Charmaine Sheh Eagerly Sought to Play Cameo Role in “War and Beauty 2”
With the television wars between TVB and new local stations about to erupt full force later this year, TVB planned several heavy-weight dramas, such as War and Beauty 2 <金枝慾孽貳>, The Confidant <大太監>, and Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄 2>. Although the initial War and Beauty was a runaway success, the sequel has met a lukewarm response to-date due to its cast of mainly new additions. It was reported that producer Jonathan Chik (戚其義) urgently requested Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼) to guest star in War and Beauty 2, in an attempt to add much-needed star power and audience appeal.
Released in 2004, War and Beauty set a trend in the rise of scheming palace ladies television series. The genre was currently extremely popular in mainland China. Eight years later, TVB hoped to recreate its former success by filming War and Beauty 2. Unfortunately, the sequel will allegedly stray from scheming palace ladies and focus on love stories in Forbidden City instead.
Furthermore, original cast members such as Bowie Lam (林保怡), Gigi Lai (黎姿), and Maggie Cheung (張可頤) have already left the company. The sequel featured an independent story with Moses Chan (陳豪), Sheren Tang (鄧萃雯), Ada Choi (蔡少芬), Christine Ng (伍詠薇), Kenny Wong (黃德斌) and Alice Chan (陳煒)–a cast which retained only two stars from the initial War and Beauty.
With the current cast in War and Beauty 2 criticized by fans to be weak, producer Jonathan Chik allegedly asked Charmaine Sheh to guest star in several episodes of the sequel. Charmaine had an outstanding per series management contract with TVB. The War and Beauty 2 cast will be heading to Hengdian, China to shoot on location. Since Charmaine will also be in Hengdian filming mainland drama, Marrying Into a Rich Family <嫁入豪門>, she has allegedly agreed verbally to guest star in War and Beauty 2. However, clearance from Charmaine’s management company was still pending.
Jonathan Chik’s Series Suffered Poor Ratings
Although Jonathan Chik was an esteemed producer at TVB, creating memorable classics such as War and Beauty, Secret of the Heart <天地豪情>, and At the Threshold of an Era <創世紀>, his recent series have failed in ratings. In recent years, Producer Chik’s series have been experimental in nature, revolving around controversial topics such as cannibalism in When Heaven Burns <天與地> and serial killers in Master of Play <心戰>, which garnered 27 points in ratings in its initial week of broadcast and 103 audience complaints.
While Producer Chik’s departure from conventional topics appealed to younger audiences, his recent dramas failed to connect with middle-aged audiences, which make up the core of Hong Kong viewership ratings:
Dance of Passion <火舞黃沙> 2006- Lowest rating was 27 points. Weaknesses: Boring plot and filming in the dry deser. The main actresses, Charmaine Sheh, Ada Choi, and Gigi Lai looked haggard.
Gem of Life <珠光寶氣> 2008- Lowest rating was 24 points. Weaknesses: Revolved around the conflicts among the elite society, alienating audiences. The complicated character conflicts and agruments drove audiences away.
Fly With Me <飛女正傳> 2010- Lowest rating was 25 points. Weaknesses: Experimented with a cult genre, borrowing elements from Hollywood and Korean productions; accused of plagiarism. Ada Choi’s acting was criticized to be exaggerated and the theme to be unrealistic and difficult to understand.
When Heaven Burns <天與地> 2011- Lowest rating was 21 points. Weaknesses: Featured cannibalism and moral ethics in its theme. The numerous metaphors in the series was difficult to understand and alienated housewives, which made up a key component of local viewership. When Heaven Burns was one of the lowest TVB dramas in ratings in recent years.
Let It Be Love <4 in Love> 2012- Lowest rating was 25 points. Weaknesses: Loose plot. Aside from Moses Chan and Charmaine Sheh, the remaining cast members such as Wai Ka Hung (韋家雄) and Tracy Ip (葉翠翠) had little drawing power.
Source: Next Magazine # 1160 via ihktv.com
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Jayne: I do believe that if Producer Chik asked Charmaine to appear in “War and Beauty 2,” she will likely say yes. However, if the sequel features an independent story, then there is little need to have Charmaine’s character return, other than to add to the star power of the series.
Probably she is too busy to even cough out a ya… and I suppose she may be available for guest starring role.
I think Charmaine will do it, since she appears to be very grateful towards the roles Jonathan Chik has granted her in the past decade.
Guest starring would only require her to film for a few days.
Earlier, Chow Yuk Ming weibo-ed Charmaine and said Jonathan and him is plotting to make her agree to appear in WAB2 and Charmaine answer ambiguously. Basically they are teasing fans 😛 and I guess that’s where Next magazine got the content for this article.
thanks for the explanation. It may be too early to tell if Charmaine will guest star in “War and Beauty 2” or if that was the original intention.
I really hope charm can do some guest episodes. It’ll be so sad to not see her in any upcoming tvb series. :'(
BTW f/ that pic, I really like how they used to do her soft eye makeup in ancient series. Now it’s too much eyeliner.
Charmaine was beautiful, innocent and most of all looked very natural in WAB1 but as for now I’m quite doubtful if I’d give her a high weightage of good impression because her plastic surgery seems very thick & obvious on her face + her body curve looks quite bad/haggard these days.
What do you mean by plastic surgery? Charm haven’t had any plastic surgery so I’m somewhat confused of what you are refering too. if you are talking about her make up is not as light as it was in the earlier days I can still understand but saying she have had plastic surgery is just too much!
Jupi, I believe your experience of identifying a plastic person from a non-plastic person is very much lacking. With more trained eyes, you’ll understand and accept what I mean.
Believe me if we compare each others knowledge of plastic surgery, make up techniques, and beauty knowledge overall hands down I know more than you. I have been following Charm since 1999 and I can say she have haven’t undergo any plastic surgery.
Old pic of her:
compared to a recent pic
if you still think you see things that I don’t please pin point it out.
I think what tony said was correct. I also do sense she did quite lots of plastic surgery which was particularly obvious in 2003 and onwards.
Please analyze her eye areas, chin, cheek& jaw areas carefully if you’re really as observant and experienced as you claim.
The old picture that you claimed of her is not that old actually. Please dont let your emotion & obssession of her to cloud your basic human judgement.
Charmaine did not have plastic surgery. She did not even bother to do any surgery for the scar under her chin back then. Now I don’t know. Her body has always been that way, small waist except now she is too thin. The changes you see now as compared with back then is a natural process called old age as in people do grow older and skin’s elasticity does loosen up, etc.
Agree with with, Funn Lim …….. “Charmaine did not have plastic surgery. She did not even bother to do any surgery for the scar under her chin back then.” Do you know how did she have a scar under her chin? I am surprised that she did not even bother to get rid of it. Perhaps she had so much confidence in herself that she did not think a scar would affect her appearance and acting. Good and brave actress!
Charmaine looks pretty much the same. Just her nose looks different now, it could just be that she lost the baby fat on her face. Beside her nose, I think everything else she looks same.
Sehseh would be the best person to explain but from what I remember she was driving when her car hit a pole and glass shattered and her chin was cut. I remember seeing the pictures and thinking luckily she did not cut her face badly. You can see the scar very evidently in a lot of series. Whether she fixed it recently I do not know since I didn’t pay attention.
Or was it when she was at home and she fell onto the glass table? In fact I can’t remember which is which. All I know is at one point she was rather accident prone. PRobably too tired from working. SEHSEH!! CAN TELL AH?!?!?
Funn, thanks for your answer. I had the feeling that Charmaine did not have that scar some years ago, but I noticed it in all her recent drama series (latest one “4 in Love”). I was a bit surprised that she did not have it fixed (or she did it many times already and could not have it removed).
Anyway, I admire her brave decision (if she does not care). Being a top-notch actress, it is still a scar on her beautiful face. But she seemed to be able to overcome it with her improved acting in the last few years.
Thanks for your link. I just viewed Charmaine’s photo taken when she was crowned 2nd runner-up in Miss Hong Kong competition. She looked so young and skinny. I like her better now.
In fact, she looked her best about 5 to 6 years ago. She looks a bit mature now, but her good acting makes it up for her.
Funn, the scar on her chin was due to accident at home, when she crashed on a glass table because she was over exhausted. She was filming PITNOL back then and went back to filming less in one week. It didn’t heal and became an inch long scar. It didn’t bother her that much, but if she were to get plastic surgery to remove it, no one have the right to criticize. For me, as a woman I will cry my eyes out and try any possible way to remove scar in my face. That is one of the reason I admire her.
I thought she looked worst now! When she was crowned she was voluptous. Now too skinny!
Sehseh I remember she had quite a few accidents so I was right about the at home incident. I think her scar has faded because I didn’t notice.
Normally you won’t notice the scar unless the camera went up close, or you meet her in person.
Thanks, sehseh, for your information. Poor Charmaine, she got her scar in such a stupid accident. I do admire her, too, for this. I would also try my best to remove the scar if I have one, and I am not a top-notch actress in Hong Kong. Any woman would try to have the scar removed unless she is very “ordinary”.
I thought she got it from a car accident, because I did not remember seeing her with such a scar in old days.
There are so many young girls these days to have plastic surgery to fix their chins, noses, eyes, or faces, plus those breasts in-plants, while our dear and beautiful Charmaine couldn’t care less. Very brave girl!!!
Pretty sure Charmaine didn’t undergo any plastic surgeries. She didn’t even bother to remove the scar under her chin. That’s why I love her! You can tell most of the artists did.
“While Producer Chik’s departure from conventional topics appealed to younger audiences, his recent dramas failed to connect with middle-aged audiences, which make up the core of Hong Kong viewership ratings”
Ahhh let me tell you why and my own personal experience…
“Dance of Passion 2006- Lowest rating was 27 points. Weaknesses: Boring plot and filming in the dry deser. The main actresses, Charmaine Sheh, Ada Choi, and Gigi Lai looked haggard”
It wasn’t boring seriously and yes dry brown dessert is just so colourless but frankly it is really because there is nothing new about the story. And some actors were not great casting decision. They all looked haggard because it was a very faraway filming location. And the ending was all wrong.
“Gem of Life 2008- Lowest rating was 24 points. Weaknesses: Revolved around the conflicts among the elite society, alienating audiences. The complicated character conflicts and agruments drove audiences away.”
Because it was too long! After stories ended, they rewind and all over again and some plots jumped. If the story was proper, if they stick with Ada’s story and not time jump, it would have been a rather good story. Complicated characters and arguments drove audiences away? So what made audiences switch on to watch that “let’s all clap and sing and dance and laugh like Har Yu did” series?
“Fly With Me 2010- Lowest rating was 25 points. Weaknesses: Experimented with a cult genre, borrowing elements from Hollywood and Korean productions; accused of plagiarism. Ada Choi’s acting was criticized to be exaggerated and the theme to be unrealistic and difficult to understand.”
plagarism has never stopped audiences from tuning in. Ada was actually ok, perhaps there was no likeable character in it or rather Ada’s character isn’t likeable, Moses isn’t exactly box office draw and maybe it is just too weird for everybody’s taste. Unrealistic? If we can accept in Jonathan Chik’s world NOBODY is ever ever poor, how can we not just accept a woman can get super powers and fly? It was realistic within its context.
“When Heaven Burns 2011- Lowest rating was 21 points. Weaknesses: Featured cannibalism and moral ethics in its theme. The numerous metaphors in the series was difficult to understand and alienated housewives, which made up a key component of local viewership. When Heaven Burns was one of the lowest TVB dramas in ratings in recent years.”
The one that divided audiences. Again Moses isn’t exactly box office draw, the constant black colour was bleak, so called cannibalism maybe drove some audiences away but my feeling is it is the pretentiousness and the so called stylised performance/presentation which isn’t stylised since everybody is in black looking mournful isn’t really a stylised presentation, just bleak drove core audiences away. Also maybe some acting, also a mediocre story pretending to be some high level intelligent discussion on social whatever also drove people away. Some will say this series was excellent; some will say it was ploddingly slow to the point it should have been a movie.
“Let It Be Love 2012- Lowest rating was 25 points. Weaknesses: Loose plot. Aside from Moses Chan and Charmaine Sheh, the remaining cast members such as Wai Ka Hung (韋家雄) and Tracy Ip (葉翠翠) had little drawing power.”
AGAIN Moses Chan is not exactly box office actor so to speak. Charmaine Sheh was ok, yes the rest were rather not so known but the real problem is there is nothing special about this series’ ploddingly slow take on love and love and love. If Fly With Me was unrealistic, then this is worse. The only time I really liked this series was the last 2 episode involving UFO and some out of this world sequence. if not, frankly why audiences tuned out is because seriously, there is NO story or rather nothing to justify the number of episodes. It just goes in circle.
Master of Play is also the same thing. It reminds me of some low budget Wong Kar Wai movie with dialogues that no human beings will speak BUT the main thing is the apartments are so darn big. Since money is not an issue, then the usual relationship, killing, etc is an issue.
And if you notice, ALL of these shows same casting so maybe audiences are just bored with the pairings. And also mostly, there is no storyline. Most are like dissertations of something which seriously is not enough to justify 20 or 30 or even 70 episodes.
But then there are Wong Kar Wai fans so everybody has their own cup of tea that they enjoy. 27 isn’t that low.
Sigh… I meant to say opinion, I said experience. I meant to say desert, I wrote dessert!! Jayne, I need the EDIT button!!
@Fun, witch dessert do you like?!?! 😉
Human liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.
couldn’t say any better than you Funn, well said 🙂
I agree with your comments, Funn. All the dramas you mentioned above did not make me want to rush and finish them at all.. and they always have almost the same casting which are not my favourite
War & Beauty – An excellent production in terms of script (particularly those difficult old Chinese dialogues), acting, scenes, costumes, music, photography, etc.
Dance of Passion – Pretty good script, excellent acting, but terrible photography. The drama looks too sandy in colour, which makes it dull, lifeless and not appealing at all.
Gem of Life – Dragging too long in story developments. Acting not bad. Just too long for this kind of storyline ….. 70+ episodes. Lost interest towards the middle of the drama.
When Heaven Burns – Enjoyed watching this drama series. Excellent acting, very good dialogues and pretty good storyline, good scenes, photography, and music.
Master of Play – too much killing and bleeding. Not interested in it. Acting should be pretty good.
And Master of Play, can anyone sympathise with a killer who kills indiscriminately? If he kills bad people as in criminals, maybe but can you feel for such a killer who kills because he was offended or kills because he dislike that person?
dont thnk the sequel wll be good…
I don’t understand why Jonathan Chik likes to use the same people over and over again. That is what ticks me off the most. His dramas are also really long – 10 episodes shorter would have made the overall production much more enjoyable to watch. Other than that, I applaud him for not following the conventional formula and I hope he keeps on doing that.
His dramas suffer poor ratings, but from what I know, WHB has a pretty large cult following, and I feel that MOP will have that too.
I’m sorry but to say this WAB sequel gonna fail hard as the script and those leads are so much outdated and sux bad. For example, I dont think having a lesbian scene in WAB is interesting at all, it gives me a creep watching those “aunties” level to kiss and caress each others. And Sheren as “gwai yan”? oh my, she can passed as a “ci’xi” level at that age.. Honestly speaking, I don’t think the casts could pull a good rating anymore..they’ve long passed their lime light moment and are now advancing to “mothers” roles..
I agree with you Veejay and I personally did not even enjoy WAB 1 and did not even get why it became so popular in the first place? I guess my personal taste usually does not match with the general audience. Series that I like, most don’t like and vice versa…
Hey, it would not be a bad idea seeing Sharen in the role of ci xi but she may be leaving TVB so who knows? She may act in that role in China series or another company? I think she has the looks and skills to play that role…
Hey, me too. It seems like we both have a very same preference that not many ppl know how to appreciate.
I’ve started to impress with charmaine’s beauty and innocent acting when she 1st started to film with TVB during her younger days and Sheren when she moved away from cheap dull character into a more domineering (ancient like) acting style.
I believe that they cancelled the lesbian scene 😮
Maybe they will replace it w/ Moses and Eddie kwan gay love “farewell my concubine” style.
Moses and Kenny Wong as star crossed lovers. This is one pairing waiting to happen. Everytime I see them onscreen and because they’re sorta same height and they always speak very closely to one another I always thought “kiss.. kiss…kiss”
Moses and Eddie BL – ok, shot me if you can.
Yeah, I’m not optimistic about this series either. Plus, whilst the original WAB was a mega-hit in 2004, the television landscape has since become saturated with palace series. It’s not going to be easy for WAB2 to differentiate itself from the rest of the pack.
That lesbian scene will be a turnoff, just wait for complaints. Jonathan Chik should have a WAB 2 to follow up but this spin-0ff sounds dead before it even started.
I, for one, am not holding my breadth.
Arent they all too old to be concubines???
Not too old but maybe too old to be new or favoured concubines. Maybe TVB should make a series called cold palace.
A series abt “cold palace” certainly sounds more interesting to me.
Some gone insane, others given up hope all together while some still hopes to make a comeback, LOL. Actually it could be very interesting to explore the interacting between those in cold palace.
Or TVB can introduce plastic surgery so those in cold palace can get an extreme makeover and capture the heart of the emperor (again or for the first time) and wreck havoc in palace, LOL.
Or better yet, a favourite of the emperor got chucked inside by some evil concubine and since the emperor never visits the cold palace, she will have to fight crazy concubines and what nots until the emperor rushes in to save her but because she was so pissed off, it will take him some time and maybe 10 more other concubines in between before she forgives him and rises to power and quash all others once and for all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *cue evil laughter*
Haha, reading your comment made my think of “crazy dolls/zombies” in the forbidden city. The emperor with his fav. concubines fight for their lives, LOL.
i think i have only ever really liked two of jonathan chik’s productions – “cold blood, warm heart” and “secret of the heart”. i wasn’t really a fan of “war and beauty”. it had a minimal plot but tons and tons of tedious dialogue. i think that’s the problem with most of his later productions – excessive cryptic dialogue which takes a lot of time and effort to digest and understand. “gem of life” started off ok but i quit watching it after 50 episodes because the story just wasn’t progressing anywhere. i actually watched “when heaven burns”, but all in one go during a weekend because the story was too difficult to follow when watching one episode a day. actually, with most of his series, you could take your eyes off the screen for two seconds and lose the plot completely.
No, I don’t think I enjoy Jonathan Chik’s series especially the 2 recent ones, When Heavin Burns and Master of Play.They seem so dark and morbid, too serious for many of us, I would think. Besides, there’s quite a lot of thinking to be done and that does not suit a lot of people too.
I think they should either not have Charmaine in it at all or have her in the whole series… It’s gonna look so forced if they’re just having her in it fora few episodes…
Charmaine should really start acting in dramas with different people or a different producer…Series like:
– The Drive of Life
– Can’t Buy Me Love
– Beyond the Realm of Conscience
– Forensic Heroes 2
All gained some good ratings!
Hmm, I’d have to disagree. Good ratings=/=good series. Not necessarily.
The only recent Charmaine series I’ve enjoyed was the one with Dayo Wong – not perfect, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. The rest above were a complete bore to me and CBML is an insult to viewers’ intelligence. (As for BTROC, someone should tell Tavia to work on her “evil” skills – in case she still thinks she did a good job. Michelle Yim can pull off the eyes bulging out of their sockets glare, but Tavia… it’s an even bigger failure when you’ve got all that eye makeup that screams I’M EVIL and the whole performance still seems flat. Okay, the script itself was sh** anyway, but still…)
“Can’t Buy Me Love” ……… a stupid and silly drama series. Agree that “it is an insult to viewers’ intelligence”. Can’t stand clapping and singing (raps) in Chinese ancient drama series. A total waste of the artistes’ talents.
Oh. I didn’t know he produced Secret of the Heart and At the Threshold of an Era. Moses can just go away, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Gallen Lo time and time again.
As for Jonathan Chik productions, I appreciate the freshness he’s trying to instill in his recent works, but the execution is seriously lacking and steeped in pretentiousness. Perhaps he needs to find a partner to collaborate with; he can come up with the gist of the story – the backbone of it all – and allow someone else to build upon it and take free rein. However, he may have to wait quite a loonnnggg while to find (ratings) success, since the majority of viewers are middle-aged/housewives (who prefer shows with a lot of “heart” and drama). As my mum can attest to, “When Heaven Burns” was a sleepfest. (Personally, I can’t take it seriously when I’ve just seen Moses+Charmaine clapping/singing in that idiotic “comedy” series. What, then they turn around and act all haughty like wannabe Wong Kar Wai stars?)
Dance of Passion – I don’t think the plot was boring, but the persistent orange hue made it really dreary to look at.
Gem of Life – Story-wise (business rivalries, family conflicts), this was quite in line with the usual themes of many past and present TVB series. I think the main problem was that the series was simply way too long.
Fly With Me – I personally rather enjoyed the series, but I can see how it’s considered bizarre.
I haven’t watched the latest Jonathan Chik series (When Heaven Burns, 4 in Love, Master of Play) so I can’t comment about them.
I’m sad that Charmaine is only going to be a guest star. After Sheren, I thought Charmaine did the best among the leading actresses. I’m glad Ada is able to join the cast.
I don’t understand why Dance of Passion gets a bad rep. The article is so misleading. DOP as a whole averaged well in the mid and upper 30s.
Jonathan Chik really needs to produce a series with higher ratings. His series constantly rank in the bottom half when it comes to ratings. Regardless of how much critical acclaim his series gets, TVB is a business looking for profit, not critical acclaim. Chik needs to prove that he can still attract a large audience.
Out of that list, I only liked Dance of Passion, but mainly for Ada, Gigi and Bowie. So… I’m kind of looking forward to WAB2 since its not just Charmaine and Moses.
charmaine is sooooo out. guest star for one ep won’t boost the ratings much.
What do you mean by “charmaine is sooooo out”? I think you meant “in Hong Kong only”. She is very well-paid in Mainland China and very popular, too.
That person gotta be joking if any guest starring episode will increase the ratings significantly. Maybe a spike in that particular episode, but overall weekly rating? Nay.
But fans of the original WAB will find it nostalgic – that’s what cameo and guest starring in this sense (WAB2) are for.
With that I hoped at least Bowie & Gigi can cameo too. Wishful thinking from me 😛
Good idea! Producer Chik should get Bowie Lam and Maggie Cheung to show up as guest stars. I don’t think Gigi Lai can do it as she is pregnant again.
I hope Charmaine doesn’t appear as a guest star. I love her acting, it always seems natural. Heck, my whole family loves her. I want to see her taking part in big-scale productions like Beyond The Realm Of Conscience and Moonlight Resonance instead of prioritizing Jonathan Chik’s offered roles just because she feels indebted to him. His dramas don’t seem too interesting to me.
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