Tiffany Hsu steps into horror
For several years, Italian-Taiwanese actress Tiffany Hsu was living in the shadow of ex-boyfriend Ethan Ruan’s fame and popularity.
But things are finally looking up on the career front for the 31-year-old, who broke up with the Taiwanese actor last March amid rumours of the latter’s infidelity.
Tiffany Hsu and China-based local actor Leon Jay Williams in 2013 PHOTO: SHIN MIN FILE
Following her win at last year’ Golden Bell Awards — she bagged Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal as a lesbian in acclaimed TV drama The Way We Were — Hsu is landing meaty leading roles on the big screen.
In new horror flick The Tag-Along, rated NC16 and currently showing here, she plays a spunky radio DJ struggling to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of her property agent beau (River Huang).
Hsu shares the challenges of portraying fear, and why she’s keen to take on a comedy project next...
What’s the most difficult part about doing a horror movie?
Fear is an emotion that cannot be “acted”. If it’s an act, it wouldn’t be convincing to audiences. Fear has to come from within and be expressed through your eyes, expression and uncontrollable tears.
So I would say that the hardest part about doing the horror genre is keeping yourself in a tense, fearful state once the cameras start rolling and trying your best not to go crazy. (Laughs)
Did you feel the chills while shooting The Tag-Along?
Of course, I’m very scared of ghosts. Our cast and crew took a lot of “precautions” prior to shooting. We prayed at temples and everyone on set would have a few lucky charms to ward off scary things.
We shot mainly in the mountainous regions of Taiwan, so whenever we reach a new mountainous area, we’d pray to Tudigong (the God of land and soil) to keep us safe.
Congratulations on the Golden Bell accolade. What kind of roles would you like to play in the future?
No restrictions. Well, if there’s the opportunity to do a comedy, I would want to give it a shot. It’d be very different from the dramatic roles I’ve done so far and I think the filming process would be pretty fun.
After filming The Tag-Along, do you now have a higher threshold for horror?
No, I am still extremely cowardly when it comes to ghosts. Before filming The Tag-Along, our director gave us a list of horror films to watch. I only watched one and the creepy images have stuck with me since. I still get scared thinking about them. It’s already been a year!