Canadian-born Hong Kong actress Bernice Liu, 36, is single, available and still believes in fairy-tale endings.
"In real life, there's the realistic side of things. But, even in real life, we love to dream. I grew up with fairy tales and Disneyland," she says over the phone from Hong Kong.
"For me, at the end of the rainbow, there's got to be a happily ever after. To get there, there are all the trials and tribulations and that's what makes the end even sweeter."
She is possibly in the mood for love because it is the theme of her new Cantonese musical drama Once Upon A Song, where she stars opposite Hong Kong singer William So, who plays her lover. The series is available for viewing on cable TV here.
She is said to have dated actor Moses Chan and is "working on" getting a boyfriend - in her own time.
"It's not something you can push. I've noticed that I'm more comfortable in my skin now. I have my wine passion and I get to do what I love to do, which is performing. I'm much more mature and I am learning how to enjoy the moment," she says.
The buzzword in her life now is balance, a contrast to how she used to be "too crazy about working".
"I'm still a workaholic, but I'm learning how to have a balance. I'm a much more happier Bernice," adds Liu who joined Hong Kong TV station TVB after winning the 2001 Miss Chinese International pageant.
The turning point in her life happened four years ago, when she injured her back during drama filming and had to undergo surgery.
That put things in perspective for her: "What's important, what's not. Who are the ones there to support you, what you want for the rest of your career or your life."
In 2011, she left TVB and turned her focus to China where she starred in period dramas Mystery In The Palace (2011) and Lucky Treasure (2013). She is currently signed to Hong Kong-based talent agency Style International Management, which also manages popular Chinese model- actresses Lynn Xiong and Angelababy.
Should she ever want to exit show business, she could go into the wine trade.
So serious is she about her hobby that she has certifications from the Britain-based Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and also sat an examination to get into the Hong Kong Sommelier Association.
"My passion for wine has been going on for seven years. It was a very quiet passion of mine. I took all the exams in the same time that I was acting. I don't sleep, really," says Liu, who even has her own wine label, Bellavizio, which is sold at selected establishments in Hong Kong.
The best part of wine-making is sharing it with others, she explains.
"It's what makes the whole process worth it to me, to see their faces and to share a bit of myself because I was part of the whole process.
"I woke up at 4am in Bordeaux and picked grapes by the bunch. You can mass harvest with machines, but I really enjoy the whole process of handpicking, getting my fingers dirty and making it meaningful."
This article was first published on Feb 14, 2015.
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