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Thursday, November 10, 2005

i-Weekly magazine cover: Yummy Yummy

Magazine scans credit to Dezzy.

Special thanks to Cauchy for the site link. I will post the scans when I found it. I'm heading to the magazine stores if it's selling in Malaysia. Anyway, below is the article that came along with it.

My translation below. I try to did some alteration so you can understand the article. Please give proper credit if reposted.

Charmaine Sheh, the beauty of sweet and sour.

The strikingly beautiful Charmaine Sheh compares herself with a (ugly) preserved plum.
She's no longer the girl with baby fat and frumpy 'little housewife' fashion sense.
With every frown and smile exuding self confidence, she no longer need other's praises for assurance.
The present Charmaine is pursuing a higher boundary of self-challenge.

Representative food:
"I'm like a preserved plum, processed through time, the more you eat, the more flavoursome."

According to unofficial statistics, after joining entertainment circle for 6 years, Charmaine Sheh has a lot of enviable 'figures'.

22 inch waistline, 9 rumoured co-stars and 23 television series.

Charmaine has a lot of work, a lot of news, and even more nicknames. Being called the "Dey Jing" (coy) and "Si Fei Jing" (scandals) for so long, she gradually became immune them.

"I stopped reading the entertainment news. I won't know what happened unless the reporters asked me to verify the rumours. I have my own views and I don't really care other people's opinion. When I first entered the showbiz, I was unhappy and I cried to my mum over the phone. Polished through time, it doesn't hurt anymore. Now I'm more concerned of my acting and career, not what other speaks of me."

You can say that "树大招风" - Tall trees catch much wind. (Meaning the higher position, the more criticism you attract)

After graduating from Hotel Management in Switzerland, Charmaine joined Miss Hong Kong 1997 pageant under her mother's persuasion. She won the 2nd runner up prize and became the leading actress starting from her first series. From thereon, it's a smooth sailing for her career as TV actress.

"If I said that nobody was jealous of me, you can be certain that I'm lying. But honestly, I don't really know how many people are feeling envious. The truth is, everyone is preoccupied with filming and with his or her own lives, who will have such time for jealous rivalry?"

However, competition does exist amidst entertainment business. It's the survival of the fittest.

"Rivalry exists not only between the women, but the men as well. As long as you didn't do anything to hurt the other person, healthy competition is quite normal. I'm indeed been lucky, but I believe that without hard work and talent, no matter how lucky you are, you won't survive here."

We often see some artistes becaming famous almost overnight, but we will never know the price for their fame.

"When filming a 'wire' scene, I was injured and had slipped disc (on the lower spine). Thus I constantly need to see an orthopaedist. A bystander will never understand what price we have to pay for fame."


Raymond Lam, the chocolate guy.

Raymond sports a dark tan and short hair. With both hands in his pockets, he exudes cool confidence. After ASTIP, he has now bloomed to become one of HK TV favorite "Siu Sang". In Yummy Yummy, he potrayed an idealistic rich kid who pursues his ambitions. Not much difference between the reel life and real life?

Representative food: Warm chocolate cake.

"A warm chocolate cake looks plain on the outside, but very warm inside. When I was deep in thought, I don't smile and people will take me as a cold person. However, people who knew the real me will see a totally different personality."

Try taking a look in any article related to Ray and there will always be a mention of his family's wealthy background. His father, nicknamed 'Xiamen's Lee Ka Shing', is a rich businessman from Xiamen, owning a total of 7 real estates and contractor companies. His family lives in a mansion on the hills, preferring to mountain bike rather than ride a car.

Actually, he could have choosen a cozy life path as a rich heir, but he chooses to leave his comfortable 'nest' and strive to build a career of his own. The results: A path full of trial and error.

During 2003, while filming in Mainland China, he was sent to the hospital after fainting from heat stroke. 2004 in a HK charity event, he felt sick from racing and has to receive assistance from an ambulance. In the same year, while filming in Beijing he fell sick because of the tonsil inflammation and had to be on saline drips for 2 days.

The media was merciless and critisized his conditions due to his pampered life and his habit of frequenting night spots. Facing this, the prince turned into a 'frog'.

"My credibility was being questioned, and the feeling of that was hard to bear. I've never thought my background can be turned into attacks against me. But I have no choice in which family I was born in. If this is the reason to cause people to dislike me, then I can do nothing about it." When he speaks of this, he does not sound disatisfied, but with determination.

Ray said that he climbed his career like any other artiste has to go through, never jumping the rank. "Since graduating from 1998 Actor's Training Class, I've a lot of roles as 'extra' (sort of like ke le feh) and minor characters. Until in 2000, I finally landed an important role in ASTIP."

Even so, getting the role of a 2nd lead after two years (joining showbiz), compared to other who has joined for 5-10 years but yet to achieve fame, Ray is indeed more lucky.


Ben Yeo, half baked boy

Wearing t-shirt, jeans and a sparkly earring on his left ear, Ben Yeo looked more like a little boy on trip. Unlike his happy go lucky character on-screen, his conversation are very serious. He is the type that shifts between a boy and a man.

Representative food: ‘Ma La’ hot pot

“The hot pot is just like my temperament. It gets fiery as you eat.”

Hot pot is appropriate to describe the skin condition of Ben Yeo during the interview. Sitting face to face, it’s noticeable that Ben’s is having pimple outbreak. At 27 years old, it’s not possible for him to have second puberty. Perhaps his mood is too fiery?

“No lar, because it’s my first time working with HK crew, therefore there was a lot of pressure. I suffered from insomnia and possible hormone imbalance thus the acne breakout. Ben looks helpless when saying this.

“The experience of working in Hong Kong is very unique. The rhythm was fast paced, the schedule was extremely tight, and everything has to be swift. Each person’s work load is very big. This trip abroad is just like advancing my studies; not only did I learn Cantonese, I also learned more about the process of filming.

In HK, Ben also had a taste of the ability of paparazzi to mysteriously ‘appear’ and ‘disappear’. “Once, we were having lunch some reporters suddenly appeared and start taking our pictures with saying a word. I was shocked, but it seems that the rest (HK cast) has become accustomed to this. Sometimes, we went out for leisure and bumped into the paparazzis. The girls and the guys will immediately walk apart, such quick reflex! Such experience is quite amusing, but if we’re followed 24/7, I don’t think I’m able to bear it. Artistes are also human, we need privacy, and even if they’re dating it’s not a big matter. But photographed secretly is not ethical.”

This time working in HK has earned Ben many friends from various levels. He is most friendly with Kevin Cheng.

“I admire him as he is very serious while working. Even though there’s no filming involved for him, he’ll stood by the camera and observe the other’s acting. His flaws are that he is too emotional, and he kept all his problems to himself. Also, he has a strange habit while speaking on the phone. He will walk very far away from other people, probably as far two buses distances. Ha-ha, such secrecy makes me very curious: “Who is on the phone?’ I found out that no matter who called, he’ll act this way. “

He admits that his temperament is very ‘fiery’. Normally he’s polite to others, but extremely temperamental in front of family members. Perhaps he knows that they’ll easily forgives him as he wasn’t intentional.


Kevin Cheng, the hot curry.

Actually, it’s the difference between smiling and not smiling.
A smile revealing the pearly whites gave a sunny disposition.
A serious look is sufficient to make one feel anxious.

Representative food: Hot curry

“I hope it’s hot curry, which can be adapted for meats, the seafood or the vegetables, with many varieties. Plus my own temperament, it will become spicier.”

It’s difficult to associate the refined Kevin with spicy curry.

“Most of the time I’m quite amicable, but I can be very picky and uncompromising when it come to work. Before filming, we have to make sure the rest are working fine like the audio reception and lighting. Why we have to wait for official filming and then realize the props are not working? It’ll waste everybody’s time. If faced with such problems, I’ll be the first to stand out and voice out.” Undeniably very serious expression as he speaks.

“When I speak my mind, I can be very fierce but I’m a person that listens to reasons. I’ll be convinced if the answer is reasonable enough.”

Curry has many combinations of spices, which not only gives it a strong aroma, but also anti-senile properties. Is that why he looked so youthful? This baby faced guy is actually a year older than Flora Chan in “Hard Fate”, but when their characters paired up, it was like an older sister, younger brother relationship. Being a 36 years old man, he struggled to act along with Ray who is 10 years younger in Yummy Yummy as youths, but still manage to convince the audiences.

Maybe time has stopped during his 5 years stay in Taiwan. Sometimes, a good start doesn’t guarantee half success.

Coming from a middle class family, his father worked in banking industry while his mother was a nurse. He took singer lessons since high school and frequently accompanies his teacher to meals with famous singers like Jacky Cheung and Leon Lai. At 16, he successfully became the top 30 in singing talent competition but he has to drop out to concentrate on his studies. After graduating from university in Canada, he signed a singing contract with a huge recording company through his teacher’s recommendation. He’s just steps away from being a famous singer.

However, his career as a singer was not that successful as his album didn't sell well. In addition, he committed a serious offense as an idol singer: by dating fellow singer Wang Xin Ping. Thus he was 'exiled' to Taiwan. He only released an album in his five years stay there. Singer is just a title to him, as there's no fame to it.

"Feeling dejected, I once wanted to give up but because I don't admit defeat easily, I don't want to leave this way (being rejected). At that time, I was offered the villainous role of Kong Yuk Long in "Juet Doi Sheung Giu". I realized that I would have to give up on singing after taking an evil role. But I have to something as a man, and not sit idly around."

There's always a silver lining in clouds.

He returned to HK when he's 30 years old and signed contract with TVB. At that time TVB had a shortage of "Siu Sang" and he was gradually entrusted with meatier roles, making three series per year. A late opportunity is always luckier than having none.

Learning his lesson from experience, he doesn't want to be just an 'idol' anymore. Career oriented, Kevin is not afraid to work hard, he only fears losing the opportunity again. Three years ago, he fainted at his home and was diagnosed with hypertension which he inherits from his father.

"My father passed away when he was 53 years old. It proves that time doesn't wait for anyone. Nowadays, I took my medicines punctually and quit smoking because without health, you won't able to achieve anything."

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