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Quang Minh: ‘I have not overcome the sadness of divorce’

After the divorce, once performed in the US, Quang Minh blurted out: “The performance of Quang Minh – Hong Dao here is the end”.

– Why have you continuously participated in film projects in recent years?

– For the past few years, my life has been a series of days traveling between the US and Vietnam. Every time I receive an invitation to act in a movie, if the script is suitable, I immediately “carry the basket and run home” to have the opportunity to reunite with domestic audiences. I also want to bury myself in work to forget the breakdown in marriage. Every time I finish the show, go home, face the four walls, I usually stand in front of the mirror for 30 minutes.

Quang Minh returned home to attend the premiere of a new film on April 6.  Photo: Thanh Huyen

Quang Minh returned home to attend the premiere of a new film on April 6. Photo: Bar suspension

After three years, I think I still have not been able to get rid of the sadness of divorce, even difficult to comfort. Acting alone on stage, up to now, I have not stopped feeling lost and out of place. Once, performing a play in the US, at the end of the performance, I got used to it and said: “Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the performance of Quang Minh – Hong Dao came here to ask permission to end”. The audience sat down in silence, then clapped their hands, and I stood frozen in shock. Currently, I have no intention of collaborating with other artists, but want to develop in the direction of stand-up comedy.

– How do you keep your relationship with artist Hong Dao?

– After the divorce, we became friends. Although the children are grown – Vicky is 26 years old and Sophia is 20 years old, every time the children need something, Dao and I text each other. Before every important decision related to education and children’s career, Dao contacted and informed me. On birthdays or holidays, I send messages to congratulate Dao.

Having lived together for 24 years, I always admire the way Dao teaches his children. Compared to me, Dao is braver and tougher. Whenever my child has a problem, I often get upset, even burst into tears, while Dao calmly solves the problem. Dao and I choose to be friends with her, but she has more frank conversations. In the US, school has a break period of about three months, the children often organize a long outing. Dao often advises children: “Whatever you do, you have to protect it, don’t let it get pregnant early”. We are happy that our children soon learn to be independent.

Quang Minh, Hong Dao in "Let me be a little closer to you" (2016)

Quang Minh, Hong Dao in “Let me be closer to you” (2016). Video: Galaxy

– Children go to school, work far away, how do you keep in touch?

– Every time I texted to ask, the children texted back: “How are you?”, I was so happy I almost died. I gradually accept that the older my children are, the further away they are from their parents’ arms.

I still remember the day I saw Vicky off to college. That day, I broke down in tears as I cleaned up every item in her room, and she threw her keys around because she was about to be “move out”, enjoying a free life. At first, I was still sad because my child was too carefree, then thinking back, I realized that I was the same way back in the day. Then when I drove Vicky away from school, I arranged the things in her boarding room to be neat, and she was impatient, going in and out, watching me finish for fear that my friends would feel embarrassed. Driving home, looking in the car mirror, seeing my baby’s tiny hand waving, I cried all the way home. Sometimes, when I go to my child’s room, it’s empty, and I sting the bridge of my nose.

Quang Minh with two children - Vicky (left) and Sophia.  Photo: Character provided

Quang Minh with two children – Vicky (left) and Sophia. Image: Characters provided

– At the age of 63, how do you enjoy the single life?

– I haven’t thought of going any further. I often hum a line in a recent song: “Sometimes I want to be alone but I’m afraid of being alone…”. I obsess about age, often thinking how many times my life has 10 years left. Every time we meet friends of the same age, we always talk about drugs for diabetes and high blood pressure. I often make friends with young people to temporarily forget my age. Being with them gives me new energy.

I like to take care of myself by dressing up, beautifying, taking care of my skin, applying cream every night before going to bed. Every time I drive, I look in the mirror and see my skin wither, I’m sad all day, but when my skin is fresh, I’m happy. That habit I have since I was with Hong Dao. Every time the whole family went out for a walk, she would take care of the children while I carried the shopping basket.

I don’t know if that’s why I’m often rumored to be gay. I often answer: “I am 100% straight”. However, I have a lot of gay friends. They are the material for me to learn, imitate and apply in plays, like Predestined fate (1998) – co-starring Hong Dao, Trang Thanh Lan. Or the character of Uncle Ut in the new movie How do you go through the pool?I also learned manners and manners from my friends in the third world.

– How does the character of Uncle Ut – a nail salon owner who makes a living in the US – make you sympathetic?

– Playing this role, I remember struggling when I first came to America. In the early 1990s, when I came here with wet feet, I had to work as a housekeeper to earn a living even though I had no experience. Once, a friend invited me to help build a house, earn 100 USD a day, I was very greedy. In the US, the principle of the construction industry is that when the job is done, it must be returned to the original condition. I ignored, let the cement fall to the floor without cleaning, by the time the job was done, the cement had solidified. From 9am to 1am the next morning, I had to cut each piece to clean it. After working for a week, I quit because it was too hard and switched to voice acting. Those hard days are always a precious memory for me to experience role-playing later.

Trailer "How do you go through the pool?"

Quang Minh in the trailer “What to do through the pool”. Video: Galaxy

Quang Minh was born in 1959 in Go Cong (Tien Giang), used to be a dual member of the Diamond and Rose troupe in the late 1980s. He moved to the US around 1990 and pursued a career as an actor and voice actor. Quang Minh and his ex-wife – artist Hong Dao – used to be a popular overseas comedian couple before divorce 2019. In addition to theatrical activities, the artist has acted in many movies: Let me be a little closer to you, I’m not 18 yetLooking for a husband for mom, Butterfly House

Mai Nhat

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