Blessed with flawless complexion, Tong Bingyu maintains it with a regimen of beauty products. “I take a lot of care of my skin and pay attention to how I treat it,” says the actress-producer. “Having good skin means half the battle is won as I don’t have to use so much makeup.”
For her shoot with myeppo, Tong shows up looking radiant and serene. “Confidence comes when you look and feel good, as true beauty is from within,” muses Tong.
Her calm demeanor is in contrast to the dramatic roles she has played in Mandarin films and TV series. In 2018, Tong won the Breakthrough Performance Award at the Chinese American Film Festival for psychological thriller ‘A Stolen Life’, in which she played identical twins.
Up next: Tong will be producing content such as variety shows and documentaries for Vettons, a new entertainment platform. “This platform will be a unique way to showcase talent. As an artist, it is important to diversify, especially in the past year. The pandemic has forced everyone, myself included, out of our comfort zone.”
“Although my first love remains acting, there are now limited productions in Malaysia because of Covid-19. Many projects, including three from China and one from Hong Kong, have been delayed and we are all waiting for the borders to reopen.”
The ever-charismatic Tong opens up about her life in the limelight – including shooting her first ever nude scene – in this Q&A with myeppo:
How have you adapted to life in the new normal?
I have adapted to the new norm and actually enjoy the slower pace of life. Before this, everything was too fast paced, causing me stress and insomnia. I was hospitalised a few times due to my lymph node inflammation; basically, my body was telling me to take a break. At the end of last year, my sister was admitted to ICU because of a stroke. I feel like everything happened for a reason. Had I been overseas because of work, I wouldn’t have been able to spend all this time with my family.
What forms of wellness do you indulge in?
During the MCO lockdown last year, I started exercising, the first time in 30 years! I do a combination of yoga, burpees, cardio and stretching. To balance out my lifestyle, I take supplements and am careful with my food. In general, I don’t take meat because I am an animal lover.
What is your beauty routine like?
After I wake up every morning, I just use warm water to wash my face. Then I apply toner, serum, moisturizer and sunblock. I try not to apply makeup if necessary. At night, I double or triple cleanse my face then put on a lot of different products: serum, essence, night cream and sleeping mask on alternate nights. I also drink a lot of water; hydration is very important. I also do regular scalp treatments as I am afraid of hair loss and dandruff.
As an actor, are you worried about ageing?
No matter who you are, I think it’s human nature to be worried about the ageing process. But one thing good about acting is that you flow with the role. It’s not about showcasing your own character or yourself anymore. I feel comfortable if one day I have to play somebody’s mother or grandma … no one can stop ageing. It’s inevitable.
Do you still have a dream role?
Last year I did a shoot which required me to be naked; it was the first time in my life. I spent a long time to convince myself to go through with the scene. It was necessary for the character as she is an ageing woman who needed to regain her confidence. Having gone through that, I am more open minded than ever to try out all roles, and willing to challenge myself. So, my dream role is still out there.
What advice would you give to those who want to follow in your footsteps?
They have to know why they enter showbusiness, and remember those reasons. Know your mission and work hard. For me, the reason I became an actress is because I enjoy acting. So no matter what, I will still go back to that first love. When you’re young, don’t limit yourself and try to do as many things as possible to improve yourself. Remember that fast fame is possible but it won’t take you far. True talent transcends age and time.
Photographer: Brian Fang @M8 Studio
Video: Quek Chun Leng
Makeup & hair: Cindy Hor
Apparel and accessories: Salvatore Ferragamo