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Interview Siu Yam Yam : a "sexy movie star"
Falling star 1/1 - Page 4
Author(s) : King-Wei Chu
Date : 15/4/2007
Type(s) : Interview
 Intext Links  
People :
Cherie Chung Chor Hung
Li Han Hsiang
Companies :
Golden Harvest
Shaw Brothers
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Page 3 : Chinatown Kid, Big Bad Sister, present HK cinema
Interview conducted in April 2006 in HK by King-Wei Chu for HKCinemagic.com.

Special thanks to Shaw Yum Yum.

Thanks extended to Zhimin Hu for translation assistance.

HKCinemagic : How comfortable were you with the nude scenes?
Shaw Yum Yum: I didn't want to undress. I wanted to be an actress. Most films, I had to make I had to strip. I kept it to myself a lot. When I was young I wasn't very happy. Regardless of how much money I made I never was happy. That's why I stripped in the films so people can hire me.

When Shaw Brothers loan out actors to Golden Harvest, I was the first one. I was able to go to Cannes. One day an Italian met me on the elevator and called me ‘Lovely China Doll'. The next day I was dubbed ‘Lovely China Doll' in the press.

The Taiwan film industry didn't accept me. They thought I was a spy from Mainland China . Since I represented Golden Harvest that would have meant Golden Harvest's films wouldn't be allowed to enter Taiwan . Taiwan was a major market. I was asked to attend a meeting and they told me to say that I was neither from Shaw nor Golden Harvest and that I represented a Canadian Company and didn't know a single thing. It was a huge event at Cannes. I suddenly became an international star. If anybody asked if I was affiliated with Shaw or GH, I would deny it. After Cannes , the Taiwan industry blackmailed me. They couldn't hire me, since many of the HK films were going to Taiwan . I called my friends and they all said they couldn't help me, they needed to make money. I suddenly became a nobody. The company didn't mind I still had the initial deposit of my salary. I was mad. One time, I was MC of a Comedy Variety Show at ATV. At first they were concerned that I was blacklisted and there were family members watching. I always wanted to leave the film industry, but at this point I wanted to stay. I would take any role even if it was a villain. When I was cast as a villain, I would cherish the opportunity to be the best bad person.

Tales of an Eunuch
HKCinemagic : What was the worst that happened during this time period?
Shaw Yum Yum: Audience wanted a star. I was performing a show where I got roses and glasses. They hurt me. I didn't go after any audience members, they went after me. I wanted to work, so I kept quiet. I'm happy that I didn't say anything especially if I was affiliated with Shaw or Golden Harvest during my blacklisting. A lot was at stake, had I said something the two majors studios would have sunk. You're the first person I mentioned this to in the public. I was the first Shaw actress to be loan out; the other one was Cherie Chung (Once a Thief).

I am also grateful to Li Han Hsiang, he was the only person who helped me out during the tough time. People only want to see stars never a star with a dark side. Like a falling star, they really hurt you when you are down.

HKCinemagic : How was life after Shaw Brothers and other films in the 1980s?
Shaw Yum Yum: I got married and had kids. I sent my son to an international school. Parents there didn't care if I was a sex movie star. One day, when my son was 6 years old, one of his classmates asked him I did sexy films. I felt sad about this. I asked the kid's mother to ask me directly and not my son. Leave him alone. If you can't trust yourself, you have no confidence, then you can't face people. After that, my son was never bothered again.

Mad Monk Strikes Again
HKCinemagic : Tell us about the albums you did?
Shaw Yum Yum: I gave many copies away. I don't have any more copies. But if I come across any, I will give you one. The company that produced my albums went bankrupt. Whenever I sing, I give away either my CDs or Shaw Bros films. I don't get paid to do it, but it will give people a chance to see once again as a star. So today, I am happy, and welcome any chance to do another film.
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Page 3 : Chinatown Kid, Big Bad Sister, present HK cinema

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