When you talk about charm, enthusiasm and professionalism, 40-year-old Steve Yap is easily one of the candidates that make the cut. Before he showed up in roles in television dramas back in 1998, the local star started off his career as a model. Till now, he has been making memorable appearances on advertisements for brands like Winston, AIA Life Insurance, Digi, Bank Of China, Dove Chocolate, Honda and Pensonic while some of his best television serials' roles include "Love Circle", "Destiny In Her Hands" and more recently, the NTV7 drama "Laws Of Attraction", in which he starred as a novelist and the husband of a psychologist. However, the face of Steve Yap is not one to be confined in small screens. The star has also been involved in well-known local movies such as Bjarne Wong's "The Possessed", Michael Chuah's "Fist Of Dragon", Osman Ali's local hit "Ombak Rindu" and the Hong Kong romance drama "Love You You" alongside Taiwanese heartthrob Eddie Peng and Angelababy in 2011. So it was a joyous occasion when Cinema Online was able to catch up with Steve Yap for a chat at the launch of adidas' latest men fragrance, Extreme Power Special Edition, where he shared his thoughts on being an actor with us.
Cinema Online had an interview with Steve Yap at Laundry, The Curve.
Q: Hi, Steve. How was the futsal game?
Yap: We had fun in the game and I think I did a pretty good job as a goalkeeper.
Q: Have you tried the new adidas fragrance yet? What do you think about it?
Yap: Yeah, I've tried it. It is really effective, smells good, and most importantly, it is easy to carry along with you wherever you go.
Q: Do you believe in the power of men fragrance?
Yap: As an actor, we need to shoot intimate scenes for a film sometimes. If you're filming a kissing scene with your co-star, you have to make sure you smell good, whether you are a male or a female. If either you or your partner has bad breath, both of you are only going to feel awkward. We always sacrifice our sleeping time to shoot a film late at night or early in the morning so it's very normal to have bad breath or body odour. That's why I believe that fragrance products are very helpful tools for men to make ourselves smell good. Helps to keep us confident and boost our image, you know.
Q: You have starred in movies like "The Possessed", "Ombak Rindu", "Fist Of Dragon" and so on. Do you see any kind of a pattern in your role choices?
Yap: [Laughs] I know, I know, I tend to play bad guys. They've stereotyped me into that because of my face! Filmmakers always offer me villainous roles but I told myself that which each bad guy I play, I'll make sure that I will portray each of them in a different manner.
Q: Are you tired for being a villain in films? Would you like to be the good guy in your upcoming films?
Yap: Honestly, I'm okay with it. Being a bad guy is not necessarily a bad choice for an actor. You have more space and expressions to play around with the character, like you can be rough or you can be secretly evil, unlike being the good hero, as he always has to maintain his image. I mean, you can't laugh very loud or always curse because people won't like you then.
Q: What's next for you?
Yap: Very soon you will see me playing a part in Ah Niu's latest romance drama film, "The Golden Couple".
Q: After spending decades in the entertainment industry, what advice would you give to the younger generations in Malaysia who are eager to join the industry?
Yap: Before you try to become an actor, and I say try because it isn't easy; make sure that you have a major, a degree or a certificate from a college or university. Education is really important, especially your command in language. Having skills in more than one language is a must. I spent most of my days in school speaking only English, but these days there're a lot of job offers for me to star in Mandarin productions since I'm Chinese. I have a hard time remembering the words in the script and pronouncing them properly for my dialogues. Another thing is that you have to do a lot of research for your character before filming starts so that you can perform better and that's where it is important to know how to read difficult books.
Q: What is your 2012 favourite movie so far?
Yap: Oh no, now I have to admit that it's been a long time since I stepped into the cinemas! Actually, I didn't watch any new movies this year because I have been really busy with my work and when I'm not working I have to spend time with my family and friends. The last movie I watched was Liam Neeson's "Unknown" last year. I like the story and action scenes.
Q: Thank you very much, Steve. We are looking forward to your new movie!
Yap: Thank you.