Tuesday, May 11, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao]

As well as acting, Steven Ma has also been directing his career towards literature and has recently released his third book on society, entitled "Steven Ma's Tales of Society III - Turn Good Turn Bad". Having worked in Mainland China for a while, Steven comments that the artistes in China tend to have a high level of literary education, and they feel that in contrast, many of the local artistes in Hong Kong are lacking in cultural knowledge. To this, Steven is inclined to agree. He indicates that there are some very cultured artistes such as Francis Ng and Anthony Wong, who would be able to reflect a better image of the locals if they were ever to write a book, because as well as his own writing career, Steven is very supportive of others to write books too.

Steven held a launch party for his book yesterday that was attended by guests such as good friends Maggie Cheung, Cheng Dan Shui and Nancy Sit. When he heard that Maggie was also planning to write a book, Steven was very supportive and then said sheepishly: "Maggie was very punctual for today's event, but I was ten minutes late."

Nancy had to rush off for filming, so she only stayed a little while, but she still attended despite being so busy and Steven was very thankful. He says that the first print of his new book will be 2000 copies as he has learned lessons from his first two books. The first one "Why commit suicide?" was poorly planned and nearly made a loss and was only rescued after it was released on the Mainland. The second book "I am the relative of a sick person." was more controlled. As for the third book, this will be released at the same time as the Mainland.

Steven also revealed that in line with his literary career, he will be opening a publishing house. He knows that many people would like to publish their own works, so his company will offer them publishing and distribution services. As he will be concentrating on acting, his own books will be few and far between, so he hopes to be able to attract some talented writers to build a portfolio for the company to enter this year's book fair. Steven also says that someone suggested he should write a book about the entertainment industry, but he is not interested. He will also never write anything that is pornographic.


[Ta Kung Pao]

Maggie Cheung will be heading into China today to film for "Proud Heroes of Chu and Han" and then will be heading to Shanghai to film for "Song of Prolonged Hatred" (Chang Hen Ge). As she will be away from Hong Kong for six months, she has ended her contract with her assistant, but this has caused trouble with reports of complaints against her.

When she was asked about this yesterday, Maggie says that it was a small misunderstanding and this happened possibly as a result of some manipulation. She says that her assistant was purely helping her as a friend beforehand and there was no contract as everything was done on trust. She left because she did not want to leave her dog at home for six months.

Also, Maggie's spokesperson contract with Mariane Chan's slimming company will be up for renewal in June and with reports that the other spokesperson Sandra Ng not renewing the contract due to heavy pressure, Maggie says: "I would like to renew, but as I will be in China for the next six months, then I will not be able to attend the promotional events and I don't know if the boss will mind about this. Being a spokesperson puts great pressure on yourself because every time you appear, you have to be on top form , but are afraid of revealing yourself, so I get very nervous. I have overcome this now though and you can tell by my high spirits today at this event, I would suggest they sign a male spokesperson, that would make it a bit different."


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