'Every character has different levels of regret': Vivian Hsu on her new HBO drama Who's By Your Side

Since having to explain the nuances of life and death to her son, it looks like Vivian Hsu has found more to reflect on after starring in Who’s By Your Side, a new Taiwanese drama that explores relationship issues and marital challenges through the lenses of various characters. 

The Taiwanese singer-actress plays Yongjie, a strong, optimistic and kind-hearted wife and mother, who holds two jobs to make ends meet while helping to pay off her husband’s debts. Her mantra is “there’s always a solution to things”. 

Vivian also doubled up as the executive producer for the series, which is directed by Chinese-American actor Peter Ho.

Reflecting on her role, the 46-year-old told the Taiwanese media: “People often forget that they still have the ability to love others when things are going badly, and it is easy to overlook that they are still very much loved by the people around them. Often, it’s when they experience a loss that they understand all this.

“Each character in this drama has different levels of regret. We hope to convey to everyone that we must cherish the people around us.”

Yongjie’s husband Zhisheng (played by Kaiser Chuang) is a debt-ridden car mechanic with a low esteem, who later questions his wife about her infidelity.

This ends up becoming a catalyst not only for him, but also for Yongjie’s stepsister Yongqi (Ning Chang) and her husband Haoyuan (Ivan Chen), to confront a series of painful dilemmas. 

In the same interview, Kaiser revealed that he was very impressed with the depth of Zhisheng’s character. “He is the most multi-faceted and complete character that I’ve ever played. I enjoyed it. The first time the director talked to me about the script, I was so touched that I cried.” 

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But perhaps the intricacies and nuances of what the drama hopes to capture are best summed up by Peter. 

“Who’s By Your Side hopes to convey the message that falling in love is easy, but getting along with each other is hard. People may encounter problems after marriage, such as inferiority, suspicion, and distrust. How then, do you solve these problems?”

The 10-episode HBO Asia original drama Who’s By Your Side, which is distributed by mm2 Entertainment, will premiere on Sunday, Oct 3 at 9pm, with two episodes on HBO Go and the HBO channel. Subsequently, one new episode will be released every Sunday.



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