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Not too old to be a high-school girl

Taiwanese actress Kwai Lun Mei is happy that at 28, she still has the looks and figure to pull off the role. -TNP
Kwok Kar Peng

Sun, Oct 07, 2012
The New Paper

TAIWAN - Even though she's nearing 30, Taiwanese actress Kwai Lun Mei still has what it takes to play a high school girl.

Best remembered for her role in Jay Chou's 2007 high school romance film, Secret, she's widely regarded as a campus dream lover.

She takes on the schoolgirl role again in her new film Gf*Bf.

"I'm quite happy that people say I still look like a high-school girl. I'm almost 30 and it means I still have the looks and figure to pull it off," Kwai, 28, told The New Paper in a phone interview from Taiwan.

"But on the other hand, I hope to have a bigger range of characters to explore."

That said, the lanky actress would not hesitate to play a student again.

"There are so many different types of students, and if I can portray 100 different students well, that's great too."

In Gf*Bf, British-Taiwanese actor Rhydian Vaughan plays Aaron, who's in love with Mabel (Kwai), who's actually in love with Liam (Joseph Chang), who in turn loves Aaron.

The trio's unrequited and failed first loves haunt them into their adulthood and affect the decisions they make.

The film is now showing in cinemas.

We ask Kwai what she thinks of the movie tagline: Everyone should have two lovers, one whom they love and another that loves them.

Kwai, who's dating award-winning 46-year-old Taiwanese film-maker Leon Dai, said: "When I was a teen, I wanted to be with the person I loved. But when I'm older, I want someone who loves me and will take care of me.

"People have different requirements of love at different ages. We all hope that the person in love with you is the one you love too. I'm very lucky in this sense."

But she doesn't see herself getting married any time soon as her career is more important.

When she has children in the future, she said she won't be a strict parent. Instead, she would want to be like a friend to them, and would let them live like adults with all the freedom that comes with it.

Kwai believes that the best time to know yourself is when you are in love.

"You get to see many sides of yourself that you don't usually see. That's because you are with someone who's different from you," she explained.

Lessons in love

"You feel emotions like happiness and heartache that you don't usually experience when you are alone. And you realise that you can actually become this angry or this happy."

The most important thing she's learnt about being in love is that a couple does not need to be together all the time.

They should go off and do the things that they each want to do and give the other party a lot of room to breath.

When they are together, there'll still be fireworks.

Kwai is philosophical when asked if the time apart will instead cool the romance.

"Trust and loyalty must be built," she said.

"Love is fluid. It changes with time and distance. Maybe the love will last a lifetime and maybe it wouldn't, you can't control that.

"What's important now is to treasure and hold on to what you have, and don't waste your happiness recklessly."

Kwai departed from her usual art films and acted in the big-budget commercial period film Flying Swords Of Dragon Gate last year, for which she received Best Supporting Actress nominations for this year's Asian Film Awards, Hong Kong Film Awards and Hundred Flowers Awards.

She didn't win.

Gf*Bf has also received seven nominations for the upcoming Golden Horse Awards, including Best Leading Actress for Kwai.

The award ceremony will be held in Yilan, Taiwan, on Nov 24.

"I'm happy to be nominated for any genre of films. As cliche as it sounds, being nominated is an acknowledgement already, regardless of whether it's an art film or a commercial film," she said.

"I still have to work harder. It's not about luck or timing. As long as the character is outstanding, I will get recognised."

Kwai, whose dream is to play a historical character in a film, will act in an art movie in China in November.

But she would not disclose details.


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