Asian Entertainment News

The Asian news we find interesting from the grapevine…

Cecilia sells property to pay dad’s debt

By on January 28th, 2013 | Hong Kong Entertainment

Rumour has it that Cecilia Cheung has decided to sell her HKD 8 million property to pay for her father’s debt.

Asianpopnews reported that the actress reportedly sold her property to help her father, Cheung Yan Yung, pay off his massive debt after the latter was reported to have been involved in a fraud case in China.

Earlier, it was revealed that posters of Cheung Yan Yung were hung around the streets in Hong Kong reading, “Cecilia’s father: Bearded Yung cheated RMB 2 million and went missing”.

Meanwhile, despite being plagued with debt, senior Cheung was spotted meeting friends at a tea house last week. However, he quickly left the place after realising that he was seen by reporters.

This not the first time that Cecilia paid off her father’s debt. In 1999, a triad threatened to rape her if Cheung Yan Yung, who escaped to Malaysia at the time, failed to pay his debt.



Kevin Cheng backs out of Bu Bu Jing Xin 2

By on January 24th, 2013 | Chinese Entertainment, Hong Kong Entertainment

Kevin Cheng‘s popularity rose immensely with his portrayal of the Eighth Prince in the China drama Scarlet Heart (Bu Bu Jing Xin). His fellow cast members also gained widespread recognition for their roles and allowed all of them a steep increase in pay. Kevin’s earnings went from 100K per episode to 350K per episode. While everyone is anticipating the sequel to the successful BBXJ, Kevin confirmed yesterday that he would not be taking part in the drama as it would conflict with his filming schedule. Kevin expresses his regrets for not being able to film with the original cast and will not be able to reap in the earnings for the 40-episode drama.

Lately Kevin has been busy attending events in Mainland China and it seems like his rise in popularity has no end in sight. With his portrayal of the Eighth Prince, he also created a huge fan base in China. Kevin returned to Hong Kong yesterday to film an advertisement. He revealed that he will be taking part in a new series that will start filming in February, but it won’t be for BBJX2. “Originally BBJX2 was suppose to start in December, but because there were still revisions to the script, it was pushed back until March. I already accepted another project which will start filming in February, so I won’t be able to participate in the sequel. It’s a bit of a regret. But as far as I know, Nicky Wu and Cecilia Liu have already been confirmed for the project. With them leading the drama, I’m sure both the ratings and the reception will be great. If there is an interesting character, perhaps I will make a guest appearance.” As Kevin’s per episode earning is estimated at 350K and with BBJX2 being 40 episodes long, Kevin will likely lose out on a $14 million paycheck. Aside from that, there’s bound to be disappointment from his fans.

Although Lee Lik Chi has been accusing Kevin of speaking horrendous Mandarin and frequently making changes to scripts, Kevin says he hasn’t been paying too much attention to the news and has continued filming dramas. His new project will be another ancient series. After completing ‘Ip Man’, the drama has been slated for release in March. There are rumours that he’ll return to film the sequel with a fee of 500K per episode. Kevin says, “Actually the sequel hasn’t been confirmed yet. We’ll wait to see what the response is like when it is released in March. Even if we do film it will probably be in the summer, but nothing has been set in stone.” There have been reports comparing Kevin, Anthony Wong and Tony Leung’s portrayal of Yip Man. Many have said that Kevin’s portrayal is one that ‘looks good but can’t fight’. Kevin says, “The drama hasn’t even aired, so I hope everyone will watch it first before they make their judgement. I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t even had time to watch ‘The Grandmaster’. I hope I will have to time to watch a production of that calibre.”

Kevin will be traveling to Korea at the end of the month to attend a joint event between TVB and a Korean television station. What does he think of the Korean wave with artists like SS501 and Sistar? Kevin laughs and says he won’t be comparing himself to them and will only be singing. Will he dance PSY’s Gangnam Style? “I won’t be dancing, I’ll stick to singing!”


Caucasian “Inbound Troubles” Actress Corinna Chamberlain Can Act & Sing

By on January 21st, 2013 | Hong Kong Entertainment

Though TVB series Inbound Troubles premiered not long ago, it has already become a hot topic for discussion at the dinner table and online, such as the HK-China controversial issues seen in the series. Actually isn’t it great that the series is a light-hearted comedy and not too heavy? Isn’t it great the series has refreshing cast and pairings?

Aside from the leads Wong Cho Lam, Roger Kwok, Joey Meng, Ivana Wong and Louis Cheung creating exceptional amount of sparks, a lot of people are talking about the Inbound Troubles supporting characters. Wong Cho Lam’s best buddy, “Sai Sai Lap”, played by Siu Bo suddenly rose to popularity. She might just be another fat girl, but she stands out because she’s cute and funny.

In the series, Ivana Wong has a Caucasian best friend “Nip Siu Yin” played by Corinna Chamberlain. She was born to a New Zealand father and an Australian mother, but she was born and grew up in Hong Kong. Her character caught a lot of attention because she frequently starts crying out of the blue.

Corinna may be a Caucasian girl, but she is very fluent in Cantonese, even better than a lot of local HK artists. She can compare to former TVB Caucasian actor Gregory Rivers. Actually Corinna graduated from the HK Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) in 2006 and this isn’t her first TVB series. She has appeared in several series before, namely You’re Hired!, Every Move You Make, and Silver Spoon, Sterling Shackles. She can consider to have rich acting experiences.

Aside from acting, Corinna can sing too! When she was studying in HKAPA, she majored in musical theater. She has a good music foundation and singing skills. Corinna sang Jacky Cheung’s Love Is Eternity (愛是永恆) before and in 2007 she participated in the chorus at pop queen Sandy Lam’s concert. In addition, she sang a duet with William So 來夜方長. She clearly has the singing skills and has listened to many HK singers’ music before.


Tony Leung fed up with Wong Kar Wai

By on January 17th, 2013 | Hong Kong Movies

Rumour has it that “The Grandmaster” actor Tony Leung has been avoiding director Wong Kar Wai since the movie’s release.
According to Groove Asia website, it was rumoured that the 50-year-old actor was unhappy with the result of the movie, and felt that his role in “The Grandmaster” was fashioned to complement Zhang Ziyi’s character, who received 100-minute screen time in the movie.

Reportedly, Tony was shocked to find out that after his three-year effort learning Wing Chun, many of his scenes in “The Grandmaster” was cut by the director. As Tony and Ziyi filmed separately, the former was not aware that the actress has more screen time while he worked hard only to play second fiddle to Ziyi.

Director Wong explained the decision to cut his screen time, saying that Ip Man (played by Tony Leung) was a man of few words, and that it was necessary for him to remove as much dialogue scenes as possible.

Meanwhile, unlike Song Hye-gyo – who only gets six minutes of screen time in the movie, Tony has been professional and attended promotional activities in Taiwan and Guangzhou. However, rumours are rife that Tony and wife Carina have been avoiding dinner gatherings with the director.


“Bu Bu Jing Xin 2″ is on the way

By on January 15th, 2013 | Chinese Entertainment

Chinese Entertainment Shanghai, the production studio of the smash hit mainland Chinese television drama, “Bu Bu Jing Xin” has confirmed that a sequel to the drama is finally in the making.

However, as reported on Popular Asians website, rather than making a direct sequel of the drama, “Bu Bu Jing Xin 2″ is reported to be a reboot of the main characters in a new storyline, and was renamed “Bu Bu Jing Qing”.

In the new modern instalment, the drama revolves around the story of a white-collar worker Zhang Xiao who is hired to work at one of mainland China’s largest companies, the Zhentian Internet Group, in Shanghai. Zhang was then ostracised by her envious colleagues, but got the attention of her boss Yin Zheng. Zhang and Yin’s relationship are then tested when she meets the high executive, Kang Sihan.

Nonetheless, other than the main protagonist’s name, “Zhang Xiao”, linking the two productions together as one franchise, the plot in “Bu Bu Jing Qing” will not follow events that occurred in the final episode of “Bu Bu Jing Xin”.
Cecilia Liu is confirmed to reprise her role as Zhang Xiao while Nicky Wu also confirmed his starring appearance. However, another original cast, Kevin Cheng has yet to make his confirmation.

Chinese Entertainment Shanghai disclosed that if everything is settled, the drama is scheduled for filming after Chinese New Year.



Rain Requests Formal Transfer to the Front Lines of the DMZ

By on January 15th, 2013 | Korean Entertainment

Following the controversy over Rain and his military duties, Rain has formally requested a transfer in his duties and assignment.

Rain held a meeting recently with the Defense Media Agency (DEMA) in which Rain expressed his desire to be transferred back as a regular soldier and to be reassigned to the front lines of Korea in the regions close to the tense North and South Korean border.

Since the revelation of his dating status with Kim Tae Hee, Rain had been under investigation for failure to properly wear his military uniform and for potentially receiving favorable privileges during his service in the past year.

At the end of the investigation, the singer received a light reprimand and probation for seven days for failure to properly adhere to rules over his military uniform but was dismissed of the other allegations.

The entertainer since then expressed his regret over the incident and for affecting his colleagues at the DEMA and promised he would serve out the remainder of his military service honorably and in self-reflection.

A representative for DEMA confirmed it had received a request from Rain to be transferred to the front lines but said it would begin considering the request once the proper paper work had been submitted and received by DEMA.

Rain has approximately seven months left of his mandatory military duties.


Song Hye Kyo Shoots “The Grandmaster” for 1 Year, 6 Minutes Screen time in Return

By on January 11th, 2013 | Chinese Entertainment, Hong Kong Movies, Korean Dramas, Korean Entertainment

The 10 year production The Grandmaster finally released in Mainland. Lead actor Tony Leung and lead actress Zhang Ziyi were willing to sacrifice their time and lose several jobs to shoot this film from beginning to end. In 2010, it was rumored Korean actress Song Hye Kyo “fussed” and was unwilling to take up extra time to re-shoot some scenes. After spending a year shooting, she only had 6 minutes of screen time in the 130 minute film, lead actress Zhang Ziyi occupied 100 minutes!

Although Song Hye Kyo had little screen time and declined to participate in the promotions, lead actor Tony Leung still praised her professionalism despite having a language barrier with the crew and basically gave a lot of ‘face’. Tony said: “I totally understand her situation. In the past, I went to Taiwan to shoot Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s film not knowing any Mandarin. At the time, I felt as if I was mute and couldn’t speak. But, Song Hye Kyo was very professional, she was able to portray the elegant woman, she’s a very rare actress.” Wong Kar Wai’s production style is ‘patient work makes a good product’, and may not necessarily understand every artist. Tony works very closely with the director, asked if he tutored Song Hye Kyo? Tony laughed: “She’s very professional, not necessary.”

Tony Leung also praised Zhang Ziyi, he said: “I admire her. I don’t need to say much about her acting, but she trained her Kung Fu well. It’s amazing. I had a few action scenes with her, because we had to accommodate several things, I couldn’t hit her lightly. That night we were shooting the scene 50 times, so absolutely there was accidental hitting and stepping involved, I know she was in real pain due to her old injuries, but she held it all in. I really admire her, very rare!”



Korean pop icon Rain confined to barracks to “repent”

By on January 9th, 2013 | Korean Entertainment

South Korean pop icon Rain has been confined to barracks for a week, the defence ministry said Tuesday, after his dating put him on the wrong side of the country’s strict military service rules.

“Under a decision by the disciplinary commission of his unit, Rain will be confined to his barracks to spend seven days of repentance,” a defence ministry spokesman said.

The 30-year-old singer is a little over halfway through the two-year military service that is mandatory for all able-bodied South Korean men.

The country’s well-oiled celebrity gossip machine went into overdrive last week when it was confirmed that Rain had begun dating Kim Tae-Hee, 32, a TV drama star with a massive following in Japan.

But fan excitement was tempered by questions over how the couple had managed numerous reported dates. During their military service men are given little free time, even for family visits.

“He breached regulations against having private meetings while on official duty,” the ministry spokesman said.

The punishment was one of the lightest options open to the disciplinary committee.

Rain, whose real name is Jung Ji-Hoon, is one of the biggest names in the world of K-pop, which commands a huge following in South Korea, across much of Asia and beyond.

After tabloid pictures of his dates with Kim emerged, the defence ministry’s website was bombarded with messages calling for him to be disciplined.

Some suggested he be forced to repeat his military service like the “Gangnam Style” star Psy, who was made to serve twice after it emerged he had furthered his showbiz interests during his first stint.

Military service is taken extremely seriously in South Korea, which remains technically at war with North Korea because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty.

Apart from those with physical disabilities, exemptions are rare and anyone refusing to serve — for moral or religious reasons — faces an automatic jail term.

Celebrities are frequently caught attempting to evade military service for fear they might be forgotten by their fans while in uniform.

Just as he was about to be called up in 2002, Korean-American pop singer Steve Yoo gave up his Korean nationality and became a naturalised US citizen.

The South Korean government considered it an act of desertion and he was deported and banned from returning for life.



Fan Bing Bing joins the cast of Iron Man 3

By on January 7th, 2013 | Chinese Entertainment

It has been reported that actress Fan Bingbing will also be joining the cast of “Iron Man 3″.

According to Popular Asians, the 31-year-old Chinese actress once hinted that she will be joining the Hollywood production, but was never officially confirmed.

However, the actress has recently negotiated her filming contract and has finally been added to the cast, reportedly playing the boss of Wang Xueqi’s Dr Wu.

Meanwhile, rumour has it that there is still one additional role in “Iron Man 3″ to be cast, and speculations emerged that Daniel Wu, Huang Xiaoming, Eddie Peng, Ethan Ruan, and Yu Shaoqun are among the actors that are likely to fit the producer’s requirements.

Directed by Shane Black, “Iron Man 3″ also stars Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, and Guy Pearce. The film will see release on 3 May 2013 in the United States.



Rain to Face Disciplinary Committee Next Week

By on January 7th, 2013 | Korean Entertainment

The Defense Ministry on Thursday said it confirmed that singer and actor Rain bunked off military duties to meet his girlfriend, actress Kim Tae-hee. The ministry said it considers this a violation of military regulations and will put him in front of a disciplinary committee.

Rain, who is serving in the Army entertainment corps, left his military base citing official duties on Nov. 23, Dec. 2 and 9 to work on a song for a military event at a recording studio in Gangnam. On all three occasions Rain met up with Kim between 9 and 10 p.m. after working on his music.

Kim apparently drove him back to his base in the ministry compound every time, and Rain reported back at around 10:30 p.m.

“It is true that there was contact on the way back,” ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said. “Contact for private purposes can be seen as a violation of regulations.”

Rain has raised eyebrows by taking 94 days off base, or one-fifth of his 450 days of service so far, more than twice the number of average holidays enjoyed by other troops from 2009 to 2012, and that even before he has used the 28 days of regular holidays to which he is entitled.

They included 25 overnight stays at the studio. “We phoned his studio each time to confirm that he was sleeping there,” a military official said. “To our knowledge, he did not sleep outside of the studio.”

According to the spokesman, the ministry believes Rain committed only four violations — failing to wear his military cap in public and meeting Kim on those three occasions. “An entertainment corps disciplinary committee will convene next week and take necessary steps,” he said. He added that Rain is unlikely to serve time in jail but could have his holidays revoked.

The ministry said Rain admits his offenses and told his superiors that he would take time to “reflect upon his actions.”

In response to the public outcry, the ministry has also decided to come up with a new set of rules that compel entertainment corps soldiers to be accompanied by senior officers when leaving their base and to return by 10 p.m. after practicing their routines.

“We will bolster measures so that the entertainment corps will not face any more criticism over special privileges,” Kim said. “This will include steps to curb excessively long vacations.”

Some critics are calling for the corps to be dismantled, but the military is not willing to go that far. “Entertainment corps members often work weekends and even use up their holidays to practice for military performances or to appear on Army broadcasts,” said one official. “It definitely helps boost troops’ morale, so it’s better to strengthen rules than to dismantle it.”