Tu Vi is a familiar face in Viet Nam, having made her mark as a young, beautiful, talented actress model and singer. Her latest movie, Qua Tim Mau (Vengeful Heart), in which she plays the part of a ghost, attracted more than 700,000 viewers in the first 10 days of its release, breaking all records for Vietnamese movies. Vi talked to Luong Thu Huong about her career.
Inner Sanctum: How did you become an actress?
By a stroke of luck, I was invited to play a supporting role in the film Goi Giac Mo Ve (Recalling Dreams), which launched my acting career. My next role, as a student named Tra in the film Cong Mat Troi (The Sun Gate), convinced me to pursue acting full time.
I received many other proposals for various movies simultaneously after that, but I could only participate in two films: Sau Cuoc Chia Ly (After the Separation) and Vi Yeu (The Taste of Love).
Inner Sanctum: How do you choose your roles?
I do not want to limit myself to any particular role because I want to be a versatile actor. However, if I could pick one of my favourite roles, it would be that of a strong woman, which is a reflection of my true character.
Inner Sanctum: Vengeful Heart has been so successful, even breaking records in Vietnamese cinema. Its success has been attributed partly to your role as a ghost. Did you have to train hard to act so lively in that role? What was the most difficult part of being a ghost?
I think the most important part of acting lies in studying the script carefully and portraying the sincerest emotions through the characters, so that the viewers do not find the performance awkward and uncomfortable. I was very fortunate to have been given the role by director Victor Vu; it was one of my most exciting experiences.
The greatest challenge in acting as a ghost was in creating the glint in her eyes. The ghost needed soulful eyes to express her feelings.
Inner Sanctum: What do you want to improve in your acting style?
I have been very lucky in getting the chance to participate in many films, each of which has offered me different experiences and elicited a range of emotions. I'm a kind of perfectionist, so I always expect to deliver my best performance in whatever I am doing. That's why if I review any of my films and find mistakes, I never reproach myself for not doing better because I know that I worked to the best of my ability.
Inner Sanctum: What is your dream role?
I dream of acting in a film with my idol, Angelina Jolie. Everyone has the right to dream, right?
Inner Sanctum: Besides acting, you are also a very good singer, as seen in your third acting role in Just the Two of Us. Do you have any intention of pursuing singing as a career as well?
As I said, I'm a perfectionist, so only when I feel really ready for it will I pursue it relentlessly. Singing has been one of my passions since I was a child, but I'm still passionately in love with and would love to spend more time on acting.
Inner Sanctum: Which do you think is more difficult, singing or acting?
If singing is considered a way to satisfy a passion and you don't pursue it professionally, it is not as hard as acting. But there are many factors involved in becoming a great singer, including a predestined affinity for the career. Many people are not very good at singing, but they still become famous through various means. In contrast, many people are very good at singing, but they are not well-known because they follow a less publicity-centric method.
If the capital for an actor is acting ability, the capital for a singer is a large sum of money if he or she wants to become famous. In short, I think singing is much more difficult than acting.
Inner Sanctum: In your opinion, what should Vietnamese artists do to leave a good impression on the audience?
I think both actors and singers are public figures who can create new trends within the community and can significantly affect their audience. The artists therefore should maintain a good lifestyle and, more importantly, lead a righteous life in all their activities, not only in the field of arts.
Inner Sanctum: What are your plans for the future?
I have many plans. Acting is in my blood, so I will focus on developing myself in the film industry. Besides acting, I have been trying to learn more about producing films and writing scripts. I hope this year will be a successful one for me and that I will continue to receive enthusiastic encouragement from the audience on my film projects. — VNS