Sunday, 07/07/2019 08:31

Overcoming shyness to become a star


Mạc Văn Khoa has become a well-known comedian after being featured in a series of famous movies.  Photo kẽnh.vn

Comedy actor Mạc Văn Khoa is a household name as he has featured in a number of comedy films, including Cua Lại Vợ Bầu (Love Again) and Lật Mặt: Nhà Có Khách (Face Off: The Walking Guests). In this interview, Khoa speaks about how he overcame his shyness as a child to become a well-known actor.

When did you develop a passion for acting?

I didn’t expect that I would become an actor. When I was young, I was scared of the crowd and speaking in public. However, when I was in ninth grade, I was selected for a minor role in a play for my literature class. I was supposed to say just one sentence, yet I impressed my classmates and teacher with that role. That’s when I started to love acting.

My favourite comedian at the time was Chiến Thắng. I remember I was so impressed with one of his comedy shows that I kept imitating him. I even modified his script and created my own versions and practised them every day.

After graduating from high school, I applied for the Hà Nội University of Theatre but didn’t get in. I then worked at a shoe factory while preparing for the next year’s exam. Eventually I was admitted to Nha Trang’s College of Arts, Culture and Tourism.

My first failure at Hà Nội University of Theatre made me lose confidence. At the casting day, I felt like an alien, as other candidates looked like celebrities while I was not good-looking at all and not wearing smart clothes, not to mention my accent. But I felt lucky that I didn’t give up. I chose another college which was less competitive and was eventually admitted.

What made you start your acting career in the south instead of the north?

When I studied in Nha Trang, I started watching and being inspired by the southern comedy style. Veteran actor and comedian Hoài Linh (from the south) is one of my role models. I also learned from other artists. And yes, as people often say, there are more job opportunities for artists in the south than in the north. Also, I didn’t have many relationships in the south so it’s hard to start my career here.

It seemed you didn’t have an easy start in acting. How did you get your first role?

Everyone has their own difficulties and it is different for different people. For me, it was terribly hard to live away from home on my own. I missed my family and was obsessed with the thought about an uncertain future. I had no idea what I would do when I graduated.

One of my saddest memories is when I was about to get the degree at college. I had to spend VNĐ20 million to produce my graduation work. My parents had to sell a cow to get that amount of money for me. I felt guilty about that because at the time I didn’t see any job opportunities after graduation. My future was uncertain at the time.

After graduation, I attended a training course of an artist in the south but after six months, I quit because I didn’t want my parents to waste any more money on me.

I then worked as a shipper for construction material shops for one month and took part in a television comedy competition named Cười Xuyên Việt. Actually I applied mostly to learn from others and to see what it would be like to meet famous artists. I didn’t expect to win anything but eventually I won second prize. This was a big landmark in my career that helped me get the first roles in movies. VNS


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