Chinese actress Zhou Xun released her first autobiography this month. The book included a plethora of pictures that were provided by the actress herself, giving readers a peek of how she has grown from her days as a student to her time as a greenhorn in the showbiz industry. This has caused much excitement among her fans as they managed to get a glimpse of how the actress has grown throughout the years.
The book also included a number of candid photos of her during her free time, and snaps of her doing cartwheels and shots of her asleep in unlikely places were also included, causing much amusement to many.
From the reviews of the book posted online, it seems that the release was very well-received indeed, with reviewers posting short snippets of the 44-year-old’s words and sharing how those passags had particularly impacted them.
Zhou Xun made her acting debut in 2005 with the movie The Pampered Wife. She is best known for her roles in the movies, Perhaps Love and The Banquet. She most recently starred in the Chinese period drama, Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace.
Dee Hsu has always been known for her straight-talking ways, which have sometimes landed her in hot soup. The mother-of-three, who celebrated her 40th birthday in June, has managed to maintain an enviable figure throughout the years, and has occasionally been questioned about her secrets by fellow mothers.
She finally came clean with that through a Facebook post made yesterday (December 5), in which she wrote, “I always see my own flaws (such as) my lacrimal groove, my eye bags, and the areas where I think I’m not skinny enough! I ended up going for Botox and hyaluronic acid injections but ended up looking like a zombie!”
Musing that her daughters have never been able to see the flaws that she herself assumes she has, and that they “love me the same”, Dee asked if there is anyone who loves her “because of my outer appearances”.
“Humans always look for useless things to bother themselves with! I want to be truly free and not just with my words. I want to be happy and not just be pretending (to be happy). I want to be beautiful, but in a natural way,” she continued. “I went through this agonising experience before I went to Italy, and I looked like a zombie the entire time (I was there).”
She ended her post by telling herself “Don’t do crazy things again, Dee Hsu!”
In response, her mother personally commented on the post with, “You destroyed the work of your own mother. You deserve a beating!”
The hilarious reaction was not missed by netizens, many of whom quipped that it’s clear where Dee and her older sister, Barbie Hsu, inherited their wry sense of humour from.
Filming in humid Singapore is no easy feat and Taiwanese actor Blue Lan had a mild preview of what’s in store for him the next three months when filming for All Is Well, a Taiwan-Singapore drama co-production, officially kicks off in end January.
Blue, who was in town with fellow Taiwanese actor Liu Kuan-Ting to launch the upcoming Mediacorp and Eightgeman production, together with local actors Desmond Tan, Romeo Tan and Sheila Sim, was taken aback by our sunny island’s warm climate during this time of the year.
“I asked the staff about Singapore’s coldest period and they told me it’s usually coldest now - during the year-end period,” Blue chuckled, as he likened our year-end summer-like weather to Australia’s climate.
Unlike Blue, Romeo will be bundled up in layers, enjoying Taiwan’s chilly weather and road tripping around different provinces and cities for the next three months. He will be based there and good buddy Elvin Ng, whose scenes will take place in Taiwan, is set to join him there too.
The 33-year-old marvelled at the rare opportunity to combine “work” and “play” in a foreign country, and plans to fully immerse himself and live it up like a local during his ‘exchange’ trip.
TV viewers can expect All Is Well to present an all-new 360-viewing experience: the show spans two series and 40 episodes in total, and events happening in each country will occur concurrently as two parallel plots. The intricate plot is a win for TV fans who enjoy poring over every minute detail and uncovering Easter eggs in both stories happening in Singapore and Taiwan.
To smooth out story kinks and to ensure events are coherently connected, famous Taiwanese producer-director Wang Saudi of A Boy Named Flora A fame, and who is leading the Taiwan team, shared that the script has undergone six revisions so far in hope that the tale of “murder, mystery and mayhem will enthrall and entertain our Taiwanese and Singaporean audiences.”
Over in Singapore, the series will be helmed by Leong Lyelin who has done shows like Sudden, The Dream Job and My Friends From Afar, to name a few.
The drama, which is slated for a late-August 2019 release, also stars ‘queen of idol series’ Joanne Tseng, who will be filming most of her scenes in Singapore, as well as local actors Ian Fang, Chen Hanwei, Zoe Tay, Zhang Yaodong, Paige Chua, Rayson Tan and Denise Tan.
As we await more details to roll in, here’s what we know about the show so far: Romeo will be romancing an older Taiwanese actress to flesh out a May-December romance, Sheila will kick butt as a female cop, and Blue will play a good guy gone bad who locks horns with Desmond’s character on screen.
What is Blue Lan packing into his suitcase for his long-term Singapore stay?
If Blue could pack his wife Jade Chou and two kids ‘Little Basketball’ and ‘Blue Junior’ along with him, we think he probably would. The actor will be spending a good two to three months on this sunny isle as he will be playing a Taiwanese who was raised in Singapore in the drama.
“I might just bring one pair of jeans (chuckles), more shorts and quick-drying tops,” he replied, when asked about his packing essentials to combat the heat and humidity in Singapore.
“I think will bring them (his family) over, but it depends on the situation too. Maybe when my schedule is relatively freed up, I might arrange for them to come visit. I’m afraid of being in the situation where I need to leave for work early and only return at night – because I still need to work, and by the time I’m done, they’re all in bed. So that’s quite pointless … we really need to see how the timings match.”
Romeo Tan teases about his ‘May-December’ onscreen partner
Due to embargo restrictions, little can be said or shared about the identity of the Taiwanese actress who will be romancing Romeo in All Is Well. But what we do know is she’s “a household name” and a “respected figure” in Taiwan and Singapore.
So if could pick a Taiwanese actress he’d like to be romanced by, who would it be?
“Are you talking about Rainie Yang? (Laughs) She’s not really ‘Jie Jie’ (big sister) material, but it’d be great if it’s her… There are [actresses like] Ariel Lin, Lin Chi-ling Jie Jie who fit the requirements, but I think I may get bashed by many people,” he joked.
Romeo added that he will be travelling to Taiwan in early January, before production starts, to undergo culinary lessons to prepare for his role. “I need to learn how to cook so they will be arranging for me to train in a kitchen, and I need to learn how to ride a scooter because that’s my character’s main mode of transport in Taiwan.”
“I think I’m better at cooking western meals like steak and spaghetti. I have no problem with that, but Chinese food is harder because of the ingredients and the proportions of seasoning you’d need for the dish. So I think that’s the toughest,” he added.
Liu Kuan-Ting worries about putting on weight in Singapore
With helpful co-stars like Sheila Sim who already has a food itinerary all mapped out for them, Kuan-Ting shared his concerns about piling on extra kilos during his time in Singapore. “I think I probably will bring more exercise equipment and gear – because I hear Singapore has a lot of good food and I’m worried about gaining weight as filming progresses (laughs). I need to work out too.”
Playing a Taiwanese cop in this drama has its perks – he’s looking forward to running and high speed chase scenes. “So I can save time exercising and conveniently work out on set and burn some calories too,” he chuckled.
Desmond Tan wants to work with Jolin Tsai
Playing a scion of a large corporation, the bulk of Desmond’s scenes will be between him, Blue and Taiwanese actress Joanne Tseng in Singapore.
“She and I play high school classmates and grew up in similar environments. I might play a secondary school student – a ‘younger’ version of myself… I’m excited ‘cos I’ve seen their works and I hope to give the audiences a different [viewing] experience.”
After working with Taiwanese ‘goddess’ Amber An on The Big Day and ‘queen of idol series’ Joanne, who else does Desmond hope to collaborate with in future?
“I’m not sure why Jolin Tsai’s face popped into my head (chuckles). She looks so cool in her recent pictures and she hasn’t acted in a long time, so I’m putting out a love call to Jolin here… I hope to work with you and act with you in anything…
“I’m not a hardcore Jolin fan but I admire her work attitude and how she transitioned from being a singer to a singer-dancer, plus I think she has great fashion sense. I was most impressed by one of her stage performances from last year – her dancers were all at least a head taller than her, but that did little to diminish her stage presence, and she sang seven songs in a go. It was really impressive,” he quipped.
Will Sheila Sim be pushing back her 'baby' plans?
Like Kuan-Ting, Sheila will be playing a cop in Singapore and will need to undergo some physical training to get ready for the role.
So will this put a dampener on her childbearing plans, especially since she and her banker husband intend to start trying for a child in February?
“Actually, I haven’t thought about it and… I don’t dare to tell him about it yet,” she laughed. “I haven’t told him I play a female cop and don’t dare to tell him that I will be doing some action scenes. So, well, now the secret’s out (laughs). But work takes precedence, if I do get pregnant then, I’ll probably talk it out with the director to see what kind of precautions we can take.”
Hugh Jackman would love to do a sequel to 'The Greatest Showman' if the script was "right".
The Australian star portrayed the late American showman P. T. Barnum in the musical movie and would jump at the chance to don his top hat again.
He said: "If a genuine opportunity came up where it felt like the right thing to do, then yep, I'd get the top hat back out."
However, the 'Logan' star admits that with Disney buying 21st Century Fox - who released the movie - it could prove a challenge to get the much-loved characters, including Michelle Williams' Charity Barnum, Zendaya's Anne Wheeler and Zac Efron's Phillip Carlyle, back on the big screen.
He admitted to reporters: "We have a situation in the business where the company that did it has been sold to Disney, so there are a lot of spinning plates right now."
Jackman says that musicals are hard work, but that the experience was one of the "greatest joys" of his life.
He continued: "I'm not sure what they would do, but it did take a while to get the first one up, and it's not to be underestimated how difficult it is to get a musical up and going.
"But it's clear to me and to everyone that people love these characters. I loved this movie, I loved this character and it was one of the great joys of my life."
The 'Wolverine' actor also revealed that he auditioned for 2001's 'Moulin Rouge', but the leading part of Christian ended up going to Ewan McGregor - who starred alongside Nicole Kidman's Satine - and that he was also keen to star in 2002's 'Chicago', but after not getting the former role, he decided to give up.
He told reporters: "I really wanted to be in 'Moulin Rouge', I auditioned for that one.
"'Chicago' was another movie that I wanted to be in, and I kind of let that one go."
Meanwhile, Jackman recently announced his first world tour.
The 50-year-old actor will perform 'The Man. The Music. The Show' for multiple dates across Europe and the United Kingdom, before he heads to the United States for shows in the likes of New York City's Madison Square Garden, Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena and Los Angeles' famous Hollywood Bowl.
Hugh will perform tracks from 'The Greatest Showman', 'Les Miserable' and more from Broadway and films, accompanied by a live orchestra.
The mammoth run of dates kicks off on May 13 at the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, followed by shows at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, the Lanxess Arena in Cologne and the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam
Anne Hathaway has reportedly been offered a leading role in a 'Sesame Street' movie.
The 36-year-old actress is said to be considering taking on the part in Warner Bros.' live action musical, although she is also fielding an offer for Robert Zemeckis' upcoming project 'The Witches'.
According to reporters, Hathaway is being considered for a big part in the film adaptation of the popular childrens show.
'Portlandia' director and co-creator Jonathan Krisel is set to be at the helm of the film, while Shawn Levy will produce alongside Michael Aguilar.
While Mike Rosolio wrote the first draft of the script, the most recent was penned by Chris Galletta, at Warner Bros. Sesame Workshop - which has the rights to the show - will also be involved.
Hathaway is said to have been offered the role of Sally, which is the name a girl who appeared in the first first episode of the show and was given a tour of Sesame Street where she met many of the beloved characters.
The educational series first premiered in 1969, and combines live-action and puppetry with animation with a host of Jim Henson characters including Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, Cookie Monster, Elmo and Oscar the Grouch.
In 2015, 'Sesame Street' signed a five-season deal with HBO - after years on PBS - and Levy continues to work on the series after coming on board in 2012.
Meanwhile, Hathaway - who recently starred in heist blockbuster 'Ocean's 8' over the summer - will soon be seen in thriller 'Serenity' and comedy 'The Hustle', while she also recently finished work on Netflix drama 'The Last Thing He Wanted'.
She also has previous experience with 'Sesame Street', having sang 'I Want A Snuffleupagus For Christmas' with Big Bird and Snuffy during the 1007 holiday special 'Elmo's Christmas Countdown'.
Are you a light or heavy packer? Organised or messy? A last minute packer or a well-prepared traveller?
These were a few burning questions we posed to the cast of Channel 8’s newest long-form drama series Jalan Jalan at the show’s press conference in October, where we invited them to bring and share with us some of their must-have travel essentials when they are on an overseas trip.
It was an intimate session, to say the least, with the actors airing some of their insecurities and deepest, darkest secrets, and we had it all captured on camera.
We picked up a couple of interesting celebrity trivia about the cast of Jalan Jalan: there is a self-professed fitness nut who needs to work out every day when he’s travelling because of his sweet tooth; a gadget girl who can’t live without her arsenal of techy stuff (even though it weighs a ton); and an idiosyncratic traveller who packs two of everything, just to name a few…
This week, we have Joel Choo who plays the youngest of the Zhang siblings, Zhang Wei Jun, an aspiring singer-guitarist who harbors lofty ambitions of making it big in showbiz. In reality, Joel was first a singer (he’s a member of local band Maxime), before he officially dipped his toes in acting and made his debut on Channel 5’s Faculty last year.
Joel endeavours to be a minimalist traveller when he’s on the go but something about his style of packing and the things he brings seem to suggest otherwise.
Take for example, during his maiden trip to Tokyo for several band gigs in Japan with his group, Maxime, he had a suitcase full of clothes to “battle the cold” but ended up only wearing less than half of what he brought in his “huge bag”.
He recounted bringing three different jackets of varying thickness, five different sweaters and two pairs of shoes (“in case, you step on snow or something y’know, it gets wet and you can change your shoes,” he said) and went through all that trouble of lugging it to Osaka for nothing.
Clothes aside, he’s also the type of person who travels with bags of varying sizes – each to serve different purposes (watch the video below as he explains more). But if there’s one item that he tends to bring “too much” of when he travels, it’s socks.
“I don’t know why but I always bring double the quantity [of socks]. I’m scared I’d dirty my socks…” Joel said, letting in on his irrational fear of going a day without a pair of clean socks.
Makes us wonder how he survived his outfield training during his NS days.
#1 Extra bags
“I’ll always bring extra bags. So this is a recyclable bag – sometimes when you buy stuff and they don’t give you a plastic bag, you’ll need a reusable bag. This is a smaller bag, in case you want to travel light and just need your passport and wallet, and this is a bigger bag to put your passport [and] more stuff, basically… but I end up using the bigger bag only and the recyclable bag will be in it. [As for] the smaller bag, I don’t know why I always bring it but I don’t use it.
“You never know if in the middle of the night you just want to go to the convenience store and it’s dangerous [to bring all your stuff along]. (Ed: Why don’t you just use your bigger bag?) I’m not satisfied if I carry a big bag and there’s only a wallet inside, there’s no body to it and it just feels uncomfortable.”
#2 Film camera
“It’s a film camera ‘cos you know you look cooler when you hold a film camera. It’s like [as if] you know your [photography] stuff. So I just bring a camera even though it’s very heavy and half the roll of film just turns out crap [after developing the pictures]. But I just bring it [anyway]. Then I’ll just post the nice pictures and they’ll be like ‘Eh, he knows how to operate a film camera’. It’s very pretentious lah (laughs).”
#3 Pillow case
“You can’t really trust Airbnb pillows. They say they’ve cleaned it but you don’t know whether they’ve [really] cleaned it or not. I’ll really always bring a pillow case! And I’ll use my own pillow case. (Ed: what about bedsheets?) I think [caring for your] face is more important lah. You’d rather get rashes on your body than your face, right?”
#4 Extra earpieces
“I’ll bring headphones or earpieces, and I’m always afraid I’ll lose or spoil my earphones along the way so I’ll bring two extra sets of earpieces.”
“I have this notebook [because] it’s cooler to write where you’re going… [Like] this was from my previous Taiwan trip [when I visited] Shida Night Market [and wrote] how to get there, what to eat etc. You can’t read my handwriting – only I can read my handwriting. Some countries have cute stamps too, so when I went Taiwan, I kept stamping all the random stamps at its monuments and famous places.”
Hong Kong singer Pakho Chau gave an interview to promote his upcoming 13th album All About Love in Hong Kong on December 3.
He shared that the album is actually a wedding anniversary gift for his wife, and that he is looking forward to getting her a physical copy soon. He also shared that they celebrated the special occasion by going on a trip to Thailand.
During one of Pakho's recent concert tour stops in Jiangmen, China, the staff from the hotel he stayed in leaked photos of his identity card online, causing Pakho to be understandably upset. "That is illegal, just because I'm a public figure does not mean my privacy can be invaded like that," he fumed.
Sadly, that was not the first time Pakho's privacy has been violated. "I've been secretly photographed in a locker room before," he said. "Some would say that this happens because people admire me. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but that includes me too, so I'm here to make my voice heard."
Chinese actress Ma Rong was admitted into the hospital on Sunday morning (Dec 2) with injuries that she claimed came from her ex-husband, Chinese actor Wang Bao Qiang. The actress’s mother, who was with her at that time, was also injured.
According to Ma Rong, Bao Qiang had brought their kids out without her permission. When she went over to his house last Saturday (Dec 1) to bring them back, the two had a conflict with each other, with Bao Qiang threatening to kill her, according to Ma Rong. As a result, the actress called the cops.
Ma Rong’s mother also backed up her story, adding that this was not the first time Bao Qiang had brought their kids out, preventing Ma Rong from seeing them. According to her, Bao Qiang had shattered the glass, threatening to hit Ma Rong, causing them to hide in the house and call the authorities for help. When the cops arrived, Bao Qiang, along with five other individuals, rushed into the house, pinned Ma Rong onto the bed, and hit her for close to ten minutes.
However, Bao Qiang refuted Ma Rong’s accusations through his manager. The actor’s side of the story is that Ma Rong had rushed into the house with a weapon, scaring Bao Qiang’s mother, who fainted and had to be sent to the doctor.
Security footage from the camera outside the apartment
Later, CCTV footage from Bao Qiang’s residential complex was leaked, showing Ma Rong and her mother outside Bao Qiang’s door with a weapon. They were seen trying to damage the security camera with a weapon, but failed eventually, following which they broke into Bao Qiang’s property to create a disturbance. The entire affair lasted for around 10 hours, and was vastly different from what Ma Rong and her mother claimed.
An insider also revealed that Ma Rong had called an ambulance to the scene herself, and that the pictures of her injuries were taken by herself, while she was lying on the floor.
Ma Rong shared more about the incident through her friend, revealing that the apartment is actually jointly owned by her and Bao Qiang. As their divorce is not finalised yet, she did not actually break into Bao Qiang’s property.
She also shared that the entire incident, including clips where she was hit and insulted, had been recorded down in her phone. However, her phone had been snatched away by Bao Qiang, which was why she’s unable to reveal the clip.
She then ended off by asserting that she had followed the law when visiting her children, and that it was Bao Qiang who had broken the law. Thus, she will request for the law to place sanctions on his visitation rights in the future.
If you’ve been keeping up with Jeffrey Xu’s social media recently, you’d know that the actor has jetted to Malaysia to film the much-anticipated remake of The Little Nyonya. With a production budget of S$32 million – about ten times higher than that of the original – the drama will be filmed in various locations in Malaysia and China and is slated to wrap filming in early 2019.
Among the star-studded cast and crew are the main stylist of Chinese TV series Empresses in the Palace, along with Chen Minzheng, who recently went home with the Golden Horse Award for Best Makeup & Costume Design for Zhang Yimou’s Shadow.
The familiar faces returning to the series are Dai Xiang Yu (formerly known as Dai Yang Tian), along with Xiang Yun, and Jeffrey rounds up the list of local actors who are in the main cast. The roles of Jeanette Aw’s iconic characters, Huang Juxiang and Yamamoto Yueniang, will be taken on by Chinese actress Shane Xiao (also known as Xiao Yan), and Qi Yuwu’s character Chen Xi will be played by Taiwanese actor Kou Chia Jui.
Toggle spoke to Jeffrey soon after they started filming, and while he admitted that he admits to feeling the pressure of being a part of the remake of such a well-loved series, he mused that he will try his best not to let it get to him and express his role of Huang Tianbao (originally played by Andie Chen) naturally.
How Jeffrey almost-but-not-quite met Jay Chou and Hannah Quinlivan
With sky-high expectations for the series, especially from those who watched the 2008 version, we asked Jeffrey how he feels about the inevitable comparisons that will come. “If you watch the remake of The Little Nyonya, you’d feel that it’s totally different from the original,” the 30-year-old said. “I’m confident that we won’t do too badly this time around.”
Jeffrey described the experience of preparing for his role – and working with a mainly foreign cast that he has never worked with before – as a good learning point for him. “When you’re working with overseas actors, the way they work might be very different from what you’re used to, and this is something that you need to learn as an actor and someone in showbiz,” he said. “With fellow local actors, we’ve built up a rapport while working together and we understand each other’s acting style a little better, so we’re able to share ideas easily, but that might not be the case for people you’re working with for the first time.”
Working with an international cast and crew has given Jeffrey numerous unforgettable memories, as he recounted his first meeting with Chen Minzheng. “I thought he’d have a really artistic aura around him, but the first time we met, he said, ‘You’re pretty, but why do your eyebrows look like crescent moons?’” Jeffrey chuckled. The makeup artist then took matters into his own hands and did Jeffrey’s makeup personally, with the actor sharing, “It’s not easy to do that for my eyebrows, and anyone who can draw my eyebrows well is really amazing.”
It hasn’t all been good news, however, as Jeffrey narrowly missed out on meeting Jay Chou and Hannah Quinlivan when they popped by for a visit. “Jay is friends with (our cast member) Darren Chiu, and the actors’ resting area and makeup unit are on the same floor,” he explained. “They came over to say hi but I wasn’t around at the time.”
Are those wedding bells we hear for Jeffrey Xu and Felicia Chin?
After we were done with talking shop, it was time to ask about Jeffrey’s future plans, in particular, one relating to a certain Instagram post with a picture of a lion that was captioned with, “Our future home……”.
We couldn’t help but to ask if that was a hint that he and girlfriend Felicia Chin are finally ready to bring their relationship to the next level, to which he shared, “There are only 50 prints of the photo of the lion in this world. I’ve been wanting to buy it for the longest time, and one day, when I saw it at the ION art gallery, I couldn’t help but to finally bring it home.”
Letting on that he has yet to hang it on his wall, he revealed that he and Felicia will do the honours together after they move into their matrimonial home. “Buying a house together is something that we’re planning, but as of right now, we’re still putting our focus on our respective careers,” he said. “At the very least, I have to finish my work for this year before we can sit down and think about this together.”
Taiwanese singer-actor Jimmy Lin’s love for fast cars and racing is something that is pretty much common knowledge by now. The 44-year-old has an impressive garage filled with Ferraris, Lamborghinis and McLarens, and has his own racing team.
Recently, it was reported that the singer-actor had paid NT$100 million (approximately S$4.44 million) in cash for his newest purchase — an exclusive, one-of-a-kind LaFerrari. As China has been cracking down on celebrities for suspected tax evasion recently, the 44-year-old’s purchase was made on the down-low.
After the reports were published, Jimmy immediately released a statement clarifying his purchase.
“The car is my dream sports car, and used to belong to a friend, who cherished it for three years (before selling it to me).” he shared.
When asked if he had really paid NT$100 million in cash for the car, all Jimmy would reveal was that the asking price for the car was “a value-for-money amount”, as the seller is a friend of his. He also added that as the car is a second-hand car, the asking price was cheaper as well.
It is understood that there are only 499 LaFerraris worldwide, and that when the brand was brought in to Taiwan by a dealer in 2014, it was rumoured that there was only one car available for sale.
At that time, the car had been sold for NT$77 million (approximately SGD$3.4 million). The car is now out-of-production, and is said to be a rare find.