Simon Yam reveals his biggest mistake was not spending more time with his family
"In the past, I couldn't properly spend time with them because I was busy filming"
If Simon Yam could turn back time, he would choose to spend more time with his family.
Here was a 64-year-old internationally acclaimed actor, with more than 40 years of acting experience under his belt, and his biggest regret was that he prioritised work over family.
He revealed this during a group interview when he was in town for the Star Search 2019 Grand Finals on Sunday (Nov 3).
Simon, along with actor-director Stephen Fung and veteran actress Carina Lau, was part of the five-person judging panel for the finals.
When asked what the one thing he would change if he could go back in time was, he sighed: “The biggest change I’ll make is to spend more time with them (my family). In the past, I couldn’t properly spend time with them because I was busy filming.”
The Hong Kong actor is married to supermodel Qi Qi and the couple have a 14-year-old daughter, Ella. Simon said that he even brought his family to Singapore for a week-long holiday during his daughter’s school break recently.
Simon said: “She (my daughter) likes Singapore food. I went with her to eat chicken rice and she tried nasi lemak. I think it’s good for her to have a better understanding of the world.”
As a family man, it’s not surprising then that he was rather protective when it came to the topic of Ella.
The leggy teen recently made waves on Chinese social media with her behind-the-scenes snaps at Vogue Taiwan’s photoshoot, and when this point was raised, Simon was nonchalant.
But regarding his daughter potentially joining showbiz, he is certain that she won’t be following in his footsteps.
“She won’t be an actress. She’s still studying. My daughter and I will often discuss world news and current affairs. Through this, she can learn more about different industries, which I think is a good thing. As she’s in school now, her studies are still important,” he explained to AsiaOne.
He also wasn’t sure if she has the potential to be an actress, but he prefers for Ella to not join the industry because of the long hours which are “bad for the skin”. He also hopes for her to be able to enjoy her teenage years.
Simon added: “I hope she can have fun at her age. I think the most important thing for her is to always think positively and grow up healthily. I can’t control what she wants to do in the future. I will also support her in what she wants to do in the future.”
The celebrated actor also took the opportunity to thank the fans for their support and concern in the wake of his stabbing in July. Simon was knifed in the stomach by an assailant during a promotional event in China. He underwent two surgeries and was hospitalised for five days.
He revealed: “The recovery is going well. For now, I can start working out, sweating and running. I can do more physical activities.”
In fact, he even told CNA Lifestyle that he went for a run two hours after he arrived in Singapore, despite the hot weather. He said: “I was very happy to see the weather in Singapore. I went for a 6km run and was very happy. It’s okay that it was very warm because the sun is important to life. We should get some sun in our lives every day.”
For now, Simon intends to look ahead and, in his own words, think positively.
He even let us in on the secret to his undying passion for his craft. And it’s quite simple, really — Simon always sees himself as a newcomer in the industry.
“I have been acting for the past 40 years, but I still see myself as a newcomer. I maintain the heart and spirit of a newcomer so I can take on future roles with passion,” he said.
Simon added: “People have asked me, ‘You’ve been in so many movies and dramas, why do you still have so much passion for acting?’ I said, ‘I like the people and I like the emotions.’
“Because there are so many emotions in the world and we are constantly learning from them. This is what kept my passion going.”