Tuesday, March 20, 2007

[Ta Kung Pao 21/03/07]

"Drive of Life" Stars Reveal Poor Mandarin Skills at Beijing Ceremony

Joint venture production between TVB and CCTV "The Drive of Life" held a special ceremony to mark the start of Beijing location filming at the Film and Television Entertainment Expo yesterday, attended by cast members including Sheren Tang, Jessica Hsuan, Charmaine Sheh, Myolie Wu, Raymond Lam, Damian Lau, Toby Leung and Ng Wai Kwok. TVB's General Manager Stephen Chan and CCTV International Television Company Assistant CEO Ma Yunsheng were also on hand to conduct the proceedings. The ladies were not dressed particularly sexily, but took care over their appearances, with Sheren wearing a long coat, but with five inch sparkly heels catching the attention. Charmaine wore a thin silk dress, but her choice of underwear revealed some unsightly bumps.

During the event, the host asked the cast to use Mandarin to describe their characters, but they seemed rather frightened at the prospect and Sheren pushed her speech onto Raymond, saying his Mandarin was good. Although Charmaine is often working in the mainland, her Mandarin was only so-so. As they had to hand over the venue to the next event, the ceremony only lasted 30 minutes. Even as the final group photos were being taken, the crew were already dismantling the set behind them, worrying the artistes a little and causing some amusement. Despite rumours of animoscity, Raymond and Jessica were laughing and chatting away. Jessica reveals that she will be going to Beijing for two weeks, so she is improving her Mandarin. When it was suggested that Raymond could teach her as he is so fluent, she smiles: "When does he have time? I have already bought a pile of DVD's to teach myself." As for the rumours with Raymond, Jessica says that there are no problems between them and there is no awkwardness.

Sheren will be heading out to Beijing at the end of the month for location filming and she has always liked Beijing a lot, because she finds it very romantic and free there. She also has a soft spot for Beijing men as she feels that they are very manly as they are always very energetic when they talk. So will she buy a property there? She says: "I have thought about it, but my family and friends stopped me." Talking of her being rather wrapped up, she smiles: "As long as I put my effort into my acting, it is okay." Myolie will be flying out to Beijing today and she says that she will have a lot of scenes with the mainland actors, so fortunately her Mandarin is okay. When Charmaine was asked about her Mandarin being very average, she says: "The most important thing is that you understand me. I have been speaking the most im Mandarin today."

As "Drive" will be aired simultaneously in Hong Kong and Beijing, so CCTV will be arranging for dubbing artistes to dub the shots very soon. When it was mentioned that Raymond could dub his own voice, he laughs: "Don't joke, it is better to leave it to the dubbing professionals." As for the rumours of animoscity with Jessica, he says lightly: "We all know what is happening and in this industry it is either romance or animoscity. As long as we understand, it's fine."


[Ta Kung Pao 21/03/07]

Yumiko Plays a Fighter in her First Series

Yumiko Cheng and Steven Ma tried their costumes for new series "The Gentle Crackdown 2", but when Yumiko showed off her staff skills, she seemed decidedly clumsy, scaring everyone into keeping their distance. Wearing ancient costume with the word for 'agriculture' on her chest, she indicates that her character will be an agriculture constable: "She deals with farming issues." Realising that what she said (in Chinese) sounds a little like an expletive, she corrects herself: "Actually, she look after any arguments arising from farming issues."

This is Yumiko's first series and she has to play a fighter, so she has been working hard on stretching and boxing. She laughs that she is becoming like Michelle Yeoh. With the first series of "Gentle Crackdown" bringing great reviews for Niki Chow, who rose to fame shortly afterwards, Yumiko is feeling the pressure. She says: "I have watched that series to get some ideas, but the producer is afraid that it will be too similar, so the costume is a little different this time."

After the incident at the Tung Wah charity show where she lost her trousers, Yumiko was asked if she has a fear of wirework now. She says: "No!" However, she does recall an interesting incident from when she was on wires. She says: "At first they told me to put some shorts on underneath, so I wore some volleyball shorts, but it left me with grazes on my thighs, so I have developed a fear of putting shorts on underneath."

This is the first time that Steven has worked with Yumiko and asked if he was afraid of being injured by her clumsy martial arts, he says: "As long as she doesn't hit me on my right eye, then that's ok. We have to co-ordinate things when it comes to fighting scenes." Steven praises Yumiko for being smart and hardworking and asked if he will be sharing his experience with her, he says: "Yumiko is actually my senior because she has been a child star since she was very young."


[Ta Kung Pao 21/03/07]

Joe, Alex and Steven Promote Environmental Protection in Sichuan

Metro Radio held an environmental awareness event in Sichuan's Chengdu, supported by Joe Ma, Alex Fong, Steven Ma and Chan Sze Ki. The event went smoothly and brought a strong environmental message and bringing a stronger understanding to the young people of the importance of the environment to society.

The event attracted many citizens and the security teams took precautions to avoid accidents. Steven sung the theme song from "Perish in the Name of Love", receiving applause from the youngsters. As Joe sung his song, he received gifts from his fans and had to seek the help from the crew to carry everything. Alex's female fans were very warm and wanted to go on stage to hug him, but were stopped by the security crew. As they performed, they spread the message of caring for the environment and urging their fans to take an active part.

As the trip was very rushed, they did not have time to savour the delicacies of Sichuan, but before returning to Hong Kong, they still went on a quick trip to see the sights and they felt that the trip was very meaningful.


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