Charlie Yeung Works with Tsui Hark for Directorial Debut “Christmas Rose”

In 1994, Tsui Hark (徐克) directed the film Butterfly Lovers <梁祝>, in which the role of the female lead was played by Hong Kong singer/actress Charlie Yeung (楊採妮), who had debuted just two years prior. Nineteen years later, Charlie took on the challenge of directing. For her directorial debut, Christmas Rose <聖誕玫瑰>, she specifically invited her old friend Tsui Hark to be the film’s executive producer.

Although Charlie has previously said that Tsui essentially watched her grow up and that the two are close friends, she actually took a very circuitous route in order to ask him to accept the role of executive producer. In the end, the one who made the request turned out to be Yu Dong (于冬), the CEO of Polybona Film Distribution (保利博納電影發行).

“When she was writing the screenplay, she asked for my opinion,” Tsui shared. “After the screenplay was finished, she went off to discuss with investors. Afterward, it was Yu Dong who brought her screenplay to me and asked if I was willing to be the film’s executive producer. I said of course I was willing to, but Charlie didn’t directly come find me at all.”

In response, Charlie said the “detour” was due to her respect for Tsui. “I really did want to get Tsui Hark from the start, as well as director Jacob Cheung (張之亮),” she explained. “The two are both very important friends of mine. If I asked them as friends, they would definitely help, but I was afraid that my screenplay wasn’t good enough, so I wanted to get that ready first and then look for investors. At the time, I really didn’t have the courage to directly ask ‘Master’ [Tsui Hark’s nickname] if he was willing to be my executive producer.”

Christmas Rose deals with an alleged case of sexual harassment, a subject that Tsui once said would be difficult for a female director to film. “Afterward, I received a ‘protest’ from a female director,” he shared. “She said that directors are directors – how can you separate them by gender? That’s sexism! Of course, I know that there shouldn’t be sexism in an industry, but speaking as a director, there are some specific subjects in which gender will indeed occupy some sort of superiority.

“For example, with Christmas Rose, Charlie Yeung used her gender to her advantage and put her viewpoints on a few issues into the movie, thus making the movie more exquisite and gaining the approval of all of the actors.”

Despite his praise for Charlie’s screenwriting abilities, Tsui jokingly added that her directing style made him feel a little “discontent.” “She is always very cultured and refined, very courteous, very polite,” he said. “But directors are all strange people, and they all have tempers. For example, I know many female directors who will spout profanity on set, but Charlie Yeung is still very polite to everyone. I asked her why she doesn’t use profanity – how else is she going to relieve pressure?”

Christmas Rose, which will star Aaron Kwok (郭富城), Kwai Lun Mei (桂綸鎂), and Chang Chen (張震), is scheduled to open in theaters in May.


This article is written by Joanna for

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  1. Wow, that haircut has got to go.
    I never thought of her as pretty but that’s not a flattering pic either.

  2. ..another nympho.. oriented movie..sexist but ugly topic which doesnt excite me.

  3. >Christmas Rose, which will star Aaron Kwok (郭富城), Kwai Lun Mei
    >Kwai Lun Mei

    Well, I’m sold. I will buy out the theatre so I get to watch it alone.

    1. dd,
      Speaking as a big Kwai Lun Mei fan? Actually I’m quite impressed by Charlie Yeung in recent interviews and would like to see her directorial debut, as well as Vicki Zhao’s.

      1. Totally in love with her. Cute as hell, all natural and is the best actress in Taiwan. In fact, Taiwanese girls are all so pretty. What happened, Hong Kong? Why do we have so many mingers and haters?

        Also looking forward to Charlie Young’s movie, the kids on this site are too stuck up to give her a chance.

  4. I used to find her so pretty 20 years ago. She had the natural, tomboyish charm that no other actresses had. Now she seems like a regular middle age woman 🙁 I miss her and Nicky Wu together, they were such a perfect couple.

    1. For a middle-aged woman, she looks damn good without benefit of botox or surgery.

      1. She is 38? 39? I actually thought she aged a lot lately. She still looks pretty in that picture but she certainly doesn’t look like how she was back then. Something has changed in her face, I suppose experience and age does that to people/ But seriously, I do think she looks her age which is ok by any standard but by entertainment circle standard, that is considered old.

      2. Taiwanese women leave HK/mainland women dead in the water when it comes to beauty.

      3. @dd

        Well definitely HK women, speaking from personal experience.

        It is no coincident that TVB has to keep import Canadian girls into their roster despite their lack of command of the Cantonese dialect.

  5. With the exception of baby-faced Jimmy Lin, how many people would look exactly the same after 20 years? Every normal person goes through a natural process of aging.

    It’s sad that an attractive actress of 39 is already considered too old by Asians. Many A-list Hollywood actresses are over 40 and are still at the top of their craft and respected.

    1. I was comparing her to Ruby Lin and Vivian Hsu. I guess TW actresses do keep better

  6. the reporters seem to be comfortable with her – I remember noticing that at some jewelry promo where she sounded exactly like so married aunties I have known – still innocent and girlish about being lent jewels for the occasion

  7. i still find her aging okay. she is pretty with her own way, which i could not find this kind of unique beauty in other actresses

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