Love has always been a troublesome thing and although Shirley Yeung has a good boyfriend in Gregory Lee, they have undergone very different paces in their career development. Whilst she has risen from a ‘homely Miss Hong Kong’ to the top of the tree, his progress has only been so-so. As a result, this relationship has undergone some pressures.
Although Shirley does not look for an easy life after marrying into a rich family, she does not think that you can live on love alone. She has her own motto: "How can you have love without also having a career?"
In the past whenever you mentioned Gregory, Shirley would reveal a very sweet look, but there have been rumours recently of their split and TVB have always laid on some pressure on them, leaving them in a very difficult position. Talking of her current situation around her relationship, Shirley puts up her defence and becomes a very different from her usual friendly self. She frowns as she says with insistence: "I don’t want to say. (Is the company putting pressure on you?) You can’t say it is pressure, I just want to focus more on my career and I am getting tired of talking about my love life all the time. I really don’t want to mention it any more."
Asked what she would choose if she had to choose between career and love, Shirley selects her career and explains: "If you have no career, then how can you find love? You cannot survive on love alone, everyone still has to eat and I have to pay for my home and my family. I don’t want to be asked about my relationship matters all the time."
Among the leading ladies at TVB, Shirley can be noted as one of the ‘cleanest’ as aside from Gregory, she has not been linked with anyone else. She says directly that she does not have many pursuits and she doesn’t care for marrying into a rich family: "If he doesn’t love you, then it doesn’t matter how much money he has. The most important thing is to find someone who is compatible and loves me. To be honest though, I have never really had many people chasing me. (There have been rumours that Steven Ma has been courting you?) Really? No he hasn’t! We are colleagues and filmed together before. He is like a big brother to me and was always helping me with advice during filming. (Is Steven taking advantage of the situation?) No, we just worked together."
Together, split? True, False? Only they will know the answer. However, the perfect figures 34,24,35 are absolutely correct and Shirley indicates that this is thanks to her mother’s great genes, giving her the face of an angel, but the figure of a devil, making many girls very jealous and captivating many men. Shirley laughs out loud and says: "I am so flattered. Maybe because I am always smiling happily and I look like I have some baby fat, making me look like a little girl, so that is why they call me an angel! Thank you very much anyway!"
Shirley’s devilish curves are often making her the focus of attention and wearing a bikini, her pictures are appreciated my many, so each year in the summer, she will have the chance to take part in some very high profile shows. "I have to thank my mother. When she was young, her figure was even better than mine, but I have to work hard to keep my figure like this. Earlier when I visited Canada, I tried foods from Thailand, France, Indonesia and Vietnamese dishes, but my weight went up by 7 or 8 lbs to over 100 lbs. Now I am very frightened, because after you are 25, it is even harder to keep your figure good. I am only gaining weight in isolated areas, so my arms and legs are fine, but if you look at my bum and waist, then it is very fat and I hope that I can find a slimming sponsor to sign me and save me some slimming costs."
To find a stable foothold in the showbiz industry, then you cannot depend on looks alone, so over the years, Shirley has been busy working to improve her acting skills. Finally she has had a breakthrough in "The Brink of Law" where she plays the villainess role of Sung Ka Yee, proving that even the sweet and innocent can also be very evil. She smiles: "At first, when producer [Mui] Siu Ching asked me to consider this character, I was very surprised and she said that if I had any doubts, then it would not be right because there would be inhibitions during my performance, but I agreed straight away because I wanted to challenge myself. Looking back at my performance, the face I saw was very cunning and strange, not like me at all, so as I watched, I was laughing out loud."
Shirley’s performances have always been unrestricted and limitless. As well as a villainess, she has also played a disabled person and a mute girl – each role is a challenge for her. However, the hardship of working hard day and night has led to suggestions that she is suffering from health problems, but Shirley has no complaints: "I admit that I put a lot of stress onto myself, including work, family, inside and out especially when I have nothing to do. Most people will complain that taking on two simulataneous projects is too hard, leaving just three or four hours a day to sleep, but I find that the busier I am the better because if I have too long to rest, I feel uncomfortable."
"You have stress! I have stress!" Usually to overcome stress, most people will chat with their friends, but in the complex world of showbiz, true friends are very hard to find and Shirley sighs: "In this industry it is very hard to find friends. When I think too simply, others think too complicatedly. Sometimes when you treat them as a friend, then will suddenly think too much into it and it is hard to predict." Fortunately, Shirley has a group of friends whom she has known since the first year of secondary school and a lot of problems go without a word: "Of course I have met a lot of happy things and unhappy things after entering the industry and they have been very good. We all have an understanding and they know what I am thinking, so it is very rare."
For the Chinese new year this year, Shirley took advantage of her timeoff and joined some of her old friends to go on a trip to Canada. Although the press reported this as a ‘recouperation trip’, but this did not affect her enjoyment: "These friends I have known for a long time and we each had a big suitcase with us so that we could enjoy our two weeks in Canada, just eating, playing and sleeping. I didn’t have to think about anything or trouble myself and I was very happy."