How did your showbiz career start? I was spotted by a talent scout at 17, then I acted in a commercial.
How did you feel about be coming very popular after My Fair Princess in 1996? I was lucky to be selected to play the role of Princess Zi Wei. I enjoyed it because I learned a lot about acting and I was glad to work with Zhao Wei and Fan Bing-bing.
I hope I can be successful with movies and singing too.
Some people say you and ac tress Zhao Wei are very compet itive. How do you respond to this? People compare us as we were actresses in My Fair Princess, but I don't think we are enemies as we have different styles. Zhao and I have our own good points. I want to improve myself, not just compete against others. That's meaningless.
You released your debut album, Hearing, on November 4. What is the sig nificance of this date? It was my dad's 50th birthday, which is very important in Taiwanese tradition. I dedicated my first debut album to him because I thought he would be glad to see that his daughter had achieved something. I hope he approves of my career.
What does your father think of your songs? He does not praise or censure my songs. However, my mother told me that he was always playing the album for his friends. When his friends said my songs were good, he agreed with them. I am touched that my family has supported me over the years.
You have looks and acting talent. How are you going to prove you take singing seriously as well? It is often difficult for an actor to make the switch to singing. Many people think you can sing if you are famous and your albums will sell easily.
My album, which includes both Mandarin and Cantonese songs, was sold out the first day it was released. I know some fans bought my album mainly because I was in My Fair Princess and maybe because of my looks. But I want to prove I put my whole heart into singing. I hope they will also buy my second and third albums because they like my songs.
Your image on the music vid eos is quite trendy and a big dif ference from Princess. Are you worried your fans will not like the change? My image Princess is just a role. The real me is quite straightforward. I like wearing jeans and I like to express myself. I hope my fans like the real Ruby instead of the Zi Wei role. I like to freshen up my image for my fans.
My cover de sign is by award- winning art direc tor William Chang Suk-ping. I have no doubt he did his best for my image.
What moved you to tears at the press conference for the launch of your album? I am a strong girl. However, I couldn't help but cry because I didn't know how to thank everyone who had supported me.
It is difficult for a Taiwanese actress to get into the Hong Kong market because people don't know you well. But people in Hong Kong are so nice to me. My agent and my company always arrange the best things for me. They all treat me so well. All I can say is: 'Thank you. I will not let you down.' Was singing your childhood dream? I have loved singing from an early age but I didn't consider making it a career. After I started acting, I still hoped to get a chance to sing. When I decided to take the first step in singing, I promised to take it seriously although I haven't had professional training yet. When I sing, I im merse myself in the song to express its emotions.
What has been the most un forgettable event in your life? Doubtless it is my entry into show business. I remember each detail of acting in TV dramas, movies and now, singing, so vividly. Every day is full of excitement and challenges.
I have met directors and actors who have taught me how to sharpen my acting skills.
Now I am recognised by many people and fans. The experience is unique and precious. How could I forget it? Do you have any role mod els? No one in particular. Watching others is the best way to improve. I'm not going to be a great diva in Hollywood. I just want to develop my own style. It's already very challenging.
What is your impression of young people in Hong Kong? They are trendy and so confident! I see them on the streets, although they might not be good-looking, they are still appealing.
They are good at choosing the right clothes which show off their best aspects. Buying expensive and famous brands of clothes is easy, but making it your own style and making it fashionable is hard. But Hong Kong youths manage to do it.
What is your advice to Hong Kong youths? It is vital to improve yourself. When you are equipped with enough knowledge, you will be confident about doing anything and you will be able to resist temptation. We have to set targets in life, then we can focus on our goals. Don't follow others. Make your own choices.
Name: Ruby Lin Hsin-ru Birthday: January 27, 1976 Birthplace: Taiwan Occupation: Singer and actor TV audiences across Hong Kong have been transfixed by the charming tale of My Fair Princess . Its two stars, Zhao Wei from Beijing and Ruby Lin Hsin-ru from Taiwan, who play Little Swal low and Zi Wei respectively, have captured local hearts.
Now, Lin is venturing into the music business with her first de but album, Hearing.