Her steamy roles in two recent shows have resulted in Hong Kong actress Fala Chen being labelled a “Category-III actress”.
But the 31-year-old told My Paper in a phone interview that being called a Category-III actress didn’t bother her.
“Movies are categorised differently in each country. In the United States, where I grew up, an R-rated movie is just a different way to categorise a movie and has nothing to do with (what the) actors (do),” said the former beauty queen, whose eight-year contract with Hong Kong television station TVB expired in May.
Category III is a rating that is synonymous with Hong Kong’s soft-porn movies, but it is in fact a rating that restricts those under 18 from watching or renting such films.
The China-born actress – who recently returned from New York, where she further honed her acting skills – had an intimate scene with Chilam Cheung in TVB drama serial Triumph In The Skies II, and another with co-star Gordon Lam in her latest horror flick, Tales From The Dark 2.
Screening in cinemas now, Tales From The Dark 2 follows the format of the first instalment and features three short segments adapted from author Lilian Lee’s series of short horror stories.
According to Chen, the movie received a Category-III rating because it was a scary movie, and not for its sex scenes.
Speaking in fluent English, the actress – who was here early this month to promote Triumph In The Skies II – told My Paper that she decided to take on the role in the movie because Lee is one of her favourite Chinese female authors.
“I heard her name and I just couldn’t resist. I loved this role and I felt very strongly about this character,” she said excitedly. In the movie, she plays Chow Jing Ee, a woman who suffers from insomnia after her boyfriend (played by Lam) disappeared.
She gets some sleep eventually, after buying a pillow demon unknowingly.
To prepare for the role, Chen asked to sleep at the apartment where they were going to film. “I wanted to be alone, and be on the set to feel the loneliness and environment. Living there wasn’t that scary, but I felt extremely lonely.”
She didn’t encounter anything supernatural there, but she did say that it was extremely cold – because of the air-conditioning.
Tackling the sex scenes in the film was not something that bothered the actress: “I was assured that there would not be any nudity in the scene and (director) Gordon Chan had body doubles for me, so I felt very secure and was really immersed in my role.”
According to her, feedback on her role has been positive, but audiences she spoke to wished that her character had been expanded further. “I agree and disagree. I do wish there was more time on screen to expand the relationship between the two characters.
“But if you read the novel, you’ll find out that the author intentionally made these stories short to leave a lot of room for imagination, and to leave people with unexpected answers.”