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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Movie Say: Charmaine Sheh changing image with passionate car scene

[Apple Daily 17/07/2011]

Charging again into the silver screen again by accepting Patrick Kong's new project [Love is the Only Answer], Charmaine Sheh cannot afford any slip-ups and went all out in the movie. Not only does she have a passionate kissing scene with Alex Fong, she also has to film a making out scene in the car with the 40-inch chest Him Law. It's believed that this movie pushed Charmaine's boldest limit since entering showbiz. For a TV actress crossing over to movie, the price to pay is by surpassing own past, and is considered as 'upgrade'. Without the routine support of TV station ratings, it's pretty much on your own. The result is measured by box office whereby audiences have to purchase tickets.

In the entertainment industry, there is an impermeable gap between 'TV actor' and 'Movie actor'. Regardless of how popular and influential you are in the small screen (TV), it's altogether another situation when you moved to the silver screen. Nevertheless, many TV actors still attempt to cross over. Not only it is considered an upgrade, the meteorically increased income is also very appealing.

Leaving everything in the hands of Patrick Kong

In the past, audiences only need to sit at home and switch on their TV set for free entertainment if they want to see Charmaine Sheh. However, the situation now has changed a bit where they have to purchase tickets to watch in cinema. Charmaine indicate that she is not scared of the history of TV actors' unsuccessful crossover to silver screen. In earlier interview, she laughed and said she is leaving everything in the hands of director Patrick Kong. "Whether it's predestined or not, leaving it to fate. The question is whether you are willing to try. If you try, then there is 50% chance of success. The rest I leave to the director."

Leaving everything to Patrick Kong – the director who enjoys using controversial themes in turn doesn't hesitate to arrange two bold and passionate scenes for Charmaine. Though the boldness is different than previous work [Marriage with a Liar] where Chrissie Chau and Carol Yeung performed topless scenes, it's considered shocking for someone coming from television industry. When Charmaine first received the scripts, she was shocked. However, she decided to give it a try without holding back. She smiled and said: "It nearly reached my limit. In TV, we only film with subtlety until a certain point unlike the movie where we can be so obvious. In addition, frankly said the topic of wife swapping is unheard of therefore I really have to thank the director to give me the opportunity in trying two things I've never experienced at once. I hope to show a different side of me to the audiences (compared to TV). Otherwise how to attract people to buy tickets and watch in cinemas?"

Using sincerity to win over the media

Without the routine support of TV station ratings, one has bear the loss and success on their own. Charmaine feels that it is very challenging having to rely on the box office results as measurement of success. Not only she has to face the moviegoers in her crossover, Charmaine is also meeting a different group of reporters for her interviews. She laughed: "The only thing I can do is to win them over with my sincerity."

Him Law who has passionate making out scene with Charmaine in the movie is arguably the most enviable actor by otaku (male netizens). In Patrick Kong's [Marriage with a Liar], he had bed scenes with their 'goddesses' Chrissie Chau and Carol Yeung, who performed topless and made quite a lasting impression. It's barely half year and he's already filming another making out scene in the car with Charmaine who have a lot of television fans. It's not over exaggerated to label him as the male population No.1 public enemy.

At this, the 40-inch chest Him smiled and said that there were unknown hardships too. He points out that it is not as enjoyable as they think during filming. Before the male netizens consider him as being smug, Him explained: "It's actually quite tough. For example the car scene with Charmaine, we have to express our passion in a limited space. The space inside the car is very narrow, and the temperature is hot. It's not as enjoyable as outsider perceived it to be."

Him expressed that he is most concerned in not making his partner uncomfortable and added: "It's not good if the other party feel you are taking advantage of them. In [Marriage], I will communicate with my partner(s) on how we should act before filming the scene." Him said the director is very experienced and will normally arrange for the (passionate) scenes to be filmed at later stage, in order to allow the cast to familiarized and reduce the awkwardness.

Filming two Patrick Kong movies back to back, Him is considered Patrick's regular actor. He has also considered the risk of being stereotyped: "It would be terrible if people assume that I only film similar kind of movies. For example, I wouldn't dare accepting movies like [3D Sex & Zen], because I cannot accept revealing my butt. Luckily, filming series allows me to try different types of roles. Please do not assume that I only know how to film love scenes."

Patrick Kong fully trust Charmaine Sheh

During interview, Patrick Kong indicates the most common question asked is "Does Charmaine matches the two younger actors?" Known for using provocative theme, this bold director feel that Charmaine's performance alone is already the selling point. "The question you asked is also posed by many audiences; so much it's considered an anticipation when entering the cinema. [Love] selling point is not as simple as Jeana and Alex bed scene, or Him and Charmaine's passionate car scene."

Bringing the audiences into the cinemas

Apart from the cast outlook, the director has to solve another problem which is how to bring someone from TV screen into the movie screen. In the past, audiences enjoyed Charmaine's performance via free TV. How to make them buy tickets into the cinema? Having a different mindset, Patrick expressed that he was not concerned about this issue at all. Skilled in adapting the life experience of people around him into movie scripts, audiences can easily identify with his storytelling. The sense of familiarity is Patrick's weapon. He said: "The opening scene of the story came from an urban legend which has been circulating from a long time ago. It's considered a familiar story for a lot of people. Maybe you have a friend's friend who was present at the incident. This sense of familiarity is already captivating. About the issue with Charmaine – I see it the other way. She already has a huge group of fans from television circle; those are the people who will watch the movie in cinemas. Have you ever questioned Tony Leung and Sean Lau? They originated from TV industry too."

Those who have watched Patrick's works feel that he often highlights the negativity in love and marriage. In reality, Patrick is a supporter of love: "I've always believed in love, but I do not trust romance and relationships. When love becomes habitual in two person lives, it can be dangerous and unstable. They will start to have different perception and lead to having affairs. Therefore my movies are often cynical and filled with 3rd parties."

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Note: Small alterations were made to make the article flow better, but does not change it's overall meaning.

Warning: Potential spoilers and provocative scenes!

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