Hong Kong born Karen Mok almost needs no introduction. Her face is plastered all over the city as the spokeswoman for countless products, but above all, she’s an accomplished singer and actress. With an upcoming concert tour of the mainland looming, and starring roles in the forthcoming play “Rent” and the new film “Wait 'Til You’re Older,” Scott Murphy finds out what makes this driven woman tick. My father is half Welsh and half Chinese. My maternal grandmother was Chinese and my grandfather was half Persian and half German - so I’m quite a mix. My brother looks very Caucasian, whereas I probably took after my grandmother. I knew at a very young age that I wanted to be in the entertainment field. I just love being in front of people and doing my thing. I liked my childhood. I thought I was pretty cool. I used to tag along a lot after my brother. I used to admire him because he’s smart and because he’s my BROTHER. He’s like a genius as far as I’m concerned. He’s got a photographic memory. I did a lot of extra-curricular activities and Hong Kong is a great place to do them. Everything is really close by so you can do 10 things in one day. I learned piano, learned a Chinese instrument called the gu qin, I learned Chinese dancing... My schedule was full everyday after school. All these things have come in handy for my career. I wasn’t allowed to go to clubs. I was a goody-goody good girl. For 17 years I was at this traditional, very strict girls school, then I’m suddenly at this international college in Trieste, Italy with students from all over the world, even guys. I discovered this whole new world with guys in it. Man... Then I went to London for university. I was always looking at the ads for auditions. Finally, I saw that they were auditioning for “Miss Saigon.” It’s exactly what you see in the movies. You go to the theater, wait and go up one by one. You sing and dance on stage with nobody there except for two guys 20 rows back. That was quite an experience. At the same time this was happening, things were cooking in Hong Kong. Eventually it was a choice between staying in London and waiting for whenever they have this opening in the cast - which is God knows when - or coming back to Hong Kong and signing up with a record company for a recording deal. The latter sounded more sensible. There was no plan B. I feel totally different when I’m onstage. The ideal scenario is doing a musical. You’re incorporating singing, dancing and acting all at the same time. I really want to do a jazz album, but nobody has the guts to venture into that department. It was weird being Andy Lau’s mom. I tried to act like my mom. I only had one or two scenes with Andy himself. All the rest were with kids. It was an eye-opening experience to do it with kids. I’d like to work with John Woo. All his films are guy films. I think it would be great to see him direct a female lead - the female version of the traditional John Woo movie. That would be cool. I’ve got five cats at home. I treat my cats like I would my kids. I think I could handle being a mom. To most singers, they think that playing the Coliseum is the prize. I don’t see what the big deal is. It’s so much more fun to do a concert in China. If they like you, they make sure you know how they feel about you. I’m terrible with lyrics. It doesn’t bother me watching myself on TV. If I saw the Pantene commercial I’d say, "Oh, that’s nice hair." There was one time when I saw myself on five commercials in a row. That was a bit over the top. There’s one thing I advocate a lot. That’s animal welfare. For me, being of mixed heritage, it’s really hard to find a sense of patriotic belonging in Hong Kong. I’m very comfortable living here. I consider it to be a stepping-stone to many other things that I want to do. Let’s say I don’t want it to be my ultimate destination. To be happy is the crux of everything. I’m not going to say what my ultimate goal is. I’m shy. But let’s just say I have my sights set much, much further.