Friday, April 23, 2004
[Oriental Daily, The Sun & Apple Daily]
Bernice Liu, Michael Tao and Kenix Kwok were filming for "Blossoming Hearts" yesterday. Kenix and Michael were filming in a shopping centre and when Michael was asked whether he has enjoyed delicious soup from his wife, he says: "Yes, I will try and go home for dinner whenever I can, but if I really can't make it then it is still okay." As for the case of SARS recurring in Beijing, having recently completed some filming there, Michael responds: "Beijing is so big, it wouldn't be so coincidental even if there is a confirmed case."
Also, Bernice was filming in Mongkok where she attracted quite a crowd of onlookers. Among them, one male passerby called out to her: "You are very beautiful!". The story of the scene told of customs officer Bernice having a fight whilst trying to catch a pirate cd seller and in the heat of the fight, she is almost knocked over by a van, very frightening! With her characters in the past being rather reserved, Bernice breaks the mould this time with a heroic and active role. With a brow of sweat after the action, Bernice laughs that it is like being in a sauna: "I had to jump over a barrier before and luckily I didn't fall over! The action choreographer arranged a stunt double for me for safety reasons, but I wanted to do it myself." Bernice has many fight scenes in the show and when asked if she can handle it, she says: "No worries, I can handle it. I was ill for a while earlier, so I am not really warmed up, so I went for some stretching exercises and did some jogging yesterday."
Bernice adds: "I really like this character because she will not be like the wooden or dim characters in the past, so if the safety boundaries allow it, I would like to try a lot of things."
Rain Li and her younger brother Kin Chung have always been very close and reports indicate that last year, Rain was heavily promoting her brother everywhere: to TVB, film companiesa and even entering him into the record companies' newcomer contests in the hope that they can work together to raise money to repay their family debts. Unfortunately, she has not been very successful and recently Rain has finally given up. Luckily, after many months of hard work, Rain herself has managed to repay her father's gambing debts of $1 million.
The reports suggest that Rain's brother was eager to enter showbiz because he saw that Rain was working so hard to make money and he wanted to help her out. He believes that life in showbiz is a quick way of making money, so he did his best to offer his sister a helping hand, but he had no success all the way. In response to this rumour, Rain says: "I did try to introduce him into showbiz, but it was just coincidendental that the film and TVB's 'Hearts of Fencing' were auditioning at the time and I know some people from the record company so I told him to give it a try. It's not that my brother really wants to enter the industry, just that when we saw the opportunity, I thought he should give it a try."
As for whether her brother wanted to help repay some of the debts, Rain says: "I have already paid back a lot, I think they should all be paid back this year. My brother has found a job now as a clerk. His salary isn't high, but it is enough and he is quite happy."
Marco Ngai loves his work, loves his food and loves sport even more. Marco is naturally heavily built and many people find him quite stocky. In fact, he works hard at his sport because he loves to try lots of delicacies, so it is easy to pile on the pounds by eating a little more. To stop himself gaining weight, he is happy to do exercise and keep fit, so whether it is badminton, waterskiing, swimming, jogging or cycling, he can do it all.
It has been a while since Marco last played badminton and whilst he was warming up at the courts, he started sweating after twenty minutes. Badminton is all about agility and strong wrists and abdminal muscles, just watching his sweat dripping from him like a shower, you could tell that he was undergoing a high rate of exercise.
An American study suggests that 70% of people who do no exercise or go sunbathing are likely to have suicidal tendencies. In recent months, with the clouds lingering over Hong Kong, Marco's spirits were affected and dropped to a low point. On the first day that the weather improved, he sat on his balcony to read and take in the sun and not just for him, but everyone's moods seem to have been lifted by the better weather.
"When I do exercise, I will be very happy because I can express all the negative emotions built up inside and strike a balance. Many artistes are very moody and have very extreme emotions. I have found that there are many sides to my own personality and I am not swayed in any one direction. Sometimes I will also display a dual personality!" Earlier when Marco was still in the theatre circles, he took courses with the Open University in psychology and law and although he did not take the examinations at the end, he believes he would have passed. He says that without the pressure of the examinations, he is even more interested in study, especially psychology which is very useful for him.
36 year-old Marco is becoming more and more mature in his thoughts and the way he treats others and he admits that when he first started in the industry, he upset more people than he gained the respect of, but after many years of training, even Catherine Tsang feels that he has grown up and he laughs that it was a good job that Catherine didn't pull the plug on him then, otherwise there would not be today's Marco Ngai.
"In the past, I was always hauled into the office by Catherine and scolded for being immature and mouthy. She carried on scolding me for seven or eight years and is my inspiring teacher who has taught me for the longest time. Today, I have to thank her - this is not to flatter her, but Catherine is a good person and full of honour. If something is good, she will praise. If something is bad, she will scold you. It is that clear cut with her, sitting in this position like a 'big sister' maybe she attracts a lot of people who are jealous and want to take her place. You should do your own job to the best first and not just blame the heavens!"
Marco has been criticised in the past: "How can he be a male lead with a face like that?" and he admits that these words are piercing to his ears, but thinking back, he has been in the industry for 12 years now and he will never complain about his predicament. Nor will he ask why his achievements are not on the same lines of Bobby Au Yeung, Gallen Lo or Michael Tao. He understands that Bobby, Gallen and Michael have given up a lot for their popularity and there are a lot of things that he should learn from them. For example: Gallen's smoothness and maturity, Bobby's sense of humour that makes everyone laugh and Michael's optimism and clarity in life - these are all Marco's targets.
The Marco of today is sitting comfortably in the male lead roles and some colleagues say to him: "You should have got here a long time ago." However, Marco admits that a few years ago, he had still not overcome his shell and was not experienced enough. All along, he remembers the words of Sister Ba in the artiste department: "If an artiste is to find fame, then this cannot be stopped. If an artiste is not destined for fame then no amount of promotion will get them there." Although he has reached the lead role position, he will not feel pround or conceited because he understands that there is still so much to learn and to be a good artiste, he has to continue being a good person.
The death of his father changed Marco a lot. He says: "My father would not expect his son to be rich, as long as he was a good person. When he left, he had nothing, no enemies, no regrets and no unfulfilments. My wish is to be like my father and live my life well. Thousands of years ago, there was already the lessons passed down that living without depending on others is difficult to attain. Success is to live without criticism from people around you, be it your parents, family, friends or colleagues."
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