Saturday, December 18, 2010

方馨 (fāng xīn) 本名: 張喬惠 (zhāng qiáo huì) - Daisy Fong, Ann

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Loved by millions
By Tan Kee Yun, Wed, Dec 15, 2010 (The New Paper)

PHOTO: Loved by millions - 方馨 (fāng xīn) 本名: 張喬惠 (zhāng qiáo huì)
Shuhua (Fang Xin) and Jialing (Teresa De)

THEIR kind, forgiving characters in the long-running Taiwanese soap opera Love (), have touched the hearts of many television viewers.

And they've made actresses Fang Xin and Teresa De - both, in real life, single mothers with teenage children - two of Taiwan's hottest aunties at the moment.

"I was really surprised at Love's massive success," admitted the soft-spoken, demure Fang, 37, to The New Paper at Taipei's Fullerton South Hotel last month.

PHOTO: 方馨 (fāng xīn) 本名: 張喬惠 (zhāng qiáo huì) - Daisy Fong, Ann

"It's really rare that a Taiwanese production can extend its reach to so many people outside of Taiwan."

The 787-episode drama was shown in Taiwan in 2008 and currently airs daily over Channel 8.

PHOTO: The Taiwanese soap opera Love, (爱), attracts an average of 864,000 viewers per episode

Each episode attracts an average of 864,000 viewers, according to statistics provided by MediaCorp.

Fang and De play Love's self-sacrificing main protagonists (the main character in a drama). And you cannot help but root for them.

PHOTO: 她和男友Jason交往5年多
She and her boyfriend have being seeing each other for more than 5 years

These women also often wring the most tears from fans - both Shuhua (Fang) and Jialing (De) are down on their luck when it comes to love, having been cheated respectively by scheming evil-doers Guo Congmin (Ni Qi Ming) and Hong Zhizhong (Huang Yingxun).

"I get most elderly folk coming up to 'comfort' me on the streets," Fang said with a smile.

"They speak to me as if I'm Shuhua and give me advice such as, 'my dear, don't be so silly, you should leave Guo Congmin as soon as possible'."

PHOTO: 方馨 (fāng xīn) down on luck when it comes to love in the Taiwanese soap opera Love (爱)

De, 33, had similar incidents to share.

She said: "During the show's run in Taiwan, a lot of viewers adored Jialing as she possessed personality traits that are too good to be true in our real lives.

"Many gong gongs and po pos (referring to grandpas and grandmas in Mandarin) would tell me with a sorrowful look on their faces, 'Ah, you're so pitiful'."

Fang and De, along with other cast members of the hit series, were promoting the year-end Love Of My Life Concert, which will see them entertaining Singapore audiences with songs and skits.

On the topic of success and how Love has given their careers a huge boost, both women were surprisingly rather blase (uninterested because of frequent exposure).

One couldn't help but wonder if jadedness had hit these "aunties" earlier than their peers, due to their failed marriages in their early 20s.

PHOTO: 方馨拍完民視《娘家》後,開始放大假,過年期間除下中南部表演外,也將帶女兒到南投集集遊玩。
Fang Xin after finishing FTV 《娘家》(Mom's House), starts her holiday (besides a Chinese New Year performances), with her daughter at Chichi (集集), Nantou (南投). - 方馨.jpg

Fang, who has a 13-year-old daughter, stressed that while she is currently at the top of her game, there are always two sides to the coin - more fame inevitably results in more personal sacrifices.

"In my job, I think I've been climbing staircases all this while," she said metaphorically.

"Over the last 10 years, I've been lucky to receive meaty roles from time to time.

PHOTO: More fame inevitably results in more personal sacrifices.

Give up time for family
"Love was very popular and it paved the way for several future opportunities, but at the same time, it means my hours of filming are now longer and more irregular... I've had to give up some time with my family."

PHOTO: 方馨 (fāng xīn) 本名: 張喬惠 (zhāng qiáo huì) - Daisy Fong, Ann
【本名】:張喬惠〈※在改名前是張淑菁 (zhāng shū jīng)〉

De, who, like Fang, is divorced, agreed. She has two children, a daughter in secondary school and a son in primary school.

"Love changed my life, as it's one of the longest series I've ever done. When it finally wrapped up, all of us in the cast and crew had become as close as family," she said.

Before Love, De said she had been somewhat typecast, playing a string of bad women on the small screen.

"My portrayal of Jialing made a lot of people sit up and watch," she said.

"But Love (爱) also took a toll on my health.

"The hours on set were super long, there were times when I didn't sleep... and once, I fell so seriously ill, I vomited."

WHAT: Love Of My Life Concert
WHERE: Suntec International Convention & Exhibition Hall 601
WHEN: Dec 26, 1pm, 4pm and 7.30pm
TICKETS: $98, $88, $78, $68 and $48 from Sistic ( or 6348 5555)

By Tan Kee Yun, Wed, Dec 15, 2010 (The New Paper)
This article was first published in The New Paper.

PHOTO: Daisy in 《金色摩天輪》 (The Golden Ferris Wheel)

PHOTO: 方馨在民视《娘家》试片会新闻
Fang Xin at FTV 《娘家》preview






Translated by:
Using nciku (, an online dictionary with English and Chinese language (with Pinyin)