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Saturday, December 17, 2011

New hope in Hong Kong drama, [When Heaven Burns] newcomers



"The one that got eaten" Stanley Cheung: I am sunny and untainted
"Teenage Zhi Yan" Angel Chiang: The rebellious side of me resembled Charmaine Sheh

Mentioning Stanley Cheung and Angel Chiang, some people will be unfamiliar with these two names. But if you mention the young Hui Ka Ming that got eaten in TVB series [When Heaven Burns] and the 17 years old Yip Zhi Yan where the 4 band members once pursued, everyone will have a deep impression on these two fresh faced and cheerful looking newcomers!


In the 3rd week of [When Heaven Burns], the ratings were around 23-25 points. Feedbacks are on two extreme polar; some admires the unusual topic; the crossover of space and time. However, up to episode 10+ there are no signs of dividing family wealth, revenge plot, only talking about friendship and marriage breakdown, making some people complaint as extremely boring. In the series, the story for youth and mature version progressed at the same time, increasing the screen time for the 4 guy 1 girl newcomers. Their performance is very eye-catching! Yesterday, NDDAily reporters phoned Stanley Cheung and Angel Chiang to chat about the upcoming scenes – how did they film the controversial cannibal scene? Did they have amusing experience with their 'mature counterpart'?

Stanley Cheung – Optimistic and sunny, have resemblance of Ka Ming

Stanley emailed some of his personal pictures to NDDaily. In the pictures, he still had Ka Ming long tresses. Fresh faced and handsome with a faint sweet smile; the classic Prince Charming of many young girls. When Jonathan Chik first interviewed him, it was his positive vibe that convinced Jonathan. Stanley said: "The producer is someone who believes in feelings. When he auditioned me, I've only casted a small part in an episode of [In the Chamber of Bliss]. However he can see the resemblance of Ka Ming in me. I was a lead singer in a band before, and like Ka Ming I love singing, knows how to play musical instruments, and have optimistic and sunny personality. Unlike other characters, the character doesn't have much dilemma or tainted with problems. After chatting with Ah Chik (producer) for 10 minutes plus, he make sure that I can portray Ka Ming. Maybe I give a warm feelings to other when I smiled, making him believe that I am Ka Ming!"

Receiving such important character in the series, Stanley said that he is very fortunate, "I immersed myself in the character, being born in the 80's and listened to Beyond songs while growing up. I like Beyond, Wang Lee Hom; they have pure determination in music. Therefore I put this kind of feelings onto Ka Ming."

In my portrayal, Charmaine Sheh contribute half of the success



[WHB] is Stanley's first official role. The first scene he filmed was where he met Dongka Fadan Charmaine Sheh, the infamous scene of talking shelter in tent during the rain. He consoled a heartbroken girl using his warm and optimistic personality. "The first day of filming was with Charmaine, suddenly pushing me to such high level, the pressure was immense! Can I match? Will I ruin the scene? I panicked and my imagination ran wild for quite some time. Charmaine approached me and said to me: "Let's rehearse, don't be afraid!" During the shooting, Charmaine did not instruct me what to do, only after each lines; she will indicate to me "This reaction is OK!" Giving me a lot of confidence. Charmaine is really enigmatic, her charisma are quite intimidating to other people. However, she is not arrogant at all and closed the gap between us in a short time." A lot of audience is captivated by the cute and bright 'Hui Ka Ming' in the first episode. Stanley said: "In my portrayal, Charmaine contributed half of the success!"

Did not eat and drink for two days in order to film the cannibal scene

The cannibalistic scene in [WHB] is full of controversy. 'Hui Ka Ming' was eaten by his companion. During the filming, did he have to overcome a huge physiological hurdle? "Actually the scene is not that gruesome, the fear came from one's imagination. I lay still on the ground and maintained a stiff position. However I did secretly opened my eyes and peeked, crew squirted fake blood streaks next to me; some made eating sounds, but they didn't create any mess on me. I do not want to look as if I'm merely sleeping, therefore I purposely didn't eat or drink two days beforehand in order to get the sensation of being starved. My face was sullen and dehydrated, looking extremely fatigued. When we started filming in the studio, I'm so hungry that my hands and feet were shaking. So I forced myself to eat 1/3 of a lunchbox." Despite a veteran telling him that it was unnecessary, Stanley insisted to use a different approach for personal understanding.

The cannibalism scene will be appearing onscreen soon. Stanley indicates that they filmed many versions for the scene. "There's scene where they are crying bitterly while eating, there's cold, emotionless chewing, there's also a version with sinister expression. We portrayed every possible reaction we can imagine. The final version that gets aired is decided by the producer. I watched the playback and saw how they stabbed the knife (into me) and I feel it's very cruel. I feel that the effect of this scene will be very shocking."

Angel Chiang rebellious streak resembled Charmaine Sheh

Recently the 21 year old young actress in TVB; Angel Chiang enjoyed a sudden surge of popularity for her portrayal as teenage Charmaine Sheh in [When Heaven Burns]. Due to her sharp features, she is often picked by producers to portray the young version of leading female characters, such as [Rosy Business] Sheren Tang, [Fortune Buddies] Maggie Cheung and [WHB] Charmaine Sheh. Angel feels proud to be able to portray the teenage version of these three TV Queens.



"The producer picked me not because of my sweet looks, but instead after watching me as a rebellious girl in [Love Exchange]. He felt that I have rebellious qualities, and resembled Charmaine. This experience made me more convinced that I shouldn't let go of any opportunity to perform, and I must do my best."

Deepest impression: Conversation between teenage and mature Charmaine

Becoming the idol for male teens through 'Yip Zhi Yan', Angel more or less profited from Charmaine's limelight. Angel frankly indicates that she only has one scene with Charmaine in the series, but she learned a great deal from it. "In one scene, Kenny Wong's daughter shared her teenage troubles with Charmaine, and it lead to Charmaine chatting with her younger self; hence we are in the same scene. It's my first time getting acquainted to her, and finds her to be really independent. No matter how tired she is from filming, she is able to get immersed into the role quickly. Even if there is last minute addition to the scripts, she will memorize her lines very quickly. She has a commanding aura, flair of TV Queen!"

Charmaine joined TVB for 13 years and matured as she filmed series after series. This is the path that Angel hopes to walk. "I like acting. I'm not afraid to endure over 10 years just like Charmaine. I hope I will be an actress acknowledged by others."

Most special: Re-encountering Ka Ming in the final 5 minutes

Note: Ending spoilers ahead, read at your own risk

The producer and directors of [When Heaven Burns] used a lot of different filming method to create the mood effect of the series. This caused a lot of housewives audiences to switch to other channels due to the 'boredom'. However, Angel who is born in 80's enjoyed this different style, and she found the ending very memorable. "The ending is a 5 minute MV, where the young and mature versions come across together. I will re-encounter Ka Ming and explained the reason why I didn't follow them to Tianshan Mountain. This kind of ending is an eye opener; prior to filming I have no idea that the producer will handle the scene this way. I am very touched and I believe you will find resonance as you continue watching the series."

Profiles:
Stanley Cheung King Shun
Age: 30 years old
Height: 178cm

Angel Chiang Ka Man
Age: 22 years old
Height: 161cm

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