ANJALI RAO:Edison this is your first return to Hong Kong since the height of the scandal. Why are you speaking to us now?
EDISON CHEN:Well, now legally I'm allowed to speak about it because the trial's finally over and honestly there's been a lot of talk through the past year and a half about this or that and a lot of rumors, a lot of hearsay, and I feel, you know, I've kept quiet just to kind of respect everyone and respect the law and hopefully that when the trial ended I could finally speak and I guess this is my chance now. I have a lot to say and I think I'm only gonna say it once so I think that it would be best to say it here with you。
RAO:I appreciate that. Talk to me about what the experience has been like for you of coming back to Hong Kong。
I'm back.This is my home
CHEN:I thought about coming back to Hong Kong for a long time. I've wanted to come back for quite a while now, so I'm actually quite happy. I'm elated that I'm back. This is my home. I've been away from home for too long, you know, I feel like a nomad. I've been living out of a suitcase for a year and a half it seems like. And to be back with my family, to be back with my friends, where my companies are, where I live, where everything that I've known in the past 8, 9 years, you know, it's in Hong Kong.Of course it's nervous, it's nerve-racking, because I don't really know how people can accept me. I don't really know with all these threats and all this stuff around, I really don't know what to expect to be honest with you, but I can't live my life scared always or in hiding。
RAO:There was a point though where you seemed to suggest that you were going to stay out of the public eye indefinitely. Since then you've had your movie, The Sniper, out. Do you really think though that you can still resurrect your career?
I actually said indefinitely
CHEN:It is good that you said this point because a lot of the media, especially the Chinese media, have said that Edison says he's quitting the entertainment industry forever. I actually said indefinitely. Now maybe some people don't understand what indefinitely means. It can mean 5 minutes, it can mean 2,000 years. I never said forever. You know I mean I'm not telling you it's going to be an easy thing, that overnight it's just going to be like an overnight celebrity thing, cause it's not. And I'm gonna have to go through a lot of the things that I went through coming up in the beginning as well, but I think that if I have a passion for what I do, I'm willing to go through that。
RAO:You mentioned that there has been a threat aspect to all of this and a bullet was sent to a TV station with a message warning you to stay out of the limelight. Do you fear for your personal safety?
CHEN:I'd be lying to you if I said that I'm bullet-proof and I'm not afraid of anything. I'd like to say that, but yeah, you know, it's.I never thought I would ever ever have a death threat. Why would someone want to kill me I thought, and at the same time right now I still don't quite understand it, but I have to get over it. I have to live my life. I had a death threat a year and a half ago and I had a death threat just before the release of my movie。
Two death threats
RAO:Since you have had two death threats, I mean, how does that affect you as a person?
CHEN:The first one I was afraid. I was afraid. I was afraid to go anywhere. I was traveling around when I was still in Hong Kong in trunks of taxis, like literally, just to get to places because, I mean, I wasn't going to get food, I was going to meet my lawyers and meet my management company and it wasn't fun, you know, like I had to be in the trunk for 15 minutes. I didn't even know if I had enough oxygen to be honest with you. Even when I had left Asia and I had went to Canada and America, it took me 3 months to really get out of the shell that I had put myself in. I mean, I was in darkness for 5 days. I had my drapes closed and I didn't even want to go anywhere because I was in America then, you know, and I was really, really afraid of just people and a sudden car movement, you know, I was afraid of motor bikers when I was driving because I was just afraid of everything。
RAO:Did you have any idea where the threats were coming from? For example, were you worried about organized crime?
CHEN:Wow, you know, I wish I knew. I mean I would love to sit down with those people and really talk to them and really, in my terms, squash the beef, you know, like kind of level things out because I don't really believe that it has to go to that extreme. I think that there's a lot of things that whoever it is, or whoever these people are, we can talk it out. I don't think that a life has to be taken. I could go on thinking 'til I'm 50 and I will never know, which is why I'm a little bit more carefree in that way and I just put it in God's hands basically to let him do what he wants with me and at the same time hopefully I can live my life。
RAO:You were a highly visible presence in this part of the world until the scandal really blew up. What have you been doing with your days since it happened?
CHEN:I've been doing a lot of things. It took me a little while, but you know, with the constant support of everyone around me, you know, my family especially and my girlfriend. I kind of got through that shell again. I kind of got through this I'm nothing and I'm done and I might as well give up stage and, you know, started to see what I could do that was valuable in the area that I was in. And I was in America. I was in LA and New York mostly. I've always wanted to either direct or produce movies so I, you know, decided to take some crash courses, follow some producers and try to learn the game of production. Not only did I have time to do some of the things I enjoyed, um, some of the things that I dreaded at first like doing my laundry or throwing out the garbage or going to the grocery store actually became something that really grounded me, and really gave me a different perspective of life because I've been working in the entertainment industry since I was 19. Very young。