Cafe. Waiting. Love.'s Vivian Sung talks acting, singing and studying

Cafe. Waiting. Love.'s Vivian Sung talks acting, singing and studying

Vivian Sung tells Melanie Leung how a chance encounter with Giddens Ko landed her the lead in his new film

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Vivian Sung is the star of Giddens Ko's new movie, Cafe. Waiting. Love.
Vivian Sung is the star of Giddens Ko's new movie, Cafe. Waiting. Love.
Photo: Sam Tsang/SCMP

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Sung's chemistry with Bruce Bu made filming easy.
Sung's chemistry with Bruce Bu made filming easy.
Photo: Edko Films

When Vivian Sung first walked into producer Angie Chai's office, she could never have guessed she'd end up starring in Giddens Ko's latest romance film, Cafe. Waiting. Love.

"I never thought I'd end up acting," says the 21-year-old from Taiwan, who went to see Chai on a friend's recommendation. "Before, I had wanted to sing."

But Ko, the writer and director most famous for the 2011 hit You Are the Apple of My Eye, spotted Sung entering the office. He thought she looked cute, so followed her in.

"[Sung] was so intuitive, as if nothing would intimidate her," recalled Ko in an interview after she was cast.

"I told my manager right after that she was made to be the lead actress in Cafe. Waiting. Love."

Sung auditioned for the role of Si-ying in the film, along with 100 other girls, and ended up landing the part.

"I can't believe I went from shooting a music video to starring in Cafe. Waiting. Love," says Sung. "I loved Ko's novel, so I was super-psyched to be in the film."

Sitting in a cafe in Central - an apt location given the film - Sung smiles confidently. She says it was easy to play the role of Si-ying, because she shares a similar personality to the character.

"We are both very lively girls, really dalala [Taiwanese term for carefree] and tomboyish," says Sung.

Si-ying's relationship with love interest A-tuo, played by co-star Bruce Bu Lu-si, came naturally to Sung, as she found it easy to laugh and play around with Bruce on set.

Like her character, Sung also believes it is important to stand up for what's right, although she admits it can be hard to find the courage to do so at times.

Si-ying, though, is not afraid to stand up for others. The crew teased Sung over this, calling her a sanba, a Taiwanese word for a girl who has to be the centre of attention.

"When I first acted, I was quite self-conscious," says Sung. "So when they started calling me sanba, I thought, well if that's what you like, I'll be a super sanba, just to show them. It made me more carefree, just like Si-ying."

But Sung's happy, carefree personality made one part of the acting experience difficult - crying.

"[Director Chiang Jin-lin] was very patient, and told me what was happening," says Sung. "Before he was done, my eyes were already brimming with tears."

The crying scene was shot near the end of filming, so Sung had already personally experienced Si-ying's journey.

But it still took a gruelling nine hours to film.

"It was the longest I've cried in my whole life. I ruined three pairs of contact lenses because my make-up kept running."

Becoming a movie star has been like a dream for Sung, but it hasn't changed her.

She will return to reality after summer, as she finishes off her final year at university as a textiles student.

"I hope to finish my schooling soon and focus on acting."

In the future, she wants to pursue her first passion - singing.

"I actually just made a wish, to hold my own concert at the Hong Kong Coliseum before I turn 30," she laughs.

Given how successful she's already been in acting, you wouldn't bet against her.

Sung tells us the best part about being on set for the new film

 

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Sung isn't waiting around

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