Hong Kong is a place brimming with talented and intriguing people. Each week in 27 Questions, we get up close and personal with the city’s notable personalities, learning about their whims, aversions, pivotal life moments, and hopes and dreams — all in roughly the same duration it takes to sit through a two-minute speed date. This week, we speak to actress Hedwig Tam.

From Bruce Lee to Jet Li, Chow Yun-fat to Leslie Cheung, Tony Leung to Maggie Cheung and Andy Lau, the Hong Kong film industry is world-renowned for producing stars on the grandest scale during its golden age. Those days, however, are long gone.

Over the last two decades, the homegrown film industry has seen a rapid decline, and in turn, the fewer opportunities have also made it a tougher environment for aspiring actors to shine. But Hongkongers are also known for our resilience and perseverance, and despite the fading industry, our city is seeing no shortage of young, passionate actors who continue to work hard not for the money and fame, but the humble dream of capturing the hearts of their audience.

Hedwig Tam, recognised for her short side-parted hairstyle and effortlessly cool demeanour, is one of the standout talents in Hong Kong’s current youngest generation of actors. Originally a model, her break onto the silver screen came after casting for the role of a pregnant teenager in the 2016 movie ‘Weeds on Fire,’ which earned her a Hong Kong Film Award nomination for Best New Performer.

Since then, Tam has been participating in different roles on both big and small screens. Whether it’s a cancer patient, a queer pole dance instructor, or an Olympic karate athlete, she excels in every role like a chameleon, striving towards her dream to act for life — a burning passion that continues to blaze, just like the title of her movie debut.

In this week’s 27 Questions, we caught up with the budding actress to learn a little more about her hopes and dreams and everything in between. From her favourite childhood memory to her biggest role models growing up, scroll through to find out more.

Name: Hedwig Tam
Age: 30
Occupation: Actress

1. What is your life motto?

Everything happens for a reason, look for the real meaning behind it.

2. Who is your role model?

Tilda Swinton.

3. What is the best thing in or about your apartment?

It has a fascinating view that’s especially captivating at dusk.

4. Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Night Owl. I enjoy the peace and quiet of nighttime.

5. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

That would be tomatoes. I put them in everything I cook.

6. What is your biggest regret in life?

That I hadn’t spent more time talking to my grandfather.

7. What do you hate most about living in Hong Kong?

The pollution.

8. What is currently on your wish list?

The role of an irreplaceable movie character that will remain forever in the hearts of the audience.

 

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A post shared by 談善言 Hedwig Tam (@tamsyin) on May 8, 2020 at 8:19pm PDT

9. How often do you prepare your own meals?

Twice a week.

10. What is your greatest fear?

Becoming the kind of person that I loathe.

11. When did you last ride the Star Ferry? What were you doing/where did you go?

Last month, when I went to IFC to watch the 4K remaster of movie ‘Akira.’

12. What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

When I manage [to give] a performance I thoroughly enjoy and am pleased with, but it usually means overtime work for the film crew.

13. What is one movie everyone should see?

A one and a two (Yi Yi)‘ by Edward Yang

14. Which moment in your life would you most like to relive?

That spontaneous trekking trip in Nepal that I did solo. I went against everybody’s advice and finished a four-day journey in three days. At the end of the trip, I felt accomplished and had a sense of assurance knowing that hard work will always result in success.

15. If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?

Iceland. I love the surreal landscapes and that it’s quiet and isolated.

16. What makes someone a real Hongkonger?

Flexibility and courage.

 

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A post shared by 談善言 Hedwig Tam (@tamsyin) on Jun 24, 2020 at 9:36pm PDT

17. If you could invite any five people in the world to your dream dinner party, who would they be?
18. What is one song you know all the lyrics to?

‘如果我是一首歌 (If I were a song)’ by Yoyo Sham

19. If you had to describe Hong Kong in one word, what would it be?

Home.

20. What’s your favourite childhood memory?

I was only a few years old and was afraid my little brother was hungry, so I stood up on a little chair and tried to get cold water to mix some formula for him. Our mom got home and saw the whole thing.

21. What is one thing you’ve never revealed to your parents?

To have them as my parents is the luckiest thing that has ever happened to me.

22. What is your favourite scent in the whole world?

The smell of freshly cooked rice.

23. Are you a good cook? What is your best dish?

Not really, but I make a good avocado toast.

 

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A post shared by 談善言 Hedwig Tam (@tamsyin) on Jun 1, 2020 at 4:37am PDT

24. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own? Which do you wear the most often?

Around 30 pairs. I’m often wearing New Balance sneakers.

25. Who is the best teacher you’ve ever had, what is one important lesson that they taught you?

My uncle. He has shown me the importance of family.

26. Would you rather never be alone for a single moment, or be alone for the rest of your life? Why?

Never for a single moment. I enjoy having company, but we can be doing different things.

27. What is the last dream you remember waking up to?

I was floating in the sea and saw a nearby stone shore, yet I could never reach it no matter how hard I try.

Cindie Chan
Style Editor
Fashion blogger turned editor, Cindie has spent over seven years covering all things stylish in the digital world. When she’s not busy poring over the latest covetable releases or attending the most talked-about fashion events in town, you’ll find her enjoying some precious downtime with her newborn son and sweet dog Rosy.