Thursday, September 02, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao 03/09/04]

TVB's new series "War and Beauty" reached an average first week rating of 30 points with a peak at 32 points and with these good results of recent times, a celebratory party was held yesterday afternoon. Cast members taking part included Bowie Lam, Gigi Lai, Moses Chan and Sheren Tang who joined producer Chik Kei Yi. Maggie Cheung and Charmaine Sheh are both currently filming in China, so were unable to attend.

Since the show began filming, there have been constant rumours about the animoscity between Charmaine and Maggie and when Bowie was asked if he noticed any hostility during filming, he says that although he is known to be observant, he did not notice anything untoward between them and he felt that all the female cast members worked hard in their performances. In particular, he felt that Sheren had very long and difficult lines and if she made a mistake, then she would cause delay for everyone else, so with so much concentration, there was little time to care about anything else. Bowie laughs: "This is my first appearance in an ancient drama and in one scene, although I had learned my lines over several days, I still had forty NG's and I have never tried this before, so I cried out loud. Moses was rather more relaxed because his lines were more colloquial."

As for the show's good results, Bowie believes that they will get even better and hopes that they can break the ratings records of Dayo Wong's "To Catch the Uncatchable" for this year.He laughs: "Although I am envious of Dayo, he does have his own inimitable style of performing." With so many NG's making him cry in this ancient drama, will Bowie be taking on more ancient roles in the future? He laughs that if Chik Kei Yi films it, then he will because there is a guarantee there.

Also, Gigi's performance has been criticised for breathing too loudly and producer Chik explained this on her behalf, saying: "This is actually part of her performance, because at first her character is very naive and child-like and this is part of the design of the role." He does not feel that Charmaine and Maggie are not getting along and says that if they were really at odds, then you would be able to see it in the performance because they would not be able to interact.

Gigi has been aware of the recent news surrounding the arguments on the internet between Charmaine and Maggie's fans and she says that in comparison, her own fans would not be so extreme and at the very least not hurl abuse at each other. She says: "I do understand that fans have their own idols, but luckily my fans are more mellow."

Talking of the disharmony, Gigi immediately lifted her arms in surrender: "I don't know! When I wasn't working, I was hiding in my room and even the producer complained that I never went out with them to eat. (What were you doing in your room?) Doing beauty treatments and exercise because the weather there was cold and dry and if I didn't keep my face moisturised, it would turn bad. I did not want to bear the cold and go out for dinner because I was cold enough when I was working." She reveals that because she is afraid of the cold, she would keep all the windows in her room closed and on one occasion when she lit a small coal fire for a hot pot, she nearly suffocated herself. Luckily her assistant discovered her in time to avoid an accident.

As for the many praises she is receiving for her evil performance in "War", Gigi says a little embarrassed: "All four girls are very evil, but actually it is not real evil, rather that they are protecting themselves in a hostile environment where if you did not play tactics, you would be dead." Is she confident of winning an award this year? She says: "Winning awards is about being in the right place at the right time and as long as people praise my performance, then I am very happy because the most important thing is a good review."

Sheren Tang plays an evil concubine in "War", but she feels that the audience are understanding and will not scold her in public, calling her by her character's name "Yu Fei" instead and even discussing the plot with her. Sheren smiles: "Times have changed and viewers understand that there are good and evil people, so playing the bad guy no longer causes people's negative reactions."

Sheren's acting talent has always been praised and this time is no exception, however, she criticises herself, saying that she has only just reached the standard this time and feels she could have done better, but thanks to the editing and sound, she has received good reviews. She admits that her lines were long and difficult, so she had plenty of NG's and she burst out crying at one point. This is the first time that she has cried because of NG's and she is very thankful for the support from her co-stars and the cast and crew.

Also, Moses recorded the theme song for new series "Blossoming Hearts" yesterday and beforehand, he had been rehearsing for a while. He finds that singing is much more difficult than acting because you have to use your breath to express your emotion. When asked if he will be releasing an album later, he laughs: "At the moment, the most important thing is to hone my voice, I don't want to think too far into the future." As for whether he will dress as a Qing lady if the show hits 40 points, he smiles: "If everyone is happy then I will do it, for entertainment value then I don't mind."


[Ta Kung Pao & The Sun 03/09/04]

Shirley Yeung shot a new set of ads as spokesperson for a breast enhancement product in a swimming pool earlier. To tie in with her lively and healthy image and show off her beautiful curves in the water, the sponsors had arranged for a range of pink bikinis for her to wear. Shirley is very pleased with the results of her figure enhancement, so she does not mind the rather sexy appearance that shows off her figure.

During filming, Shirley saw how clear the water was in the pool and hurriedly jumped in to have some fun, lying on the lilo and combining work with pleasure as the photographer moved the set around to capture the lovely images. Maybe because she was having so much fun, she paddled the water so hard that she ended up in the middle of the pool and no matter how hard she tried, she could not get back to the edge. As the photographer watched her helpless expression, she decided to let her suffer a little longer before helping her out. After much pleading from Shirley, some of the crew members jumped in to rescue the 'damsel in distress'. Afterwards, she laughed that it was her own fault for getting carried away. [pun intended]

Shirley was also thankful to the sponsors who had arranged an all female crew for the shoot and in response to her boyfriend Gregory Lee's comments that he did not want her to keep appearing in sexy clothes, she says that wearing a bikini is her limit and when asked if she will go swimming to show off her figure, she says: "I like swimming, but I will not go to the beach now, just to the swimming pool at the club. I will not wear a bikini myself because a one-piece is safer." New series "Shine on You" will soon be airing and having been a teacher herself before, Shirley plays a teacher in the show. She says: "I am very happy to be able to play a teacher and fulfil my dream. My friends from the teaching college keep calling me and asking when the show will be aired."


[The Sun 03/09/04]

Jessica Hsuan and Selena Li were filming in Central for "My Wife, Your Honour" wearing their power suits and Jessica says that she took part in a poster shoot encouraging people to register to vote, but she then did not send her form off in time and could not vote. "Now I am registered, so I will definitely vote next time." She adds that with the long hours worked by artistes, they lose touch with society, so she will start to try and watch out for news and current affairs to become a smarter voter!


[Oriental Daily 03/09/04]

Halina Tam and Nancy Wu were among the "September Birthday Stars" at TVB yesterday and wearing a little top, Halina displayed a large bruise on her arm for which she later pointed the blame towards Ander Jen. Halina said: "A few days ago, when I saw Ander, he pinched me quite hard a few times and gave me some bruises. When my family saw it they were quite pained for me, so when he called my home to speak to me, my mother scolded him for it." Also, Halina will be working on her birthday, which is 6th September and her birthday wish is for good health.


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