Playing Teacher Suits Pearly Chong Fine.
LIFE is just like a movie, and vice-versa. This is the sentiment of actress Pearly Chong Yoke Ying, whose stage name was Zhang En, as she can greatly relate the scenes she played in films to life.
“Whether happy or sad, what you see in the dramas actually happen in real life.
“Just like in television shows, people in real life have different backgrounds and sometimes they face similar situations,” she said.
Her acting career was launched in 1961 when she starred alongside famous names such as Lai Ming in You Qiu Bi Ying.
Chong also did a stint as voice actor in an audio drama on a Malaysian radio station before joining local production company HVD in 1995. Since then, she had been cast in more than 20 movies.
When her acting career began to slow down, Chong took up a part-time job teaching Mandarin at a private tuition centre before becoming a freelance Mandarin language tutor.
StarMetro managed to track down Chong, who looked thoroughly relaxed during the interview at her home in SS2, Petaling Jaya.
She loved being in front of the camera, and reminisced about the good times she had while filming.
“It was really fun being on set and filming on location.
“Although I was older than most of the artistes around me, I got along with them. Both my fellow artistes and directors treated me well.”
She shared that her personal favourite was a drama called Yu Mi Ren Jia (Seeds of Life) in which she played a gangster leader, the antagonist in the drama.
“The show was set in Sekinchan and it made the area famous.
“I had always liked to play the antagonist because it allowed me to express more emotions on screen.
“I can play the character I want in front of the camera but behind the camera, I return to being myself,” she said, describing herself as an extrovert and young at heart.
She finds joy in making new friends and meeting people from all walks of life who come to learn Mandarin from her.
“Actually, Mandarin is an easy language to speak. It is only difficult when it comes to writing the characters.
“Learning to pronounce the words properly is an important part of the class. Some students even ask me to translate lyrics of songs they love.
“There are people who sign up with their spouses to learn Mandarin from me. Others enjoyed the lessons so much they recommend me to their family members.”
Pearly Chong started her career as a Mandarin tutor 17 years ago.
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Source: TheStar Online
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