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Junior Kiana Fong stars in Chinese TV show to premiere in December

Compiled by Jenna Marvet

Published in the September 11, 2015 issue

The Oracle: What is the plot of the show?

Kiana Fong: It is called 领养 or “Adoption” in English. So, I am a typical 13-year-old girl named Selena, who was born in China but raised in America. I’m in love with ice skating, my dog and my friends. I’m at an ice skating practice and I accidentally fall. Once in the hospital, doctors surprised my mom and told her I was diagnosed with leukemia. The doctor said it without much worry because all I needed is a bone marrow transplant from one of my parents. Turns out, I’m adopted.

TO: How long were you filming?
KF: I left early last semester of sophomore year about a month before finals to a place called Wu Xi. We filmed a lot of scenes during that time. Then I came back and finished finals. I left again before school ended and came back to America on August fifth. We filmed for about three months overall.

TO: What was hardest about being on the show?
KF: This is my first TV production I am in; I’ve been through a lot of auditions, but none of them have worked out this well for me. The hardest thing about doing the show was reading the script because I’m not very good at Chinese. I couldn’t tell if something was sarcastic and the director would sometimes have to stop the scene because I didn’t understand how a line should be delivered. My mom helped me a lot with reading the script.

TO: What was the best thing about being on the show?
KF: I started meeting all my co-stars who turned out to be very, very famous like 袁咏仪 (Anita Yuen), 胡杏儿 (Myolie Wu), 濮存昕 and 丁海峰 (HaiFeng Ding). Working with them made me con- fident with myself. When we were behind camera, it didn’t even feel like were filming because they’re that good. When we would go out, people would be like, “Oh, it’s that person” or “Oh, it’s that person.” The entire production was all famous people, except for me, so that was funny.

TO: To what extent did you get star treatment? What was it like?
KF: I got much more star treatment than I deserved; they were changing my shoes for me and bringing me water after every scene. For the interviews, they came on set and were like, “So, you’re the star of the show?” And I was like “Yeah…” I am really bad at Chinese when it comes to complicated words and a lot of their questions required me to explain the deep meaning of the show. So I’d just have to laugh and say, “I don’t know that word. I’m from America!”

TO: What lessons did you learn?
KF: I went there and thought all I had to do is be natural. When I first came, it was really hard because there’s literally a person holding a huge mic above you and a light reflector. Being natural with everything around you is so hard, especially when I’m doing some sleeping scenes, which sounds easy, but last time there was this guy literally standing on top of my legs with a light shining down on me.

TO: Was it what you expected? If not, why?
KF: It was not what I expected because I didn’t know it was so professional, that there were so many famous people, such a good camera crew and the director could spot anything. I didn’t know I’d work with such good people, a costume crew, a makeup crew, and it was just such a good experience.

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