August Man Malaysia Jan/Feb ’20 Cover, In Partnership With Franck Muller: 20 Years of Raymond Lam
When the world ushered in a new millennium along with the fourth industrial revolution at the turn of the 21st century, viewers saw the emergence of a new star amid the constellation of artistes in the celestial sphere of the Hong Kong entertainment industry, when a young Raymond Lam, then a fresh graduate of the TVB artists training class, made his professional debut at the television network.
When Sincere Fine Watches recently launched its sensational “100 Masterpieces” exhibition in Pavilion KL, in collaboration with esteemed independent watchmaker Franck Muller, Raymond Lam graced the event in a special appearance as the celebrity guest of honour.
We took the opportunity to speak to the pop star on his 20th anniversary, his film undertakings and the highly anticipated resumption of his iconic role in Line Walker for the third instalment of the series franchise in 2020.
How has your journey been since venturing beyond TVB and pursuing your career on your own?
Following my departure from TVB, I spent the first two years focusing on my music as well as giving myself the time to reflect on my overall career because since my debut at the age of 19, I spent over a decade working non-stop and learning the trade and, as a result, I did not get much time to digest what I have learned and put it all into perspective.
How do you feel about reprising one of your most iconic TV roles for the third instalment of the Line Walker series franchise?
It’s been five years since I last worked on the series, so I’m very happy to be able to reprise my role and work with many of the cast and crew again. If you’re an avid follower of the Line Walker franchise, you’d notice that there’s actually a few year’s gap in the timeline between the first and the second series.
The third Line Walker instalment serves to tell the story of the events that went down in those years, bridging the gap between the two shows, which is why you will see various characters from the first two shows come together and the plots that form the coherent whole of the Line Walker franchise.
“Acting for TV, I feel, calls for a more direct approach in order to cater for a wider and more diverse audience. This often inhibits an actor from experimenting outside the box. Film, on the other hand, has allowed me more room to innovate and push my boundaries.”
What is your approach to the character this time around?
Today, after some growing up and further understanding of my character, Bao Seed, I hope to unveil a deeper view into my character and offer a new dimension to his life, making it more memorable and personal for the audience.
You’ve expressed your interest in taking your film career further. What has inspired that?
Since last year, I’ve managed to take on more challenging roles, particularly in film, some of which have already been released. Personally, they represent a real breakthrough, a leap forward, because I’ve mostly played more straightforward characters in the past, but finally, after so many years of honing my skills and yearning for new challenges, I was able to put my game to the test and offer the audience a more refined delivery of my craft.
How is acting for TV different than acting for film?
I’m extremely excited about challenges and I take them in stride, as my chances to greater success. Acting for TV, I feel, calls for a more direct approach in order to cater for a wider and more diverse audience. This often inhibits an actor from experimenting outside the box. Film, on the other hand, has allowed me more room to innovate and push my boundaries.
I’m glad that, for the past two years, I’ve been able to take on roles that allowed me to delve deeper into human nature, at times even to the point of befuddlement and needing to decompress and retune my thoughts. A case in point is the upcoming crime thriller Cold Detective (Detective vs. Sleuths) by Wai Ka-Fai, whose work, as many would regard, has reached “godlike” status. It was the first time I ever had to take two to three weeks off for a mental reset after filming a movie.
And the rationale of your personal approach to TV?
TV series typically run for a very long period of time. Its primary purpose is to entertain and keep the audience engaged. So if you have a very grim character or storyline throughout the series, the audience might get tired of it at a certain point. I feel that a good show needs to have a combination of different tones – from relaxing to sombre, emotional to light-hearted, intimate to dramatic, etc – only then will it be complete.
What are your preferred roles these days?
In recent years, I’ve taken on more crime drama and police procedural roles, which tend to have a high success rate, because the cases are always different, with mystery and suspense that keep the audience hooked. In addition, the wide range of agencies and units in the police force offers the opportunity to play different roles every time. Whether I’m portraying a detective or an undercover agent, I get to immerse myself in different worlds and gain varied insights, which I find give me the most pleasure as an actor.
How do you plan to celebrate your 20-year milestone in 2020, and what are your plans going forward?
I’m planning to celebrate it with my fans, big time, with a major concert and tour as I appreciate them so much, and hopefully record some new songs. Going forward, I would like to explore more opportunities in film and pursue roles with more action sequences involved, which I feel are more visually engaging for the audience, whereas for me, more physically stimulating as an actor.
For the full story, get a copy of the August Man Malaysia Jan/Feb 2020 issue