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Want to be an actor? Hong Kong actress Carina Lau says know your history first

To be a well-rounded actress, one needs to be a "flower vase" with substance, according to Hong Kong superstar Carina Lau. 

The veteran artiste, who was in Singapore yesterday (Nov 3) as one of five judges for the Star Search 2019 Grand Final, told AsiaOne in an interview, "Not only do you have to be beautiful, you must be responsible towards your craft, too."


Aspiring actresses "must know everything — history, culture as well as arts and music," she emphasised. 

"Being knowledgeable is a prerequisite, only then can you be good at acting. Otherwise, you are just a flower vase." 

Don’t assume it is easy being an actor, the 54-year-old also warned gently. To survive and thrive, be prepared to work hard and tolerate hardships. 

Her words carry weight, given that life was not all sunshine and roses for her.

During the filming of the movie Days of Being Wild in 1990, Carina was abducted by Hong Kong triad members for refusing a film offer and had topless photographs taken of her. Twelve years later, those pictures were published in an edition of East Week, a Hong Kong-based magazine.


Apart from acting advice, the youthful Carina also dished out skincare tips. The key to a great complexion? Exercise.

Carina believes that exercise helps her to "purge toxins", keeping her skin perky, though she also quipped that it is normal to age and look old.

She also swears by a beauty routine of masks, facial essence, day cream, and night cream.


The exercise-holic enjoys many forms of workouts, from ping pong to hiking, and has been seen snowboarding in Hokkaido with her husband, Hong Kong star Tony Leung Chiu-wai.


Unlike her husband, however, she is not a big fan of surfing. "It was already hard for me to learn snowboarding and I am terrified of the (ocean) waves rushing towards me," she said.


Carina is no stranger to Singapore and our famous cuisine, having lived in Singapore for close to a month in the 1980s performing in stage shows.

Her favourite dish?

"Hainanese chicken rice", she replies immediately in English. With a laugh, she added: "Tony also likes it, as well as laksa and bak kut teh. Every time I come to Singapore, he would tell me, 'Good for you, you get to eat Hainanese chicken rice!'"

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