Sunday, October 10, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao 11/10/04]

Maggie Cheung, Steven Ma and Kenneth Chan were in Guangzhou yesterday taking part in the opening ceremony of Manning's Guangzhou branch. At the event, they all took part in an activity where they took on the roles of beauty consultant, pharmacist and nutritionist within the store. Having played a doctor before in "Healing Hands", Steven seemed to be very comfortable and experienced in the part of the pharmacist, Maggie had previously discussed beauty techniques with her own beauty consultant, so she was convincing as the beautician and Kenneth laughed that if he did not want to host "Millionaire", then being a nutritionist was not a bad choice.

With the gain in popularity thanks to "War and Beauty", Maggie attracted quite a crowd on this visit to Guangzhou and there were often cries of "on Sin" coming from the public and she could only leave with the protection of security and her assistants. After the opening ceremony, the three stars were interviewed by the press and Maggie was the most pursued person of the three.

The popularity of "War and Beauty" has brought with it a fair share of gossip and there have been rumours of conflict between the leading females on and off the screen, with Maggie being accused of not getting on with the other ladies. In response, she says: "Every time I get down to work hard, then there will be rumours. At least it proves that I am working hard though." Maggie also indicates that she will just get on with her job and ignore what other people say.

The success of "War and Beauty" has led to suggestions that TVB will be filming a sequel, but Maggie says that she has only heard this from the media and not received any formal notification of this. She says that if there is a follow up, then she does not know whether to play On Sin's mother or a young On Sin, but if the script is a good one, then she hopes to be a part of it. As for when she was asked about the homosexuality rumours by the press, Maggie says that she does not want to talk about this topic any more because there has already been too much coverage.

Maggie will formally begin filming for "Song of Everlasting Sorrow" in mid-October and she indicates happoly that she will not be in Hong Kong for the remainder of the year as she will be filming in the mainland. It appears that she is happy to be away from the land of rumours - Hong Kong. There were reports earlier that Cheung Suk Ping was unhappy with Maggie's attitude and refused to design costumes for her, but Maggie says: "The costumes for this show have not yet been confirmed yet and are still being studied. I hope that we can look at the first few scenes that are filmed before we decide on the final look."

Taking part in "Virtues of Harmony" recently, Steven plays a rich boy who has had his fortune swindled out of him by his relatives. There have been reviews that he plays this rich man in trouble role very well, but Steven says that his own upbringing was very different from the rich guy and he only had the attitude but not the material wealth of a rich boy.

Earlier there were rumours that in the finale of "Virtues", Steven's character will fall in love with Nancy Sit's 'Chi Goo'. When asked about this suggestion by the press, Steven laughs out loud and says: "Fall in love with Chi Goo? Someone actually believes that? Why don't you say I fall in love with Kingdom Yuen? In fact, my character has a romance with Michelle (Hung Pak Lam) and I think that the ending for them is that they will get married, but they are still considering it. Maybe they will arrange for me to get my riches back in the end."

Kenneth is currently filming for "My Date with a Vampire 3", but as this is yet to air and the hype surrounding "Millionaire" has died down, he became the last choice for any interviews and was left with just a few reporters asking him random questions. When the reporters surrounded Maggie and Steven, Kenneth sneaked away quietly and was not seen off by any members of the press. Compared to his popularity during the days of "Millionaire" when Kenneth was flooded on his promotions in Guangzhou, then you can only sigh at the harsh reality of showbiz.


[Ta Kung Pao 11/10/04]

Rebecca Chan has found a rise in her popularity after playing the Empress in "War and Beauty" and has even become the favourite to take the award for "Favourite Extraordinary Female Artiste" at this year's anniversary celebration, with last year's winner Sheren Tang strongly nominating her for it. To this, Rebecca says modestly that she does not know if she has this ability. She feels that Lo Hoi Pang has a better chance than her, but she does hope she can win the award.

As for not being nominated for the "My Favourite Female Lead Role" award this year, Rebecca says she does not mind because there are too many strong opponents this year and there will be a lot of pressure. Her contract with TVB will end next April and when asked if she will be demanding a pay rise, she says that this is the most practical thing and many people will be asking for the same.


[Ta Kung Pao 11/10/04]

Sammul Chan and Leila Tong took part in an event yesterday and Sammul appeared in ancient costume. He explained that he was filming that morning in Ma On Shan for "Courageous Kunlun" and after finishing work, he immediately joined this event. As he has to return to filming afterwards, he was too lazy to change out of his costume.

Due to his tight filming schedule, Sammul has not taken part in any public events for over two months and he laughs that no matter how busy he is, then he still has to pick out one or two events to take part in so that he can make things up to his manager. When asked if there have been words said about lost revenue, he says that there are no hard feelings and laughs: "Although the company has not set targets on how much I should earn, but it is better to earn some money. (How much were you paid for this event?) Five figures. I am depending on this fee this month, so I will have to work a little harder today."

Sammul had two crashes earlier and as his neck injury has still not fully receovered, he is dependent on a stunt double for the more dangerous scenes and because of this, he has earned the nickname of "Glass Tofu Man". He explains: "Because there are a lot of wire scenes in this series, I was hit in the neck once by the martial arts choreographer, so to avoid them having to work around me, it is better to use a body double." As he has been busy filming and had little time for physiotherapy, he is only dependent on accupuncture to reduce the pain in his neck, spending several hundred dollars each time and so he has to make more money to pay for this.

Also, Leila will be heading out to Hengdian next month to film for new series "Ng Yuet Chun Chau" (Wu Beats Spring Autumn Period). Other co-stars will include Alex To and Benny Chan. As she will be staying there for two months, she has built on her experiences from when she filmed "Twin of Brothers" and will be taking her DVD's to ease the boredom as well as soup packets. As for items for beating the cold, she will buy them when she gets there. She also says that this series will have a lot of fighting scenes, but she is not worried about being injured or injuring someone else because there will be rehearsals before they do it for real.


[Ta Kung Pao 11/10/04]

Linda Chung took part in a Halloween Fancy Dress promotion yesterday dressed as an angel and gave a performance with a bunch of kids as well as a magic show. When she entered a beauty pageant earlier back in Vancouver, she learned how to do some magic tricks and she believes that the most important thing about performing magic is manual dexterity and speed, otherwise it is easy for people to see through the trick. She plans to learn some more magic because this is a good way of communicating with other people, especially when you want to make children laugh.

Having grown up overseas, Linda loved celebrating Halloween as a child and she still remembers an embarrassing story about the holiday. When she was ten or eleven, she was already 5 ft 5 ins tall, so when she put on her make-up and went trick or treating, an old lady looked at her and said: "Sorry, my treats are only for children." At the time she was very embarrassed, but she did not back down and continued to hold out her bag until the lady gave in and handed her the sweets. Linda laughs: "I grew very quickly when I was younger, in one year, I grew by four inches."

This is the first year that Linda will be spending Halloween in Hong Kong, but as she is still unsure whether or not she needs to work on that night, she does not know if she will go out celebrating.


[Oriental Daily 11/10/04]

A group of cast members from "Sunshine Heartbeat" together with Ella Koon and Renee Tang took part in an event for tourism in the Tsuen Wan area and Yoyo Chan appeared very flirtatious as she accepted any requests from fans for photographs and autographs warmly. When asked if she was as rumours suggest always flirting with the producer, she says: "I did not flirt with the producer or ask him to give me any special treatment. I am friendly to everyone because my personality is warm and happy. If I don't say anything, then you say I am fighting with people, but if there are these rumours then maybe I should tone down my behaviour."

Vivien Yeo, who plays sisters with Yoyo in the show, responds to the suggestion that Yoyo is 'too' warming, saying: "She really looks after me, but because we are very busy filming, then apart from when we meet during promotions, we have not met up in private."


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