BYRON PANG lead actor from AMPHETAMINE talks about his difficult Role as KAFKA.
Outside, the rain is pelting incessantly.
Inside, he appears a trifle miffed by the occasional unwarranted stares he received from passers-by.
Or did I espy a trace of disenchantment on his face as he looks over his shoulders?
He is BYRON PANG, the lead actor from the controversial Hong Kong film AMPHETAMINE.
It’s 8 am in the morning and we are having tea-and-toasts at my suggestion, in a little known street cafe of Wanchai to soak in the old-age charm.
“I’m a loner and I chose to be one,” he implores.
.“Yet I can be pretty lonesome too, at times, especially at times when friends and family do not understand me.”
Yeah, poet Francis Bacon did say:
Little do men perceive what solitude is, and how far it extendeth.
For a crowd is not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures,
and talk but a tinkling cymbal
where there is no love.
BYRON PANG plays KAFKA a drug addictive bisexual in AMPHETAMINE.
“I had to appear full frontal naked in principal scenes of the movie. It was extremely awkward at first. I did not like it in fact, but it was part of my responsibility as an actor ….
Fortunately I had an understanding director, a great cinematographer and a marvelous script and this professional team helped to ease the load.
I had to undergo a paradox of emotions from intense joy, pain, angst to manic depression.
How much more could anyone take?
I gave my all, and everything worked out fine in the end and we got a hit movie.”
After two months of emotionally-draining shooting, plunging himself deep into the screen role of a tortuous drug addict, Byron’s persona took a severe beating from being too self-absorbing that he “became KAFKA” subconsciously in real life.
“It was hard, real hard, to “break away” from the doomed character of KAFKA, even after the entire film wrapped, to the point of breaking down,” he adds.
Byron reiterates that he does not aim to be controversial, given the choice.
“I tend to be melancholic as a trait,” he sighs. “It’s hard to find real friends in this industry. Everyone is wearing a facade and an actor is just a piece of cake to be utilized.”
He suddenly breaks into melody, humming the theme song from the award winning movie ECHOES OF THE RAINBOW.
“The lyrics are simple and soulful,” he offers, “and Aarif Lee the singer sings it well.”
” … softly sighs the rainbow,
misty songs of old,
flowing by the skyline,
my secret lullaby.
Softly sighs the rainbow,
stories seldom told,
flowing by the skyline,
my love songs never rhyme.
I stand alone,
lingering by my secret rainbow
Ah … My secret rainbow …..”
Are you in a relationship now? I ask.
“No, I haven’t had a proper relationship for a while. When you are in love,” he ponders philosophically,” there’s always this ray of sunshine surrounding you.”
But what when love dies?
“We make mistakes, big and small.
We pledge commitment, in all sincerity, to another person, only to realise later that our love and passion for the person isn’t as deep as we once thought and believed.
From there follows the broken promise, the bitterness and heartache and the guilt of having misled someone despite our best intentions.”
In love and relationship, you either get hurt or you hurt someone.
That’s no two ways about it.
You have to deal with the hurts.
And life has to move on.
We have already taken a peek into the mirror of BYRON’s soul ….
Now, would you like to hear BYRON’s latest favorite song ECHOES OF THE RAINBOW?
Here’s one version from you tube.com, but it is dedicated to actor Jerry Yan. Anyway, enjoy!