posted 02 October 2007
娱乐直播 专访 舞动全城 男主角程嘉俊
E-buzz Interview of Steps’ Male Lead, Steven Ma.
Host::Today at E-buzz, our featured guest, this person I feel though he’s busier than ever, but the busier he is, the fitter he gets, and the more vibrant and attractive he becomes. He is Ma Chun Wai. Ma Zai, how are you?
Steven: Thank you!
H: Yes, I truly feel that you may be extremely busy these days, but your hectic schedule seems to energize you.
S: It could be that.
H: Right. Let’s start with tonight’s premier of Steps. Would you mind telling us what it’s about?
S: Well, actually, Steps’ kind of story with dancing as a main theme is still relatively uncommon in TVB series. The plot centers on Dance International Standard (sic style) which includes both ballroom and Latin dances. The characters all have some connection with dancing. As for my family, my mom, Mannor jie is from a family of dancers. Bernice is a dance enthusiast. Our relationship came about because of dancing.
H: And sparks flew?
S: Yes. Because Dance International Standard (sic) is the main theme. And the dance has many moves, in fact, all its moves; maybe should say interactions, require a male and a female to form a partnership. And in it, the level of mutual trust, support, encouragement and understanding of each other depends greatly on the partners’ interrelationship.
H: Exactly. Which means you and Bernice must have good communicate in order to dance well for the public, is that right?
S: Yes. Actually our production supervisor and copy editor hoped to use dance to express a relationship from a different angle. I think dance itself is a kind of expression, especially Dance International Standard because it requires two people to meld into one, and how they go about it; having their moves, their spirit and their energy all fused into one. Which is why in this series, we dance in almost every episode, like dance while romancing, or maybe dance when unhappy, or yet again dance in some dance competitions.
H. Like channeling feelings into a different dimension. But what I’d like to ask you is, before you had said you feared dancing, felt you don’t dance well. When did you change from dancing badly to being able to perform in a series and, moreover, did it so well to boot?
S: I still wouldn’t dare say I dance well, because dancing is truly my Achilles’ heel. All these years as an artiste, dancing is my ultimate weakness. Before whenever I heard my work required some dancing, I would immediately plead with my manager, "I can’t. I’m not right for it, or I can’t do it."
H: So how did you overcome it? As you said, almost every episode has dancing in it. There’s at least one dance per day.
S: At first, I was actually afraid to accept this series. Because, on the positive side, it was a challenge, but conversely, the pressure was enormous. I thought to myself, how could I work under such pressure everyday? Moreover, my co-stars are Bernice, Fala, Kate and Mannor jie. They’re all talented dancers.
H: True. They all have dancing background and can dance very well.
S: Right. Even though they learned a different kind of dancing, still they have dancing talent. I was worried. â€œWill my poor dancing level and standard hinder the production progress? This was my main concern.
H: So how did you overcome it? What made you think you could do it?
S: Well, first of, despite my fear, my interest was high. It’s like if you are scared of a cockroach, but if you try to smack it; maybe you could overcome your fear of it.
H: Like watching a ghost movie; the scarier you are, the more you want to watch under covers.
S: I like to watch ghost movie so I’m not scared but I’m scared of roaches. So I would try to smack them. This is just an analogy. Luckily we had dance instructors as our dance directors. Moreover, I had brother Lingo, and also a group of professional dancers who were extremely patient with me. Besides them, I also have had outside tutoring before filming, a total of four lessons.
H: Prep work before filming?
S: A total of 8 hours, 4 lessons.
H: That’s not a lot.
S: Well, at least I’ve had some contact with it. At least, I knew what are the 10 dances included in Dance International Standard (sic Style) which I didn’t know before. I thought social dance was just social dance. I had no idea what constitute it.
H: So did the more you dance the greater your interest is?
H: And now you love dancing?
S: Actually, even after the series was done, I continued to take dance lessons. And also danced in Steps’ promos and incorporated dancing into my stage shows.
H: Among the dances, which ones are the most challenging to do?
S: For me, it would be those that are fast-paced such as: Pasa Doblo or Samba or Cha Cha. Their rhythm is much faster. I‘m not very nimble, so I find it easier to learn slower dance. Much easier to catch on. But of course, whether I danced it well or not is another matter. But as far as catching on, slow dance is easier for me. But I, myself, enjoy quickstep, ballroom quickstep.
H: Actually, dancing can make one feel rather dense wo. I've danced before. Prior, I had never thought of myself could be this dense/slow but turn out (I) could be this uncoordinated) (as in having 2 left feet)."
S: It’s ok, you’ve me as company.
H: But after Steps, you’ve become an expert from what I could see from the promo. Also I know you have many dance scenes throughout Steps, and many of those with Bernice. Close bodily contact is inevitable. So were you concerned that people would say. "Wah, so bold, the dancing so risqué."
S: One has to be bold. Actually, during the shoots we weren’t worried at all. Because we did the shoots inside the studio, well, some were on site too. Anyway, since the shoots were done mainly in the studio, we were not worried, because we could completely focus without outside distractions. There’s one such scene where Bernice and I danced inside a dance studio. There was a power outage. Basked in the neon lights, she taught me how to dance rumba, very intimate. It was a moving scene, we both thought so. In the scene, I didn’t even dare to touch her; however, in the scene, she was very professional. She grabbed my hand, brushed her hand down my arm, and wrapped her leg around mine; all these minute details will be shown in the dance scene. As to your earlier question on intimacy, that also was a sticky situation for me. I can be shy too. Either a male or female could be shy. The intimacy..all that will be performed in the show.
H: Was it awkward? You did say the filming in the studio was ok.
S: Yeah. Because this was Bernice and my second time collaboration. Also Bernice, Fala and Kate, they’re all dancers so they understand that dancing, especially, Latin can get very intimate. The way I see it, it’s just a dance. I’ll treat it like an art or a sport.
H: Were you self-conscious wearing such revealing costumes? Also, you mentioned before that it was alright to expose the chest area, but not the belly button, why?
S: Haha, men seldom exposed their belly buttons. Not only the ladies are attired sexily, but in the Latin dance, the men’s costumes are also very snug, most are see-through, it’s just that they are in black. If one has a big belly, then that would present a problem.
H: Oh, it’s not the belly button then.
S: No, there’s problem with showing the belly button.
H: We’ve talked quite a bit about Steps. Now I’ve more practical questions to ask you. What do you think the rating would be for Steps? Do you feel the pressure for garnering high rating?
S: No. Because I’ve been in TVB for quite a while now. And I understand, in fact, all TVB employees understand that they just need to do their best during production, to fully exert their energy and time, their effort and their heart. As for the outcome, each one of us would respond: "Of course hope for the best." But the rating results are always beyond our control. Of course we hope the viewers will like it. And also hope the viewers will like each and every one of our series. Not just my own, but all of the company’s series, I hope the viewers will like them all. Even better, that the company’s series’ can continually maintain a high rating. Then everyone will be happy.
H: If the rating is good, have you thought about performing some difficult dance for the public?
S: I prefer doing that.
H: The reporters frequently ask the actors if they would don their swimwear if the rating is high.
S: I’ve not seen anyone done that yet. In fact, I much prefer your suggestion. If Steps’ rating is high, I would really consider your suggestion. I’ll do something that will challenge me, or maybe do it with my co-star, maybe Bernice or another lady, to perform something that would surprise people because they didn't think we would or could do it. You’ve given me a good idea. Now I know how to respond to my media friends.
H: That was a good idea?
S: Yes, a very good one.
H: To fit in with this series, maybe do a lyrical dance.
S: Or maybe ice dancing?
H: Not a bad idea. But ice dancing is quite difficult
S: Very. I can’t even keep my balance standing up.
H: I really hope the rating will be high so I can watch your lyrical dance. Let’s change the subject. We’ve chatted quite a bit about Steps. You’ve also written about it in your blog. You like to write, and to keep in touch with your fans. Busy filming, busy writing, how did you do it all?
S: First of, I don’t plan ahead on what to write. Often when I write my blog or journal, it’s not always done in the computer, but scribbled on a piece of paper. These are just random writing. Anybody can do it. There’s no pressure in it. There’s no special topic on what I plan to write, just whatever comes to mind. When I get online, I might then update my blog. I enjoy doodling too. I’m interested in many things.
H: What kind of books do you like? Or the kind of books that will inspire you.
S: I like all kinds of books.
H: Such as?
S: I prefer books that are profound. The thought provoking kind, maybe books by intellectuals or philosophers because different readers can acquire different insights from them. I seldom read novels. I also like comic books. There’re some series that I follow.
H: Guess you’re still a big boy yet.
S: Not really. There are some adult comics. Haha, not those kind; the kind that’s written with the adults in mind.
H: Books can be inspiring; filming can be, too, bringing in a different perspective. Recently, in your blog you wrote about meeting a young actor while shooting 金石良缘This young actor changed your outlook in life.
S: Wow! I just wrote that.
H: Why don’t you tell us what the outlook was…like embarking on a new phase in life…to be a father.
S: No. I’m not even married yet. There was this scene; it’s about my sister’s son. He’s around a year old or so, very cute and fun to play with. Sister Helen and sister Mary saw me holding him, and doing a pretty good job too. They taught me how to hold him properly and coax him to sleep; also how to spread his little legs to wrap around me and have his hands hugged me. And sure enough, before too long, like a koala bear hugging me, he fell asleep on me.
H: A very heartwarming sight.
S: Then his mother took out a camera and snapped our pictures. It left a big impression on me. They all quipped, â€œYou are now qualified to be a father.â€? I think I am too. But this is just an experience. Very happy because if you had a child quietly fell asleep on your chest; that feeling was truly very sweet.
H: You know when you talk like that, you’ll make people think that Ma Zai will marry soon, or maybe wants to get marry, wants to be a father. Have you thought about that?
S: Of course, the thought has entered my mind. After all, I’m at that age already, but I’m not in a hurry.
H: Do you have someone in mind?
S:Haha! Let’s not go there. But if time, no, should say, if it’s so fated, if I married, I’d want to have kids because I love kids and love to watch them grow. Of course, (the young ones) that’s the fun stage, but as they grow older, problems will follow.
H: More difficult to teach.
S: Yes, to me it’s just a natural progression of life journey; to see your kids grow up, or to see other people’s kids grow up, you’re happy just seeing other kids grow, what’s more, your own.
H: You’ve a hectic career schedule, one series after another. Have you thought about maybe getting awards this year, maybe the most favorite male character award again? Would you like that?
S: Of course, I would. I look upon that as a motivation. When to get it, I don’t think about it, but it will be the direction I’m aiming for. Some people would say receiving awards is not that important; more important is making more series and money. True. But for me, receiving awards represents a different stratum, and provides a very good incentive and motivation. It’s my goal to achieve the best male actor award in TVB, or maybe from outside HK, in other places. That very thought drives me. When? This year? I don’t know. Maybe? Maybe next year? The year next? Don’t know. But that’s the direction I’m going.
H: I wish you the very best for your success. I thank Ma Zai today for his interview. Thank you!
S: You’re welcome.
credit to: baidu source & transcript