Wong Cho Lam Listened to Mother’s Advice in Picking Leanne Li

By on January 29, 2013 in NEWS, Star Interviews

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Wong Cho Lam’s (王祖藍) talents in comedy have long been recognized. A graduate of  The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Wong had initially set his sights on scriptwriting and directing, but he fell into acting haphazardly. Finally fulfilling his wish, Cho Lam’s first scripted drama, Inbound Troubles <老表,你好嘢﹗>, has earned critical praise and good ratings.

Assessed Market Needs

Cho Lam felt that since 1997’s Show Time Blues <樂壇插班生>, comedy has been a genre that steadily decreased in boldness in TVB dramas. “I felt that something is amiss. People ask what type of comedy I wish to film. If I can achieve the level of Family Squad <卡拉屋企>, I am already very happy. I am not original, but I just wish to hold onto Hong Kong’s strength in comedy sketches about society.

“I felt that Super Snoops <荃加福祿壽探案> can be more crazy. However, [TVB] scriptwriters rarely write comedies. When they write The Hippocratic Crush <On Call 36小時>, then it’s exciting to watch!”

Cho Lam has his eye on the Best Drama award and is not interested in the Best Actor award. While writing the script of Inbound Troubles, he pondered what elements in a drama would generate high ratings and critical acclaim. When Heaven Burns <天與地> had generated critical acclaim, yet it suffered in ratings.

“In recent years, there are dramas that have good ratings, but not good reviews. Although the ratings are high, netizens do not like them. I hope to win both ratings and reviews. Actually, we consulted with some Hong Kong Golden Forum guys in a meeting.” Cho Lam added that Wu Fung (胡楓), was cast to portray a Hong Kong Golden Forum netizen in the drama to avoid online criticism due to his veteran status.

Cho Lam Custom Tailors Script for Cast

Cho Lam deserves much of the credit for his carefully penned script and casting, which reveal a sharp eye and attention to details. Cho Lam wanted Roger Kwok (郭晉安) from the start due to his ability to draw audiences, which was especially important since the drama featured many TVB non-regulars, such as singers Ivana Wong (王菀之), Louis Cheung (張繼聰), and May Chan (陳嘉佳).  Cho Lam first thought of casting Ivana while writing about the character entering a singing competition; her beautiful voice while singing “Brother Brother” moved many and Ivana’s performance has been highly praised.

After the cast was locked in, Cho Lam further refined the script to custom tailor their lines for maximum humor. In Inbound Troubles, Roger’s character often utters, “There are so many questions every day,” which make a reference to his wife, Cindy Au’s (歐倩怡) song.

Cho Lam said, “We only made a suggestion; Roger decided to go ahead and do it. Some artists do not like to put their personal matters on the table. We hope to resurrect Cindy Au’s career. For example, Joey Meng’s (萬綺雯) I Have a Date With a Vampire <我和殭屍有個約會> is such a classic; how can we not borrow a bit from it? Each comedic angle is custom-tailored for the artist.”

Cho Lam’s carefully crafted script was well-appreciated by the cast. Cho Lam had suggested Wong Kwong Leung (黃光亮) to portray his father, and due to their close physical resemblance, many people thought they were truly father and son. On set, Wong Kwong Leung was the most quiet artist and said appreciatively, “Cho Lam, after reading the script, there is not only humor, but there is actually a message in there.”

Cho Lam described his script, “There are tears within the humor. We didn’t haphazardly put together a comedy and call it done.”

Viewers will notice that Cho Lam saved the best punch lines for his costars, while sidestepping away from the limelight when necessary. Although he created the script, he reminded himself to exercise restraint for his own character when applicable. “For many scenes, I intentionally told myself to step to the side. The main love relationship arcs do not involve me; it falls on Roger! I originally wanted to ask Leanne Li (李亞男)  for a guest scene, as a gimmick or humorous scene. Although we may treat it humorously, we were afraid that others may be dissatisfied!”

Mother Noticed Leanne First

The script for Inbound Troubles required nearly 6 months to complete, which took away Cho Lam’s time to spend with girlfriend, Leanne Li. “Throughout last year, she complained about me, that it felt akin to not having a boyfriend. She asked me not to be a scriptwriter again. The person who is most passionately against a sequel in the entire Hong Kong would be her!” Cho Lam joked, “I think Leanne Li took part in filing complaints at the Broadcasting Authority against me!”

Cho Lam’s persistent and patient pursuit of Leanne, which spanned several years, is well publicized. However, Leanne did not initially catch his eye when they met at church. It turned out that Cho Lam’s mother was the first to rave about her instead.

“To be honest, I did not have much feelings towards Leanne at first. One time, I brought my mother to House of Artistes for a barbecue to meet my friends. My mother said, ‘This girl is truly beautiful.’ I thought to myself, ‘How pretty is she? What a big fuss over a small matter.’ When my mother repeated the same thing no less than 10 times, I suddenly found Leanne to be more beautiful each time I saw her. So my mother qualifies as our matchmaker.”

Despite their height differences, Cho Lam and Leanne’s relationship was well embraced by the public when it was revealed in 2010, even managing to boost Leanne’s popularity. However, the dating relationship did not increase Leanne’s jobs. “That’s what I like about Leanne, that she doesn’t have much ambition.”

Cho Lam added that he did not mind the jokes about him being shorter than Leanne. “There’s no need to mind because it’s the truth.”

Source: Oriental Sunday #790 via kuangaitvb.com

36 comments to Wong Cho Lam Listened to Mother’s Advice in Picking Leanne Li

  1. [LyNN] says:

    Haha Cho Lam is indeed hilarious! Well, Leanne is truly beautiful & may happiness be with this wonderful couple!

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    • akari replied:

      Of course they never noticed each other at first…..there must be at least a whole 12 inches difference in their height. When Leane looks straight in front of her, she can’t see him……when Cho Lam looks straight in front, all he sees are her nipples…….hahaahhahaa

      Cho Lam’s mother should have really steered the son into someone his own size……there must be other female dwarfs around.

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      • swtlav3ndar replied:

        According to dramawiki, the height difference is only about 4 inches, not at least 12 inches as you stated. Also, there is no way Wong Cho Lam is considered a dwarf, just short.

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      • sandcherry replied:

        This is what I found on Google:

        “5’4 Wong Cho Lam is dating 5’9 Leanne Li; The relationship …” The difference is 5″, not 4″ nor 12″.

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        Leanne Li is as tall as Nicole Kidman?!

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      • kiki replied:

        hahaha she is probably the only one who didnt mind his short height n everything. i mean, except for this height he is OK average looking i guess and the girl is sooooo not popular so she probably does not care as long as this dude has a bit of talent. i for one, can not date anyone 4 inches shorter than me. i mean, if she wears heels she will be almost 6….its like shes holding to a little brother when they go out. awwwww

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  2. Rachel says:

    awwww they are so cute!!! 🙂 one of the few TVB couples that i will really want to see together forever! 🙂 love them!

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  3. Agnes Tan says:

    I like this couple. Bravo to Wong Cho Lam.

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  4. Khanh says:

    I don’t know why but I don’t find Wong cho lam that funny. But I like him though

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  5. Cynthia says:

    “That’s what I like about Leanne, that she doesn’t have much ambition.” <– Hm WHAT?! Very rarely do I hear this from men speaking about their significant others. I guess he likes the 小女人 type (passive women). I mean I guess it works since he is probably the person bringing the bread home.

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    • Sds replied:

      I’m sure he said it jokingly, or theres something lost in the translation cause in any other way you read that remark its an insult, unless she freely admits and accepts she has noooooooo ambition lol

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    • Gar replied:

      I thought the same when I read that sentence. So by him saying that, does it imply that he doesn’t want her career to surpass his? I don’t think he would be able to withstand his girlfriend being more superior than him.

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      • Sel_fi_wu replied:

        hope he’s joking about liking leanne because she has no ambitions.

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    • skinnymocha replied:

      He’s not belittling her by saying she’s not the ambitious type. The original article used the phrase “野心” which sounds more like the negative, scheming type… (I’m not sure what the exact translation is.)

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  6. [LyNN] says:

    He has the fame while she has the beauty. He does not has the height while she does not has much ambition. Well, simplicity is the biggest blessing!

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  7. Bubblez says:

    awe they are so cute 🙂

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  8. asdfjkl; says:

    “there’s no need to mind because it’s the truth.” yes cholam, embrace the shortness! you still got a tall beautiful girl on your arm 🙂
    i’m glad they’re more widely accepted as a couple now compared to when the news broke out. all the best to them!

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  9. Funn Lim says:

    “Viewers will notice that Cho Lam saved the best punch lines for his costars, while sidestepping away from the limelight when necessary.”

    This I agree and he is generous as a scriptwriter considering he stars in this as well. So far I am enjoying this series immensely but I do feel some laughter is sorta forced, mainly due to the script. It is the performances that saves the day.

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  10. shu says:

    i’d never liked cholam for his silly jokes as fok lok sau,but after watching inbound troubles i begin to like him for his talent as a scriptwriter.

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    • Looooooooooo replied:

      He wil be the next ah Chan.really can’t stand his giggle and laugh.really annoying.6 minute fame and end of story

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    • kiki replied:

      agree, that series i cant even get by the 1st episode but this one i can actually laugh at it hahaa….

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  11. Cloud9 says:

    Harmony Harmony..I will learn

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    • raymond replied:

      haha..i enjoy watching this. damn funny
      In cantanose” wo hai wo hai”
      wtf,haha. But too bad appearance still very important. He cannot really go too far. What to do. fated.. hehe. But he still can be a joker.

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        ” He cannot really go too far. What to do. fated.. hehe. But he still can be a joker.”

        What?! You enjoy watching this series. He is now considered a successful scriptwriter. He is going far, he is branching out.

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      • raymond replied:

        i mean he cannot get any major award not any sooner or forever,but got chance also.example har yu,moonlight resonance until old old then get best actor. hehe. Too bad. What to do. fated. That is life. wanna challenge my words? come back again 20 years later if u still alive.

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  12. happybi says:

    He’s such a talented guy. I find him hilarious. Liking this drama so far as it’s poking fun at things that actually happen! Best of luck to him and Leana in the future!

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  13. snoopy says:

    Well. We just have to wait (and wait and wait) to see if they will truely be ‘together’ and get marry. That is the true test…

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  14. ita says:

    Really enjoyed this series. Even though some jokes resemblance Stephen Chow type of comedy but still enjoyable. Compare with The day to days drama, draggy and boring, what happen to Sunny Chan, his role was getting worse from time to time.

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  15. Djojs says:

    Jo Lam is well funny… Especially impersonating women like his own Handelababy.

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  16. cloud9 says:

    my favorites Wong Cho Lam imitates Jacky Cheung :-
    http://youtu.be/AlQBvzew8uo

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  17. Yo says:

    ” For example, Joey Meng’s (萬綺雯) I Have a Date With a Vampire ”

    Jayne, I’m pretty sure it’s “I Have a Date With Spring”=)

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    • Kidd replied:

      No, it’s not ‘I Have a Date With Spring’. But, Jayne’s translation was not entirely correct either. The english title for ‘我和殭屍有個約會’ is ‘My Date With A Vampire’. This is Joey Meng’s most classic series, which span 2 more sequels and become a trilogy. It even have a cult following.

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        I just realised; My Date With A Vampire and then I Have A Date With Spring. Very funny!! I remember her in that spring series. Or maybe not. Was she the one in blue? Tragic end or something?

        But I do get all the miniskirts for Inbound travelers; an ode to her popular vampire hunter in My Date With A Vampire?

        By the way what happened to the lead actor in that vampire series? I remember he had quite a scandal but then what happened?

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      • Kidd replied:

        @ Funn

        Yes, Joey was the tragic girl in blue.

        The last I heard, Eric Wan is working in Mainland.

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  18. Kidd says:

    Wow, didn’t know that they consulted Golden Forum. I wonder whether they did it openly or incognito.

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  19. Yo says:

    Aw the story was cute.

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