Interview with Miriam Yeung

Article by Candace Lee
Photo credits: Wenting Goo, Leona Liang, Lishabai Yi

Starting as a singer, Miriam Yeung has starred in over 30 films, accumulating awards rewarding her acting prowess, including “Best Leading Actress” at the 9th Golden Bauhinia Awards, “Best Leading Actress at the 42nd Golden Horse Film Awards and “Best Leading Actress” at the HK Film Critic Society Award. Showcased at The 4th New York Chinese Film Festival, Love Undercover offers a telling of a purely comedic caper, a newly graduated female cop ordered to seduce a suspected mobster boss’s son and the haphazard operation that follows, and of her latest films, Love in the Buff explores the hardships associated with a broken relationship and the temptation in returning to the fractured pieces that are left behind.

Ms. Miriam Yeung joined us for a Q&A session, and we got the scoop on her perspective on love.

AsianInNY: Why did you decide to show the two films, Love Undercover and Love in the Buff, that were released ten years apart, spanning from 2002 to 2012?

Yeung: When I was asked to show films at the 4th New York Chinese Film Festival, what really ruled my decision was bringing the two films that had the most significance in representing the most; Love Undercover expressed most of my character as an actress and had the most romantic comedy and action, while Love in the Buff is a more serious picture of love. I wanted to show the greatest amount of film progression between the two.

AsianInNY: What is the biggest change that happened in your career as an actress?

Yeung: The aforementioned progression is what occurs to me: for Love Undercover, the character cast was more like a fairytale, a prince coming to rescue the girl, depicting a dream-come-true-type scenario. Love in the Buff, however, shows a woman in her thirties trying to find her way, in life and love, and how she deals with what life throws her way. As an actress, it was important that I find my role in under completely different settings and circumstances.

AsianInNY: Love in the Buff is about an older woman and younger man. How is the generational gap resolved?

Yeung: Good communication is the key: if you have that, the age gap presents absolutely no problem.

AsianInNY: Your husband also happens to be younger.

Yeung: Yes, but that is never a deal-breaker; earlier on in the marriage there is always that transition time that makes it harder to adjust, but communication again is one of the most important things to work on and maintain. At times, my husband is actually the more controlled out of the two of us! But I am now living happily with my husband and children, and the age difference is a non-issue.

AsianInNY: What is your personal view on love?

Yeung: I have a decidedly love attitude. What that means is that I believe that to find true love, you have to hold onto someone sometimes with all your might. You must learn how to share and compromise; it’s easy to find someone you like, but it’s not easy to love someone, to allow yourself to love.

I have a very positive attitude on the screen, but in reality I have also lived through emotionally-stressing moments like regular women, and like any other woman, I have friends to support me during those times. I actually think these downtrodden times help me understand my characters and their actions more; Love in the Buff’s Cherle is a representation of my old self, before and during my own personal growth.

AsianInNY: When comparing the two films, there are several passing jokes that mention the comparison of those from Hong Kong and mainland China. How does this relationship affect how you when you film things and in your actress work?

Yeung: There are actually no political views or motivations behind these examples of film and acting; China is simply a huge market, and a great opportunity to perform before a greater audience. As an actress, I did not have a political standpoint; I wanted to focus on acting in a professional way and not limiting myself to simply being a local actress.

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