Fala Chen is graduating with a master’s degree soon and hopes to return to acting after that. In a recent interview in Hong Kong, Chen says she is ready to get back to work. “I’m currently mulling over several movie scripts from mainland China, Hong Kong, and America,” said Chen, 36.
The actress took a break from showbiz after her eight-year contract with TVB expired in 2013.
She headed to the United States the following year to pursue a four-year Master of Fine Arts in Drama (MFA) degree at the prestigious Juilliard School at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City.
Chen said she still hasn’t decided where she will be based. “I’m in the process of preparing for my graduation. I even have a cat and I’ll take her with me wherever I go. If I get some long-term work in Hong Kong, then I will be moving my base to Hong Kong and the cat will come along!”
Chen’s boyfriend Emmanuel Straschnov works in the US, so she said she will still be staying there until work requires her to travel.
“Now that I’m done with studies, my priority is work. I’d like to take advantage of any new opportunities. While I definitely wish to see more of my boyfriend, it all depends on where I will be working. But he is very supportive, and says he can visit me anywhere.”
Chen was born and raised in Chengdu, China. She emigrated to Atlanta, Georgia in the US with her parents when she was 14. She took part in beauty pageants to pay for her tuition fees. It was her participation in Miss Chinese International Pageant 2005 that kick-started her acting career.
Chen relocated to Hong Kong and signed an eight-year contract with TVB, where she acted in 22 drama series and won awards for her roles in Steps (2007) and No Regrets (2010).
The actress has eight movies under her belt including the Cantonese version of Despicable Me 3, and was nominated in the best newcomer category at the 29th Hong Kong Film Awards for her role in Turning Point (2009).
In 2012, she released her first Cantopop album Beautiful Life, and in 2014 she acted in her first Mainland Chinese drama Sound Of The Desert.
She received rave reviews for playing Kyra in the theatre production Skylight (2016), which staged 35 sold out shows at Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. It was the Chinese adaptation of the 1995 British play written by David Hare that debuted in West End and Broadway.