Years of hard work pays off for Cheng

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 July, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 July, 2000, 12:00am

What is the difference between starring in a TV drama and hosting a show? Acting is a way of presenting a unique character. For example, I play Miss Mo in War of the Genders. I had to study her personality to make sure that when I was acting, I was not Cheng Yu- ling anymore.

Hosting a show is the opposite. I need to distinguish myself from others, to retain my own identity. I have to control the atmosphere as well as manage the time and make the show enjoyable.

It has been a while since you have done TV dramas. Did you have problems with War of the Genders? Acting is like riding a bicycle. Once you have learned it, you will always remember it. Of course, it takes a little time to get into the rhythm of things, but once I've warmed up, there will be no problems.

What are the criteria for a successful actor? To be successful, an actor has to be talented and work hard. People only think of the glamour of showbiz. Actually, actors have to work very hard, otherwise they will fall behind.

What do you do in your lei sure time? I surf the Net and check out interesting Web sites. I like to learn different things to broaden my horizons.

I go to movies, watch foreign TV programmes and read magazines such as People and Vanity Fair. I also enjoy books on health and nutrition.

Can you name a TV series or movie that impressed you? The Japanese TV series Long Vacation and the award-winning film Life is Beautiful. They are very suitable for young people.

Your English is very good. How did you master the language? My father insisted that we master the English language. I attended English-medium schools.

Moreover, my family liked to read English newspapers, watch English TV programmes and listen to English songs. English almost became my mother tongue.

Do you think learning English is fun? Yes, I do. Pronunciation is the most interesting part.

Do you think the English lev el of most Hong Kong students is below standards? Yes, I think the main reason is the Government's switch of emphasis from English to mother- tongue learning.

Hong Kong is an international city and we always have contact with foreigners. English should be our second language. Young people should be encouraged to learn better English.

Can you give our readers any tips on how to improve their English? Young people should learn English the fun way. Watching English TV shows, listening to English songs and reading interesting books and articles can be very helpful.

Practice makes perfect. Once students get used to the language, it will not be difficult anymore.

What are your plans? Are there any challenges you would like to take on? I want to take a rest after War of the Genders. It's very tiring to work day and night without any break. I want to do a stage drama. Negotiations are under way, but it's all in the initial stage.

Do you have any advice for Form Five graduates? Young people should not look for quick success and immediate rewards. Life is long, whether you succeed or fail, just take it as experience. It will help you in future.