Saturday, September 06, 2003

[Ta Kung Pao]

Roger Kwok, Margaret Chung and Michael Tong were guest sellers at a charity lottery yesterday and attracted a crowd who came for their autographs, among them the most popular was Roger. As the reporters all wanted to do an interview with him, they were stopped by the hoards of fans who surrounded him. Po Leung Kuk will be selling these tickets for the next eight weeks to raise funds for their new projects.

Roger was in a very good mood as he revealed that he has just been offered an advert for suits from a mainland company, probably after his suited performance in "Mei Lai Joi Mong" (Not Just A Pretty Face). He then went on to do the good thing to say that this particular brand will look good on anyone; although the ad will be filmed in Guangzhou, he has worked on the Mainland so this is not too much bother for him.

With the great success of Roger's role of "Ah Wong" in "Ngong Fu Sing Lung" (Square Pegs), when it was aired in Taiwan earlier, the ratings doubled within the space of five days and looks to continue rising. Due to to deep image carved in the hearts of the viewers, the producer of a mainland TV series that Roger will be filming, has requested that Roger replays the character like Ah Wong and when asked whether this would create conflict with TVB, he says that he is not worried about this because TVB know about it. When it was suggested he was making a fair packet from the Mainland show and Mainland advertisement, he smiled and said: "Let's just say it made me smile so much I can't close my mouth. (Will you buy yourself a present to reward yourself?) I will insist on carrying on saving to add a few more zeros to my account."

Also, Margaret Chung is currently busy filming for "Sum Fong Sum Yuk Juk Gor Juk" (Chasing Hearts) and "Choi Hung Kiu" (Rainbow Bridge) and although she is playing a mother figure in "Sum" with a sixteen year old son, she is very pleased with this character because she can finally jump out of her stereotype of being a westernised girl returning from abroad. As for whether she can handle playing a mother being so young, she says that she has been in the industry for six years and it would be wrong if she couldn't take these roles. In order to act this role, she has lost a lot of sleep and even when she sleeps, she has been very nervous because she has been worried about not being able to detach herself from the character.


[The Sun]

Margaret Chung, Roger Kwok and Michael Tong were selling charity raffle tickets for Po Leung Kuk yesterday and autographing each ticket they sold, they attracted many people to come and buy from them, creating a great atmosphere. Margaret Chung has been filming for "Sum Fong Sum Yuk Juk Gor Juk" (Chasing Hearts) and she says that this is her best performance to date: "Because in the show I no longer play a girl who has returned from abroad, but a village girl and stepmother to a 16-year old boy." Through becoming too engrossed in her character, she is finding it hard to withdraw from her role as she says: "I feel that there is a problem with my concentration, sometimes I grind my teeth and am very nervous. However I am not worried about becoming too engrossed because I have studied performing arts in Toronto and I have confidence I can detach myself from the role."

Apart from this, Roger Kwok indicated that he has accepted a Mainland series who insists that he reprises Ah Wong from "Ngong Fu Sing Lung" (Square Pegs). Roger says: "Although it will be playing Ah Wong, the story is very different and there should be no conflict with TVB because they found the job for me." When asked about salary, he laughed: "I was so happy I couldn't close my mouth!"


[Ta Kung Pao]

With TVB's removal of "Princess Pearl 3" from the Prime Time slot, some people have indicated that the poor ratings for this show have dragged down the ratings for "Mei Lai Joi Mong" (Not Just A Pretty Face) as well. With these changes, does Roger Kwok feel that there will be any influence? He says that he doesn't know as this is yet to be seen.

However, this incident has led Roger to think about the levels of expectations from the audience and how the creatives will need to be moved up a notch. At the same time, he says that fame is not guaranteed with TVB and there are so many different factors that affect it, so he will treasure his future work. As for whether the changes will bring any pressure to him, he says it won't because these things happen all the time.

When it was discussed about the intentions to film a sequel for "Ngong Fu Sing Lung" (Square Pegs), will this incident make Roger think twice about making a sequel in case the ratings are lower than the original. Roger indicates that he will not be afraid of making a sequel. When he considers a show, he will only think about whether he accepts it or not, if he does then he will put his all into the performance and not think about too many other things. He believes that if TVB was to film a sequel, they will make the best arrangements.

As for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival, Roger will be spending it with his family as he does not have to work that day, so he can eat mooncakes and watch his show at home.


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