It must be fate
By Lau Kit-wai
I'll Call You, a romantic comedy in which Viann Liang Wai-gar plays a lead role for the first time, will hit the screen on Thursday.
But the young actress, who's in her 20s, is already a recognised face in Hong Kong, thanks to her work as a Roadshow TV host.
Her movie role is a dream opportunity for a budding actress, but Liang says it has more to do with chance than ambition.
'I never planned to work in showbiz. Since I was a child I've dreamed of becoming a vet,' said Liang, who studied physical therapy at university and trained as a veterinarian for race horses at the Jockey Club.
Liang found her way into this competitive business a few years ago when she was working part-time in an animal clinic.
A customer, who had connections in the media and was a friend of Liang's mother, arranged an audition for her at Roadshow TV.
But even before that, she'd had her first taste of acting when she was still a student.
She starred in Fighting for Love (2001), a romantic comedy directed by Joe Ma Wai-ho.
A friend, who was a member of the film crew, called her for help when one of the actresses fell ill.
'Some people are unlucky. They use every means to get into showbiz, but in the end they fail. My case was unusual . . . everything just happened,' Liang said.
I'll Call You is directed by Shaolin Soccer actor Lam Tze-chung, and is one of six productions under the First Cuts project sponsored by
actor Andy Lau Tak-wah. Liang plays an attractive and cheeky girl, Karen, who goes to night spots after work in search of boyfriends.
Self-centered but afraid of loneliness, she dates her admirer - played by Canto-pop star Alex Fong Lik-sun - but keeps looking for a better man to replace him.
In reality, Liang says she finds more comfort in animals than people.
She has nursed and found homes for 30 stray cats in the past two or three years.
'I love animals, and not just dogs and cats.
'I love all animals, including birds, chickens, ducks, geese, pigs, goats and horses,' said Liang, who has three dogs, five cats and a rabbit.
'Because of my religious belief, I praise God for his wonderful creations.
Sometimes, people wear clothes that do not suit them, but you never see a bird with a plumage or a dog or cat with fur that doesn't suit them.'
She describes her film career as a means rather than an end.
'If I become a celebrity, I can invest more money and time in promoting animal protection or environmental conservation,' she said.
'Maybe I could then set up a foundation to help animals, which is something I want to achieve when I'm in my 30s.'
I'll Call You opens on March 23