A cast of fresh new faces may be one of the reasons that have contributed to the early critical success of TVB’s new prime-time television drama, Inbound Troubles<老表，你好嘢！>. The drama sees the comeback of former ATV actress, Joey Meng (萬綺雯), in her first TVB drama. Disc jockey Bob and Corinna Chamberlain (陳明恩) receive their first star billing in a television drama. Inbound Troubles also marks the TVB television debuts of singer Ivana Wong (王菀之), Louis Cheung (張繼聰), and Tommy Wong (黃光亮).
As Divas in Distress <巴不得媽媽… > was the drama the propelled Eliza Sam (岑麗香) to “goddess” stardom, Inbound Troubles is the drama that contributes to the rising success of newcomer actress May Chan (陳嘉佳), better known as Siu Po (小寶).
Siu Po plays “Little Tiny,” the best friend of Wong Cho Lam’s (王祖藍) character, “Choi Sam.” At a hefty 230 pounds, the name “Little Tiny” takes a stab at irony, but with her round face and cheerful demeanor, Siu Po’s performance can definitely brighten up the television screen.
Siu Po was born in Shanghai. At two years old, she and her parents immigrated to Hong Kong. Siu Po expressed that she, much like her character “Little Tiny,” is a dedicated lover of food. “I love to eat too much,” said Siu Po. “I eat many meals a day and, many of these meals are foods very high in calories. I do not like wasting food, so I overeat a lot. The fat I have now is from years and years of accumulation. I used to gain ten pounds every year. An earlier report said I was 220 pounds. Right now I am 230 pounds. It is a gift from winter!”
Often, the 27-year-old felt inferior and distraught because of her obesity. “Normal men would not pick a fat girl to be his girlfriend. I get jealous when I see people dating. I’ve never dated before! I had a few crushes here and there in high school and after I graduated, but it was always just me crushing on them. I did not have the courage to confess my feelings! I knew what their answer would be, so why should I bother? My mom knew I wouldn’t be able to find anyone with the kind of body type I have, so she never bothered to talk about marriage with me.”
Faced with pressure and criticism by her weight gain, Siu Po decided to undergo a strict diet regime one summer, in which she lost up to 40 pounds, reducing her weight to 140 pounds. “I ate nothing but fruit or veggies. I also swam every day for two hours.”
However, the weight was all gained back in the following years.
When she was younger, Siu Po and her parents would move back and forth to mainland China from Hong Kong. Siu Po expressed that her mother knew she was not very good in school, so she convinced Siu Po to pick up piano when she was 11 years old. As a grade 8 piano graduate, Siu Po earned a teaching certificate, and has worked as a part-time piano teacher during college.
Recommended by Wong Cho Lam
Before joining TVB earlier last year, Siu Po worked as an office worker in the business district of Kwun Tong. Siu Po had a small role in movie, Short of Love <矮仔多情> and they remained in touch. Siu Po was recommended by Wong Cho Lam, who also took part in writing the script of Inbound Troubles, to TVB producer, Wong Wai Sing (黃偉聲). Siu Po currently has a two-year management contract with TVB.
Viewers were quick in warming up to Siu Po’s buoyantly charismatic performance in Inbound Troubles. Netizens refer to Siu Po as a “new kind of goddess.”
Siu Po laughed at her “new goddess” title. “I think I am more of a pork chop goddess!”
Reports indicated that because of Siu Po’s rising fame, Friendly Fire <法網狙擊> producer, Man Wai Hung (文偉鴻), has expressed interest in casting her for his new drama. Siu Po explained, “My schedule is booked, but [Man Wai Hung] has not contacted me. If I do film, that means I cannot go on a diet yet. After all, I do want to be a true goddess. My ideal weight is 120 pounds. I hope I can find a weight loss sponsorship program soon.”
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