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Friday, January 12, 2007

Virginia Lok: Must not be softhearted towards artistes

Scan credit to Raymond Forest

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Kevin Cheng, who has been drifting in entertainment circle for years, tasted popularity under her strong promotion. Charmaine Sheh, who received many criticsm *edited, also rises to the top due to her support, sitting on the precious throne of "TV Queen".

This 'she' is also known as "Miss Lok" amongst artistes. She is TVB's production resources executive: Virginia Lok Yi Ling. It is rumored that TVB artistes feared her, because she can decide who to promote, and who not to promote. For the first interview with us, Virginia Lok tells our reporter: "Artistes who are not hardworking are afraid of me!"

The appointment with Virginia Lok has been rescheduled several times, and finally it was successfully conducted yesterday.

We can't blame her, who everyday arrives early at work, and was busy working until late at night. In the midst she attended numerous meetings, arranging the career path of countless TVB artistes.

Therefore it's not unusual that during the last few years, when TVB artistes were interviewed, "Miss Lok" is frequently mentioned. When Virginia Lok accepted our exclusive interview, she said: "I am the strict father, and also the kind mother. Some artistes, you can't be softhearted towards them! Some artistes, you need to pay more caring attention to them!"

When asked if all artistes feared her, she smiled and said: "The artiste familiar with me doesn't fear me! Maybe a lot of people thought that I'm very fierce, sometimes I am really fierce, especially towards artistes who doesn't work hard. However, those artistes who have communicated with me understand that I'm doing so for their own good, therefore they won't fear me and are willing to share their thoughts with me."

Setting new drama plans for fadans

Charmaine Sheh heading towards Mainland China market

"Charmaine Sheh and Gigi Lai already have supporters and recognition in Hong Kong, for the next I hope they will head toward mainland market, filming more movies, advertisement spokesperson and mainland drama series. This will help them to successfully expand into the huge mainland market."

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Caption: Regarding the news of Charmaine Sheh exchanging award by having meals with TVB executives, Virginia Lok expressed that the management level have meals with their artistes on regular basis to understand more about their thoughts.

Myolie Wu will film more costume series

"Even though Myolie already gained acceptance of audiences, she's still relatively new, therefore I hope she will successfully rise as one of the dong ka fadan this year. The company will arrange for her to film more series, including costume series. For example, her [War of in Laws] was really popular, therefore we hope she will film more costume series, and later use this to help her expand into mainland market."

Arranging career path for the new 'Five Tigers'

Turning Kevin Cheng’s crisis into opportunity

"A lot of people think that Kevin was strongly promoted by me. This is because during last year, he met his lowest point in life (relating to his lifetime contract dispute with Dai Si Chung), so I looked for Kevin to discuss, and thus our contact is more frequent. Back then, he was so dejected, I advise him to face it positively, using the audiences support for him and transform crisis into opportunity. I arranged for him to audition for music teacher Lau Ka Cheung, his voice receives appreciation from Lau. So he becomes Lau's apprentice and attended his concert as guest performer. That time I arranged for his schedule to be fully packed, he keep on telling me "I can't stand it!" Arranging for him to sing, produce album; he said he is not prepared yet. I can only continuously push him on, because opportunity only comes once! I told him, if you trust me, let me hold your hand and walk forward, when reaches an established level, I will slowly release my hand and let you walk on your own."

Pushing Raymond Lam to lose weight

"From year 2000, Raymond started undertake a huge change. I remember back then I always push him to lose weight. Because he was too fat, it won't look good onscreen, therefore he must slim down. I also reminded him not to wear clothes that gave others a 'flashy' feel. Now he has improved in his dressing, becoming more and more handsome! We have arranged to produce an album for him this year, his singing and dancing has greatly improved, now is the right time for him to expand in singing field."

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Caption: Virginia Lok sees the prospect in Kevin, Ray and Ron. She has been strongly promoting them over the last few years.

More variety of roles for Bosco Wong

"Last year among the new 5 Tigers, Bosco filmed the most series, totaling 200 episodes. Our company producers like to use him, because he's not bad and fit into variety of roles. This year, I hope he will film different types of roles, trying new things and develop toward the pro acting category."

Strongly promoting Kenneth Ma

"Kenneth is our company's targeted actor to promote this year. Right now, he is capable enough to carry 2nd lead roles. He has lot of potential and is hardworking. In the past, he's a bit reserved, when facing the camera he's a bit shy, now he has more self-confidence. We will arrange for him start taking first lead roles this year, increasing his impression on the audiences."

Sending Ron Ng overseas to train dancing

"Throughout last year Ron was busy filming series. This year I plan to give him a few months holiday to study overseas. He started as a dancer, so his dancing skill is strong but I hope he'll continue to progress in his singing and dancing skill. Therefore I suggested that he go overseas to learn music and dancing. In addition, there will be an English teacher accompanying him 24 hours a day overseas, coaching him English pronunciation. Hopefully this will increase his English proficiency."

Non-contracted artiste – Same significance

There was a rumor circulating because Sammul Chan refused to sign a 10-year contract with TVB, he only gets 2nd leading roles. His star status is not of Bosco, Ron, Ray etc.

Virginia Lok's replied: "Wow, 10 years! How does the media find out about this, I did not even discussed the contract with Sammul, let's not even say 10 years! Haha! He already has his own manager; we can't grab away people like this!"

"Saying that he's not promoted, then what about Bobby Au, Lawrence Ng, Benny Chan and Joe Ma, they're not TVB's contracted artiste too. They're still getting first leading roles in TVB, don't they?"

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Caption: Bosco Wong, Kenneth Ma and Ron Ng are TVB new generation of rising stars. It is rumored that Sammul Chan was not promoted because he’s not TVB contracted artiste.

She frankly said: "If Sammul's roles are not significant, would his agent accept the series for him? His agent won't be this unorganized! Maybe the rumors are just promotional gimmicks! Haha!"

The reporter asked, though Joe Ma is not a contracted artiste, but because he has too many gossips, therefore his screentime in grand production [Drive of Life] has been reduced. What is her opinion towards Joe, since she put heavy emphasize in artiste’s conduct?

She said to reporter: "I am also concerned about him. I said to him, this kind of gossips is damaging for him; he is a family man, so he shouldn't have such kind of news. He said he will listen and prove to me, I told him don't prove to me, prove to the audiences instead. Earlier, he's pictured shopping with his wife and son, maybe he listened to my advice."

Sehseh: There, you got the overall plans of Miss Lok's favored artistes. Hmm... does that means Charmaine will be making series in Mainland during the later half of this year? It also seems that Ron will be absent from entertainment scene for a short while, which is a good opportunity to recollect himself (after all those rumors with Ella & Toby) and maybe re-invent his image. From the interview, Miss Lok is not too pleased with Sammul (or rather his agent). She did not directly deny about Joe's rumor either.

Added Jan 13th: You might have notice I have edited 'comments' into 'criticsm' the article above. I rarely posted my own articles in AF and the last night I decided to post this because fans of other artistes might want to know more about their idols plans. Someone have posted in BIG BOLD WORDS (yeah, the whole article in large fonts) in Asianfanatic forum accusing me being bias in my articles, intentionally to publicly embarrassing me instead of PM me beforehand, which is what a gracious critisizer should do first.

Granted, I'm a Charmaine's fan, so I did not deny softening that word. But being accused of purposely trashing other artistes, anyone know me better that I avoid confrontation with fanatic fans more that anything else - if avoidable, I rather soften their translation. But, I had it.

From now on, all my articles on Charmaine and other artistes will be NO HOLDS BARRED. I need to prove my 'unbiasness', don't I? Now... where should I go to look for gossips articles on other artistes? It's 'intestines drawing' time :P


Funn Lim said...

"Sending Ron Ng overseas to train dancing

"Throughout last year Ron was busy filming series. This year I plan to give him a few months holiday to study overseas. He started as a dancer, so his dancing skill is strong but I hope he'll continue to progress in his singing and dancing skill. Therefore I suggested that he go overseas to learn music and dancing. In addition, there will be an English teacher accompanying him 24 hours a day overseas, coaching him English pronunciation. Hopefully this will increase his English proficiency.""

Maybe Miss Lok, ermm sending him for acting classes would be more appropriate? I don't often see him dancing in his series, so is there plans to retire him from acting and let him pursue a dancing career? If so I am very very happy to hear that.

Anonymous said...

I love Sammul's character in the fourth quarter of Maiden's vow. Somehow he pulled off that personality really well and I just finished watching the Price of Greed where he was surprisingly convincing in his role. I definitely think he has potential and believe TVB should give him more leading roles.

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