Tuesday, January 13, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao & Oriental Daily]

TVB's new series "Water Margin Infernal Affairs" starring Julian Cheung, Wong He, Gigi Lai and Tavia Yeung held a costume fitting yesterday and as the title suggests, this will be a story of some Heroes from the Water Margin travelling through time to the modern day and as a result some parts of the show will be in in ancient settings. Gigi Lai will be taking on two roles, one is the ancient Pan Jinlian and the other is a sexy lady in the modern day. As her modern day character looks like Pan, she is mistaken to be the reincarnation of Pan. When Gigi introduced her character, she was asked if she had to show her character's flirtatious side. Gigi replied: "No, because my clothes will be very sexy with many men after me, but in fact I am very faithful, despite being misunderstood by Julian." Julian who was standing next to her couldn't help joking: "You are definitely an unfaithful woman!". At the time Gigi's costume was rather contemporary, so she was also laughed at by Wong He for looking like a Miss Chinese International, but then he added that she was the most beautiful one, leaving Gigi speechless.

Gigi has just returned from filming on location in Beijing and tells of how she has been filming series continuously for the last year. She says that after changiing her image, TVB has given her a lot of opportunities and the roles have all had a chance to develop her, so she will not waste the opportunities and hopes taht she can make a representative piece in television to let people know she is a quality actor and she will be working very hard in the next couple of years.

When asked if she has many pursuers in real life, she did not reply directly, but just said that there has to be love before she will take it further. In teh new show she often appears in sexy outfits, so is this going to be tough in the cold weather? She smiles: "Luckily I bought a lot of warm pads for Beijing and many haven't been used so I can pass them out to everyone." Also whilst Gigi was in Beijing, she was snapped doing some touring with a man. When she was asked about this, she smiled: "I am not responding, but I need to make clear I am still single and at the moment I am concentrating on my career."

Julian and Wong He will be working together for the first time in the show, but they were very well co-ordinated in joking with Gigi. Julian will be playing Wu Song and a modern undercover cop, whilst Ah He will be playing Lin Chong and a modern police officer, who later goes undercover.

Whilst filming "Point of No Return", Julian was accused of stealing the plot from a Korean drama and with this show obviously taking ideas from movie blockbuster "Infernal Affairs", he says in response: "I hope that there will be more creativity this time! However to make it obvious is better than not making it clear because it makes us all feel a bit better to have it in the open. (Will you be choosing your scripts more carefully in the future?) It is impossible to read the whole script, but I will just do my job."

When Wong He was asked if he was worried about the new show being a copycat, he laughs: "Not worried, if anyone needs to worry it is the producer. Although the undercover element is similar to the 'Infernal Affairs' movie, the film and television versions cannot be compared as the quality and the target audience is different. Also, our series is a light comedy so there is not the deep atmosphere like in the film."

Julian has just finished filming a series in the Mainland and has immediately opened filming with TVB with no time to rest. He laughs: "Life is like that, in truth I hope that I can have more exposure in Hong Kong this year so as well as making more series, I hope to make some films as well. (Do you wish for a representative piece?) Of course I wish for that, so the most important thing is preparation, so that I can take advantage of any opportunities in the future."


[Oriental Daily, The Sun & Ta Kung Pao]

The Miss Chinese International Pageant will be taking place on Saturday and the twenty one contestants met the judges for the first time in a press conference yesterday dressed in low cut dresses. The judges for the contest will include Kelly Chen, Bobby Au-Yeung, LegCo member Timothy Fok Tsun Ting and one of the guest performers Jordan Chan. During the meeting, the judges had to select a winner for "Miss Beautiful Smile" to be announced at the final.

Afterwards, the judges all praised the high quality and great figures of the contestants this year and Kelly was full of good words for Number 17 Hong Kong Representative Mandy Cho, Number 12 Miss Vancouver Linda Chung and Number 8 Miss LA Jessica Xu.

Favourite to win Jessica was very thankful of Kelly's praise and she admits that she was very nervous when she faced the judges and stuttered as she said: "I am a little nervous today because there are so many stars here. (Do you know them?) Yes, I have seen Jordan's films and I think he is great, full of vitality. Kelly gives people the feeling of being very sexy and attractive. (Have you heard them singing?) Of course, but I only buy Kelly's albums. (Which star do you like more?) I like Kelly more. (Do you feel that Jordan is a player?) No. (Do you think that he is always staring at the girls?) All men are like that!"

As for Mandy, does she see Jessica as an arch rival? She says: "Favourite or non-favourite is all down to you [the media] to define, but maybe the judges tastes may differ."

Mr Fok's first impression of the contestants was that they were representative of their different origins and in both conversation and educational backgrounds, the standards were very high. He points out that the most important thing about MCI is to change the standards of admiring beauty on an International scale so that you are not just a beauty if you have blonde hair. Also as they have many different performances, he will save his decisions until after he has seen the final show.

Jordan will be appearing with rumoured girlfriend Cecilia Cheung at the final and letting slip about their performance on the night, he revealed that even faced with so many pretty girls, he just has Cecilia on his mind! After Jordan indicated that Cecilia will be doing swordplay in her item, MC Vinci Wang laughed: "You only seem to know about Cecilia, I didn't even ask you!"


[The Sun & Ta Kung Pao]

Vincent Kuk and Rabee'a Yeung appeared in a blessing ceremony for TVB's new cookery show and with the pair working together for the first time, Vincent praised Rabee'a saying: "She is quite cute and talkative and is very westernised, very assertive and open." Talking of his past rumours with Sonija Kwok and Michelle Ye, is he afraid of being linked romantically to his new partner? Vincent says: "I am not worried, I will take any opportunity, but if offering her a ride home will cause rumours, then they will definitely start!"

Although Vincent seems eager, Rabee'a was very reserved and when asked if she would take a ride from Vincent, she immediately shook her head and laughed: "There is no need, I will not! However I find him quite funny and he is a very quick-thinker and full of wit. I am sure that with his experience, he is able to help me. I am not dating at the moment, but these things depend on feeling."

After the ceremony, the crew filmed on location at a market and Rabee'a reveals that as well as hosting, she will have to do some cooking as well. However, she says that she has been cooking for herself since she was thirteen, so this is not an obstacle for her.


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