Q. How long have you been an actor? From where did you get started?
A. Professionally - 7 years. I actually started while I was in secondary school, I found myself very eager to participate in drama or anything related to performing arts, so I was members of dance clubs, the school choir, drama society etc. I just love to perform.
Q. How many plays have you done so far?
A. In how many films you have performed up till now?
Just one, but you don’t see my face, just a vague figure, does that count?
Q. Are you working on any current projects?
A. Yes! A very big one in fact! It’s my very first solo which will be done in March presented by the Hong Kong Arts Festival, and I am now in the process of writing it. It is quite difficult for me as this is my first attempt in playwriting, but because I want it to be a tribute to my father, it’s a very meaningful project to me.
Q. How different is it to act in a movie and to act in a theatre play?
A. I don’t really know as I’ve never ‘acted’ in a movie. The one time that I ‘participated’ in one, my role was a stand-in, I was a replacement for the leading actress and they filmed a scene where I was to fool around with the leading actor (his stand-in, of course) behind a tainted glass door. It was an interesting experience, but totally different from theatre. I remember it was 4:00 am in the morning, and they had to put up big spot lights in the acting area to make it look like daytime, the actors were very sleepy, but when the camera started rolling, they had to look wide awake and energized... Whereas in theatre, we could use more time to rehearse, we don’t need to do everything in one day.
Q. What do you prefer theater acting or movie acting? And why?
A. Theatre acting. I need my sleep.
Q. Which has been your favorite character that you have performed?
A. Definitely “Andromache” from a Greek Tragedy called Trojan Women, a show I did while I was still in the Academy. It was my first time to act in an open area, with the set full of sand and a mud pond. My character had a son, and my director really recruited a 4 year old little boy to act with me. I only had one big scene, where I express my grief for my dead husband Hector, and raging anger as my son will also have to be killed. I have a short speech with ‘my son’ where I tell him how brave he is and how much I love him. It was just an amazing experience and I love that character and that show so much. It is my all-time favorite.
Q. What kind of roles do you prefer for coming projects?
A. An outcast, someone nasty, poor, unwanted. I’ve never tried roles that are really awkward and weird. I like weird.
Q. What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?
A. After working with all sorts of directors, I realized the most I’ve learnt are not necessarily things regarding to acting, but how to be a human being, how to control your emotions, how to cope with disasters, how to maintain a healthy state of mind to do your job, and not be affected by other things. Every show that I’ve participated are different life lessons that help mould me into this person that I am today.
Q. Tell me about an area in which you would like to improve as an actress?
A. Intimate scenes are always embarrassing at first. I would love to learn how not to giggle while doing them. Funny how it doesn’t seem to be a problem for male actors....
Q. What is the hardest part of being an actress?
A. Not to be typecast.
Q. Who is your favorite actor?
A. Christoph Waltz!! Julia Roberts!! Meryl Streep!! Jack Nicholson!! Morgan Freeman!!
I can’t possibly just choose one, I can’t!!
Give me a few tips to be a successful actress?
I don’t think I’m quite there yet! But I guess the most important thing is confidence. Once you’re confident, you are at ease and are more flexible. A sense of humor is also vital. Seriously.
More about Rosa
Rosa Maria Velasco graduated from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 2006 with a first-class Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honors) Degree, majoring in Acting. She has been awarded the Outstanding Actress Award and received various scholarships during her programme of study. She was also nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Award at the 15th Hong Kong Drama Awards for her performance in Trojan Women, nominated for the Best Actress Award at the 19th Hong Kong Drama Awards for her performance in Writing in Water, and nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Award at the 22nd Hong Kong Drama Awards for her performance in Open Relationship. She has been a full time actress with the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre in the period 2007-2009, then with PIP Cultural Industries in the period 2009-2010. Rosa is now a freelance actress and drama tutor.