So you might already know that Liu Yi Fei is the actress playing Mulan in the upcoming Disney remake.
The live-action remake might have made a few changes that fans are not too pleased with, including the removal of the characters Li Shang and Mushu, as well as the musical numbers. But there are still many reasons to get excited for this version of Mulan and one of it is because of how seriously badass Liu Yifei looks as a female warrior.
1. SHE IS THE NEXT MULAN
The first thing you need to know is that she beat out many other applicants for the highly contested role of Mulan-1,000 to be exact! Disney revealed that they screened through over 1,000 auditions from over five different continents during their selection process. Here’s the criteria they set: fluent in English, has star quality and good martial arts skills. You know there’s gotta be something special about an actress who beat out 1,000 other auditionees!
2. SHE GOES BY A FEW NAMES
Liu Yifei isn't her birth name. She was given the name An Feng at birth, following her father An Shaokang's surname. However, the actress later changed her surname to that of her mother's after her parents got divorced. At that time, she went by Liu Ximeizi, followith the 'Liu' of her Mother, Liu Xiaoli. Liu Yifei is actually just a stage name she goes by and she also goes by the name Crystal Liu when she does promotions in English speaking countries. We would have never thought Liu Yifei wasn't her real name but whatever name she chooses to go by, we still love her!
3. SHE HAS THE NICKNAME 'FAIRY SISTER'
Yifei has been bestowed a very cute nickname in China called 'Fairy Sister' which she earned when she entered showbiz in 2005. Her lead role in Chinese Paladin captured the hearts of many as a younger sister figure. Since then, she has been viewed as one of China's sweethearts and also one of the top actresses of the new generation. In 2009, she was even crowned one of the new four dan actresses, which is a title given to the most popular actresses in the country. It will definitely be interesting to see her transform from the dainty 'fairy sister' to a fierce fighter like Mulan in the upcoming movie remake.
4. SHE SPEAKS A FEW LANGUAGES
Yifei speaks quite a handful of languages. The Chinese actress is not only fluent in Mandarin, but is also able to speak English with ease, having spent a few years of her life growing up in New York. Aside from being fluent in both English and Mandarin, Yifei is also able to speak basic Korean and Japanese. Is there anything she can't do?
5. SHE IS NOT NEW TO HOLLYWOOD
Mulan will not be Yifei's first appearance on the Hollywood big screen. The actress has actually played numerous roles in various big Hollywood blockbusters, including The Forbidden Kingdom in 2008, in which she acted alongside martial arts experts, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. She also starred in Outcast alongside Hayden Christensen and Nicholas Cage in 2014. Most recently, in 2017, she was in the period romance titled The Chinese Widow with actress Emile Hirsch. And now she’s proven herself ready for her big Hollywood break as Mulan.
6. SHE IS A MODEL
Yifei actually started her career as a child model back when she was just eight years old. Aside from acting, she also does modelling on the side and has made a name for herself in the modelling industry. Over the years, Yifei was the face of numerous high-profile campaigns and the brand ambassador of many prominent brands such as Garnier and Pantene in China. It's almost impossible to walk around in China and not stumble upon an advertisement adorned with her face.
7. SHE HAS A SINGING CAREER
Yes, she can sing too! Yifei was signed under Sony Music Entertainment Japan back in 2005 and has since launched two albums. The first Japanese single she released, "Mayanoka no Door" was so catchy that it was even selected to become the theme song for the animation series Powerpuff Girls Z. Just listen to her beautiful voice in her 2006 song "Want My Taste" and you can tell Yifei is truly a girl worth fighting for.
8. SHE’S TRAINED IN SWORD FIGHTING AND MARTIAL ARTS
One of the most badass facts about Yifei is that she is skilled in sword fighting and martial arts! She has already showed off some of her skills in the 2008 movie The Forbidden Kingdom when she held her own beside martial arts legends Jackie Chan and Jet Li. She does a lot of her own stunts for her movies and has been training hard for her role as Mulan. We are definitely excited to see her show off her flexibility and strength as a warrior in the upcoming movie!
9. SHE USED TO DATE SONG SEUNG HEON
Yes, we are talking about Korean heartthrob Song Seung Heon. The two of them met and started dating while filming for the show The Third Way of Love back in 2015. Although the two of them called it quits back after three years together due to their busy schedules, they are still reportedly close friends til today.
10. SHE LOVES CATS
When we say she loves cats, we really mean she LOVES cats. Yifei and her mother often work closely with a non-profit organisation to take in stray cats and help the little pawed pals find a new home. In fact, in her Beijing flat, she once had over 30 cats living there with her at one time. Yifei really loves cats and she makes the effort to go out of the way to care for them. We stan a queen with a kind loving heart for animals!
Hong Kong singer Pakho Chau and his wife Stephanie Chu have officially become proud parents to a beautiful baby girl!
In a social media post on Wednesday, 4 December 2019, two days after the birth of his daughter, the 35-year-old uploaded pictures of him cradling his adorable bundle of joy.
Along with the photos, he informed fans and well-wishers that his daughter - who he affectionately called 'Miss Chau' - weighs 6.7 pounds and looks "just as pretty as her mama"
"Although she's tiny, she has a loud yell and has eyes as bright as a gemstone and a full head of hair. I thought she was born wearing a little hat," Pakho added.
Apart from that, Pakho shared that becoming a father for the first time is an "indescribable feeling" and that he is in awe of his wife for being so strong.
"All I know is that it's been hard on my wife these days. Women are really so strong, and mothers are really admirable. In the days to come, I will definitely take good care of them, and allow my little princess to become a healthy, happy and kind-hearted person."
In a phone interview with reporters, Pakho also revealed that his wife is recovering from the delivery at the Hong Kong Island Hospital and that he is still yet to register a name for his daughter.
During the interview, the singer explained that he and his wife decided to delay the happy announcement by two days in order to allow elderly members of the family to visit their daughter in the hospital without any media attention.
'A Beijing court has ruled that a social media user should apologise to Taiwanese actress Ruby Lin for calling her a Taiwan independence supporter, and pay her 60,000 yuan (S$11,599) in compensation.
"The Weibo account was registered and used by an individual surnamed Huang, and the posts contained content that were largely abusive and anger-venting in nature, as well as descriptions that were not fact-based, such as 'Taiwan independence', which constitute insult and slander to the plaintiff," the Beijing-based Xingquan Law Firm, which sued on behalf of Lin, quoted Beijing Haidian District Court as saying on Wednesday.
From August 2016 to October 2017, the account on Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, featured hundreds of posts that slandered 43-year-old Lin, the law firm's statement said.
During the trial, Huang said that the posts were responses to other fans and not directed at Lin. However, the court decided that most of the content amounted to insult and slander against Lin and exceeded the range of rightful criticism of a public figure, the statement said.
Huang's account was no longer visible, and was shown as having been shut down "due to complaints that it violated Weibo regulations". The precise content of the posts is not known.
Last year, Lin's television programme My Dear Boy, which she produced as well as starred in, was cancelled in mainland China after two episodes.
Mainlanders expressed unhappiness over Lin and the programme receiving funding from Taiwan's ministry of culture, and accused her of supporting independence for the self-ruled island.
Lin's studio had issued a statement on Weibo declaring that such comments were based on rumours and were slanderous.
"The internet isn't outside the law," Lin's studio said on Weibo on Wednesday. "We will fight to the end any malicious slandering and rumours. The law will not be merciful on the offenders."
Other celebrities have faced a career-threatening backlash in mainland China over perceived pro-independence stances.
In March, Taiwanese actress and musician Ouyang Nana declared her love for China in a television appearance after claims that she was a supporter of Taiwan independence.
The following month, Taiwanese actress and model Tiffany Ann Hsu apologised for "liking" a social media post that mainlanders found offensive, and wrote a letter to the state broadcaster, saying: "There is only one China in this world. I do not support Taiwan independence. I hate separatism."
Film and television content featuring actors who had expressed support for Taiwanese independence was last year banned from being screened on the mainland.
Beijing sees Taiwan as a renegade province subject to eventual unification with the mainland, by force if necessary.
Lin rose to fame on the mainland in 1998, after playing one of the main characters in the television series My Fair Princess, a Cinderella-esque story based on books written by Taiwanese author Chiung Yao, which found popularity across Asia.
She went on to win roles in other highly successful films and television series, including the 2000 action film China Strike Force.
World-conquering boy band BTS swept the biggest annual K-pop awards show for the second year running, taking home eight major awards including best male group, song of the year and album of the year.
The Mnet Asian Music Awards (Mama) ceremony was staged on Wednesday night in the 30,000-capacity Nagoya Dome in Japan by South Korean entertainment and media giant CJ E&M.
Last year the main Mama awards show was held in Hong Kong, but it bypassed the city this year because of the anti-government street protests that began six months ago.
The Mama ceremony featured live performances by many of K-pop's biggest stars - including BTS, Twice, Monsta X, Tomorrow X Together (winners of the award for best new male artist), Mamamoo and Itzy (winners of the award for best new female artist) - as well as British singer-songwriter Dua Lipa.
The event came at a sensitive period for the Korean entertainment industry as it deals with the deaths of three stars - Sulli, Goo Hara and Cha In-ha - all in their twenties, in the space of two months.
BTS began their awards haul by winning the prize for best male group, defeating Got7, NCT 127, Monsta X and Seventeen.
The band went on to win the awards for best music video for Boy With Luv (featuring Halsey), album of the year for Map of the Soul: Persona, best male dance performance, worldwide icon of the year, song of the year for Boy With Luv, and finally artist of the year.
Twice scored an upset by winning the award for best female group over the hotly tipped Blackpink.
The other nominees for the award were Red Velvet, Mamamoo, Iz*One and GFriend.
Twice took home more top awards than any other girl group, also winning the prize for best female dance performance.
BTS and Twice also won the fan awards for favourite male and female artists.
Before the awards ceremony started, the arriving K-pop stars received a rapturous welcome at a red-carpet reception.
By far the biggest splash was made by BTS, the seven-member boy band who made history by becoming the first K-pop act to top the US album charts in 2018 with their third studio album "Love Yourself: Tear".
BTS won five awards at last year's Mama event in Hong Kong: artist of the year, song of the year, best music video, best Asian style and the Mwave Global Fans' Choice award.
THE MAMA 2019 WINNERS
Artist of the year: BTS
Album of the year: BTS, Map of the Soul: Persona
Song of the year: BTS, Boy With Luv (feat. Halsey)
Worldwide icon of the year: BTS
Best male group: BTS
Best female group: Twice
Best male artist: Baekhyun
Best female artist: Chungha
Best new male artist: Tomorrow X Together
Best new female artist: Itzy
Best dance performance - male group: BTS, Boy With Luv (feat. Halsey)
Best dance performance - female group: Twice, Fancy
Best dance performance - solo: Chungha, Gotta Go
Best vocal performance - solo: Taeyeon, Four Seasons
Best vocal performance - group: Bolbbalgan4
Best collaboration: Lee So-ra feat. Suga of BTS, Song Request
Best OST: Gummy, Remember Me (Hotel del Luna)
Best band performance: Jannabi, For Lovers Who Hesitate
Best music video: BTS, Boy With Luv (feat. Halsey)
Qoo10 favourite male artist: BTS
Qoo10 favourite female artist: Twice
Favourite dance performance: Got7
People joke around with the phrase "famous last words" but this is one instance many would have hoped did not come to pass.
Last Thursday (Nov 28), Godfrey Gao's hairstylist, Kim Huang, penned a heartfelt tribute to the late actor on Instagram which revealed Godfrey was indeed feeling under the weather and had reservations about filming Chase Me — the Chinese variety show which the 35-year-old was shooting when he collapsed and died on Nov 27.
Chase Me sees young athletic celebrities tackle a physically intensive obstacle course that involves lots of running.
In the post, Huang wrote eloquently: "That day (Nov 25), you said the recent weather in Taipei left people feeling unwell. You also felt like you were having a cold and told me to take care of myself because the weather was unpredictable. You said you wanted a trim because you were going to shoot a reality show the following day.
"You said it was a physically challenging programme and you were worried you could not complete it. I gave you a pat on the shoulder and told you not to worry because these tests mean nothing to you. You exercised regularly, played basketball and worked out at the gym."
Huang also revealed that Godfrey intended to come back after the shoot wrapped on Nov 28 to get his hair spruced up for the wedding of former professional basketball player, James Mao. Godfrey, who is a close friend of Mao, was supposed to be a groomsman at the Nov 29 wedding.
He continued describing his time with Godfrey as they walked to his car. Huang had offered to shelter Godfrey as it was raining and the latter didn't have an umbrella.
Huang added: "In the short two-minute walk (to the car), we were talking and laughing. When we reached the elevator lobby of the carpark, you looked at me, smiled, and said, 'I'll make a move first. We'll meet again on Thursday.' Why has all of these become our final memories?"
GODFREY WAS SUPPOSED TO PROPOSE
In another tribute by Godfrey's good friend, television personality Darren Jiang, it was revealed that Godfrey had plans to propose to 23-year-old Bella Su. The pair dated for three years but had been low-key about their relationship.
Jiang uploaded a video on Instagram, Weibo and YouTube on Dec 2 where he read a letter he had penned to Godfrey. He said: "When we checked up on each other a few days ago, you suddenly asked me, 'Where you at?' I said that I was travelling in Europe, but in a few days, we could catch up and chat.
"But now, I finally found out why all of a sudden you were checking where I was, because you would like me to be a witness at the two families' big dinner, as you were ready to start a new life in a new direction."
CELEBS SAY CHASE ME IS "EXHAUSTING" AND "DIFFICULT"
After news of Godfrey's death broke, some celebrities spoke out about the physically demanding obstacles that participants have to face in the show.
Chinese actress Elaine Zhong, who dropped out of the night-time show, described it as "exhausting" in a Weibo chat with her fans.
In a screenshot of a conversation circulating on Weibo, the actress wrote: "Thinking about it, (his death) is not impossible because it's (the show) really exhausting. The strain is too much for the heart to take. I filmed for two weeks and decided resolutely not to continue.
"It's no joke. It's easy for something bad to happen. I took half a month to recover after I completed the filming."
A clip of Hong Kong singer-actor William Chan talking about the show also surfaced on Weibo and he described it as "really difficult".
He said: "Filming Chase Me is really difficult. It would be around 6 to 7am by the time we wrapped up and returned to the hotel. I've always said I love to exercise but never to this extent. Not to the extent of running all the way till morning."
According to netizens who claimed to be at the scene, Godfrey said "I can't go on" before he fell.
PUBLIC FUNERAL SERVICE SET FOR DEC 6
Godfrey's management agency, JetStar Entertainment, announced on Weibo that there will be a public funeral service on Dec 6, from 10am to 5pm (Singapore time).
They wrote: "We understand that fans and friends wish to say their goodbyes to Godfrey in person. Hence, the funeral parlour will be open to public on Dec 6, from 10am to 5pm, for them to pay their respects."
K-pop star Kang Daniel has been suffering from mental health issues and will be taking a break from his music career to focus on his recovery.
A statement released by his agency Konnect Entertainment yesterday (Dec 4) said that the 23-year-old was "diagnosed with depression and panic disorder" earlier this year and despite seeking treatment and medication, "recently expressed more severe symptoms of anxiety".
His scheduled performance on MBC Music's Show Champion this morning and other upcoming activities have since been cancelled.
Daniel, who rose to fame through the second season of Produce 101, an idol survival reality show which aired on Mnet in 2017, had just released a new track Touchin on Nov 25.
He had just topped the charts on SBS MTV's The Show on Dec 3, and even celebrated his first win on the programme with the song.
However, many questioned the legitimacy of his win as he had taken the top spot over other nominees with just a digital single.
The Show's weekly winner is decided based on a combination of digital streaming numbers, music video views, album sales, votes from fans and experts' opinions.
Daniel might have also hinted at his worsening mental health to his fans.
The solo artist, who was previously a member of boy group Wanna One until their disbandment in January this year, had posted a series of messages on his fan forum, also known as fancafe, since yesterday. He mentioned how tired he was and the difficulties he was facing, including hate comments from anti-fans.
The K-pop industry has been notorious for the amount of hardships idols have to go through, be it the long and arduous training sessions or the relentless harassment and pressure they are subjected to. And it seems like Daniel was not spared.
Understandably, the alarming news has many fans worried about Daniel, especially after the recent tragedies in the K-pop industry such as the deaths of Sulli and Goo Hara.
All three of them have reportedly faced online bullying and harassment.
In the wake of Daniel's sudden hiatus, fans came together to support him, with hashtags like #WeAreWithDaniel trending on Twitter.
"We've asked enough from him. Now it's time for him to do whatever he wants to do. I won't ask him for a single thing except for his health and happiness," a fan tweeted.
Another fan wrote: "Even in the most difficult moments, we will be with you, just take care, please take care of yourself. You're not alone."
Looks like Taiwanese actress Joe Chen finally found her Mr. Right.
Earlier this year, the 40-year-old took part in the second season of reality show Meeting Mr. Right, which pairs up female celebrities with an eligible male partner. In a video filmed before the premiere of the show, Joe had confessed that she has been single for six years, and that she’s looking forward to the show.
Joe was eventually paired with a Malaysian businessman named Alan, who’s said to come from a wealthy family. During the last episode which aired November 28, Alan confessed his love to Joe, planting a kiss on her forehead. Joe, who was moved to tears, agreed to start dating him.
In an interview after Alan's big confession, Joe, who was still teary, declared, “Love has not forsaken me (after all), there’s still someone who’s willing to be so brave for me”. Alan, who admitted that his relationship with Joe will cast him in the spotlight, added, “I've never done something like this before, but I’m willing to overcome this.”
Viewers of the show had mixed reactions to the finale. While some wholeheartedly congratulated Joe and Alan on finding love, others shared that they had their doubts about the couple’s happy ending.
On Monday (Dec 2), Joe took to her Weibo to share a picture of her with Alan, seemingly to confirm that they are dating.
“I did not (join the show) just because of the appearance fees,” she wrote, adding that she had done so to find love. “No script, no lines (from the producers). Thank you happiness. Love has not forsaken me. Love will never forsake anyone who believes in it,” she declared.
Similarly, Alan also put up a Weibo post declaring, "In the world of billions of people, we were meant to find each other. Love never leave us or anybody. A life of few decades is too short for anything, so just be brave to love! The happy moments seen by all, can only be truly felt by two. Thank you Mango TV, viewers and the family of dolphins for the blessings. Thank you Joe. (sic)”
However, fans of Joe are now claiming that Alan is not suitable for the actress. They accused him of running a multi-level marketing company, and putting on an act in front of the cameras. Sharing screenshots of Alan’s Instagram account, they called him out for “being promiscuous, and engaging in conversation with multiple scantily-clad models”.
Alan has since made a statement to refute these claims, sharing that it was a misunderstanding.
“These people are all my friends, and are gainfully employed,” he wrote. Joe later shared his post, adding, “Alan, your Instagram is famous now. I’m sorry to all the innocent people who were implicated, I hope (my fans) will not disturb other people (from now on)”.
After holding their gorgeous wedding ceremony in Italy earlier this year, celebrity couple Jacky Heung and Bea Hayden are basking in newlywed bliss.
Recently, Bea and her mother-in-law, Hong Kong producer Tiffany Chen, made a joint appearance at an event promoting the movie, Chasing Dream, which Jacky stars in.
To everyone’s surprise, Bea appeared to be sporting what looked like a baby bump. Tiffany was also seen taking great care to cover Bea’s stomach whenever possible. This caused many to begin speculating that the couple is currently expecting their first child.
Last Sunday (Dec 1), Jacky made an appearance at the Hainan Island International Film Festival, where he was promptly asked if the rumours were indeed true. However, he denied the rumours, although he did admit that they cannot wait to start a family together.
“I do hope that she will get pregnant soon, but she’s currently not,” he told reporters.
Bea and Jacky first got to know each other on the reality show, The Most Beautiful Time. They went public with their relationship in January this year, and got engaged in March.
Celebrity couple Lin Chi-ling and Akira, who recently celebrated their union in Taichung, Taiwan, shared more about their relationship and courtship in a magazine interview.
Not much is known about the couple’s courtship, as they only revealed their relationship to the public in June this year, after they had registered their marriage. The pair had gotten to know each other after working together on the musical Red Cliff -Love-.
While Akira readily revealed that it was love at first sight for him, Chi-ling shared that she took a while longer to realise that she was in love with him.
According to Chi-ling, the first time she saw Akira was when she attended a concert of J-pop group EXILE, which he is part of. They did not speak to each other then and only had their first conversation during a meeting for Red Cliff -Love-, where Chi-ling had remarked that the lines for the musical were challenging for her.
“The lines were all in ancient Japanese. It was extremely challenging for me, who could not even speak Japanese that well then. Worried, I remarked that the lines were very difficult. After hearing that, Akira replied that it was challenging even for Japanese people, and reassured me that we can work hard together,” Chi-ling recalled.
She then went on to say that while the other members of EXILE gave off a cool and manly vibe, Akira was more warm and cheery.
“I really like his smile, I feel that when he smiles, his eyes are smiling too,” Chi-ling laughed.
However, it was only last year that she realised that Akira was “the one”.
“It was the middle of the night, and my grandmother had passed away right in front of my eyes after receiving multiple emergency treatments,” Chi-ling revealed, adding that she was so upset that when she reached home, she could barely breathe.
At that time, the first person to come to her mind was Akira. “I picked up my phone to call him, and all I said was, 'My grandmother’, (before) he replied, ‘what happened to her, did she pass away?’ After hearing his words, I began to cry, uncontrollably,” Chi-ling said.
“I couldn’t even say a word, all I did was cry, until I was tired out, until I unknowingly fell asleep. When I woke up, I didn’t even know how long I had been asleep for, but when I noticed that I was still on the phone, I mumbled out a hello. And Akira replied, ‘I'm here’,” the model-actress continued, adding that it was then when she realised that she was in love with Akira.
“Even though all he did was keep me company on the phone, I could feel that he was there by my side, accompanying me. It was a moment that I’ll never forget in this lifetime,” she said.
Summing up the changes in her life since meeting Akira, Chi-ling said, “It’s just like how you may feel that there’s something missing in your life, but you just don’t know what it is, (and) now, there’s someone (in your life) to fill that gap. This is something that I did not have in my life (before meeting Akira), and that is the feeling of stability”.
Following the news of Taiwanese actor Godfrey Gao’s demise after collapsing while filming Chinese variety show Chase Me, netizens who claim they were part of the live audience have uploaded pictures showing the situation on set.
In one picture, a number of cast members, including Hong Kong singer-actor William Chan and Taiwanese singer-actor Calvin Chen, can be seen gathering near Godfrey, looking worried as CPR was being administered to the 35-year-old.
Later reports revealed that William had accompanied Godfrey to the hospital in the same ambulance. The 34-year-old was reportedly devastated after hearing that Godfrey did not make it, and has not responded to any interview requests since then.
Recently, an insider came forward to share that William has decided to cancel his scheduled appearance on Zhejiang TV’s New Year Concert. According to the insider, William would rather pay the hefty cancellation fee than show support for the broadcasting company behind Chase Me.
When reached for a comment, however, William’s manager denied the rumours, saying, “We have never received an invitation from Zhejiang TV to appear in their year-end concert.”
Since Godfrey’s passing, Zhejiang TV has come under much scrutiny. Fans and netizens have called for an inquiry into the show and are demanding for explanations for the various injuries cast members and former guest contestants have allegedly sustained on set.
It has been reported that other celebrities who previously appeared on the show were similarly exhausted, with some needing oxygen tanks after completing the course.