Wednesday, October 29, 2003

[The Sun, Ta Kung Pao, Sing Pao, Ming Pao]

TVB are once again working together with the ICAC to make "ICAC 2004" and the costume tryout was held yesterday. The cast members present included Anthony Wong, Alex Fong, Ng Ka Lung, Shek Sau, Lily Lei, Marco Ngai, Michael Tong and Lok Ying Kwan. The series will be directed by Yau Lai To, Cheung Kwok Ming and Lamm Chiu Yin.

With the ICAC's earlier investigation and arrests of three TVB executives, the commission's spokesperson Yip Hau Yee expressed that this would not have any effect on their co-operation in making this series as the wrongdoings of the employees are nothing to do with the company. As for why they are not including this particular case as one of the storylines, she explains that as this case is still ongoing, it would be inappropriate, however they may consider it in future series, but as the preparation for a series can take up to three years, then it cannot yet be confirmed. How will the actor's salaries be calculated? Ms Yip explains that it will be included in the production fees, but she cannot disclose this sum.

Alex Fong has already started filming and has been on location at the ICAC offices. His first action there was to drink their coffee and he found it was very good indeed. When asked whether he was working for free, he says that he will not spoil the trends and will just accept a more modest salary because these series usually do very well, so he doesn't mind losing out once a year. When it was mentioned he is always playing members of the forces and he may be approached to represent them by the government, Alex says that he was the first actor to film wearing the new police uniforms, but this short clip warning people not to make false 999 calls was only shown in schools.

Anthony Wong was asked whether he would be making any more series for TVB and he replied: "I'll need to see if I have time first. I am helping out the ICAC this time and I have had discussions with TVB but they never seem to work out." As for recent reports about the troubled Victoria Harbour concerts, leaving Hong Kong with the label of 'Gossip City', he says: "I haven't read the papers for a long time, it's better than scaring myself to death! If it's not some revelation, then it's bad gossip - Hong Kong really is a cosmopolitan city." As for the visit of Taikonaut Yang Liwei, Anthony says he would like to ask for his autograph, be he will not be in Hong Kong as he will be at an awards ceremony in China. Talking of the safety of artiste's children, Anthony has never allowed his son to appear in the press, but in response to a reporter fraudulently gaining entry to the school where Elaine Ng's daughter is studying and taking photographs, he responds angrily and says: "If it was my child, I would definitely call the police and take legal action. She has so much money, but her daughter's father [Jackie Chan] should do something for her. I am not wanting to interfere with their family affairs, I am just talking about a parent's responsibility to protect their children. Doing these things is illegal and it is a big thing. (You manage to keep your son out of the limelight, do you have any secrets to this?) I just don't go out much and keep a low profile. (Does that mean you don't spend much time with him?) Children are very busy, they have so much to learn and don't need to be with you 24 hours a day, as long as you care for them."

Lily Lei arrived late and looked rather upset as she explained that she had been filming for TVB's anniversary. Lily says that this is her first series, but she regrets not being able to work with Anthony who is reprising his role as Wong Sir. She says: "The coffee at ICAC is very nice and the food is very tasty. (Your appearance seems to have changed?) I did my own make-up and with it being winter, then I want to change my look with hair extensions, maybe you are just not used to my new look!"

The series will consist of four cases that have been adapted from true life ICAC cases including the shortened foundations for a housing estate and security firm smuggling.


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