Michelle Ye's Realm

Our Passion Has No Boundaries


Modern Music Field #395: So, you were not here...

Posted by Kim on March 21, 2008 at 9:12 AM

21 Mar 2008 - Modern Music Field #395: So, you were not here...

Source: Modern Music Field #395

Michelle Ye

So, you were not here…



Reporter's notes: (black words in grey column block)

Michelle's pu tong hua (Mandarin) was much more fluent than I'd ever imagined, the tone she spoke was exactly like a Mainlander, she has all the right intonations, her slang is more of the Southern slang, nevertheless, she sounds just as warm, she gives the feeling just like any other young lady around me. 

Our interview was arranged to be in the afternoon, but as she has had a meeting for the entire morning, so halfway through our interview, she said: "I'm sorry, but is it okay if I eat a little?"  Then she continued to answer questions while eating.  She ate very quickly, it seemed to have been her practice for her busy schedule.  She also apologized: "Sorry, I was eating so I could only answer what you asked."

I understand why, because she is the kind of person who can chat just about anything with you.  Mid way through, someone who did not notice her in the office locked her inside, she said: "Hold on please."  Later, a loud voice is heard, two words (help – in Chinese it is two words) were heard, it is the word you will usually shout when in trouble / emergency, although it was not too clear, but you could make out her helplessness in her voice.  In addition, she was also a very caring girl, she knew we were in Shanghai, and just before hanging up, she gently said: "Let us chat again when I am at Shanghai."


Red words: (vertical)

Michelle Ye is in Hong Kong, but she is also not there.  In the name list of materialistic flocks, her name can't be found, she too can't be found in the happening crowd of New Causeway Bay.  That is why she is so amazing, because sometimes, the power of assimilation is intimidating, people around are making clothes with their money, yet you are still wearing that cotton dress.  Michelle is so, she lets you feel that during the most important times of her life, at a certain time just when you never realize, she turns her back against the spotlight, in her simple cotton dress, she stays inside the house by the lakeside she has bought a few years ago, but has never had the time to renovate, and reads her favorite book quietly.  She said she is very similar to the Mang Lai Kuan in 'Eternal Happiness', and is also very similar to Patrick Tse – even if everything is changing, she still has her undying forthrightness.



Say you saw the grand church of Milan, they spent 500 years constructing it, until now, it has  history of 500 years.  This kind of amazement is not merely due to the impact of delicate art, it is also due to the rich historical significant it represents.  Those humungous rocks in Dali, they were willing to sacrifice so much time just to build a house, and it now becomes the most classic heritage.  I think this is how art is supposed to be like, you sacrifice your foundation, this foundation does not mean financial foundation, it refers to the time foundation, the foundation of your enthusiasm, to only be able to do that one thing in your life, but it will forever amaze the generations to come.  Including the drawing of Da Vinci, 'The Last Supper', the incredible effect of lights and shades will definitely impress you to applaud, because I am too in a profession where it involves visual effect, thus I feel very impressed. 

Living not as 'modern' as you think

She lives exceptionally un-Hong-Kong-like in Hong Kong, this is her ability.  She doesn't listen to songs, doesn't work to death, besides shutting herself at home to devour on books, the other thing she does is to hike up the mountain peak for a sniff of fresh air.  Living in such a metropolitan city, her life is still considered very primitive, she is very insistent in this aspect. 

R: It was said that you don't listen to music?

M: I seldom listen.  I will put a CD in my car, and listen to the same one for a very long time, those really outdated type, even after a few years it is still that CD, until someone recommends me a new CD.  I have always embarrassed myself this way, some of my colleagues are those really good singers, kings and queens (of singing), yet I've never heard their songs, only know that they sing really well when I work with them, and I'll feel that it's a heavenly voice, and I'll be like I've made a huge discover, and then they'll always laugh at me… because I don't really have any awareness for music.

R: What kind of sports do you like?

M: Hiking up mountains.  I love to hike mountains wherever I am, to walk, because I get to see sceneries.  (R: You don't like to take a ride in a car?)  I don't.  Sometimes, I'd rather take the train and the take a walk.  If I'm not in a hurry, I'll just let my driver off.  I feel that it's only two streets away, I'll just walk over.

R: So it is OK for you to go film in some secluded area?

M: Yea, I've been there when I just started filming.  When filming 'Gods of Honor', because it was mountainous, transportation is a little inconvenient, but the scenery is very beautiful, very worth it, it is because there is inconvenience for transport that it can preserve its nature.  That was in Guangdong, let me think… it is called Shaoguan. That time we could only take those kind of little bread van to there, we took 9 hours of ride after our flight or after our train ride, we'll only reach after a long journey. (R: How long did you stay there?)  More than a month. (R: How do you pass time besides filming?)  We play football, basketball, stroll around the little vegetable market.  It was just really interesting and joyful.  We caught mice too, the house has mice. (R: Aren't you afraid?) Yes, that is why we need to catch it away!




The big girl who grew up with conventional education

Girls born in Jiang Nan usually have a graceful aura, she too is graceful - reciting poems, watching operas - these two clearly proves her standing.  And when she said the place she wished to visit most is Henan, it really puzzles most people who are going towards Hong Kong. 

R: You grew up in Hangzhou and then went to the States, and later came to Hong Kong, do you think you are more influenced by conventional (eastern) cultures or the European (western) culture?

M: I think it should be the conventional culture, even when I was in the pageant, it was for the 'Most Classic Beauty', because besides the pageant crown there is another 'Most Classic Beauty' award, the theme is to wear ancient attire.  I've learnt dancing since young, and then learnt Tang poems at around three to four years of age, so for me, conventional cultures has influenced me more.

R: You grew up in Hangzhou, are you influenced by those elders, do you like to watch opera?

M: I like to listen to Shaoxing opera (越剧), I really loved it, because my grandmother loves to listen to it, because there was a period of time when I used to live with my grandmother when I was young, so I really love to listen to opera, later when I came to Hong Kong, I still listened to it, I listen to Cantonese operas.

R: Hong Kong and Hangzhou, where do you prefer to live?

M: Hangzhou is very relaxed.  People living in Hangzhou usually take strolls by the lake (Xi Hu).  Hangzhou's life is where people there understand the meaning of 'relax'; they know how to live their life well.  Then Hong Kong people, their routines are hectic, their efficiency is high, those who desire to achieve a lot will think it is an ideal atmosphere.  Those who wish to live in Hangzhou can also easily achieve their goals. (R: Are you someone who have lots to do, or someone who wish to have a life?) I want both, thus I travel to and fro between both places. (laughs)

R: If you have a choice to be fluent in a certain language right now, which one do you wish to learn?

M: I wish to learn Henan dialect most, Henan language.  I feel that Henan dialect has its specialties, it is a very beautiful language, humorous. (R: When did you discover that Henan dialect is humorous?) Recently I made some friends from Henan, so I began to come in face with it, I feel that Henan's literature, geographical as well as language are very unique. (R: Do you wish to visit Henan if you have the time?) Yea, I really love Henan, I wish to go to Luo Yang. (R: To see peony?) Yes, it is the ancient city of the 13th dynasty, it has a very authentic feeling.

Only wishes to continuously read, read, read…

Having ever read her book, I was totally amazed at that moment: "How can a girl who has lived in Hong Kong for so long, her Chinese (Mainland) literature is yet so exquisite."  Because girls there (Hong Kong), besides those with literature background, usually write about brands, random articles, it may be 'Bling bling', otherwise it's sweet stuff, but her words were carries wisdom. During this conversation, she often mentioned about her readings, this is when I realized, her ability to write such a book is not without a reason.

R: When you are in Hong Kong, what do you do when you're not filming?

M: oh… reading.   I really love reading and sharing books with friends.  My friends, actors, directors, scriptwriters, producers and many more, we will always exchange good books.  Because I've always felt I've never seen enough of this world, neither have I known enough, understand enough, I have a very strong curiosity, I am forever wanting to know more, sometimes some people cannot understand my intense desire to understand, so I think this is my weakness too.

R: Do you go to bookstores usually?

M: Yes, I don't usually go shopping in Hong Kong, not more than 3 times a year, I don't really like it, I have nothing to shop.  I mostly spend my time having meals with friends and watch movies, otherwise I am working, I'm probably a more 'quiet' type of person, anything that is 'happening' that I attend is mostly for work.  And when I do shop, it is mostly to bookstores, I don't really go to boutiques, shoe stores or jewelry shops, my clothes are usually bought by my company, I don't shop for them myself.

R: What if you were at other places, do you go to bookstores too?

M: Yes, I go to bookstores most, for overseas, I go to museum mostly, bookstores and galleries. 

R:  Since you love reading books so much, you must be very earnest when reading scripts?

M: Yea, I am accustomed to make notes for every scenes, thus whenever I go filming I bring along a thick notebook, most are my notes before acting.

Must leave lots of footprints on the globe

She says she appreciate how her father lets go of her when she was young, allowing her to learn to absorb and be independent – this is the most critical as well as the proudest difference that she has in her childhood days as compared to other children.  So now when she is grown up, her legs will no longer obey her body, it keeps bringing her to faraway places.

R: When you recall now, which period in the States become your most memorable treasure?

M:  I really miss one of my summer holiday, it was two months long, there were 60 of us chosen from different parts of the world, from Europe, England, Finland, Israel, also Pakistan, as well as China, Japan too, Congo, and even some from the tribes, we lived together for two months.  It was a summer leadership camp held by the States for its 100++ years of history, the experience was very profound, there were no TV or transportation at all in the mountains, and no newspaper even, thus you can really feel the cultural socialization between people of different places.  We learn from one another, work together, make our houses, work out together, sing together, share our life with one another.  Some girls were from war torn countries, a girl from Bosnia, she told us how her grandfather was shot in the head, but did not die, he lied at home until his body became rotten, he died very slowly, it was very, very pitiful.  And those girls from Israel and Pakistan, they normally don't become friends, they are enemies from the start, but at this summer camp, everyone becomes friends.  They even share their religious beliefs, their experience, it was very interesting.

R: You mentioned you will go for vacation once you have the time, what was the furthest place you've been to?

M: Furthest… Europe.  Do you mean far from China?  Then the States, Europe, actually they are not exactly far too… (after considering a while…) Then it should be Milan, that is quite far, because we had to transit during our flights.

R: What is you biggest gain from traveling?

M: The amazement from learning others cultures.


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