November 03, 2008
Lin Yi Chen – Idol Drama Queen and role model
Source: Linyichen Baidu Bar
Translated by: Initial E @ asianfanatics.net
On the night of 31st October 2008, at the Golden Bell Awards Ceremony, everyone’s hearts were in their voices and eyes. The few ‘Drama Queens in waiting’ were waiting under the stage, jewels flashing, waiting for their turn to go onstage.
Angela Zhang Shao Han, Rainie Yang Chen Lin, Joe Chen Qiao En, Ariel Lin Yi Chen. When you hear these four names, you know this is war. All possessing youthful goods looks, they were all the queens of idol dramas, having millions of fans; they all have admirable acting talent, each of their dramas would achieve new heights in ratings. In a few minutes, one of them would win the Best Actress title and become the Heavenly Queen of Idol Dramas, also becoming the youngest and the first ever to win the title for a commercialised idol drama.
When her name was announced, we saw her wearing a white lacy skirt and walking up the stage to receive the prize from the presenters.
There were no tears or speechlessness, this young lady, who just celebrated her 26th birthday, expressed her thoughts and maturity in her thank you speech with a serious and clear tone. The words used were accurate, and she even playfully flirted with her ‘husband’ from the drama.
She is Lin Yi Chen, representing Ba Da Television channel’s idol drama “It Started with a Kiss II”, winning the title of Best Female Lead Actor in the 43rd Taiwan Golden Bell Award.
Independent Lead Actress
In 1982, Lin Yi Chen was born into a normal family in Taiwan, Yi Lan. When she was a child, her parents divorced, leaving only her mother to take care of her and her brother. “With little money and two children to take care of, her sickly mother could only rely on her credit card for emergencies. It accumulated into millions of Taiwanese dollars, and the family was in debt. This kind of family background let Yi Chen to develop a very thrifty way of life.” – Many articles about Lin Yi Chen would start off in this way, letting her have a sad but strong image. But to her, even though her life was painful, her childhood was that off any other girl – loving Cinderella and the Prince’s love story, chocolates and sweet things, often quarrelling with her brother, drawing beautiful anime girls with big eyes and skirts with bows and lace. Her family’s monetary troubles never got in the way of her life, and she would grasp any chance of happiness. If there were any hurtful memories, it was never to do with money, but rather, the lack of her father’s love. This she would forever remember, because she confesses that she is someone who holds grudges.
Hence, one night when she was still in high school, when her mother suddenly got a stroke, even though she and her brother were at a loss of what to do, she was still determined never to beg her father, who had walked out of their family, for help. “I led my brother and took my mother to the hospital alone; while completing all sorts of confusing paperwork, while talking to the doctors, I had to comfort my brother, and also trying to calm myself down.” With the nightmare of family debts and the possible fact that she would soon lose the person she loved most in this world, this 17 year old girl developed a sense of maturity and became strong. A few years later, in the classic ‘It Started with A Kiss’, she curled up in a dark corner of the hospital, holding a cell phone, she was so frightened, that she couldn’t punch in a single number, couldn’t say a single word. At that point, she was the perfect Yuan Xiang Qin, and also her most real self. What’s cruel was that the show’s Xiang Qin could go to Zhi Shu for help, but in real life, she only had herself: “Also, at that point of my life, I discovered that I couldn’t find anyone for help.” Hence she could only grow up fast, but unwillingly.
The same scene repeated itself in It Started with A Kiss II. In a crying scene that was shot repeatedly for many times, after it was done, she exhaustedly crawled into the car to continue crying for the behind the scenes take. To the camera, she forced a smile, saying: “Sometimes, being an actor means stealing some part of yours’ or others’ life.” For this show, in every NG or ACTION, she would reopen her wounds in her heart, letting the blood and flesh show again.
A year later, today, she stood on the stage after receiving the prize and said: “Someone once told me, that an actor’s mission is to lead the audience to greater depths of a person’s character, I really hope I have done this, and I believe everyone under the stage are like this too, using their lives to act, if not we would all definitely not be like this today.”
“Like this today” - maybe she has never once thought she would be in this position. At first she only wanted to buy her brother a new computer, hence she had no expectations as she went to participate in a contest, using her fresh and healthy look as a ‘beautiful young lady’ for advertisements, later on going to commercials and music videos. She remembers her first job: Wearing a white skirt, she was required to pose in all sorts of flying positions in front of a blue screen, and the pay was three thousand Taiwanese dollars. When she received her salary she ran home and one by one put the notes on her bed, and then lay on it smiling foolishly at her mother.
Even though people like to use the terms “for her family, she worked hard in acting for dramas’ to demonstrate her filial piety and sensibility, and ‘acting in two shows yet ensuring that she isn’t late for class’ or ‘to save money, she uses public transport’ to demonstrate her being hardworking and thrifty, Lin Yi Chen says that she feels it isn’t a hardship at all, because she loves to act, and doesn’t want to miss class, she also feels that public transport is not as crowded as it seems, and it’s fast too. Even though people have expressed astonishment upon seeing her using public transport, wearing giant sunglasses, a large mouth mask, and carrying a big bag, she does not really mind. She denies doing this to save money – it’s just that she feels it’s quite comfortable this way. Male actors who have worked with her before have all said that her greatest trait is that she possesses high acting talent and a generous spirit.
Mike He Jun Xiang, Wu Zun, Hu Ge, Joe Zhen Yuan Chang – actors who have collaborated with Lin Yi Chen before have all been very popular; each one of them have sweet mouths and earnest hearts, each one of them supports her and takes care of her. What’s more surprising is that no matter who she works with, he would grow popular, the series would be popular, and Lin Yi Chen herself would be even more popular. When she went on the show ‘Kuai Le Shi Zi Hui’, Taiwan’s big sister Zhang Xiao Yan took a great liking to her and took care of her; when she went on ‘Peach Protein’, talented lady Wu Dan Run and sexy queen Tian Xin talked to her gently, the whole scene was full of motherly love; last time, on her 26th birthday, she went on ‘Big Brother Variety Show’ with Joe Cheng, Zhang Fei, praised her as being extremely adorable, specially sending her a cake and kissing her on the cheek. Jacky Wu has been in the entertainment world for about 20 years and finally got his Golden Bell award, but on the other hand, this is her first time being nominated, and up against Fated To Love You’s Chen Qiao En, which broke a record 13.8 in ratings, but she won in the end.
People can only exclaim that Lin Yi Chen’s luck could only continue growing. Not anyone can have this kind of luck, not anyone can also be as cool and sensible like her.
She says she knows her own luck, but she still need to work harder, and not rest on her laurels. People will discover that this girl who ‘speaks less than 20 sentences to you in a day’ would use a hard to comprehend way of grasping all of life’s opportunities, and works hard for perfection. For every show, there must be a goal, she has to understand all of the casts’ roles; for every action, she must have three different ways of doing it, she has different feelings in each character; for every script, she must highlight it till it is very colourful, making notes at the side; for every line, she must remember and recite it until she remembers it, till she does not even need the script, and all the lines would just flow out. Hence, we see the gentle and kind Xiao Tong, feisty Fan Xiao Min, angsty Xiao Feng, her successful role as Xiang Qin and adorable Huang Rong…. Bit by bit, her acting improves. Hence when she received the Golden Bell Award, when asked by the media about her thoughts to being crowned ‘Queen of Dramas’, she could only say: “I’m not at all guilty about receiving this prize.”
Chen-type Little Old Person
When people asked about her regrets after receiving the award, she said her only regret was forgetting to thank the late Xu Wei Lun. The two of them met when filming ‘True Love 18’ and became good friends. Lin Yi Chen is a reserved person and does not have many friends in showbiz, and Wei Lun was her best friend. At that time, when the ‘Seven Immortals’ were requested as guests for Xu Wei Lun’s variety show ‘Quai Le Shi Zi Hui’, after hearing Wei Lun’s story about being cheated on by her ex-boyfriend and seeing the same ex coming to the show with no remorse, Lin Yi Chen cried even more than Xu Wei Lun.
Her friends knew that she was thinking about her ex-boyfriend, which was a senior that she liked for many years. He once carried her on his back to a small hill, spread a tablecloth, and cut a cake with her while looking at Taipei’s night scenery. Or maybe she thought of her first love back in primary school. That small boy, who now has become a hairstylist, once, under the rain, cycled her back home. Or maybe she was thinking about her father, who was tall and strong and was once her biggest support. Wounds, who would become even more painful if the memories were beautiful.
Weilun’s death let her finally realise that she should treasure everything that she has now, and she started to accept and forgive some things. While waiting for her next show to begin filming, she has learnt how to brew good coffee and sample good wine, learnt how to make delicious chocolate and cake, and even tried to get close to her father, whom she has not seen in twenty years. Her life has now less pain and more happiness in it.
However, her obsessive compulsive attitude has not changed. Her makeup arrangement must follow a special order and must be facing up; the decorations in her room must be arranged according to her preferences and cannot be moved; her accessories and shoes must be numbered and neatly stacked; every night she will sleep at 8 and wake up at 4.30 the next morning, then eating her breakfast at a stipulated time while listening to the radio.
With her boisterous and adorable outer appearance, her insistence on perfection let Da S and Xiao S to go crazy. After filming an episode of ‘Da Xiao Ai Chi’, they termed any young person like her a ‘Chen-type Little Old Person’.
Strong, lucky and determined, Lin Yi Chen has entered her 26th year, walking to the throne of ‘Idol Drama Queen’. Some people say, everyone can be 26 years old, but not everyone can become a queen of dramas. But she said: “After today, I will not be a queen of dramas anymore, and my life and work will continue as usual.”
From the celebration party to her home, the newly crowned Idol Drama Queen was in a deep slumber. The next day, she woke up and ate a nutritious and low calorie breakfast.
Congratulations Ariel! I gotta find some time to watch Tokyo Juliet. Both Wu Chun and Ariel were in that show..but Chun's hair was...eh....