TVB actress Natalie Tong, 41, recently appeared on her pal Sharon Chan’s YouTube channel and spoke about an important time in her career.
Natalie revealed that she was introverted as a kid and often felt lonely. As such, she believed that it was “God’s will” that she entered showbiz, and that it happened so she could “be changed”.
Before appearing in hit TVB drama My Unfair Lady, Natalie travelled to Malaysia to seek mentorship from French theatre professor Philippe Gaulier, who often holds acting workshops in the country.
Philippe is famous for not mincing his words, and uses a method called negative reinforcement, where he motivates his students with harsh scoldings so they can unlock their potential and become tougher.
Natalie said she remembered crying for three days during the week-long course, and was told by Philippe that she was “worse than trash”.
“I felt like I was worth less than dust on the stage, [I] didn’t know that [my acting] was that bad,” said Natalie, who at that time, had already appeared in more than 40 TVB dramas.
“I was really sad then, but if you believe in him and is able to overcome this obstacle, then he will be able to teach you well,” she said.
And help her he did.
Natalie, who called the experience a turning point in her career, went on to win Best Actress at the TVB Anniversary Awards for her performance in My Unfair Lady.
Natalie also talked about how she once saw her close friend Kenneth Ma losing his temper, adding that it was over something very minor and that he was “very scary”.
“For example, if something is HK$10 and we mistakenly say it’s HK$8 (S$1.43), he would suddenly get really angry,” revealed Natalie.
When Sharon asked why he would be affected by such a small thing, Natalie said he could’ve been “holding in his emotions for a while” which caused him to suddenly “erupt”.