Jan 13, 2017
Actress and television host Kelly Cheung got her first taste of acting when she was cast as young lawyer Libby Pun in the much-lauded legal drama Law dis-Order last year. Acting is a relatively new frontier for Cheung, but she is no stranger to the spotlight. At the age of 21 she was wowing the judges at beauty pageants, being crowned Miss Chicago Chinese and going on to compete in the Miss Chinese International and Miss World contests. Having now made her entrance on an even more challenging stage, Cheung sat down with #legend to talk about her career goals and her resolutions.
Are beauty pageants tough? What was your experience like at the Miss Chinese International pageant and at Miss World?
I actually never thought I’d ever do a pageant. I started as a model and just to, kind of, help my modelling career. I thought Miss Chicago Chinese would be a good title to have, to add something to my portfolio. I ended up winning and went on to do Miss Chinese International and Miss World. The toughest thing about pageants was that I had to talk. With modelling, I was just doing whatever the clients or designers wanted me to convey. I was never really me. I was just following a script. And the thing with beauty pageants is you have to show who you are.
Law dis-Order was your first foray into acting. Were there any similarities between you and your character?
In the drama my character’s name is Libby. I actually found a lot of similarities between Libby and I. Libby is not very aggressive at work.
A lot of the troubles that find her, she’d rather look the other way because that would make her happier. She’s also very loyal to her friends. That’s the thing with me: I’m fiercely loyal to my friends. I think, sometimes, it’s happened before where I get taken advantage of. I’m quite a happy person. My mum has always said that the best quality about me is that whenever I run into trouble I get really emotional, very affected for five minutes, and then I forget about it and move on. Libby is probably even happier than I am. Shooting the drama for three months, that was maybe one of the happiest three months I’ve had, because she was just always really playful and really happy.
Would you consider more acting roles in the future?
I definitely would love to do more acting. I think, compared to hosting, hosting was never something that I really imagined myself doing because, like I said, I have trouble with expressing myself. I’m not a very good public speaker, especially in front of crowds. Hosting is a bit of a challenge but acting really comes from within. I like to observe. I think that’s why acting, for me, comes easier than hosting. I’d love to explore that more. And, yeah, I would love to act and maybe do movies one day. There’s so many actors I’d want to work with. I’m new, so everyone that I’ve worked with or will work with will have more experience than I do. It’s so exciting to learn from people. It’s all a fun experience for me.
And now you’re on Dolce Vita. Which topics do you find the most interesting?
Yeah, I’ve been doing Dolce Vita for two to three years, and my favourite topic has got to be food. I’m a huge foodie. I love to eat and I love to cook. One of my favourite things to do is interviewing chefs. I love hearing their stories, how they got started and where they get inspiration from. I think cooking, a lot of times, reminds you of family. Cooking, for me, is something I did with my mum and my dad and [about] how I spent time with them.
Now 2017 is here. Do you have any New Year resolutions?
For 2017, I’d love to commit to something. I have a bit of a commitment issue regarding hobbies. I’m that kind of person who would do something constantly for three months and it just phases out. I did yoga for three to four years, and that was probably the most committed I’ve been. I’ve recently picked up Muay Thai, so hopefully I’ll commit to that.
You’re often on television and in the spotlight. But what is your personal style when you’re off duty?
My off-duty style is definitely dressing like a bum. I have to. For work, my job is to dress up. On days off I definitely refuse to do my hair and refuse to do my make-up. If I have to go out and meet people, I think I’m quite different from the classy, elegant pageant-girl style. I’m casual, with a bit of edge. I like that rock and roll look with the leather and the buckles.
What do you hope to do more of in 2017?
I definitely would like to do more acting in the coming year. I’ve been with TVB for three to four years, and Law dis-Order has been my first and only drama. Hopefully, I’d get to do more of that. Sometimes I get anxious. Recently I was feeling stuck, so I looked back on 2016 and I realised I’ve done so much, so many new things. I really can’t wait to see what 2017 brings.
Photography / Paul Sunga
Styling / Taïs Elize
Make-up / Leo Tam at Annie G. Chan Makeup Centre
Hair / Eas Fu at Fifth Salon