May 15, 2023

Hillary Lau 劉沛蘅 / The Other Side

Everyone has different facets, and Liu Pei-heng (Hillary), who started as a model, has always been known for her sweet smile. In recent years, she has been working hard to transition into TV dramas and variety shows. She has even successfully hosted the variety show “Gel War,” where audiences are drawn to her genuine and unpretentious nature. Approaching 32 years old, compared to over 10 years ago when she first entered the industry, Hillary is still the girl with maximum sweetness, spreading positive energy and laughter to those around her. However, in her own eyes, “sweetness is just one aspect of her defined image,” and she believes that persistence is the best adjective.

ZTYLEZ: Many viewers describe you as “sweet.” Do you feel limited by this label? What impression do you want to leave on your audience?
Hillary: I have a low sense of humor, so I often can’t help but laugh. It’s okay for the audience to categorize me as “sweet.” I don’t feel restricted by this label; it’s just a defined image, and it’s also a form of praise. I enjoy laughing and can infect the people around me, making them happy and sharing positive energy. In fact, I have many different aspects to me, but I haven’t had the opportunity to show them to the audience yet. I hope that in the future, they will also see my more playful and spontaneous side.

Ear Cuff, Rings all from Swarovski
Ruffle Denim Top from Isabel Marant, Pants, Platform from Versace

ZTYLEZ: What kind of person are you? Is there a difference between your appearance and your inner self?
Hillary: I am a typical Gemini, often inconsistent and sometimes unsure of what I want or what I want to do. Although I have a slow-to-warm-up personality, I also enjoy playing pranks on my friends. Among my group of friends, I consider myself a leader in creating a lively atmosphere. However, when I am with someone who has even more energy than me, like Ah Zheng, I become a listener.

ZTYLEZ: If you were to describe yourself with three adjectives, what would they be?
Hillary: Sensitive, I easily laugh and cry. Sometimes when I watch dramas with my grandma, I can fully immerse myself in just one episode and end up crying. And when I cry, I can’t control my voice.Persistent, when I like or believe in something, I will definitely do it until I succeed. I have been in this industry for over ten years because I love it, so I have always persisted and tried different new things, hoping for breakthroughs and achievements.Positive, I easily influence the people around me, especially by bringing happiness to them. My partner is more pessimistic, and many people around us think that he has become happier after we started dating.

Off white knitted top, Light Blue Blazer all from Sprotmax
Jersey Tops all from Miu Miu

ZTYLEZ: What is the biggest difficulty or challenge in transitioning from a model to a host and actor?
Hillary: For me, the most difficult part is presenting a natural side. In the past, my work as a model was mainly focused on photoshoots, but when filming a drama or hosting a show, there is already a script that predicts the direction of the story. However, I have to interpret it naturally. For example, if I have to act like I’ve never eaten a bowl of noodles before, even though I have, I need to think quickly and say whatever comes to mind. At the same time, I have to filter whether what I say is appropriate for public consumption. The difficulty lies in being myself in front of the camera.

ZTYLEZ: Knowing that you have been following a teacher to learn acting, what role do you most want to challenge?
Hillary: Transitioning from a model, I feel like a blank canvas, so I feel the need to learn in class. However, I was a bit resistant when following my first teacher because in the first class, I had to learn to let go of myself. It felt like breaking myself and then reshaping a new self, which was a painful process. It made me constantly doubt myself, so at that time, I felt unable to adapt. But later, by chance, I took classes with another teacher and fell in love with acting. I discovered that it is an interesting thing with so many possibilities. It made me determined to develop in this field, and I continue to take classes now. At this stage, I have an open attitude. If given the opportunity, I would most like to try roles that are contrasting to myself or roles that I wouldn’t encounter in real life, such as a mentally ill patient, someone who has been bullied for a long time, or a student. When I first entered the industry, I was looking forward to the opportunity to act in campus youth dramas. Although I am now past that stage in age, I am still making efforts to maintain my youth because acting knows no age.

Jacket from Isabel Marant, Leather Thong boots from Miu Miu, Hoop Earring from Swarovski

ZTYLEZ: Do you have any specific partners you want to collaborate with?
Hillary: I hope to have the opportunity to collaborate with Sean Lau, he is my idol. When watching him act, it doesn’t feel like he’s acting, but rather living. That’s exactly what I need to learn.

ZTYLEZ: Performance is also a kind of art. What is your definition of art?
Hillary: I believe that art is inseparable from people. Whether it’s a good piece of work, a technique, or a craft, everything is connected to people. Artworks are a way of expressing emotions, and it’s difficult to define what is considered an artwork. When a piece of work can resonate with you or align with your personal aesthetic, it can already be considered as an artwork.

Printed dress from Versace

ZTYLEZ: What does turning 32 and entering your thirties mean to you?
Hillary: When I was about to turn 30, I had concerns too, especially for women in the entertainment industry, this number doesn’t feel young anymore, and with the harsh online comments, it made me want to transition even more. Because acting has no age limit, I would tell myself not to worry about how old I am, as long as I can portray the character convincingly, that’s all that matters. I don’t mind the number and I will work hard to take care of myself, hoping to look younger and take on different roles.

Executive Producer: Angus Mok
Photographer: Ken Leung
Videographer: Kason Tam, Fai Wong
Video Editor: Kason Tam, Fai Wong
Styling: Yoanah Chan
Guest Model: Hillary Lau
Makeup: Zoe Fan
Hair: Seiko Sin @ Hair Culture
Wardrobe: Sportmax/ Versace/ Miu Miu/ Isabel Marant/ Swarovski

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