Hong-Kong-based Chinese American actor Terence Yin is the star of Fog, directed by Kit Hui, that will be streaming on CHOPSO starting Tuesday December 5. Set in Hong Kong at its tenth anniversary of the ex-colony’s reunion with China, Fog tells the story of a young man (played by Yin) whose memory has been wiped entirely clean from a rare amnesia, tries to recall his past through the conflicting recollection of his family and friends. CHOPSO takes the opportunity to catch up with Terence.
C: As an Asian American actor, how did you start your career in Hong Kong?
TY: I began my career in Hong Kong mainly because I met my parents’ old friend Willie Chan in Hong Kong one summer while I was still attending college. Willie became my manager after my graduation and I have remained in HK / Asia since then. Fate turned into a calling.
C: Did you already speak Chinese when you started acting in Hong Kong?
TY: My Chinese was not very good when I 1st came back to HK to act. Gradually I was able to improve so now I am proficient in both Mandarin and Cantonese.
C: Can you talk about how Fog came about with Director Kit Hui?
I met Kit through a college / family friend of mine who served as a producer for Kit’s graduation film from Columbia University. My friend asked me to be a part of Kit’s short film. I did and we had a great time on that shoot. From there, I invited Kit to Hong Kong to shoot some MV’s / short films through my website at the time, alivenotdead.com. During that time, Kit found the resources she needed to shoot Fog in HK.
C: What’s the one message about Fog that you want the audience to take away with?
TY: From what I can remember, Fog is an exploration about self-identity. My character was given a chance to reexamine all the elements of his life because of his amnesia. The irony lies in that he never really knew himself before his accident. He lived and reacted to his environment, but never really thought much about it. Amnesia represents a clean slate, a chance to start over, a reason to find the person inside you never knew existed.
C: Would you consider acting in Hollywood like Daniel Wu did? Any plans for that?
TY: I never seriously considered making a jump to Hollywood. I am happy my friend Daniel and others are doing so well in Hollywood. As Asian actors, in America or Asia, we are all fighting on the same side of the battle. I will do my part from here and hopefully play a part in bringing the 2 sides closer.
C: What advice would you give to a young Asian American actor starting out? Would you recommend staying in the U.S. or trying his/her luck in Asia?
The only advice I can give anyone is to follow your heart and follow your passion. There is no right or wrong path for an actor and we all have our own unique path and experience for our own journey. Don’t listen to anyone that tells you you can’t do something or be where you want to be. Though we cannot predetermine our “achievement,” we have every right to make our own journey and uniquely express ourselves.