“Being the daughter of a rich father actually has not been beneficial to my career. Everyone assumes I’m just doing it for fun. No one believes I’m serious.”
These are the thoughts of Josie Ho, the daughter of Stanley Ho, the late Macau gambling tycoon, about the obstacles she needed to overcome to achieve success in show business in Hong Kong. Josie Ho’s family always wanted her to choose the family business instead of pursuing an artistic career. But Josie Ho admits: “I’m the family rebel”.
Queen of Hong Kong’s Indie rock
“I was born to chase my dream to become a singer”
Josie Ho’s dream to make it as a singer began when she was a child. “I was singing Karaoke when my family first bought an original double-decker cassette machine. The machine was small, but it had the same sound system of a mini busking machine with a few microphones attached. I was addicted to it. I practiced every day at home singing other pop songs of that time” Josie Ho reminisced.
When Josie was 18 years old, a record company discovered her after spotting her on TV singing to entertain the guests before a glitzy Macau Beauty Pageant. With the support and approval of her family, Josie signed a contract with the record company a year later. “It was a historical moment for me and my whole family. It was also a strange experience for my family because I was then the youngest member of our family to find a job outside of our hometown of Hong Kong”.
Up until now, Josie Ho has released 16 albums and won more than 10 music awards. She also formed a band called Josie and The Uni Boys who love to travel and push the boundaries of music and have toured the world’s best cities playing in famous venues. “Our band loves to explore new genres. We can turn Hard Rock into harder versions and we love to do things that inspire us.
Her path to fame: Movies
If you’re a big fan of television broadcaster TVB, you will recognize Josie Ho instantly. She joined the Hong Kong entertainment industry in the 1990s and has appeared in over 30 movies. Her most celebrated performances include her appearances in movies such as Full Strike, Open Grave, City of Desire, Naked Ambition 2, Dream House and, of course, Contagion.
“I originally wanted to be known as a talented singer, but I ended up getting hired more for my acting ability”. For Josie Ho, the pursuit of an entertainment career will always be her top priority. She is constantly on the look out for new roles that match her passion and offer her the ability to grow as an actor. She said: “I love roles that are challenging and psychologically complex. I like to go on an emotional ride.”
Looking at Josie Ho’s profile, you can’t help but stand in awe! Alongside the many albums she has released and the music awards she has received, stands a one-page-in-length list of movie accolades. Her most celebrated awards include The Best Actress for the film “Dream Home” at The Sitges Film Festival in 2010 and she was nominated for The Best Supporting Actress for the film “Naked Ambition” at The Golden Awards in 2004 and a actually won this award for this film at the Hong Kong Film Awards that same year.
Josie Ho talks about her new movie, Edge of the World
Most recently, Josie Ho grabbed the attention of the public when appearing in the adventure drama movie, Edge of the World, alongside two Hollywood A List actors, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Dominic Monaghan. The movie recently launched in the US in June 2021 to a favourable response.
In Edge of the World, a movie set in the year 1840, Josie Ho played an assassin who travelled all the way from China to Malaysia to come to the aide of British adventurer Sir James Brooke also known as the Raja of Sarawak. Sharing with us about the filming process, Josie Ho said: “It was a great experience working with Johnathan Rhys Meyers and Dominic Monaghan in such a stimulating environment. We were working on an epic movie, which was very challenging due to the intense and humid conditions yet so rewarding to film in such a beautiful and stunning location every day at Sarawak, Malaysia.
Josie shared that Director Michaeal Haussman was a pleasure to work with and he really supported her. “We had quite a few discussions about my language with the producers after I failed two takes at 5am on my first day. Then, they considered asking me if I could speak Cantonese but I reminded them that the role was supposed to feature me speaking in an English accent”, Josie recounted some funny memories of filming.
Film Production and Investment Company
Josie Ho has also founded and operated a production company called 852 Films in Hong Kong with her husband and fellow actor Conroy Chan. “I always prefer to stay back as an actress, but sometimes producing film projects can also be healthy for our team to learn and improve from others”.
852 Films are currently collaborating with two Directors Mike Figgis and Bruce Wagner to produce a horror movie called Mother Tongue. “I was so stunned with both the characters I portray who contribute so much to the very unpredictable plot. But I have been lucky and I’ve had lots and lots of support from the director, Mike is really an actors director”.
What advice would you give to others in the entertainment industry who are looking to become a producer like you?
“My advice for other investors is, don’t ever believe in just words, believe in the contract because people don’t always say what they mean. Their rosy treatment could end up being utter BS. Be brave to attack immediately if you find yourself being “bullied” into something that you don’t want to do”.
Fashion style of Josie Ho
“My fashion style revolves around feeling comfortable and looking chic and trendy and I love to wear lots of different styles of hats, shades, and sneakers. I also like high fashion sometimes as well as supporting up and coming designers and will often mix my vintage pieces whenever I want to feel a bit more cultured”. – Josie Ho talks about her favorite fashion style.
At the exclusive photoshoot for Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam, Josie Ho transforms with many different fashion styles. As you can see, whatever style, she is always accented with gemstone jewelries and watches. They are accessories from Crisathena, a brand founded by designer Christy Wo – Josie Ho’s best friend.
Starring: Josie Ho @Josie_Ho_Chiu
Photography: Kiu @Shya-la-la
Hair: Ben Lee
Makeup: Zing @zingmakeup
Styling: Adrian Yeung
Executive producer: Christy Wo @christywo_official
Watches and jewelry: Crisathena @crisathena_paris
Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam