Sunday, October 4, 2009

Vic Zhou refuses to be a slave to money

Wednesday, 30 September, 2009 Taiwan
Source : Ming Pao
Translated by : Karened @

F4 shot to fame with 'Meteor Garden' and Vic Zhou ('Zai Zai'), who acted as Hanazawa Rui, said that to be that popular meant that he didn't have to accept jobs for the sake of money. Instead, he could choose the direction he wanted to go and work hard for his dreams.

Although the members of F4 have already split and gone their own ways, and did not share particularly good relationships with each other, Zai Zai was still thankful to the other three members for teaching him many things and making him who he is today. In his heart, he has not forgotten these battlemates and hopes that everyone could become a megastar with their abilities.

Starting to like acting

Although Zai Zai rose to fame after acting as Hanazawa Rui in 'Meteor Garden', he was always critisized that he cannot act and only attracts people because of his looks. However, his acting has matured a lot now and is nominated for this year's Golden Bell Award for his role in the idol drama 'Black & White'.

To be able to fight for the position of Best Actor, Zai Zai feels that this is proof that his hard work in improving his acting skills did not go to waste. He said, "I was only 19 when I entered showbiz and was only a kid who didn't know what he wanted to do. When I acted in 'Meteor Garden', I only knew how to act using the acting styles of Jerry Yan, Ken Zhu and Vanness Wu. I only knew how to follow what they did and never had a mind of my own. Initially, I didn't see that as a problem. Whatever the company told me to do, I would do, such as releasing an album. However, I slowly realised that I had more interest in acting than singing. Everytime I took up a role, I would work hard at interpreting it. In order to act out a particular emotion, I would brainstorm on how I could do it better."

Walking out of a period of confusion

Zai Zai raised an example of an old granny he saw once during driving. She picks up litter from the streets of Taipei early every morning. She lived like this and seeing such situations allowed him to use his inner feelings when he had to act out certain expressions during filming. He continued, "I acted in various different genre of films in recent years. Previously, people thought that I was only adept in melancholic characters but now, they realised that I can act different types of roles, for example cheerful ones. I realised that there is a lot of space in acting and so I really like acting. As for awards, I dare not think about them."

Some people pointed out that he is now much happier than before. Zai Zai laughed, "Is that so? Actually I'm not melancholy. Neither was I playing cool. But when I first came to Hong Kong, I didn't know what to say when I had interviews together with F4. Hence, I spoke little and let the rest do the speaking. Now that I've grown up, I know what I want to do and am not confused like how I was when I first entered showbiz."

Looking forward to F4's display of abilities

Vic Zhou described F4 as 'only having popularity and no true abilities' when they first debuted. Now that the four of them have changed completely, it's time for them to show their true abilities.

Due to the idol drama 'Meteor Garden', Zai Zai's name became well-known in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. He even enjoys popularity in Japan. It seems that 'F4' has really brought him a lot of money. Zai Zai said, " I am the youngest in F4 and hence was easily influenced. Sometimes, I wondered why I had to do something, and how ridiculous it was. But in the past 9 years, I really earned a lot of money. As for how much exactly, I won't say. But now I feel that money isn't my only target. I just want to work hard and do my job well."

Not to be an empty shell without a soul

Zai Zai expressed that even if he had a job that could bring him a lot of money, but if the job made him unhappy, he would choose to drop it. "I now have the ability to choose. Throughout the years, I had saved up some money that would allow me to do things that make me happy." Zai Zai does not have high expectations for money and had never thought of sucking up to people for the sake of money. Then what other dreams does he have? Zai Zai said, "F4 let me become popular. I hope that we can show people the results of our hard work and not be like the F4 we were when we debut 9 years ago. Back then we only had popularity and no true abilities. I feel that after so many years, we should bring out our abilities and let those who once said we had none know that we are always seeking improvements."

Actually, Zai Zai had already wanted to quit when he was 20. However, he started enjoy his job and so planned to quit at the year of 30. He said, "I now realise that there are a lot of things I want to challenge myself with. It's alright even if I failed. There are still a lot of things I want to learn in this entertainment circle."

Zai Zai said that he has never thought of entering Hollywood. He said, "My English is not very proficient and to me, it is too distant. I just want to reach a good position in Taiwan and then move on to the China market. As long as the China audience recognizes my acting, the whole world will naturally know. Just like Jacky Chan - even the Hollywood people knows that he acts well."

Growing up through love

Although Vic Zhou does not want to talk about his ex-girlfriend Barbie Hsu, he still wishes her happiness.

There had been rumours of Zai Zai and several other actresses and he also went public about his relationship. He said, "Everyone needs romance. If I am really in a relationship, of course I can tell others about it. I used to not know how to interact with other but when I'm in a relationship, I can learn how to interact with people when the other party wants something frokm me. I can also learn how to face the opposite sex. To me, this is very important. When girlfriend tells me whether my thinking is correct, and points out areas I can correct and improve, the love can make me grow up."

When asked if previous love Barbie Hsu (Da S) is a very important person in his life, Zai Zai said, "She is a very good woman and I just want to wish her happiness. It's not convenient to talk about other stuff."

Rebuilding the souls of Sichuan earthquake child survivors

The UNICEF held funds raising events to help the Sichuan earthquake child survivors rebuild their homes. At the same time, it is very important to rebuild their souls. As the ambassador of the Hong Kong arms of the fund, Vic Zhou described this as a long-term job. The first phase of recovering from the aftermath of the earthquake will last till 2011. He will also attend the activities in Hong Kong frequently. When asked if he had ever thought of establishing a fund himself, he said, "Faye Wong, Kelly Chen and many other had established funds to help other. But to do so requires a lot of manpower and funding. For me, being able to participate as part of the UNICEF is just as meaningful."


Vic Zhou has really grown up! When he came to Hong Kong to promote the F4 concert 9 years ago, he only knew how to smile and did not answer interview questions, making him seem flippant. Perhaps this was because he did not understand Cantonese, or maybe like what he said, he was only 19 and did not know how handle showbiz. This time round, he answered every question posed. He was unlike some Taiwanese stars, who give the 'especially polite' attitude that makes one feel uncomfortable. Instead, Zai Zai was full of smiles throughout the interview, making me feel like I had been too harsh on him.

Time can really make someone change. The melancholic Hanazawa Rui back then is unforgetable but the cheerful Zai Zai is very cool and manly. It's no wonder that loyal fans followed him for 9 years, never giving up.

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