A Conversation With Actress Grace Chan
You've probably seen her face graced across glossy magazine covers, on multiple MTR billboards and most definitely, on social media. Now a household name with celebrity status, Grace Chan is known for more than her beauty pageant titles earned nearly a decade ago. Although her crowning as Miss Hong Kong 2013 and Miss Chinese International 2014 cast her into the spotlight initially, she's since been busy making her acting and television host debut, then getting married and starting a family. But underneath the glamour, Chan is a humble and family-oriented foodie with a penchant for building real relationships. We speak to the Hong Kong-born Canadian actress and television show host on her proudest moments and what she loves most about being a mother.
What's the proudest moment in your career so far?
The proudest moment in my career so far is still probably my first accomplishment: winning the Miss Hong Kong 2013 pageant. This was something I wanted to do since I was a little girl so it meant a lot for me to get to this stage, learn so much in the process, and being confident on stage until the final moment.
What do you miss most about acting?
The thing I miss most about acting is the teamwork and people you see on set. There was something about working on a project with so many people day in and day out that helps you form a very strong bond.
What is the most important thing that you have learned during your career?
The most important thing I’ve learned from my career is to learn how to differentiate good, constructive feedback versus negative and hateful criticism. It’s inevitable that when you are in the public eye, you will have both people who support you, and those who don’t. It’s never easy hearing people speak ill of you, but what I’ve realised is that I cannot control what others might say or feel, but I can control how I react to them. That’s why I have learned slowly and painfully (haha) to understand what message has good intentions and how to grow from these suggestions.
Where are your top five favourite restaurants in Hong Kong and why?
My favourite restaurant is Amigo in Happy Valley because of the environment. It's been around for so many years, but the service is still impeccable. You get your own memo pad with your name printed on it when you leave too! Other restaurants that I love include Legacy House at Rosewood for its really unique and delicious Chinese dishes and UMI in Central for an authentic Japanese omakase experience. My favourite local dim sum shop is Chau Kee – they have old fashioned classics like shrimp toast, but also newer additions like salted egg yolk french toast. And I can't forget Pici – it serves the best Italian food in town.
Where are your top five favourite hotels or destinations and why? So my favourite hotels would be firstly, The Peninsula Hong Kong thanks to its amazing service, great environment and tons of high quality restaurants.
Next up, would be Rosewood. It's modern, family friendly, next to the water, features great restaurants and it's connected to a mall.
My favourite destination is Bali – it's also where Kevin and I got married. There's also Vancouver, Canada, where I grew up) and basically anywhere in Thailand – we love the sun and sea! Can you tell?
What do you love about being a mother?
There is literally nothing bad about being a mother. I love hanging out with my kids, I love teaching them new things, I love watching them grow, I love taking care of them, I love learning about myself through the process... it's the best thing in the world.
What's something that not many people know about you?
Something not many people may know about me is that there are not many “living” creatures that scare me. I am usually the one to step up when there is a cockroach in the room to “take care of it”, or the first one to raise her hand and ask to touch the beetle, and even to have a large lizard on my arm. I think all living creatures are fascinating and I wish people would stop being so afraid of them too!
Who are your inspirations, now and growing up?
My inspiration is my mother. Everyone says this about their mother, but I can truly say she is the most beautiful person (inside and out). She's God-driven, passionate, and she's the most compassionate person I've ever met. She is sincere, kind, warm, funny, patient and everything you want in a mother. I learn from her every day.