Sunday, November 05, 2006

[The Sun 05/11/06 & Ta Kung Pao 06/11/06]

Male Singers Grab Victory at 'Jade Singers Celebrate TVB Anniversary'

The celebrations for TVB's 39th Anniversary kicked off yesterday evening with the "Jade Singer's Celebrate TVB Anniversary" show taking place and the men's team performances won them the the Red vs White challenge, with team captain Andy Lau and Leon Lai providing the highlight of the evening as they joined in a duet. An excited Andy was very excited about the victory, saying there was no reason why they lost last year, so it was only fair that they won this year.

The show took place at TVB City in Tseung Kwan O and nearly a hundred singers took part, the show being hosted by Carol Cheng and Lui Fong, who started the proceedings with a rap of their own. To build up the atmosphere, Lui Fong was ready with the jeers as he said to girlfriend Dodo: "Everyone here are singers, you should go back to your yoga!" This left Carol unusually speechless, but Kelly Chen helped her out saying: "She's just opened the show with a song, is there something wrong with your hearing?"

The turnout for this year's show was quite weighty, with the Red team men being led by Andy and Hacken Lee and the white ladies captained by Kelly and Joey Yung. Last year's captain Miriam took a step back this year, but carried off the highly anticipated opening number, performing a Cantonese Opera classic "Princess Flower" with Leo Ku, Jade Kwan and Ella Koon. However, her rendition was a little frightening, unlike Hins Cheung who did a great job in his female role. He was also popular behind the stage as his fellow team mates 'fondled' him and he laughs that he has never been touched by so many men before in his life. Asked how he felt about playing a woman, he says he looks like a demon rather than a beauty. He says he had planned to borrow some breast pads for his costume, but he was told this was unnecessary, so he laughs he was truly a flat-chested princess.

Denise Ho and former rumoured boyfriend Wilfred Lau had no awkwardness as they performed with each other in their duet "Love Trap" and displayed some close contact during their dance.

The climax of the evening was the Andy and Leon act, which has been a closely guarded secret in the run up to the event. They joined to perform "Megastar Double Dragon", singing each other's classic songs and then joining together to sing Alan Tam's "Friends", pushing the evening's atmosphere to a high point. During their performance, Leon and Andy shared some of their thoughts, saying that between them they have done many different acts for the anniversary and they hope that they can be role models for the new generation of singing stars. Some clips of past acts were shown during this, reliving Andy's stone-smashing, rapping and playing the er-hu in past shows. However, when Leon's film was shown, he was left sighing with embrrassment as his clips included some poor Chinese rap, dancing and singing about his own gossip.

Asked later if he would be working with Leon again in the future, Andy indicted that he hopes to have this opportunity, for example doing charity shows for UNICEF and the Community Chest and doing magic shows together.

Jordan Chan, Kelly and Renee Tai performed an "Ultimate Dance Party" act, where they came into close contact with each other during dancing and Renee seemed to brush past Jordan's groin area at one point. Asked about this, Jordan laughed that she did not touch him, saying he knows how to avoid it. He caused a few laughs as he demonstrated this by pulling his hips backwards.


[The Sun 05/11/06]

Joe Ma Interview by Charmaine Sheh

Charmaine has invited rumoured boyfriend Joe Ma for this week's interview and as they have worked together for three series, he opens his heart and tells her that the gossip that is causing him the most hassle is the unending links he has with her. He also says he is Charmaine's expletive spokesperson, so whenever his good friend meets with anything unfair, he will swear on her behalf to make her feel better and building their friendship.

C: Charmaine Sheh
J: Joe Ma

C: Talking of gossip, I have had a lot of it with you, has this bothered you?

J: No, just some are too over the top. However, I feel that this negative press has some true meaning and that is the magazines know that the viewers want these things to be true, so they will write it because they know that to sell magazines, they just need to put our picture on the cover and it will sell well.

C: One magazine used the headline 'Whole Station Against Charmaine' - what do you think about that?

J: How can the whole of TVB 'pour snakes' [Cantonese for 'Against Charmaine Sheh' sounds like 'pouring snakes'.] So bold! Talking of this report, I was very confused, they (magazines) did call me for a response, asking me who I would support to be Best Actress and I chose Charmaine. Then after I said that, they immediately apologised that the deadline had passed and they could not publish my comments.

Swearing on her Behalf

C: I have worked with you on three occasions, what was your first impression of me?

J: I remember at the time I gave you a nickname and called you 'take the rough smoothly'. The first time we were filming in Guangxi and you were treated very unfairly, but you just said 'whatever' even when you were being bullied. They had not done their homework and were being very demanding, but you still agreed to it.

C: I was unhappy then and you asked me what the matter was and I cried out. I was very unhappy then and I just thought to let it pass, get through the few months and return to Hong Kong. When someone came to comfort me, it really made me cry.

J: Also I was your swearing spokesperson, when you met with any bad things, I would help you swear to make you feel better.

C: So from then onwards, whenever I am unhappy, then you will help me say a swear word.

Having a Meal is No Big Deal

J: From then onawards, our friendship has slowly developed. I have continued to improve and have seen you taking your work very seriously. You were a newcomer then and had to take a lot of hardships without a word, now you have cheered up and joking all the time.

C: I feel that as long as you do not hurt anyone, then you should say whatever you feel. You have to learn to release yourself and not keep it all in. Back to you, with so much news involving you, have you thought to clarify any of it?

J: I believe there is no need to clarify this. People read the gossip magazines as fictional stories and may not believe it , but I do feel that some things will stick and if you mention it too many times, people will start to believe it. People should pay more attention to our hard work, like you not getting enough sleep from filming all the time in the past few years. People should be admiring your acting instead of your news about taking time out to go for a meal. To be honest, having a meal is no big deal and once when I was linked with someone in rumours, they became very evasive and when the press asked for photos, they would go to the washroom. You are different.

C: I have met with this before and it is very uncomfortable. Not to mention people from within the industry, it has happened with people from outside showbiz circules and they did not like being in the papers. Being photographed having a meal made them feel very hassled.

J: We have been rumoured about from the very beginning and many people have lost interest now. We are good friends now and this is what should be cherished.

C: When we were filming for "Maidens Vow", they were constantly brainstorming, but because there wasn't enough time, the scripts were produced at very short notice.

J: When we were filming this series, it felt like we were fighting a battle together, because in some of the stories, we had to keep reminding each other which role we were playing.

C: Seeing each other every day, I saw you more than I saw my bed and it was very tiring, so we had to help each other out. Hey, which report gave you the most trouble?

J: The ones with you because it keeps on going. Usually, they just report it and it is over, but they talk about us going for a meal and about us working together.

C: It's like they won't let us be friends.

J: The media is so funny nowadays, they are like primary school kids, where boys aren't allowed to play with girls! In truth, men and women can still be friends with each other.

C: You have a very sensitive side and on one occasion, you were very quiet and your eyes were very puffy. It turned out that your son was going back to France to study and you had hidden away at home crying, but you give people the impression that you are a player!

Many Girls but Not a Player

J: I don't think so, I usually wear very simple clothes. Maybe I care too much about people's feelings. Take one time when I was being interviewed, the female reporter escorted me out and as it was windy, I told her to go back in but she accused me of being false. I remember a friend once said that if Andy Lau was there, then he would be seen as being nice, but if it was me, then they think I am coming onto them.

C: Do you have many female friends?

J: Yes, I think there is too much competition with the same gender friends.

C: I am the same! Moreover, they rarely put a few leading females together in a series, so I really don't know them and we can't pretend to be friends. Then the reports say we are at odds.

Confident of Best Actor Award

C: With the anniversary close, are you confident of the Best Actor award?

J: Yes, I am confident, actually bursting with confidence, so I should win! The chances are zero though. Artistes should be self-confident because this is the only way you can play your roles well. Like models always believe they are the best-looking. This is what art is all about, if I am not good, then why bother asking me? Are you confident? I think you will do well!

C: Confidence is there, but I don't know how the penny will fall.

J: I have prepared my outfit and I will escort you to the stage, so don't rush on the stage yourself and leave me looking stupid!

C: There is no award for Best Couple this year.

J: They don't want us to win the award together?

C: Would you like to win 'Best Actor' or 'My Favourite Male Character'?

J: I would choose 'Best Actor'. The 'my favourite' awards are very subjective, it doesn't matter to me who your favourite it. However the word 'Best' is more professional.

C: Have you any male leads you support?

J: Of course I support myself! If I can't win with four characters in one series, then I will lose out so much. Even if everyone has a fight, I have three extra people to help me out... haha!

In Charmaine's eyes...

"He cares about his family and is always talking about them when he is filming. Also whenever he has a break, he will take time out to fly to France to see them. He is very clear about his goals and knows what he is doing. No-one can affect him and he is an artiste with a very strong character. He is serious about his work, punctual and loves filming. He is not like the reports suggest, but it is very difficult for me to promote his good points to the whole world."


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