I am very happy that Pang Ho Cheung's new film ABERDEEN (HEUNG GONG JAI) will be officially released on May 8. In comparison to his past work, he indeed has handed in different homework. ABERDEEN kept his usual mischief but added a mature stability. In the film a small Hong Kong family's complicated yet intricate relationships were on display, and uncovered the Chinese society's reservation and conservatism gave life to and sustained family problems.
ABERDEEN's background of the 80's Hong Kong. Through three generations of the Cheng family's seemingly smooth sailing and comfortable lives, each person's hidden scars and darkness during their growth were brought out and in turn brought release and understanding through each of their growing experience.
In the film Louis Koo Tin Lok and I played a seemingly perfect couple, but actually the couple was not completely at peace. My character Kwok Yan Yan was a famous model whose career fluctuated in the circle. As soon as new comers threatened her she lost her confidence and value of existence. Although she had a happy family she felt lost. Also because her daughter did not resemble her parents and was not pretty, Goo Jai suspected that his daughter might not be his and brought up the past that he was ashamed of.
I considered it a reunion with Goo Jai who played my husband. The last time we worked together was already LOVE ON THE ROCKS (LUEN CHING GO GUP) 10 years ago. At the time we often played couples in our films. This time we finally got a promotion, being married with children. Perhaps because of this relationship, I felt that now Goo Jai whether professionally or personally was much more solid and stable than before. Off camera he was even more intimate than before, and on camera we had some rather daring performance. We did not feel a thread of embarrassment or caution and we were very relaxed.
Everyone was curious about where my chest came from in the film? What did the character have to bust out? Actually the process truly "did not come easily". Everyday I had to suffer a little to be able to achieve the perfect result. Completely because the director wanted to bring about my ambition to be a model at any price, he decided to bless me with a good figure to strengthen the dramatic effect.
This was also my first underwater swimming scene. The director used swimming to relieve Kwok Yan Yan's stress from competition at work in the film. At the same time he also brought out the metaphor for life in the film, which was the cycle of "breathe in, hold it, breathe out, breathe in again, hold it, breathe out" that brought out the helplessness and unpredictability of life. The underwater equipment was more complicated, most of the time was spent on position and speed so it took more time and effort. The director who was after aesthetic beauty also asked me to keep my eyes open and not to breathe out through my nose, but breathing out a little through the corner of my mouth. It sounded easy but was very tough to do. For the swimming pool scene that the audience saw, we actually spent an entire day in the water. It was very serious.
After the premiere I thanked everyone for their love of the film and each actor for their hard work, I also liked my breakthrough performance. ABERDEEN not only satisfied my acting but also as China Hong Kong co-production films ran rampant I was able to participate in an extremely sincere local film in the city that I grew up in, Hong Kong. It truly was priceless!
- GIGI LEUNG WING KEI