Sunday, August 31, 2003

Article from Express Weekly 25/08/03
Translation by Em @TVBspace

In the Bible, Proverbs 4:23 reads: "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."

When Sammul Chan was being interviewed, he led into this verse as it is revealed that throughout his life, he has always kept by this belief.

Chan Kin Fung, originally named Chan Yan Yiu is 25 and a devout Christian, living in a church ever since he was young; was once a life guard who has never saved anyone and in 1996 when he was a DJ in Metro Radio was voted the best looking DJ. In 1999 he entered TVB and has been nothing special since, until the airing of "Lut Ching San Yan Wong" (Survivor's Law) when he shoots to fame in one go. Playing the character of Vincent straddling both good and evil, he has won the hearts of many a young girl and rapidly risen to the ranks of TVB's male leads.

Leslie Cheung once chose Sammul specifically to film his music video for "Kit San Ji Ngoi" (Love and Treasure Oneself); his boss and 'headmaster' of the music world Alan Tam has also picked him out and specially looked after him, pushing him into being a 'New King' of 2003.

Although his background has been researched, his father has made the press, his address has been revealed and he has been linked with Myolie Wu... rumours seem to be continuous, but this is the proof of fame. Maybe, this is the price of becoming famous and there is probably no-one who will not enjoy this experience, unless you don't want to be famous. Sammul maintains a bold never-changing heart, always remembering his beliefs and rejecting all the temptations.

The series "Survivor's Law" has just finished airing, peaking at 37 points and it is hard to believe that a show carried by newcomers has gained such good results. It has also risen to fame the "Two Fungs" the darker Raymond Lam Fung and the lighter Sammul Chan Kin Fung, moreover Sammul's performance has been surprisingly good, making his once unfamiliar name the latest Romeo of young girls and successfully pushing him into the limelight.

Entering the entertainment industry, then the obvious goal is fame and it is indisputable that "Survivor's Law" has brought fame to Sammul. However, he himself admits that he was very surprised by this: "During filming, I felt that Bernice Liu's daft character was more outstanding and I thought she would be the one to gain success. All I did was to do my job to the best of my ability in the hope that the audience would get to know Sammul Chan through this series. As for the ratings, I was very nervous, checking up on it every week and worried that the nasty character would be scolded by people and afraid that this would set my character as the bad guy. Luckily I discussed this with the producer and after the twist in the middle of the story, I was allowed to become good again in the end. The happiest thing that this show has brought me notoriety, but I don't feel I have 'stepped up', 'stepping up' at the most as I need another three, five or seven years to have 'stepped up'. However this time I must thank hreatly those who have given me this chance, because this was a most important opportunity."

Sammul is no longer an unknown name, no matter if he is Chan Kin Fung or Vincent, he has taken his first step to success.

Fame and fortune is the ultimate goal of any artiste and as a Christian, Sammul responds directly and honestly revealing his unblemished intentions: "Of course I want it! However it cannot be forced..." Continuing his openness, he reflects on his taste of fame and he feels a little lightheaded. His smiles reveal his snow-white teeth: "I've floated once or twice." However his next line is: "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." He explains that this is a golden line from the bible and that it's meaning is everything can be bad, but your thoughts must not be bad.

"I feel that this line is very true as there are so many temptations in this industry that can move the will of people. So whenever I feel that I am losing track of my senses, and thinking thoughts I shouldn't be or doing things that I shouldn't be doing, I will warn myself using this line and stand by my beliefs to settle down my thoughts. As the saying goes 'The Difference that One Thought Makes' this thought is very important as it can be good or bad and the best is still to be 'Back to Basics'. To become famous is good, but fame and fortune are not my true goals, money cannot represent anything, as long as I can make a living. To be a star or not? I don't really care."

So if you didn't want fame or fortune, why did you enter the industry?

"To me, the most important thing is whether I have contributed, I really hope that what I do can make me a friend to the audience and for them to be happy to see me or watch me perform. At the moment, whether it is in life, work or emotions, people meet with unhappiness so I hope that by being an artiste, I can give them some relaxation and support."

With fame comes gossip, Sammul cannot escape this rule of the industry, his family background has been uncovered and has been accused of pretending to have a preacher as a father and co-habiting with Myolie Wu. Sammul has not been angered by this as he understands this is part of the rules of the game. "I live in the same apartment block as Myolie, but we aren't dating. As for my father, I have never admitted to being the father of a priest, my father has worked for the church for over thirty years and since I was young, my family have lived in the baptist church until I was 19 when we moved out."

In truth, when all of Sammul's past profiles have been verified, this point has been clear and it is just the media who mistook a church worker for being a priest. However in response to these misunderstandings, Sammul has not pushed into it in depth because he does not want to pull his family or his religion into the topic of conversation and wants to keep it low profile. As for living in a Christian family, Sammul has never hidden this.

"I have been a Christian since I was very young as my family has been so for the last five generations. Religion to us is a spiritual dependence and it can be a great strength when life is difficult to give us support and direction. As for whether I will offer my life to the churce in the future like my father, it is hard to say, but at the moment, this time has not yet come." As for the gossip outside, Sammul will take no notice: "Entering showbiz brings with it a fair share of gossip, this is hard to control or evade, but I will stand by my beliefs."

With fame comes an easy road and with so much attention on Sammul today, then in addition to the promotion given by TVB, he has also had the support of the two greats of the industry Alan Tam and the late Leslie Cheung. Not only the 'headmaster' of the music industry, Alan Tam is also the boss of Star East and with many open praise directed at Sammul he has pledged to promote him as the top star of 2003. While he was still alive, Leslie also invited Sammul to appear in his music video, proving that his foundations are very strong. In response to the faith offered to him by these two greats, Sammul is very grateful: "I am very thankful to them! In fact, they are both my idols, for Alan to bring me under his wing this has given me the greatest confidence. Leslie was very friendly and enjoyed bringing forward his successors and when I filmed the MV with him, he lent me the clothes that he was originally going to wear and I was very touched indeed. With Alan's selection of me, it has put a lot of pressure on me, but I will work very hard and in the future as well as filming series, I will have the chance to launch an album and I hope it will be out in time to take part in the Newcomer's Awards."

In fact, Sammul has not had a smooth ride all the way, after graduating from Form 7, he took on a job as a life guard but regrets never having saved anyone. Afterwards, he tried an audition for DJ at Metro Radio where he met his agent and signed with TVB and Star East entering the showbiz circles. However in 1999, he was just a big extra with a few scenes and at most three lines. Later in 2001, he had a chance to become a travel show presenter, but didn't get very far.

In "Survivor's Law", Vincent is very success-driven and impatient, but in real life, Sammul understands that things cannot be rushed so in these few years, he does not feel he has wasted his time. "All along I have been preparing myself, so when the chance comes, I will grasp it. If you rise quickly, you will fall quickly, I would prefer to take it one step at a time." It turns out that Sammul has recorded an album in Taiwan but it has been delayed in its released because of contractual problems, however, because of his recent rise in popularity, his virgin Mandarin song "Xin Pengyou" (New Friend) has been given a new life and aired on the radio. "Between acting and singing, I have more confidence in the latter because I have been singing hymns in church since I was very young and this has given me training and a great interest. Although the recording plans in Taiwan went to pot, Star East are currently preparing for me to enter the music industry so I am full of hope."

With his career finally taking off, Sammul cannot stop talking about it but as for his love life, he describes it as 'a blank sheet' and has nothing to say. "There is no problem in letting people know about dating, but at the moment it is time to work hard on my career so I will not be talking too much about romance. I have dated before, but I won't say how many times and because our personalities didn't match, we split up. At the moment, I don't really want to think about love yet, my priority is on the mission of working hard." It would seem that as well as keeping his heart, he is also keeping himself by not even telling how many times he has dated. For now, his work comes first ... really? Or is it that love life is a no-go area? Brother Chan, with just career and religion to support you, isn't life a little boring?

On the day of the photoshoot, a request was made to return to Sammul's former home of the Baptist Church in Kowloon City to look around where he grew up. Taking photographs in this place, it was so much more convenient with Sammul around:
Q: Where is the church?
A: Over here, just wait, I will go and switch on the light.
Q: Is there anywhere that will have more life to the picture? A more lively place?
A: Upstairs in the recreation room, you can play table tennis there.

In terms of every place in the church, Sammul knew it exactly, after all he had spent 19 years here. Seeing Sammul greeting the headmaster as he responded asking for an autograph, the church friends presenting him with freshly baked egg tarts to offer to us. Suddenly, a gush of warmth broke through my heart although I hadn't yet eaten the warm tarts, no wonder Sammul will return here once a month no matter how busy he is. This is like a second home to him and is also his refuge.

"Here, I feel so peaceful, especially in the days when I am feeling down, all I need to do is come back here and I will feel better. Since moving out, I have seen little of my family so the church is where I can reunite with my family again." It's so good to be home!

For more pictures refer to the original article:

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