Veteran Cantonese opera artiste and actor Law Kar-ying is living proof that cancer is not a death sentence.
The 67-year-old, who was diagnosed with third-stage liver cancer in 2005, suffered a relapse earlier this year and had to undergo an operation to remove a 2cm tumour. The operation, his second thus far, affected his vocal chords. But that did not stop Kar-ying from filming local movie Wayang Boy, which incorporates the elements of opera.
Kar-ying, who has been singing Cantonese opera with his father since he was eight, is a strong advocate for Chinese opera. And the main reason he accepted the role was to pass on the opera culture.
In Wayang Boy, Kar-ying plays a Chinese opera teacher who befriends an Indian boy and lures him to join the Opera Society. He even put up a short performance with Hong Kong actress Michelle Yim.
“It was a really short one that I did not get to sing to my heart’s content as the director cut short our scenes together,” he said at a press conference for the movie on Monday (Nov 10), and even promised to star in the second installment if there is one where the duo will get to put up a longer performance.
Speaking of his operation which happened a few months before filming began, Kar-ying revealed he felt uncomfortable during the two-week shoot in Singapore.
But the actor remained professional and completed filming nonetheless, adding that he sleeps whenever he can to recuperate.
Despite his condition and the fact that he is currently diabetic, the thespian cannot keep his hands off durians, and calls it his favourite fruit.
“I cannot help it and ate some when I was filming here. When my wife [actress Liza Wang] nags at me, I just eat less. I love durian to the extent that I will put my life at stake for it,” he declared.
Wayang Boy, which is currently airing in local theatres, also stars Taiwanese starlet Chantel Liu and local artistes Kym Ng, Chen Tian Wen, Bobby Tonelli, Chua En Lai and child actors Denzyl Dharma, Loh Ren Jie and Tan Wei Tian.
This interview is translated by Jovina Ng.