Friday, June 01, 2007

[The Sun 02/06/07]

Kiki Sheung Enjoys Life and is Happy to be a Strong Housewife

When Kiki Sheung doesn't smile, she looks very strict and with her very firm tones, she often conveys an air of arrogance, this was the Kiki of the past. After over twenty years in the world of television, she has gone from 'tin ngo' (swan) to 'fei ngo' (fat goose) to today's 'Cho Mei Ngo' (character name in "The Family Link"). She does not yearn to win awards, just to win compliments on her beauty from real life housewives is enough to make her smile broadly. She has seen through life upon reaching middle age and Kiki has learned to laugh and she can laugh heartily. This happy housewife even has a cute and happy English name!

Of late, those ladies on the screen that have been winning the hearts of viewers have not been the young female leads, but the veteran actors. Following from Dai Kai and Sai Kai, the next in line has been 'plump housewife' Kiki. Although she had already played Roger Kwok's mother in the series "To Get Unstuck in Time" and also the second auntie in "Beneath the Charm", it was still hard to imagine that the yet unmarried Kiki would be able to portray her housewife character Mei Ngo so well. She says: "Everyone has housewife qualities, even men do, I have absorbed a lot of these elements from the people around me and built them into the role of Cho Mei Ngo." Kiki does not wish for huge fame and fortune, because she is afraid of the paparazzi. As long as she knows her lines well and builds up her emotions, then no matter how hard the scene is, then she can still complete it in one take and it is this satisfaction that is the motivation behind her work.

With Praise There is No Need for Awards

Winning the acceptance of the viewers again naturally makes Kiki very happy. Having never won the 'Best Actress' award says that awards should be left to fate: "I started out in the industry with Carina Lau, Margie Tsang, Yammie Lam and Sandra Ng. We each have our own specialities and I felt I was very mediocre, so I just wanted to become a character actor, but I was chosen as the female lead for several series and I saw this as a bonus. It doesn't matter if I win awards or not. If I win, then of course I will be happy, but I might not cry if I am accepting it on the stage." She understands that even after portraying many roles she will not win any awards and this is down to the rules of the game, so as long as the friends in the audience give her praise, then she has already won the biggest prize! She smiles satisfyingly and says: "Now when I go out, the neighbours will call me 'pretty housewife'... awards, they should go to Lee Si Kei if anyone."

Mannerisms Lead to Gossip

At the beginning of her career, things were quite smooth for Kiki and brought her some fame and fortune, but she did not know what popularity was at the time and just knew that she had to keep her head down and keep working, so she was never overly proud of her achievements. She felt that she was not pretty when she smiled, so she created a very cool image for herself and her habit of not finishing off her sounds made her sound very arrogant and brought her some gossip, losing her many opportunities for work. Today, after seeing how beautiful she looks when she laughs on the screen, she is often laughing out heartily and spreading her positive nature to those around her.

Now in her forties, Kiki follows her heart in what she does and the same applies to marriage. She still has the fantasies of a romantic wedding with a beautiful bridal gown, but she is in no rush to walk down the aisle: "I will get married, but I don't know when... maybe I will wait until I am 60 before I do this." Kiki has an understanding with her other half, so she has plenty of personal space. Her boyfriend will not complain that she just concentrates on her work and allows her time to go and play mah jong all night with her friends. She laughs and says: "In the past, I would love boldly and let go of my career for romance and even go out to America for the sake of my boyfriend. Now I have a balance between the two and I have taken my attitude to love to another level. It is no longer about excitement, but more about caring for each other and giving each other space." Seeing Kiki smiling sweetly as she speaks, it would seem that after several failed attempts, she has finally found true love with her current boyfriend, however she still has her reservations: "I am still not sure yet, I have to keep observing." As for what she is looking for, then she just says it is a secret and smiles.

Unlimited Support from her Parents

For Kiki, the importance of her family is by no means below that of her career and her romance. Her motivation to work hard comes not just from her enthusiasm and satisfaction, but also stems from the desire to make more money and give her parents an even better life. When it comes to strong housewives, her first nomination is for her mother: "When I was studying at the artiste training class, it took a year and in those days you did not have a salary whilst you were training. For me to reach where I am now was thanks to the encouragement from my parents. They never complained once and supported me 100%. No matter whether it was financial or spiritual support, they were there. Although they are ok now, I still want to give them a much better life."

Work, love, family and even friends - Kiki has a good balance between each area and she is currently enjoying her life day by day. To be able to reach this level of enlightenment and smile on her life truly makes her a'strong woman'.

Religion - No Need for Repayment

Kiki is a Christian and was baptised in 1985 after following her good friend Teresa Mo to a church meeting. She says that believing in Christ is not about wanting to go to heaven and like her acting, her reasons are entirely valid: "I believed in God because I was touched by the gospels in the bible. In the same way that I act not for the awards and just to enjoy the process, then I will never worry about what position I am in. I am not worried about rewards, I just innocently want to do my work well and in this way, the rewards are even more unexpected."

Epilogue: Yang Guo & Xiao Long Nui

Kiki and her Investment Company Executive boyfriend have been together for two years and in the eyes of their friends, they are like a modern day 'Xiao Long Nui and Yang Guo' because behind their two years together lies over a decade of waiting from the man: "Over ten years ago, I still had a head of long hair and I met my current boyfriend in my friend's Causeway Bay boutique. At the time, my friend introduced us and we just greeted each other and nothing happened. However, for him it was love at first sight and when we met again over ten years later, he finally plucked up the courage to court me, so my friends laugh and call him 'Yang Guo' because he has waited for 'Xiao Long Nui' for so long before they can be together. Haha!"


[The Sun 02/06/07]

Leanne Li - Keeps Healthy by Maintaining 8:30 Start

Leanne Li has come to Hong Kong to work on her own, but after working too hard, she has fainted twice at TVB City. In order to maintain her health, she has been working hard on her exercise regime and insisting on an 8:30 start every day to regulate the disorderly routine of an artiste.

After winning the Miss Chinese International Title in 2005, Leanne insisted on furthering her career in Hong Kong, much to her parents' disapproval. She says: "They were very frustrated and were worried about me being bullied. My mother even became ill. fortunately they understood my dedication and my wish to see more of life. Now whatever I do, I will let them know and put their minds at rest."

Leanne admits that living independently was hard to adapt to at first and she even fainted because she was unable to cope with the day and night workloads: "Maybe the flu bug was quite rife at work and I was filming and hosting at the same time at the end of last year. I was also rehearsing my dance for the countdown show, so I became over-exhausted and fainted twice at the studios. At the time it was very hard and I was keeping myself going on medication."

In order to keep her body strong, Leanne has learned to look after her health ad every day she now goes swimming and jogging and insists on waking up at 8:30 am. She smiles: "When I was in Vancouver, then I would go to sleep at just past 10pm, even before the sun had set. Now in Hong Kong it is harder, but I still insist on being asleep by midnight, unless I have to work." When it comes to her diet, Leanne knows how to treat herself and has learned to make fish maw and sea cucumber soup that keeps her skin smooth and fair: "Usually Shanghainese people eat strong flavours, but in order to keep my skin well,then I will eat plainer foods and avoid fried or spicy things. I have even learned how to make soup like the Cantonese and usually I will make fish maw and sea cucumber twice a week. It is a little expensive, but it is worth it."

Leanne eats well, so she saves what she can on her clothes. She says that she finds it painful to spend a lot of money on clothes: "Every time I go to a function, I will spend $4000 on an outfit that I can only wear once. It is a waste, so now I am smarter and provided the outfit has not been featured strongly in the press, then I will still wear it again with some different accessories and that way I can renew it a few times."


Name: Li Yanan Leanne
Height: 5 ft 8 ins
Weight: 119 lbs
Measurements: 34C, 25, 36
Hometown: Shanghai
Education: University
Awards: 2005 Miss Chinese International Winner
Languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, English, Shanghainese
Interests: Drawing, Playing Flute, Golf, Swimming, Graphic Design


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