Raymond Lam (林峯) did not take the decision to leave TVB lightly. The actor and singer thought long and hard for three years before he finally made the decision in 2014.
“I’ve been doing television for many years. It’s to the point where I’m starting to see a repeat in subject matter of my dramas,” said Raymond, who has filmed about 40 television dramas in the last 15 years.
“I’ve tried all the roles that I could control, and that fire [passion] inside me is slowly extinguishing.”
Raymond graduated from TVB’s 13th artist training class in 1999. For the first two years of his career, he took part in small non-speaking roles in television dramas and participated in various travelogue programs, also hosting Mandarin-language shows for TVB8.
He landed his first major supporting role in the 2001 drama A Taste of Love <美味情緣>, and shot to fame after starring alongside Louis Koo (古天樂) in the 2001 time traveling drama, A Step Into the Past <尋秦記>.
“I decided to leave [TVB] because I hope to find new breakthroughs in my career,” explained Raymond. “I also want to be able to improve my acting by assimilating more experiences that the television industry was unable to give me.”
Now that Raymond is taking temporary hiatus from the Hong Kong television industry, will Raymond focus more on his singing career?
“Singing has always been a dream of mine since young. It’s really hard to maintain a career in film, music, and TV when filming dramas take up most of your time. Besides music, I also want to try more movies!”
The decision to end his 15-year management relationship with TVB was not an easy one, but when asked if he missed his “mother station”, Raymond said, “No, because this wasn’t a decision made at the spur of the moment. I actually think I should work even harder after leaving. To be able to come across such a supportive and understanding new agency is really hard to come by.”
Coming from a wealthy family, it was said that Raymond’s success in both the television and music industries was largely due to his powerful family background. These allegations made Raymond really uncomfortable at first.
“I once requested the organizers to not give me an award. Many assumed I had behind-the-scenes supporters anyways, so winning would just make me uncomfortable.”
But after going through that first year of weak financial income as with most TVB acting graduates, Raymond was already earning money to pay back to his family by his second year of debut.
“The only time when my father had to support me economically was in my first year of debut. In the second year, I was already earning enough money to give my father!”
Raymond also said that both of his parents are very understanding, and his father never once asked him to return home to take care of his family’s business.
“They never gave me that pressure. I’m very fortunate to have such open-minded parents.”