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Friday, May 11, 2007

[Return of the Cuckoo] 100% Love

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On the right is Chan Bo Wah, HK golden series scriptwriter

I was browsing through Sina today when I found the interview article of Chan Bo Wah, whom is a very talented script writer. Honestly, before this I only recognize names of producer and Chow Yuk Ming, the scriptwriter for WAB & DOP. I am surprised (and glad) to read about her and her works. After leaving TVB, she worked on some series in ATV before moving on to CCTV and some freelance script writing.

Some of her works are [Blood of Good & Evil], [A Kindred Spirit], [Loving You], [Healing Hands 1 & 2], [Light of Million Hope (ATV)], [C'est La Vie, Mon Cheri], [荣归 (CCTV)] etc. 荣归 was chosen by CCTV as the theme drama celebrating HK anniversary handover.


Note: I only translated Charmaine and ROTC related part, so this is not a complete translation of the article. Please do not repost the article in Asianfanatics News Forum.

[Return on the Cuckoo] 100% Love

Reporter: Initially, how did you come up with the story of [ROTC]?

CBW: After finishing [A Kindred Spirit], TVB hope that I will write a story about horse racing track, but I wish to write a series that is 100% love. Don't you think that [ROTC] actually can be written to 30 episodes? While the higher level want to film it in Hong Kong, I want the series to be filmed in Macau or Llama Island, because I feel HK doesn't have such pure feeling.

In the past, I watched [Heavenly Sabre Dragon Sword] and I feel that Cheung Mo Gei's feeling towards his every love interest is very true. Therefore, that time I was thinking why couldn't we women fell in love with many people at the same time? A lot of people don't realize that love can hurt other people, not realizing that love, sentiments, sympathy is a kind of love too!

I told Charmaine Sheh, Kwan Hou's feelings toward Steven Ma's character are like of worshiping and curiosity toward a hero. He introduced her many sophisticated things. While Man Chor (Chilam) is your playmate, you will have a kind of motherhood feelings inside. There's also Gam Seng (Michael) who is always injured and bloody everytime he appeared. He is a sloppy man, but whenever you know he is in danger, you will show him care. This kind of care is also a kind of love.

At that time, there are people recommending someone else for the role of Kwan Ho, but I said it must be Charmaine Sheh. Actually, Charmaine only acted in two series beforehand, the roles are quite common. [Time Off] receive bad ratings, so they said Charmaine is no good, doesn't know how to act. And I said: "She doesn't know how to act because this series have nothing to act, it's not related to her. Even though there's nothing to act on, she still diligently act, proving that she likes acting". I asked Charmaine why she permed her hair like a 40 years old lady? Charmaine immediately burst laughing.

I allowed her to cut her hair, and from her eyes, they tell me that she likes falling in love, one that is easily moved. She is a good material for an actor.

Reporter: With such good cast, do you feel that the series was filmed perfectly?

CBW: Not really. In [ROTC], I once feel unhappy because of the last scene, where the brother and sister (Kwan Hou & Man Chor) reunited.

Reporter: Why is this series titled [十月初五的月光] (October 5th moon)?

CBW: Actually, the title was decided by TVB. October 5th street was a street in Macau that specially sells pastry, while the moon is crescent during 5th day of the lunar month. This express that the love in the series is imperfect, couldn't end up together.

Reporter: Then, who does Kwan Hou love most?

CBW: I have discussed this question with Charmaine too. Actually, you loved all three of them, but physically you can only love Lai Soon (Steven) alone. (Laughs) I am very conservative, a woman can love several man at the same time, but cannot have physical love with several person at the same time.

Reporter: Was Kwan Ho your favorite character?

CBW: I really like Kwan Hou, but my favorite female character is Shek Yi Ming, because she resembles me. For male, I like Man Chor. When I discussed this series with Chilam, he also told me that he really likes this character. Michael Tong, who played Gam Seng told me that I'm really good at telling stories after he read it. (Laughs)

Charmaine once sent a card to me, thanking me for giving her such wonderful role, and allowing her to trim her hair short (laughs). Her gesture alone made me feel touched. Now, I learned not to have high requirement toward other people, as long as I have high requirement toward myself. As long as other people don't scold me as crazy, it's good enough. (Laughs)

Reporter: People really hated Man Chu Sa Wa (Gam Seng's stepmum), how did you consider it?

CBW: A lot of people say Chan Man Na doesn't know how to act, but did you notice she acted really well in the two roles I gave her? One is this (ROTC), another is Henry's mother in [Healing Hands 2]. I straightforwardly told her, actually your acting is not too good. Though you are rich, I'd still honestly tell you. After she heard what I said, she laughed. I added, I could make you develop better, so don't mind taking a villain role. I also thought of a funny name for this role, because Man Chu Sa Wa is a kind of flower, even Anita Mui sang of it in her song before. Her character is a 'tyrant', but not 'evil'. Because of her husband extramarital affair, she wants to snatch back her husband. This is every woman's natural instinct. Though the 3rd party committed suicide, she is not the one who pushed her down the building. She even have a line – "She died and relieved of her problem, but I have to live on". You can say that this character is very hypocrite (城府), but she's not an evil villain. When she did bad things, she swore that if she did those deed, she will lose her riches and fame. However, she doesn't lose her riches, and she's not afraid of swearing anymore, going against the heaven. When she swore that "If I framed Gam Seng, my sons will die early" and it came true. When she arrived at hospital to look for her dead sons, Chan Man Na acting in that scene is very good. She is upset at the character's line "You are so cruel, you made me bring them up into adults, but took them both away on the same day. You are more cruel than I am!" Chan Man Na is usually playful, but on that day she spoke to no one.

Another excerpt in the interview, not related to [ROTC] but Charmaine

CBW: Outstanding actress are mostly those who are very sentimental, for example [ROTC] Charmaine Sheh, and I really like her hair.

Reporter: You seem to like short hair?

CBW: Right. Afterward, it's quite funny, actresses come up to me and said: "Sister Bo Wah, please give me an opportunity. I'm willing to cut my hair." I laughed and said that is not the case. (laughs)-end-

You can read the full chinese interview article here.
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Sehseh: Wow, I don't know that Kwan Hou was meant to fall in love with all three man, including Gam Seng! All along I thought she was only confused of her feelings with Steven and Chilam. Of course, I immediately become Chilam-Charmaine fans after this series. Like CBW, I was really unhappy with the ending. I wonder what will happen if the series is have 30 episode? Nah, thinking closely, I prefer the bittersweet ending.

The article came in a right time because my friend have just bought the DVD for me, which I have been looking for like 3-4 years. Also, the themesong [Wish You Well] by Chilam remain one of my favorite song.


Download the mp3 here.

If you have never watched this series, please watch it. I guarantee you will not regret it. Though Charmaine's acting back then was still raw, it's a glimpse of Charmaine talent in emotional and romantic scenes.

p.s. Apparently this series was so 'sentimental', the cast have some 'feelings' even after the series end. I know I shouldn't say this, since Chilam is already a family man, but I always suspect that he the 'one' mentioned in Charmaine's [Be My Guest] interview. As for Michael, well he himself openly declare having a crush on Charmaine, which supposedly lingered well on till [PITNOL]. Weird, since he is now Benny Chan's best friend, aka Charmaine rumored ex-beau.



1 comment:

Aziemah said...

if you have ROTC dvd, can you upload all ROTC episode here? i'm deadly want to watch ROTC again. please

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