'Worse than trash': TVB star Natalie Tong recalls harsh criticism at acting class in Malaysia

The HK actress says she cried for three days after the stinging comment. Photo: Art Chen/The Star

Hong Kong actress Natalie Tong recently revealed that she was once told her acting was "worse than trash" although she had starred in more than 40 dramas at that point of time.

The TVB star said this in an interview with Sharon Chan on the latter's YouTube channel, reports Chinese portal Sin Chew.

Tong, 40, told Chan that she attended Philippe Gaulier's acting workshop in Malaysia several years ago. Gaulier, a French theatre professor, held a master class in acting in Kuala Lumpur in 2015.

He is known for motivating his students using "negative reinforcement" where he criticises them harshly in order to get the best out of them. His clients include Sacha Baron Cohen and Emma Thompson.

Tong said during the week-long course, Gaulier told her that her acting was "worse than trash".

“I felt like I was worth less than dust on the stage, I didn’t know that [my acting] was that bad. I was really sad then, but if you believe in him and is able to overcome this obstacle, then he will be able to teach you well,” Tong said, adding that she cried for three days after the stinging criticism.

But the tough love must have worked because upon her return to Hong Kong, Tong started to shoot the series My Unfair Lady (2017), which eventually won her the Best Actress gong at the TVB Anniversary Awards in Hong Kong. She also took home the Best Actress prize at TVB Star Awards in Malaysia the same year.

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