Lately, it was ostensible that TVB has been facing a massive drain of talents. Apart from the departure of their former no. 1 big sister Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼), TVB also had to face an influx of arduous problems, such as the recent poaching trend and the disheartening rejection by their former veteran leading Siu Sangs actors, which sought to threaten their ascending position in the television industry.
Faced with a lack of illustrious artistes, TVB has no choice but to heavily promote the current first line and second line Fadans actresses under their wing to fill in the empty position previously occupied by Charmaine Sheh. Amongst the many Fadans, it was known that the senior management staff highly looked upon Fala Chen (陳法拉) and Kate Tsui (徐子珊) to have the most potential to be their next No. 1 big sister hence issuing orders to strongly promote them in the upcoming year.
As for Tavia Yeung (楊怡), because she is publicly recognized to be Charmaine Sheh’s good sister, there was a huge possibility that Tavia would switch over to rival station, Ricky Wong‘s (王維基) City Telecom, hence resulting in her being conveniently left out of the promotion list in recent days.
Despite her former rumor of being romantically linked to TVB major stakeholder, Shell King Charles Chan (陳國強), already being a thing of the past, Kate Tsui continued to dominate the television screens and the media spotlights of Hong Kong, acting in six consecutive television series this year through the strong promotional support received from TVB Production and Resource Director, Virginia Lok (樂易玲). It was indeed apparent that Kate’s public exposure rate was one of the highest amongst the Fadans actresses!
On the other hand, alleged Stephen Chan‘s (陳志雲) camp member, Fala Chen, was also rumored to have received a huge boost in career prospects due to Stephen’s uprising return to office. In a true testament to Stephen’s unwavering dominance, it was known that the road ahead had already been steered and paved for Fala to star in three heavyweight dramas in the upcoming year. Given that Kate and Fala were experts in fawning the senior management staff, it could indeed be said that one of them might be on their way to filling in Charmaine’s former No. 1 big sister position anytime now!
Words stinging with sarcasm
In fact, during the start of the “Lives of Omission” celebratory banquet held previously, the two Ah Jies actresses cum leading cast members of “Lives”, Fala Chen and Kate Tsui were pulled together by media reporters for a group photo and at that time, Kate had specially appeared in a tight-fitting T-shirt which bore the name of her character, “Paris”, in “Lives” thus successfully becoming the center of attraction for that night. Sensing that things were going awry, Fala immediately blasted at Kate, “Your top is so tight!”. After posing for the group photo, Fala and Kate then excused themselves and fled the scene to fawn over the respective senior management staff.
On 11 October 2011, the cast and crew behind “Lives of Omission” was thrown a celebratory banquet by TVB Executive Deputy Chairman Norman Leung (梁乃鵬), who had forked out his own money for the dinner. It was known that during the banquet, the two female main leads Fala and Kate separately displayed their charismatic prowess by fawning over the senior management staff present, discreetly vying with each other in hopes of becoming the No.1 big sister next year.
When the media finally gotten hold of Fala and Kate, reporters abruptly asked them about being heavily promoted to replace Charmaine Sheh as the next big sister of TVB. In reply to this, Kate responded, “It is really too soon to tell. In fact, I think that I still have a long way to go. I would just, as per usual, do my part well and that would be enough.” Fala, on the other hand, replied, “Well, I think it’s best to wait and see how things progresses at the end of the year. I’m actually feeling extremely pressurized in recent days from the filming of upcoming TVB ancient periodic drama, The Palace Schemes of East and West《東西宮略》. Furthermore, I would immediately be starting filming for another upcoming drama, Prominent Family《名媛望族》, after filming wraps for “Schemes of East and West”, it’s really toilsome.”
Fala Chen strikes out
At the “Lives of Omission” celebratory banquet, during the photo-taking of the cast members, it was rather discernible that Stephen was on close terms with Fala as he had held her slightly by the waist and took especially good care of her by arranging for her to stand in a prominent spot. This in turn left Kate with no choice but to stand at the more secluded spot situated on the extreme left.
Integrating herself with Virginia Lok
Despite being a member of the Stephen Chan camp, Fala Chen, who always knew the importance of pleasing the high-ranking executives, had in recent days, positioned herself near Virginia Lok. On the day of the celebratory banquet, Fala had approached and shared a private talk with Virginia straightaway after the group photo.
Kate Tsui’s turn to strike
Trying her best to fawn over Stephen Chan
Although Fala was ingenious to think of such a tactic, Kate was no simpleton either as she took the initiative to sit beside Stephen Chan and stroked up a conversation with him. In fact, the duo were getting along so well that they often broke out in laughter in the midst of their tête-à-tête and judging by Stephen’s expression, it seemed that he was rather receptive to the sudden turnabout of attention given as well.
Received huge praises from Norman Leung in front of everyone
Furthermore, as the celebration continued, TVB Executive Deputy Chairman Normal Leung sang Kate’s praises in front of everyone, applauding Kate for being a dedicated actress and giving it her all during filming, “Paris (Kate) was professional throughout the entire filming even during the many intimate scenes with Bosco Wong (黃宗澤), extremely good!”. Upon hearing this, Kate instantaneously reciprocated by stepping forward to toast a drink to Norman Leung and Virginia Lok, undoubtedly not letting loose of any chance to get chummy with the senior management staff.
Collating a list of actors and actresses to heavily promote in the upcoming year
Earlier on, Fala Chen had professed over Weibo that there was a level of difficulty in the speaking of Cantonese dialogues hence she looked forward to the day she could act in English and Mandarin.
An insider revealed, “The bunch of senior management staff held a meeting last month and they included Mona Fong (方逸華), Norman Leung, Stephen Chan, Virginia Lok, Catherine Tsang (曾勵珍) and Tommy Leung (梁家樹). In that meeting, they discussed and collated a listed of Fadans actresses and Siu Sangs actors that were to be heavily promoted in the upcoming year. Amongst the Fadans actresses, Virginia Lok and Tommy Leung strongly recommended Myolie Wu (胡杏儿) and Kate Tsui as the duo were willing to work hard and persevere. Norman Leung, on the other hand, explicitly fingered Kate out for being a versatile actress who was unrestricted in her acting routes and who could act in both good-natured and villainous roles. As for Stephen Chan and Catherine Tsang, they threw their explicit support behind Fala Chen as they felt that she had the audience fate. However, during the closed-doors meeting, someone hinted that Fala shouldn’t be included in the list as she wasn’t even that articulate in her Cantonese dialogues yet hence she wasn’t capable enough to lead a drama series on her own for now.”
Secured roles in heavyweight productions due to their respective camps
Due to the respective authoritative backing received, it was still vague whether Fala or Kate would end up the cream of the crop and the eventual no. 1 big sister of TVB. It was however understood that Fala had already been confirmed for three heavyweight productions next year and they were “The Palace Schemes of East and West”, “Prominent Family” as well as the highly anticipated follow-up sequel, Triumph In The Skies 2《衝上雲霄 2》.
Analyzing further, “Schemes of East and West” may jolly well be Fala’s much-coveted big break as her role as Zhong Wuyan presented a rare opportunity to develop the character and to flex those acting chops of hers. Furthermore, the next two productions that she would be starring in next year were both heavyweight productions with a stellar cast. For starters, “Prominent Family” would be helmed by a star-studded cast consisting of Ron Ng (吳卓羲), Tavia Yeung (楊怡) as well as acting thespian Damien Lau (劉松仁) and Idy Chan (陳玉蓮).
As for the second heavyweight drama, “Triumph In The Skies 2”, it would be a follow-up sequel to the popular 2003 TVB classic, Triumph In the Skies《衝上雲霄》, which had long been planned due to the overwhelming requests received from fans of the original drama. The insider continued, “With the support of *GM Stephen Chan [*TVB General Manager of Broadcasting Affairs], all the dramas that Fala would be shooting were upcoming heavyweight productions and even the roles were specially accustomed for her.”
As for Kate Tsui, it was revealed that she has nothing to fear as Virginia Lok had already paved a smooth road by arranging for her to act in “Triumph In the Skies 2” such that she would be continuing her onscreen affinity with former “Lives of Omission” co-star, Bosco Wong. In fact, it was anticipated that the duo would be sizzling up television screens with their intimate scenes, like in “Lives”, thus turning this collaboration into one of the selling promotional points for “Triumph 2”.
The insider divulged, “Actually, Virginia Lok had already laid the bricks for Kate Tsui for quite some time now. Other than the two heavyweight productions next year, Virginia would be on the lookout for overseas film studios to shoot for Kate so that she could follow Charmaine’s footsteps and break into the Mainland China and Southeast Asia markets. Furthermore, the company would be starting filming for the movie version of “Lives”, Turning Point Extreme《潛罪犯》, for which Kate would be the main female lead and after that, Kate would be acting in yet another grand production which starts filming in March 2012.”
Although Fala and Kate were both heavily advocated by the respective influential personnel in the company, it was recognized that Kate had gained a upper hand in the category of people-orientated skills. However, in any case, with two Fadans vying for the top position, it sure looks set to be one cut-throat spectacle to look out for!
Kate Tsui’s kissing scenes in “Triumph” far more interesting, making Fala Chen’s pale in comparision
On 11 October 2011, around 4AM in the morning, Fala Chen and Kate Tsui arrived at the airport to film the 2012 TVB Sales Presentation promotional clip for “Triumph In The Skies 2”. Although both actresses had filmed kissing scenes for the trailer, it was perceptible that Kate did not deliberately avoid and instead gave it her all by kissing Bosco Wong on the lips whereas Fala Chen, who had to consider her status as a prospective daughter-in-law of the Neway group, opted for a strategic positioned “kissing” scene thus making hers pale in comparison to Kate’s earlier liberating acting performance.
[Caption: Standing in a strategic position to “kiss”
On the contrary, Chilam Cheung (張智霖) and Fala Chen used a camera trick to appear to be kissing, when in actual fact, the duo stood quite a safe distance from one another]
[Caption: Rehearsing before shooting the scene
Kate Tsui put on an affable charm, goofing around and laughing with onscreen boyfriend Bosco Wong and held amiable discussions with director Gao Laozhong (高佬鍾)]
[Caption: Treated fans with disdain
Fala Chen, on the other hand, spotted a black gloomy face and treated fans with disdain when they requested for a photo together with her.
However, upon considering the overall situation, Fala finally forced a smile and acceded to their requests]
Kate Tsui winning by a small margin this year
Just as Fala Chen is in good hands from the protection of Stephen Chan, Kate Tsui also has a strong backer in Virginia Lok. However, with that being said, Kate Tsui does look set to be ahead of the rivalry by a small margin as she had starred in more grand productions than Fala this year and furthermore, TVB would be paving the road for Kate to conquer the movie industry next year thus making her one notch above Fala in the tussle for the No. 1 big sister spot.
Kate Tsui – OVERALL WINNER
Filmed a total of 6 dramas in the year 2011
Guest Starred Drama: Dropping By Cloud Nine《你們我們他們》
Drama series: A Great Way To Care《仁心解碼》, Relic of An Emissary《洪武三十二》, Wax and Wane《團圓》, Lives of Omission《潛行狙擊》and Forensic Heroes 3《法證先鋒 III》
Would be filming a total of 1 movie and 2 dramas in the year 2012
Movie: Lives of Omission: Turning Point Extreme《潛罪犯》
Drama Series: War and Beauty 2《金枝慾孽 2》and Triumph In The Skies 2《衝上雲霄 2》
Filmed a total of 3 drama series in the year 2011
Drama series: Links To Temptation《誘情轉駁》, Lives of Omission《潛行狙擊》and Grace Under Fire《女拳》
Would be filming a total of 3 drama series in the year 2012
Drama series: The Palace Schemes of East and West《東西宮略》, Prominent Family《名媛望族》and Triumph In The Skies 2《衝上雲霄 2》
Source: Sudden Weekly, Next Media, HKTV Channel, nitpic.com
This article was translated by Ah K, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com.