“I have lived to this age, what else should be more important than my family? Cherishing every moment with them is of utmost importance.”
To most of the Hong Kong people, Liu Kai Chi, who is also known as Uncle Chi, is a master of acting. This virtuoso can enliven almost any characters, whether it’s a good guy, a bad guy, a cop, a robber, a lawyer or a doctor… He has played almost every role you can imagine.
Having won twice the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actor, Uncle Chi was also voted the Best Actor for his role Sung Man Shan in the drama The Election by netizens. Despite the fact that Uncle Chi possesses an unquestionable reputation in his acting career, he never thinks of slowing down. On the contrary, he has been participating proactively in various local TV and film productions, being the supporting actor of films such as Ten Years, which won Best Picture at Hong Kong Film Awards, and the much acclaimed film Weeds On Fire.
The life of Uncle Chi has not always run smoothly. He has encountered ups and downs. He first applied for the artists training class when 18 years old but he was not accepted. He had no choice but to work backstage while waiting for opportunities. Finally, he gained admission after seven attempts.
“You must always be passionate and enthusiastic about your own career, otherwise you can’t keep going for years.” Uncle Chi is outspoken when sharing his thought on his acting career.
It took him seven years to pursue one that seemed to be a pipe dream. If he did not have passion for acting, he would not be able to persist. Time flies, Uncle Chi has been unwittingly pursuing his dream for over forty years.
Always keeping a low profile and working hard, Uncle Chi hopes to teach the new generations by his own examples. In recent years, he has been a lecturer at the Academy of Film of the Hong Kong Baptist University. He is always eager to share his insights of life and acting experience with young learners.
“Acting can be extremely exhausting and you must be able to endure hardship. You must set a goal beforehand and for you to keep going. You can reap fruitful rewards only if you have a good attitude.”
Actors always work day and night. Sometimes a crew can work 24-hour nonstop in order to capture a best shot. Uncle Chi may be too humble when describing himself as being “able to endure hardship”.
Coping with such a tremendous work load, how does Uncle Chi relieve his stress?
“Just go home and take a rest! Where else can be safer and warmer than your home?” Without any thinking, Uncle Chi said what he believed in his heart.
When you suffer adversities, your home becomes your warm shelter. When totally exhausted at work, “coming home” seems to be a magic spell which alleviates the fatigue and tiredness.
“In fact, getting home to hear my family say a simple greeting like ‘Hey! You are home!’ is enough to make me feel happy and content.” Talking about the sweet home built by himself and his family, Uncle Chi’s face is filled with tenderness.
At the top of career, it’s hard to strike a balance between work and family. How does Uncle Chi handle this?
“Whenever I hesitate about taking up an acting role, my wife would ask me, ‘what if you do not earn this money?’ or ‘Do you want your sons to watch this film?’ These questions remind me of my genuine needs — Cherishing every moment with my family, having dinner with them after work every day and chatting with them face to face are of utmost importance.”
As a veteran actor who keeps ascending his career ladder, Uncle Chi never forgets what is the most important in his life.
“Whenever I have free time, I will cook something like breakfast or simple dishes for my family. I just want to make them happy!”
Even he may be busy at times, Uncle Chi is eager to cook a nice meal for his family. This is one of the ways to show his love to them.
What really motivates Uncle Chi to work hard every day is not winning more awards or earning more money, but being able to prepare a nice breakfast for his family. His ultimate goal in life is cherishing every moment with his family.
When all the glitters are washed out, one begins to recognise that bliss is right here every moment.
“No matter how busy I am, I never miss invaluable moments with my family.”