Wednesday, May 12, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao, The Sun & Oriental Daily]

Niki Chow, Bernice Liu, Shirley Yeung and Kevin Cheng appeared at an opening ceremony for a Japanese Drinking House yesterday and received a hefty lucky packet from the bosses. Although Niki has been in the industry for a while, this was her first store opening and she laughs that her father had a printing company when she was younger and there was an opening ceremony there, but only men were allowed to cut the ribbon and there were no women there.

At her first opening, Niki dressed rather casually and was overshadowed by Bernice and Shirley somewhat. However, Niki feels that she has dressed up for the occasion as she says: "Our images are different, no matter how hard I try, I will not be beautiful." However, she used to be a model, so shouldn't she be able to dress up? She laughs that her figure is not as good as the others so she can't help the focus falling on them because Bernice was a Miss Chinese International winner and Shirley was a Miss Hong Kong, so they do have a great poise. In fact, Niki has tried to act more ladylike than usual and laughs that she shouldn't have lost out by much and it is all healthy anyway.

Niki went out to Beijing recently with Eason Chan to promote their latest movie and with the SARS outbreak, Niki says that she had a sore throat when she set out, so she wore a mask all the way there. However, she says there is nothing unusual in Beijing and there was only her wearing a mask!

Having recently completed a slimming programme, Bernice has been showing off her figure in sexy clothes recently and at the ceremony yesterday, she wore a backless dress to show herself off. When asked how much she would earn for the job, she laughed that it was a happy price. Earlier, Bernice was ill and the side effects from her medication left her bloated and her weight went up to 130 lbs. Luckily the recent slimming regime has helped her to lose nearly 10 lbs and this has given her the confidence to wear the revealing dress.

Having been chosen as a guest at Sam Hui's concert in June, Bernice has been practising her singing hard, even though she has just recovered from problems with her larynx. She reveals that when she is rehearsing with Sam and the other girls, Sam told them to relax and this helps with her nerves, but Sam is still very serious about his work. With Sam's concert receiving a very warm reception, he has added an extra 8 shows, but Bernice doesn't know whether she will be able to take part in these. She says that when her parents found out she was taking part in Sam's concert, they immediately bought tickets to return to Hong Kong in June, so she really hopes she can get a pair of tickets for her parents. Her mother has been a fan of Sam for a long time and seeing her daughter having the chance to work with him, she is very proud. Bernice laughs that her mother wants to be with her backstage, but really just wants to see Sam and have a photo with him.

Shirley has always dressed very conservatively in the past, but since it was suggested that she was losing the limelight to Sonija Kwok and Charmaine Sheh, she has changed her image to a more seductive one. Yesterday at the event, she wore a very sexy but beautiful dress. However, Shirley says that she is not trying to be sexy, but just dressing for the event. She also reveals that half of what she was wearing was sponsored.

Shirley will soon begin filming a new show where she plays a character who likes researching into food, but Shirley is not a very good cook herself in real life and only cooks once in a while. So how can she play house with her boyfriend? She laughs that she has made a steak for her boyfriend before, but he didn't offer her any praise, maybe he felt that this dish was too easy.

Also, reported to have been promoted heavily by TVB, Kevin has been playing a police officer in the new series "Fight for Every Moment", but his character has a rather shady personality and this has affected his mood whilst during the filming. Kevin hopes that he will have a chance to film a comedy soon because in the past he has always played either rich or pretty boy characters and he does not want to do these roles any more. He would most like to play a market stall man or a rough character.


[Ta Kung Pao, The Sun & Oriental Daily]

The cast of TVB's "Wandering Hero Medics" including Nick Cheung, Sonija Kwok, Candy Lo, Andrew Lian, Margaret Chung, Pak Yan and Kenneth Ma set out for Guangxi to film on location yesterday. Although the shoot will only last ten days, the cast are prepared as they carry their cases on their trip.

Ever playful, Nick is usually playing practical jokes on his colleagues in the studio and yesterday he even took a fake cockroach to the airport to take out and scare people. Sonija, Candy and Margaret all fell for his trick and even big sister Pak Yan didn't escape from him. Margaret was so scared that she opened her eyes wide and jumped away as she explains: "I wasn't afraid because he had played the trick before in the studio, but I was putting an act on just for him."

Candy said later regretfully: "If I knew about this earlier, I would have brought some fake stuff along too. (You have a fake leg in the show.) That's so big! (Will you get your own back on Nick?) Let me think about it on the plane." Candy has brought a supply of mosquito repellant and medicine for bites and stings with her. Although she has to go and film on location for her first series, she is not worried because she will have fun with the group of artistes.

Nick has brought a supply of vests, disinfectants and cleanin products with him. Although he often films in the mainland, he has not actually been to many places because he is usually at the studio in Hengdian, so this is his first time to Guangxi. He has heard that the facilities are a little behind there, but he believes that as long as they keep good hygiene, then there shouldn't be a problem. He is feeling rather relaxed because all his studio and location filming in Hong Kong has been completed now. He laughs: "I paid my respects to the gods before I left, so there should be no problem. (Is your wife Esther worried?) She has gone to Singapore to work."

Sonija is usually not too far away from her mother, but yesterday at the airport, her mother was nowhere to be seen. She says that her mother wanted to join her on her trip to Guangxi, but she was worried that she could not look after her mother, so she didn't let her join them. So is her mother worried about her? Sonija says she often goes away for work, so her mother is used to this now and will not be too worried.

This is Sonija's second time in Guangxi and she has brought lots of things with her, including her own pillow and pillowcases. She laughs that she tries to make her room as homely as possible so that she is not homesick. She adds: "Although we will be filming in the mountainous area, it is not very bad there and the hotels are quite comfortable. In contrast, when she was in Guangzhou, the hotel not only didn't have air conditioning, there was water leaking and no toilet paper."

Talking of her boyfriend Deric Wan's recent venture into opening a hair salon in Shanghai, she says: "He is in partnership with a friend and the business is quite big. (Will you go and see it?) I don't have time at the moment. (Are you interested in business?) I have no interest at all in business, so if I have money I will just put it in the bank. (How about co-operating with someone?) No, in the past I fell out with someone over money, so I will not invest in business with my boyfriend."

Also, after returning from Guangxi, Sonija will then be heading out to Beijing for the costume fitting for new show "Tossing Rain Turning Cloud" and she is happy to be working with good friend Charmaine Sheh again. Her part will be completed in about a month, so even though it is a martial arts ancient production, she will not find this hard work. After Beijing, she will be heading out to Kenya to continue filming for "Wandering Hero Medics".

Nick will be heading out to Cannes to appear at the premiere for his film "Dai Si Gin" (Big Case) that has been selected as a showcase film. He reveals that he has been buying an outfit for the occasion and has spent 100-200 thousand dollars on clothes. He says: "To buy a tuxedo, they are all over ten thousand dollars, but I hope I will have a 'model look' when the time comes. Just don't be too shocked!" He will be heading out with co-star Kelly Chen and director Johnny To.


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