Friday, July 09, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao & The Sun]

Moses Chan, Halina Tam and Bowie Lam were filming on location just outside TVB City for new series "Healing Hands III" yesterday. The scene tells of Halina and Bowie being interviewed at the TV station, but they have an argument and leave with bad feelings. Moses waits outside in his expensive sports car and Bowie realises that Halina is Moses's girlfriend. When Moses sees Halina leaving, he immediately gives her a kiss on the cheek. Even though it was filmed by camera angle positioning, Moses was still rather nervous and NG'ed many times, making the director instruct him to be more intimate as he laughed "You look like you are talking to Halina, not kissing her!". A rather embarrassed Moses showed a red face and showed that even the new generation of 'housewife killer' is a shy guy!

Yesterday's weather was extremely hot, but in order to fit in with the storyline, Moses had to wear a long sleeved shirt and look relaxed as he read a book in the car and took his pills. When the press saw him frying in the strong sun, they all felt very sorry for him and after the filming, it could be seen that his back was soaking wet with sweat. Afterwards, when asked if he found it tough, he smiled: "It was okay! (You were taking pills before, are you ill?) No, it is part of the storyline as it tells of my character contracting SARS and suffering from the after effects so he has to take medication. (But Bowie is ill already after just a few days work?) Really? I only started filming today, so I didn't know."

Bowie rushed back for filming after going to see the doctor yesterday and he had already felt unwell whilst filming for "Grey Tracks". Coupled with the hot weather and often going from a cold to a hot place, he has contracted a throat infection. He says: "My throat is very painful at the moment and even swallowing saliva makes it hurt. Although the doctor told me to rest, that is an impossibility because this show has already started filming. Luckily it is a forty episode show with many side tracks so the focus is not entirely on me and there should be a little more time to rest." He also smiles: "I don't want to get a doctor's note to rest because if I can't produce it then I will be in trouble. Wearing a suit in such hot weather on location is really hard work though.(Are you afraid of getting sunstroke like Nancy Sit?) Although it is so hot that my underpants are soaking, I am still young and strong so I should be okay!"

Halina plays Moses's girlfriend in the show, but as she is too ruthless in getting what she wants, they finally split up. Yesterday was Halina's first day of filming for the show and as well as the hot weather, she also had to wear a pair of three inch mini heels and she says that as she has rather big feet, she was worried that she would lose her balance and fall over.

Halina laughs: "In real life I am not a ruthless person at all, so it is quite a difficult role for me to play." As Halina plays a columnist in the show, her character often has to appear at high class balls and so she has been following the rich and famous pages in the papers. She says that wearing strappy dresses is not a problem, but she is most afraid of wearing heels so she is starting to get used to it now.

Also, as Moses has a seven or eight year old son in the show, Halina has many scenes with the young actor and she admits that she is a little worried about working with the child actor as she has had little experience with children and the kids of today are rather smart, so she is afraid that she cannot control him. She laughs: "I would rather work with animals because I am very afraid of children crying because when that happens I will give them whatever they want."


[The Sun]

Sherming Yiu was at TVB City doing some additional scenes for "Proud Heroes of Chu and Han" and talking of her heading out to Beijing next week to film for "Tossing Rain Turning Cloud", she says she will be sharing a room with Akina Hong out there. Sherming adds that Akina is very good in that before she heads out, Akina has already arranged everything for her there, such as assistants and cleaning out the bathroom. Sherming says that if there is time, they will go and seek out their old friend Angie Cheung and get this 'local' to show them around the Beijing city sights.


[The Sun]

In recent years, the rules for Hong Kong artistes to film in the mainland have been relaxed and together with the substantial fees, many popular stars have headed up north to make some money and TVB's monopoly on the leading actors is no more as many stars leave the nest after working out their contracts and sign for external managers. Last year, the company lost Gallen Lo and Flora Chan and although some will still return to TVB to do the odd show out of 'respect', they have still lost out on the control.

TVB knows that it cannot match the salaries offered by other companies, so in order to keep some top stars on their books, they are making the biggest compromises on their contracts. Take Jessica Hsuan for instance, her contract is due for renewal shortly and in order to show their sincerity, TVB have offered her anything she wants. Jessica has used her health as the reason to request a 'One series per year' contract. On this rare occasion, TVB has agreed and Jessica has signed a further two years with them. In order to keep their talent, TVB has no choice but o encourage more stars to stay in this way.

As Jessica is the only top female lead left with TVB management, she has naturally taken the top female spot and in her new series "My Honourable Wife", she will be working opposite Sunny Chan in yet another 'strong wife' role. Yesterday she was back at TVB City for a meeting with the producer and when asked about her contract renewal, she admitted that the company has given her a great degree of freedom: "The company knows that I am in poor health, so they have accepted my request of one series a year. I am happy with the other terms and I have had a good relationship with the company over the past twelve years. I start work in August."

As for the suggestion that Jessica could have had whatever she wanted, TVB production resource deputy director Lok Yik Ling responded: "I am not in a position to comment, but the most important thing is that the artiste is happy. The company truly wants to help its artistes progress in their careers."


Seven female leads fight for the top spot

Jessica Hsuan:
An experienced female lead signed with TVB management. Broke the ratings records with "Square Pegs" last year.

Flora Chan:
After her contract with TVB ended last November, has headed out to develop her career and signed with a new manger. Recently with her new series "To Get Unstuck in Time", she has not appeared at any of the promotional events and there have been rumours that she has upset the TVB executives.

Maggie Cheung:
Signed with TVB on a 'per series' contract and has always had a good relationship with the company, but has recently turned her sights elsewhere.

Ada Choi:
Always aware of her origins, she often returns to film for TVB, but is just a 'per series' contracted artiste.

Kenix Kwok:
Signed with TVB on 'per series' she has changed to another management company.

Charmaine Sheh:
Heavily promoted by TVB and on a TVB management contract, but is still a little way behind Jessica in terms of years of service.

Sonija Kwok:
Dragged down earlier by a string of gossip and rumours, she is now putting this behind her as she prepares to surge forward.


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