to others, Felix's acting life is not that bad! He has been around for 20 years, and he can still be the main character. "Fortunately, I had a chance at success. I depended on luck, on perseverance, and I did what I needed to do. I actually am glad that I experienced the hard days of acting. Today's society and era are different. This era is more concerned with the self! It is not like before. Now, we can speak our heart and give our input."
A couple years back, Felix went abroad to act and saw a lot of things. His rebellious attitude became stronger. "Right now, when HK writes a show, it is not about love anymore. It is more about a person wanting revenge; rather, foreign series allows for dwells more on history." But Felix's Siu Sup Yut Long is about love. During 2000, he protested against TVB again. It does not matter to him anymore because he only does one series in two years. He only started this Siu Sup Yut Long after his contract expired. Witnessing Felix acting in this series and his work in these days with my own eyes, I can see that he has to wear leather gloves, put on really strong strings, and when he is hanging, casting the gloves away is a real pain in the butt. His gloves stick to his hands so much that he cannot take them off. Therefore, he has to put some water in them. Within one series, Felix's hands acquired rheumatism and later his gloves are thrown away.
Seeing Felix now with his rheumatized hands, it must be so hard for him to talk about his past, but he does not mind. "That is why I have the right to say that for these past 20 years, I am one of the people who have suffered most in the entertainment circle. No one suffered as much as I did!" "How about Gallen Lo? He and you suffered equally." "He does not really count! He does a lot more modern series and the company looks after him. I am in a lot of ancient series! (Of course, Felix is such a good fighter, you would think that he was in a lot of mo hups!!) We work hard in different ways!"
People who merely have eyes can see that Felix does not care if others laugh at him. Actually, people who respect Felix continue to increase! "When I am acting, no one yells at me. I respect myself; people who have the same vocation as me respect me; no one talks about me behind my back. Whether it be TVB, or outside HK, all people call me Brother Felix! (Wah Ge) This is the best pay back after all these years."
Persevering for so many years and honestly doing his work, Felix's life can be really good. "Since I have the chance at choosing, for these past years, I have tried not to work myself too hard. I rejected a lot of shows. I am not looking to be wealthy, having just enough money will be OK. If I can, I want to rest more. I do not want to work for another 10 years and then get really sick."
Felix will continue acting. If there is a chance that he can act in movies, he will not reject it. But there is one thing that Felix swears he will never do. "Don't ever ask me to sing. No matter how much money is offered, I will not do it. I do not want to embarrass myself just for money. I know I will not do a good job. If I have to earn money from people laughing at me, I would rather give up my career. When I act, at least I know the audience respects me. If I embarrassed myself just for money, I feel that the first person I would have sacrificed is myself." Because he is not in acting for the money, experiencing happiness is Felix's greatest desire.
"Recently, I have bought a new car which cost over $100,000. I call her My Love Girl Tiger." (Oi Niu Fu). Why didn't he name it "Loving Wife?" Having not finished, I saw Felix smiling again. "My wife and I both love our daughter, so we named the car that!" When talking about Felix's marriage with Leung Kit Wah, they did have some misunderstandings before, but today, when you go near the Wong's house, you can see that he and his wife holding hands. Now that all this has passed, the love between Felix and his wife has only gotten better. "We do have arguments, but our daughter is so old now! We have a pretty good relationship. OK! Recently, my wife has taken a liking to singing songs, and she is also learning Japanese. A lot of perseverance and will power."
Working being good and marriage being quite happy, it is easy to understand why Felix is so relaxed and even goes to the soccer field to kick some ball. "Do you still stay in touch with the other Tigers?" "We have never really kept in touch." "Before, you and Miu Kiu Wai use to see each other a lot more" "I use to see Miu the most! But, recently, he has taken a liking to golfing, and I do not like golfing, so we see other less often." Felix is so honest. The Five Tigers are the five that TVB promoted to be idols. On the personal level, all five are different people with different lives and with different goals. "We may see each other little, but our relationship remains equally strong."
Love and righteousness are worth one thousand gold coins (a Chinese saying). Felix places these two qualities at the forefront and thus gains happiness. Yong Yong wants and needs to learn from Felix. Possessing a peaceful heart and mind but not a too peaceful of a life. His wish only is to pass a peaceful life. This is truly what life means. There are very little honest people in this world. Today, in this dirty entertainment world, there will never be a single honest person.
Still thinking 20 years back, after filming COME RAIN COME SHINE, TVB looked for Felix and Miu Kiu Wai to promote the show. At that time, he was still a new person, but he had the courage to defy what he did not want to do. Twenty years later, Felix is only more heroic. We respect him because of his acting and because time has not changed his attitude. Rather, he maintains this type of heroism to a greater degree, and therefore, he is happy and able to enjoy life. And lastly, with the woman he loves, both of them believe money is not important. This, most of all, is why people admire Felix.
Knowing pain but at the same time, experiencing love! That is what makes up Felix Wong Yat Wah.