November 2015 - by Carl Marsh
Would Casualty be classed as being your breakthrough acting career moment?
Possibly. Casualty is my first regular in a continuing drama, and I absolutely love every moment of being on the show.
My daughter loves your character Lily Chao in Casualty and asks me to ask you how much of Lily is really you, as Lily is quite abrupt at the best of times?
I suppose there are some similarities - like Lily, I can be rather stubborn but I do have to say Lily takes stubbornness to a completely new level! I promise I am not as mean in real life (well, unless I'm hungry!).
If you are in a restaurant and overhear a couple talking about Casualty, and they could be saying very good, or quite possibly very bad things about it, would you make yourself known in any of those situations?
No - that would be the last thing I would do! Everyone is entitled to their opinions, I think I would just be grateful that they watch the show! Our audience/fans mean the world to us - and their continual love and support is the reason why this show is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
I asked Amanda Mealing if she likes living in Wales, so how are you finding it?
I love Wales - people are so much friendlier! I go home to London every week, and I definitely think my blood pressure goes up as soon as the train hits Paddington!
You were born and grew up in Hong Kong but have lived in the UK since aged 11, can I ask if you have any ambitions to ever work back there one day?
I am not going to say no as long as the opportunity is right - be it Asia, Europe or the U.S
I'd be correct in saying that you have a passion (and talent) for dancing, and that you volunteer your spare time helping out at The Royal Academy of Dance?
Talent is probably a strong word! I danced a lot when I was young and whilst I loved it, life of a dancer is very hard. I used to work on an inclusive dance programme called 'Step Into Dance' set up by The Royal Academy of Dance and Jack Petchey Foundation but due to my commitment on Casualty, I haven't been able to work with them for a while.
I am the patron of a small non-profit company (and soon to be charity) called SLiDE (www.slidedance.org). They encourage people of all ages and all abilities to engage with dance, and they are a key provider of arts provision for learning disabled adults in Croydon. I am incredibly honoured to be part of this amazing charity - arts should be accessible and inclusive and the impact SLiDE has on the lives of many individuals and families is immeasurable.
We have a little fundraising event coming up! It's a little bit of a pre-Christmas jig! I have never done the ceilidh before but I can't wait to give it a go! So come and join us if you happen to be in London on the 21st November!
(I cannot make it but I will put a poster for the event on here!)
Reading books is important to me, reading must be as important to you as an actress then?
Definitely! I always have a book with me; currently reading 'I am Pilgrim' by Terry Hayes. I must admit that we have a lot of scripts to read so I don't always get the chance to indulge in my books, but when I do, it's my little mental escape.
People should really read more books, shouldn't they?
Absolutely. It is so easy for us nowadays to pick up our phones or iPads and be fed information, but what we forget is that a good book can take you on a journey of discovery, and can transport you to other places and dimensions. A good book not only entertains, it also intrigues, fascinates and stimulates the minds!
Reading has been a massive part of my life. I didn't speak much English when I first started school over here at the age of 11, but it was reading that gave me the exposure I needed to understand words/grammatical structures in context.
Do you have a favourite book or author?
I don't think I have a favourite author, but I have had some intense love affairs with so many books - here are a few I had loved:
'The Bell Jar' - Sylvia Plath
'Frankenstein' - Mary Shelley
'The End of Mr Y' - Scarlett Thomas
'Sepulchre' - Kate Mosse
and my absolutely favourite 'La Dame Aux Camélias' by Dumas
My favourite genre is the Gothic period! And I am also partial to crime novels, like Karin Slaughter, Harlan Coben etc.
I also recall that you telling me recently that you were reading 'The Girl with All The Gifts' by M.R. Carey; how did you find it, as that is in my top three best reads of 2014?
'The Girl With All The Gifts' was so clever, it looked at the zombie apocalypse in a completely different light (I also love my horror movies). I wish I was more clever so that I had a better understanding of the science within the book, but I loved it! I stayed up till 2am reading it, even though I knew I had to be up at 6am!
Being an actor or actress and securing work is a tough tough business but what kept you motivated, if and when you went for a previous role, and did not get it?
I love acting and it is a ridiculously tough industry but I am also extremely lucky to have other things I am passionate about. I taught dance and movement in different mainstream and special needs schools across London, which kept me constantly inspired. I also did a degree in English Language and Literature with the OU, so I was pretty busy and didn't have a lot of time for self-pity!
Is there anything about the acting world that you don't like?
Mmmm... not really. Probably the amount of make-up we have to wear. Cameras are all HD now, and our make up artists do such an amazing job of making us look great! But when I'm not working, it is just the red lipstick I have in my bag!
What puts a smile on your face every time you see/hear/experience it?
Gosh - that's a hard question. So many things put a smile on my face. I suppose for me, it is being with friends and family over good food!
Perhaps you get annoyed with something, what would that be?
Rudeness! Please and thank you's all the way!
If you were an animal, what would it be, and why?
A dolphin or an orca whale. Orcas are often misunderstood! They are called killer whale but they hardly ever attack humans. They are highly intelligent and they are loyal to their pods.