《馬浚偉 催谷過勁血壓上升. 親眼目睹水災 大隊緊急撤離 》
Mingpao weekly ed 2370
enlarged magscan: weibo pix1; weibo pix2
Written by tsui yong yong 2014-04-13 15:31
Steven Ma’s TVB series, A Storm in a Cocoon, was well received by its audience. Its finale garnered an average rating of 32 points peaking at 36.1 points, the highest rating for TVB this year to date. Steven was very happy but he also pointed out the hardships of shooting this series including a dangerous experience.
“August last year, Sung Dak, Gwong Dong, had a flooding disaster. The series of torrential rainstorms caused severe flooding in many places. One day, the filming troupe came to a dam to shoot some outdoor scenes, and unexpectedly was caught in a rainstorm. We had no idea of a looming disaster until we received a government issued warning alert; the mountain area was to be summarily closed to effect the draining of floodwaters from the dam. We were asked to evacuate the site within five minutes. We swiftly packed and left; five minutes later we saw the swelling floodwater surging through the dam floodgates. If the water was not released the dam would burst. If not for our timely evacuation, our lives would be jeopardized. I’d never witnessed a more terrifying scene. This was truly a mind-blowing life experience. his series had me soaking in the waters, drenched in the rain; definitely more grueling than filming “Where the Legend Begins”. This time, also portrayed a soldier, so personally experienced a soldier’s hardships.”
Steven said in the last scene of the series, Tavia Yeung so stranded by the rainstorm had to climb up to the roof to await rescue. During the filming, the troupe personally witnessed this kind of scenes. Many fish ponds and mulberry plantations were flooded. The residents truly did climb up to the roofs. Many senior citizens braved the pouring rain to snag the floating debris off the waters hoping to retrieve some of their personal belongings. This kind of scenes was truly sad to behold.
“On the day of SIAC’s finale, Hong Kong unexpectedly encountered heavy rain and even had hailstones. That night I had a get-together dinner with some colleagues to watch the finale. When we saw this scene we all thought it was truly bizarre. From start to airing of this series, the raining had been relentless, truly complying with the lamentation that protecting the business is indeed difficult.”
Besides encountering floods, when filming SIAC Steven also experienced heart discomfort and had to visit the hospital. That was not his first time experiencing heart discomfort; he has this issue for the past ten years. “Before it was just mere discomfort but at a recent hospitalization, the doctor found my blood pressure spiking at 108. That had never happened before. My utmost fear was the brain suffering a stroke. So right after I returned from my US concert I immediately went to the hospital to review my medical reports. Fortunately, all the reports state that all test results were on the low side including cholesterol and blood pressure.”
Per Steven and the doctor’s analysis, the latter concluded that Steven’s problem might have been caused by his heavy consumption of coffee, moreover, recently for his fitness training Steven had been eating steaks every day, and drinking protein milk powder, so his daily quantity intake of food was that of his three day’s quantity in the past. Thus strenuously pressured, his body could not withstand the strain hence the problematic symptoms.
Steven has always been the tall and thin type, so what was the reason for his decision to put on weight? “As actor, one must have a good body shape. In the past, I was too skinny. Furthermore, recently I’ve received many movie invitations that requested nude scenes. I’m not thinking of becoming a cat-III (erotic) actor or being a porn star. Just that there’s no reason to shoot a shower scene, whereby because I think myself too thin so would take a shower fully clothed. If the script requires such scene, but because of my unwillingness to bare thus affecting the movie, then that’s not good. So, before filming starts, one must keep the body in good shape beforehand. The toughest thing for an actor is to control the body mass thus I admire Nick Cheung and Chow Yun Fatt. I respect their determination to gain or lose weight all in the name of art."
After Steven finished shooting SIAC, he no longer has a contract with TVB. He has established his own production studio, and he now charts the direction of his own career. In June he will release a new music album, thereafter, he will film mini movies, movies, and mainland tv series as well as write a script and be a director. All that Steven has done before and all that he has not, he wants to do them all. Enjoying his freedom, though tiring he is happy in what he is doing.
Furthermore, he also wants to set aside time to do charity works such as this high school event “中學生升呢大行動” whereby he has agreed to oversee the 'stars' event. “Charity work involving senior citizens, children, and students, I like them all. These days, people like to use cellphones so face to face communication has diminished considerably. I was in sales before so I understand the importance of face to face communication among people. I’m concerned with social issues. Earlier, as support to environmental protection, I turned off my lights for an hour. Besides work, people should also be concerned with the society. Attending to both personal career and social services is what I strive for as a new goal.”
TN: Steven, don't you think you have too much on your plate at the same time? Having good health should also be one of your goals, don't you think? Steven's empathy, idealism, positiveness, tenacity and even his naivety never fail to impress me. That he has been in the entertainment industry for 20 years and still retained his own identity and positive outlook on life is truly amazing.