TEXT｜Coco Yang , TRANSLATION | Eugenia Yang
「為了找尋我的真愛 GAN～BA～RE～有再大的苦～再多的累 ＷＨＯ ＷＩＬＬ CARE～」隨著熟悉歌曲時而哼唱、時而擺動，源源不絕的歡笑感染了整個攝影棚，空氣裡滿是熱情的蓬勃活力，「我覺得女人最美麗的是眼睛，如果心中沒有感恩，即使再漂亮，散發出來的眼神都不會那麼迷人。」那雙依舊愛笑的眼睛，瞬息間喚醒了所有人的青春記憶，她，是不敗女神，徐若瑄。
人人皆知的鋼鐵 V 稱號，出於二十年前勉勵自我的信心喊話，從小受原生家庭的影響，造就了她獨立自主的性格，看似艱辛的成長過程，對此徐若瑄則相當感恩，「我覺得女人經濟自主就會快樂，這樣的獨立方式是一種安全感，就算年紀慢慢長了，也不會沒有安全感，因為你可以把自己的生命盡頭都安排得好好的。」笑說從來沒有期待孩子長大了要照顧自己，馳騁於世間，人人皆是獨立個體，不給彼此壓力是最愉快的相處方式，透過從事喜愛的演藝工作，進而尋得自我的存在價值。
“To find my true love, I’ll give it all I’ve got. No matter how much sorrow or pain, who will care.” Humming along with the familiar tunes of “Unbeatable Lover” as she swayed with the music, her laugh was contagious, the kind that would make you laugh just by hearing it. The entire studio was instantly filled with this passionate and vibrant energy. “I believe the most beautiful aspect of a woman is her eyes. Without gratitude in her heart, her gaze will not be as charming, even if she is stunningly beautiful.” With those signature smiley eyes, she instantly evoked everyone’s adolescent memories – she is the goddess of lasting youth, Vivian Hsu.
“The reunion made us go from mothers to being little girls again. Even though the time spent on stage was short, it was so precious and full of joy.” Recalling the performance she did with her close friend Chiharu Tamashiro about a month ago, where they sang in Mandarin, English and Japanese, Hsu smiled and said she had already cried all her tears during rehearsal. Through a night that was both intellectual and wild, a foreign friendship lasting over 20 years was expressed through the sincerity found in their shared love for music. If she was to turn the experience into a song, she would title it as “On a Swing.” “At our age, we don’t often go on swings anymore, so I want to name it ‘On a Swing’ to pay tribute to the purity of childhood, where we have full control over everything. Much similar to that night, where we performed slow and upbeat songs, folk and rock music, and shared intellectual and humorous moments. Perhaps our way of playing music was different, but our hearts were together.” Similarly, as the producer of “Next Girlz,” Hsu was deeply involved in the project, as the girls’ hard work often reminded her of the days when she first entered the industry. Humble, she pointed out that everyone on the show was much more composed and skilled in performing compared to her earlier self. Whether she exceled or appeared inexperienced, each member of the group possessed a unique charm. Treating her role as producer as her personal mission, Hsu aspired to impart the insights she had accumulated along the way to the younger generation who dreamed to become a performer. “You really have to think twice before becoming a public figure. You have to be resilient, always maintain a positive mindset and possess great adaptability. From the very beginning, you need to understand that not everyone is going to like you.” In recent years, as she gradually expanded her professional horizons, Hsu had taken on the roles of an actress and a producer for the first time. Her remarkable achievements could be seen in the film Little Big Women, where she chose the core role of any film – casting. “It is easier if you focus on the essence of the actor and try to match it with the desired qualities of the character. I find this method to be quite useful and efficient.” Chuckling, Hsu disclosed that she actually gained a great sense of fulfillment throughout the process. Channeling her wisdom and sharpened intuition from her past experiences, she tailored a stage for the actors and actresses, while perfectly integrating their emotions portrayed through every scene – the result showcased during the film’s premiere was still indescribable with words.
With a career spanning over 30 years, Hsu had effortlessly mastered a variety of styles, whether it’s casual, elegant, dynamic or vintage. Off-stage, her go-to fashion accessory was a pair of sneakers, as she preferred the lightness they provided and the fact that they always prepared her for stretching and jogging whenever she wanted. Opting for black and white color schemes was a fail-safe choice considering her busy schedule. Baseball caps and beanies were also essentials for her daily wear, items that allowed her to forgo the hassle of styling her hair every day. When it came to selecting jewelry, she was particularly fond of ear cuffs, especially those in understated silver tones to reveal her personality. Layering styles to create a sense of depth, the simplicity exuded a charming allure. Recalling a humorous experience of her very first shopping spree, Hsu laughed and said it all traces back to 1995 in Japan. “I was a newcomer in the industry without a stylist, so I had to plan my outfits on my own. My sister and I went shopping in Shinjuku because we knew there were a lot of thrift shops, but we were still surprised by the wide selection. We were trying to find the clothes we wanted according to the photos we saw in magazines. In the end, we couldn’t even take a taxi back because we ran out of money.” They ended up walking all the way to 4-chome Shinjuku in the snow, dragging their luggage along with them, a scene that remained unforgettable even till this day. As the years go by, Hsu continued to hold a calm and composed attitude and revealed that she isn’t worried about the boundaries of age. To her, every stage of life is a beautiful process and she sees it as ten-year increments. The irreversible passage of time should motivate people to keep moving forward, as the beauty of every decade is worth savoring. “I think a smile is the best skincare. One simple word, yet it carries a rather deep meaning.” The same concept could be used on turning unfavorable situations into positive, optimistic outlooks through personal energy. When encountering strangers, she was always willing to offer them a smile or a gesture that demonstrated her understanding. “Perhaps women don’t necessarily have to live elegantly because everyone has a different personality. But we should always strive to be happy!”
/Essence of the Soul
Hsu’s well-known nickname, “Iron V,” originated from a self-encouraging statement made 20 years ago that reflected her confidence. The upbringing of her native family shaped her independent and self-reliant personality. Despite the seemingly challenging process of growth, she was extremely grateful for it. “I believe women can find happiness through achieving economic independence. It provides a sense of security that doesn’t disappear even as we age, because you finally have the ability to plan out your life.” Never expecting her children to take care of her after they grow up, she saw everyone as an independent entity living in this world. Not putting pressure on one another was perhaps the most enjoyable way to live and interact. Through devoting herself to her beloved career of performing arts, Hsu had discovered her own sense of value. Audrey Hepburn once said, “The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows.” Similarly, this aligned with Hsu’s beliefs – if one only possesses a beautiful exterior without substance underneath, they still cannot radiate charm. “Passion isn’t always visible to the eye. Sometimes it is shown through your dedication to work, your perseverance and the care you are willing to give to the people you love.” Transitioning from the era of traditional television to digital platforms taking over, she admitted facing external criticism and learning to digest it had been crucial to developing resilience. “The process goes from initially not being able to believe what is happening, being hurt by it, brushing it off with a smile, having no expression, accepting it, to finally letting go without feeling a thing.” Setting eyes on the time that had passed, she gradually shared with us the transformation she had undergone and with a gentle smile, there was an extra sense of serenity and contentment.
When sharing her experiences as a singer, Hsu mentioned that it was the moment when she could truly express her authentic self. The rich and meaningful snippets of her everyday life often served as inspiration for her creative work. A big fan of the British rock band Coldplay, she was especially impressed by their personal commitment towards vegetarianism and their strict no-drugs rule, which both sent a positive message to the fans supporting them. “They are a rock band who makes music that can be enjoyed by children. Though their lyrics touch upon themes of disappointment, heartbreak, or losing loved ones, they always end with a beam of light, offering a positive force to help their audience overcome hardships, and are perfect for both sad and happy moments.” Hsu particularly resonated with the song “Fix You,” for it accompanied her through the difficult time of her father’s passing. Smiling, she hoped that one day she will have the opportunity to attend their concert and experience the emotional atmosphere firsthand. Speaking of recent movie recommendations, Hsu immediately chose Day Off, a Taiwanese film that tells the story of a lifetime through a Taiwanese-style barbershop. The protagonist embarks on a heartwarming journey as she fulfills the haircutting requests given by her loyal customers. “I watched the movie with my mother and she was extremely moved by it because she used to own a barbershop when she was young. There was a particular line from the movie that goes, ‘Life is like driving a car, just keep going straight and everything will work out!’ Shao-Fen Lu delivered such an amazing performance, I couldn’t stop crying.” Inspired by the perseverance of the main character, who worked as a barber her whole life, Hsu aspired to follow a similar path for her career. Reflecting on her multiple roles as a musician, producer, mother and wife, she was unable to give herself a perfect score. “ There was simply not enough time. However, I am positive that I have put in a hundred percent into each role, so if I were to leave within the next second, I would have no regrets.” With a bright grin, she pointed out her current goal is to learn to play the piano well, in order to fully enjoy its completeness by exploring the depth and speed of the notes. As the interview came to an end, we couldn’t help but look forward to the future and anticipate the surprises Vivian Hsu is about to bring to her life.