Saturday, January 31, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao]

Having always been a good girl, Fiona Yuen has recently shot a set of rather bold pictures for a newspaper, appearing totally naked apart from a guitar and this has caused a few startled responses from the audience as they wonder what has made this conservative lady change her image. To this, Fiona responds: "I don't actually like being sexy and I am not turning to a sexy image. The shoot was a suggestion from a reporter whom I know quite well who mentioned that a foreign pop star had done a similar shoot. When we agreed that this was something we could try, we gave it a go; although I don't mind, I would rather my boyfriend and my fans didn't see. (Has anyone mentioned to you before that you are sexy?) No, maybe they think I am not suited to it!"

In reality, during the seven years that Fiona has been in the industry, she has kept a good girl image and even rumours have been a rarity. However, as an artiste, this can be an obstacle as you get less press coverage for a start, especially with the waves of newcomers every year, if she has little noise then it is easy for the audience to forget her. Has she ever thought about having a breakthrough? Fiona says: "Of course, but I just hope that this breakthrough is in my performance, by playing my characters well or letting people see my improvement in the documentary side."

Fiona has her plans: after the popularity of the cookery and food programmes she has hosted, she is building on her own interest in cookery and will be writing a cookery related book. She will be personally researching and photographing the recipes, hoping to learn a lot along the way. However, in the light of the current market already being full of various cook books, I asked Fiona why she does not follow her own strengths and introduce jewellery design. Fiona says: "Of course I will not let go of jewellery line and I have already bought a lot of materials from Japan, when I have time I will work on the designs. However, Hong Kong people are too busy and I believe that they would rather just buy jewellery than make it themselves. After considering the balance, I think that cookery books will be more useful. Let's wait until after the cook books get a good response, then I will introduce jewellery design."

As Fiona's Chinese language ability is limited, she will be handing the editing over to an author friend. This is a good friend of Fiona's, who will be working for free, so Fiona will be paying for dinner when the book is published.

When Fiona was asked whether it is better for girls to be able to cook, she laughs: "Knowing how to cook is an advantage, but the women of today are too clever and don't necessarily have to go into the kitchen. (What is your best dish?) Western food, but I really want to learn how to make Chinese food, because it incorporates steaming, frying, boiling, braising and there are a lot of skills that will also be very interesting to learn." Fiona usually loves to make soup, often making Wai Sai Gei Ji Lean Pork Soup and adding Northern Almonds, Honey Dates and Preserved Peel to give the soup a sweet, delicious flavour. She endorses it strongly: "This is an economical and hearty soup, give it a try!"

Recently there have been many newcomers to the entertainment industry, is Fiona worried she will be overshadowed? She says: "I feel that with competition comes improvement and in the past few years, I have gained a level of notoriety with the viewers knowing that Fiona Yuen is a person who takes her work seriously. I don't think I will be moved over so easily." However, she admits that her progress has been rather stable in the past, mainly because she does not like fighting with other people for things. In fact, it is her friends who feel aggrieved for her, but she insists that as long as someone appreciates her, then she is already happy and even if she goes out to fight, she may not win. When asked if acting will become her lifelong career, she laughs: "Humans are always so conflicting, sometimes I will become tired and bored with performing too much, but after not acting for a while, I will have the itch to do it again. So even if I turn to another career, if there is a suitable script, then I will still be performing to fulfil the acting bug."

Let's hope she keeps to her word! After all, she is a talented artiste and if she does not act, it would be a great waste.


[Ta Kung Pao & Oriental Daily]

Kingdom Yuen, Louis Yuen and Yvonne Lam were filming in Wanchai yesterday for "Virtues of Harmony II" and a firm believer of Chinese fortune telling, Kingdom says that her sign is in conflict this year, so she is wearing a dragon pendant to keep her safe. Feng Shui master Mak Ling Ling has also suggested that she can avoid three crises by having a happy occasion such as buying a property, getting married or having a child. Kingdom laughs that she would like to do all three, so she doesn't know which one to choose. Afterwards, she laughs: "My top choice is probably to start a business, because I already have a restaurant that is currently in a trial run and should be opening in a couple of months. My luck all along as been quite good, so I may buy a property then or decorate my home."

With a suggestion she should get married and have a double happiness, she laughs: "Getting married is all about spur of the moment or having children. I do not have that intention just yet and I am afraid of having kids at my age. (Has your boyfriend proposed to you?) That's not fashionable nowadays, it's about discussion now, but I am very busy in the first half of the year, so we will have to wait until at least the middle of the year before we have time to discuss it."


[Ta Kung Pao, Oriental Daily & The Sun]

Dayo Wong and Ada Choi were filming for series "Stand-up Sleuth" on location in Tsimshatsui yesterday and as Ada is due to go out to Australia to make a film at the end of the month, they have been working hard to complete all her scenes. This means that Dayo has had to film for 36 hour slots and as he calls out with exhaustion, his tears are worth it for Ada.

With the filming nearly complete, Dayo is 'disappointed' he has not been linked with Ada in any rumours as he jokes: "I have tried to ask her out for a drink at the bar, but she didn't turn up. She is very secretive because she disappears five seconds after we finish work and even though I have declared my love for her on many occasions, I have failed each time. (You have a girlfriend though!) As long as she is fine with that then it is okay!" Dayo goes on to mention that Ada's sprouty teeth are very sexy.

Entering the new year, although Dayo has been carrying his lucky packets around with him, he has not given any of them out as he explains: "I thought about it for a long time at home and even went to the bank to get some change for the lucky packets, but I am afraid that if I give one out, then people will think I am trying to be the 'number one' and have people ask me why I am handing them out. So I decided to follow Ada, if she gives them out then so will I, but she turned out to be a miser and didn't give any out. If I am working again for TVB next year, I will hand them out then, even if I have to tighten my belt."

As for Ada who is constantly being teased by Dayo, she has never fought back as she says: "I am afraid I will hurt someone, now I have a son (her dog) I have to set a good example and be a gracious lady." Ada has to head back to Guangzhou today to complete her casual wear advertisement and she says she has prepared protective measures such as a mask and handwash. She will not be eating chicken because she can't let anything happen to her, for fear of facing Dayo's wrath! Also when asked if she will have medical insurance like Shirley Cheung's staff, Ada indicates that the sponsors will arrange this for her.


[Sing Pao & The Sun]

Liza Wang and Law Ka Ying took a trip over the new year with a group of twenty friends to Tokyo and Hokkaido to enjoy a snowy new year. For Ka Ying seeing the snow for the first time made him very excited as the couple spent nearly $100,000 on a shopping spree. However they felt it was worth it and he is now planning for next year's new year when he plans to take Liza on a cruise.

The couple spent eight days in Japan and when they returned to Hong Kong, Ka Ying said in a telephone interview: "This was the first time I had been to see the snowfields in my life and going on the motor sleighs with Liza was so sweet! Liza nearly slipped on the snow, but luckily I was there to hold her hand." Did you take the chance to propose to Liza? He laughs: "Of course not, the new year is the new year, I haven't thought about these things. However I did give a lucky packet to Liza, not a big one though!"

Ka Ying loves to eat sushi and he also recommends to go and try the local 'frost beef'. Although Liza does not eat beef, the seafood there was also very fresh, so the group all put on weight with all the food. As well as the gourmet food, of course Ka Ying enjoyed the Japanese hot springs and massage and even Liza was interested. When asked if the Japanese ladies were good, he laughs: "They were okay, they were actually older 'aunties'. Liza had a massage as well. You only live once and at my age you learn to enjoy life, so I will be working less and playing more in the future. We are planning to go on a cruise next year!"

Liza says: "The trip was organised by the Cantonese opera troup leader to go and watch a show and Ka Ying also wore a set of Japanese costume to appear on the stage, it was so funny! Afterwards, we went to feed the bears, they were really huge! (Did you have any funny stories?) The most embarrasing thing was at the hot spas because there were a lot of Hong Kong people there and it was quite embarrassing being naked in front of everyone."

Also, Liza went to try the local chicken dishes and when asked if she was afraid of bird flu, she replied: "At the time we didn't know how serious the situation was, but now we will be more careful. (You were wearing a mask?) I was afraid of the cold. It is very clean in Japan, so I am not afraid of catching anything." Finally, Liza says that with the iminent airing of her series "Blade Heart", she will be taking part in all the promotional activities.


[Apple Daily]

Frankie Lam and Kenix Kwok were spotted at the airport returning from America. Kenix indicated that they had been there to do a stage show and as Frankie pushed a trolley piled high with their goods, it seems like they have had a rewarding shopping spree. At first, Frankie seemed a little wary of the press, but raised a smile when they asked him for a photo.


[The Sun & Oriental Daily]

Undercover lovers Maggie Cheung and Samm Chan have been sighted holidaying romantically in Phuket, but Maggie still denied that she had been there when she returned to Hong Kong, even though all her luggage labels showed the flight details for Thailand.

Maggie and Samm had earlier announced their split, but there have been continuous rumours that they have still been dating in private to avoid any effect this may have on Maggie's career. Ordinarily, for Maggie to go on holiday with a friend is no big story, but a reader called in with information earlier that whilst on holiday in Phuket, they had spotted Maggie there with a man and the couple seemed quite close as they shared some happy times. The reports also came that Maggie would be returning on flight CX702 from Bangkok and after some research by the reporters, it was found that Maggie had booked four tickets for this flight, but in the end only two of the passengers had boarded - Maggie and Samm.

At around 10:33 pm, Maggie was supposedly to have returned to Hong Kong, but she only appeared at the airport at 11:15, pushing a trolley laden with her luggage and leaving with two friends. When she was asked by the press where she had returned from, she replied: "The mainland, I went for three days. (For leisure?) Half work, half leisure. (Stage show?) Yes." When it was mentioned to her that she had been seen in Phuket having fun with a male, she responded nervously: "Tokyo! With a few guys. (Tokyo?) Yes, I went to a few places - Tokyo and Shanghai included. (You didn't go to Phuket?) Yes. (Do we know these guys?) No. (From outside the industry?) Yes."

However, it could clearly be seen from Maggie's luggage labels that she had been travelling on CX702 from Bangkok. It appears she was lying and had forgotten to destroy the evidence, but no-one can understand why she needs to do this. After saying goodbye to her friends, Maggie left alone by taxi to return to her Sai Kung home. Boyfriend Samm Chan had not appeared at all, possibly sneaking away when the press spotted Maggie. On the telephone later, he said: "I was in Singapore over the new year with friends and did not go to Phuket. Who saw me in Phuket? (Did Maggie go to China or Phuket?) I don't really care where she went, if she said the mainland, then it was. In any case, I did not go."


[Oriental Daily & The Sun]

Sonija Kwok and Tiffany Lee were filming with Tats Lau for movie "Super Beauty Cops", where they play fighting girls. With her earlier performance in another action series, Sonija seemed quite relaxed as she struck a pose wearing her boiler suit, looking quite the part. Conversely, Tiffany seemed a little clumsy and was laughed at by the crew, but she says: "It doesn't matter! I have never filmed action shows and have never beem trained, so I will learn as I go along!" When it was mentioned she looked a little chubby, Tiffany protested: "No, it is just the costume and the angle. My face has always been a little chubby and I am a little bloated today."

Sonija reveals that she had three days off over the new year and took the chance to rest at home, so she has not been to visit Deric Wan's family. She smiles that his parents are very understanding of her work being tough and have not said anything. As for Deric's intentions to be baptised, Sonija says she does not know about this, but she is aware he will go to listen to the gospels before filming. When asked if she would be joining him, she says: "No! This is his personal decision. (Has he been telling you about the gospels?) Of course not, it would bore me to death!"


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