Francis Ng: “My Best Scenes Are With Zoe!”

By on July 25, 2013 in NEWS, Star Interviews

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There are some that say Francis Ng (吳鎮宇) has become more solemn and more unwelcome in his pilot role, but Captain Samuel Tong of Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄 II> is still as popular with the girls as he was ten years ago.

Francis admitted that although he has been actively promoting Triumph in the Skies 2 around Asia, he did not have the time to watch the final product himself. “I have to get someone to record it for me. I really want to know how different I look compared to ten years ago. I heard from the production crew that some of my scenes from the prequel were added in, and told me that I haven’t changed much. Someone actually told me that I looked too mature for my role in the first installment. Now, I am at the appropriate age.”

Sam and Zoe

In the first few episodes of Triumph in the Skies 2, Sam (Francis) was mourning the death of his wife, Zoe (Myolie Wu 胡杏兒) and spent a few months in England before returning to Hong Kong to join Skylette Airlines. Although Myolie only makes a brief cameo appearance as Zoe in the sequel, Francis believed that Sam’s best scenes in the series were those that involved Zoe.

“It’s strange, but I find that my scenes that involve Zoe to be the best ones. I find the scene where Summer (also portrayed by Myolie) allowed Sam three minutes to speak to her as if I was speaking to Zoe to be very interesting. It was not an easy scene to film, but we completed it smoothly. This is the only scene in the series in which I would love to watch again.

“There was also another scene where it talked about how Sam spent a few years traveling the world before returning to Hong Kong to work as a pilot again. After returning to Hong Kong, Sam stays quietly in his room with a very melancholy expression. Everyone asked how I approached this particular scene, and I told them that because my role has never lived in that room before and he never had the need to socialize and meet that many people when he was in England… I really like that romantic storyline of Sam missing Zoe after she passed away.”

In the 2003 prequel, Sam’s touching relationship with Belle (Flora Chan 陳慧珊) ended when she ultimately chose to be with Vincent (Joe Ma 馬德鐘). Will Sam have a similar tragic fate in Triumph in the Skies 2?

“[Triumph in the Skies 2] starts off as a tragedy. There were people who said I looked miserable with the messy hair, but we wanted the audience to understand how my character was feeling at the time. In the prequel, [my relationship line in] the script was not written out to be that way in the beginning. The crew was also surprised at how [the relationship] turned out. When we were shooting in [Italy], where my character and Flora Chan’s character had their one-night stand, I discovered that there were some changes in our roles. The characters and the actors were all yielding to each other, and in the end… that’s how [our relationship] ended. It was a fun ride.”

Filmed “Triumph in the Skies 2” for His Son

Francis was never fond about making sequels, and confessed that he had considered a long time before agreeing to do it. “I didn’t want to film a sequel. I didn’t even do the Old Time Buddy <難兄難弟> sequel. I never filmed a sequel to any of my projects until now. The audience consistently asked why I didn’t want to shoot Triumph in the Skies 2… but understand that I can’t just film everything that’s given to me.”

Francis continued,”The company’s original plan was to film a youthful (idol) version… but the good thing about filming Triumph in the Skies 2 is that I get to stay in Hong Kong and I’ll have more time to spend with my son. It’s good to see my son watching his father on TV. In the past, my son didn’t have the opportunity to watch me, but now he can. This is something that Triumph in the Skies 2 has given me.”

What would his son do when he sees Francis on TV? “He would imitate me and recite the way how I speak my lines. One time I brought him on set, and he strangely asked us why we were standing around when the airplanes weren’t flying. We rarely have time to see each other. I am always shooting movies and having schedules in mainland China. Filming Triumph in the Skies 2 gave a chance for my son to see how I work.”

“Triumph in the Skies 2” Filming Experience

During the production of Triumph in the Skies 2 last year, Francis opened a Weibo account under the name of his character’s name, Samuel Tong. The account had millions of followers within a week after it opened.

“I wanted to try using Weibo and write messages as my character, to see what others think of him. I would occasionally upload stills from the drama on that account. The account allows me to share the tidbits of my character to fans. Everyone is genuinely interested on what I post. After all, these are fans that have been following the character for many years.”

As for whether or not it is true that Francis had arguments with some members of the production crew, Francis said, “TVB’s producers, directors, and set crews work on drama after drama. There would be confusion. Someone wanted to drag a third person in, and I have always been straight-forward in voicing out my opinions when it comes to TVB. I am quite suitable to be the one who yells. If there is something wrong, I will speak out.”

Although the role “Samuel Tong” brought Francis an extra handful of fangirls, the role did not contribute much to Francis’ career in the business. “I did not get a raise in income nor did I get more performance gigs in mainland China. But I had a great time being him. The first installment was a great success because it had a fresh topic. Even the people now still find the series okay to watch.”

Since Francis loved playing the role so much, would he consider returning to film a third installment ten years later?

“I am open to that idea. If I am offered the role again, and the audience still wants me to do it, then that is an honor. But please, do not rewrite a new love story for me. That may be a bit too hard.”

Source: QQ.com

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

51 comments to Francis Ng: “My Best Scenes Are With Zoe!”

  1. jayne says:

    When I watched “Triumph in the Skies”, I was rooting for Sam and Belle, due to the Triangel fated love implications. Even after she married Vincent, I thought Sam and Belle would eventually get together.

    Sam and Zoe were endearing, and their distinct character contrasts made the relationship memorable. I also remember Sam was reluctant to accept Zoe because of the age gap and Francis delivered Sam’s self-doubts well, along with Zoe’s eagerness to win his love.

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    • RLF Lover replied:

      I think I was rooting more for Sam and Belle because I was a huge Flora Chan fan back in the day. Myolie Wu was still a newcomer then so it was hard to affiliate with her. But watching it the second time, I can understand why there are so many diehard Sam&Zoe fans (especially those who had only watched it recently and not when it first aired).

      But is it just me or does anyone just wish that Sam Tong will stay forever single so we can all fantasize about him forever? 😛

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      • Jackson replied:

        It is just you

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      • ppearl replied:

        haha…i’m with you…for Sam to stay single but not to fantasize about him. 😉 it’s for my selfish reason that he has only Zoe in his heart. kekekek 😳 yesh, i am a Sam/Zoe diehard fan/camp. 😳

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      • unknown replied:

        In the sequel of TITS2 they didn’t tell us what has happened to Belle, Donald and Zita characters?

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      • Clementine replied:

        I remember I also rooted for Sam and Belle! Their chemistry was incredible, I remember their first scene together already felt like they belonged. I too didnt really takemuch notice of Myolie back then since she was a considerably a newcomer, but I remember thinking her character was rather annoying at first to me, but I gradually had a liking for Zoe as the story progressed. But even till the end of the first installment, I shipped Sam and Belle. Vincent and Belle were sweet too…too bad Vincent died 🙁

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      • bear replied:

        fantasizing is gd as long as you dont do weird things.

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    • sehseh replied:

      My fav scene of TITS1 is where they are planning to buy charcoal briquette for BBQ and Zoe told Sam that the shopkeeper won’t sell him the charcoals (referencing to Sam glum face and he was wearing a suit, the shopkeeper might misunderstand he want to commit suicide). That was a nice memory of how Zoe teases and make Sam laugh.

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    • pandamao replied:

      In regards to the Zoe and Sam love from TITS1, I believe TITS is one of those few series where fans were actually happy that the two main leads did not get together.

      Let’s not neglect Joe Ma and his stellar performance in TITS1. If it wasn’t for Joe Ma’s portrayal of Vincent, I don’t think fans would be so open to a Sam and Zoe happy ending.

      The death of Zoe was needed to further develop Sam’s character. It was a great opportunity for the audience to experience the mellow side of Sam Tong and see how he’s always thinking about Zoe.

      I’m really enjoying TITS2 right now. I actually watched TITS1 right before the airing of TITS2 to refresh my memories.

      So far – everyone has improved a lot in their acting from 10 years ago. It was most noticeable in Myolie though. The new character, despite not being linked to Chilam or Francis, was a great opportunity for her to shine once again. It also helps that Fala isn’t too much of a competition so far. Of course, Fala isn’t a competition not because she’s a bad actress but because the audience cannot relate to her.

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      • Lamoure replied:

        “The death of Zoe was needed to further develop Sam’s character”

        I disagreed with you. I think that Sam’s character can be further develop with Zoe being alive and married to him. In TITS 1, we see Sam as a mellow/professional pilot who suffered from heartbreak and career block. He then got his career back and someone but indecisive about his feeling, then finally realizes his who his true love is but just to almost lose her to again. Sam character was full of milestones. In TITS, they can show his side of being a husband, someone with new responsibilities, different milestones in life.

        There are so many ways they can develops Sam/Zoe relationship either together or as indiviuals. I still cannot get over the fact that they killed Zoe. Watching TITS 2, but I can’t let go of the happy ending in TITS1 🙂

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  2. Godon says:

    Zoe’s death, to this episode, is still unacceptable and painful to me and the OG hardcore fans….nevertheless, we have to move on.

    “I am open to that idea. If I am offered the role again, and the audience still wants me to do it, then that is an honor. But please, do not rewrite a new love story for me. That may be a bit too hard.”

    For now, I am hoping the series will end, since TITS 2 is not coming together as nice as I thought it’d be, but I guess we have to give it some time. As for 10 years for TITS 3? That may be too long…but I’m all for it if he does decide to come back. But like he said, stick with what’s there already! Or create entirely different characters and storyline.

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  3. TN1 says:

    aww no idea how to go abt a weibo a/c!!!

    I like Francis attitude though, sincere n direct in speech. Bring it on Ironman enjoying ur performance for TITS2 to d hilt!

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  4. RLF Lover says:

    I don’t quite remember how I felt the first time I watched Triumph in The Skies but I re-watched it a few months ago and instantly fell in love with Sam Tong (and later went through a Francis Ng phase). I honestly cannot imagine anyone being Sam Tong other than Francis Ng.

    I remember someone mentioning that Francis Ng had managed to play Sam Tong in the sequel exactly the same way as he did in TITS1 and that’s so true. It is the same feeling and same vibe for me between the two installments.

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  5. Hannahh says:

    Great interview Francis! I love Sam and Zoe too! I love Captain Tong!

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  6. Nicole says:

    My favourite scenes are definitely sam and zoe !

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  7. jayne says:

    I’m glad TVB’s youthful (idol) version of “Triumph in the Skies 2” didn’t happen. Otherwise, we’ll have to deal with newcomers who can’t act, or lots of “heartwrenching” moments similar to “Hearts of Fencing”.

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    • RLF Lover replied:

      It would have completely destroyed everyone’s impression of the original Triumph in the Skies.

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    • Godon replied:

      I’m sure everyone would be like, wtf is this bullsh*t?

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    • krize150 replied:

      TVB wanted to create the same effect as the first installment. Triumph in the Skies helped launched the careers of Myolie, Ron, Sammul, Bosco, Kenneth & Michelle. What worked in their favor was pairing up the veterans with newcomers so that newcomers can learn from the veterans. Also, S4 and Michelle were in supporting roles. TVB took the most risk with Myolie.

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      • Shrimpboat replied:

        Is it true that this was one of the reasons Michelle left? She was lead and Myolie was supporting in Eternal Happiness (2002) and then suddenly Myolie got a bigger role than her in TITS1 (2003).

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      • krize150 replied:

        Myolie was lead in Survivor’s law before she lead in TITS. Survivor’s Law was a bigger hit than Eternal Happiness. The series was one of the successful dramas all lead by newbies. Also, TVB eventually made a sequel in 2008.

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        Yes I remember that series because that made me love Raymond Lam. His Ben was almost perfect. Myolie was ok in there.

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  8. AC says:

    Based on the setup of the first episode with Sam and Belle meeting and the fact they they were the main stars of the series, I definitely thought that they were end game. That’s why I was reluctant to root for them the first time. Also, I though Zoe and Isaac were cute together and I kept thinking that they were going to have Isaac have a crush on her. In the end, I really liked Sam and Zoe together because they were so different yet they made it work because they loved each other.

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    • RLF Lover replied:

      I think those who watch it in recent years might find the Sam & Zoe relationship particularly refreshing despite it being produced 10 years ago. I most certainly felt that way 🙂

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  9. Hope says:

    I love Frances in Old Time Buddy , it’s so hilarious!!!!

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  10. Charbydis says:

    I actually didn’t like Belle’s indecisiveness so I was going for a Sam/Zoe ending, especially after Vincent’s death. Too have Belle accept Sam again after Vincent would be awkward.

    Sam and Zoe had a certain spark despite the age-gap. They somehow made it work. I am quite annoyed at Zoe being killed off in the sequel . I would rather Sam fall in love with a doppelganger Summer than crazy Holly who by ep 9, seems to have no chemistry with Sam. Maybe they will have good scenes later but now, I don’t want Holly to end up with either Sam or Jayden. I keep thinking Holly might be better paired with the younger pilots.

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  11. irene says:

    Hope he will he to accept more assignments in tvb.

    Maybe he night accept so he can see his son more often?

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  12. Agnes Tan says:

    He is still the BEST actor in TITS.
    You can only see Sam Tong in TITS.

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  13. Joanne says:

    I was still hoping Belle can be together with Sam in TITS 2.

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  14. sky says:

    I hope he just works and talks less.

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  15. Funn Lim says:

    “I find the scene where Summer (also portrayed by Myolie) allowed Sam three minutes to speak to her as if I was speaking to Zoe to be very interesting. ”

    Where? WHEN?! I WANNA SEE THAT SCENE!!!

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    • Iris replied:

      That is exactly what I thought! I can’t wait to see that scene.

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  16. llwy12 says:

    Francis is absolutely a brilliant actor. TVB definitely made the right decision when they insisted on persuading Francis to return and even delaying production to wait for him. Triumph in the Skies definitely wouldn’t be the same without him.

    I read another interview with Francis just yesterday and in it, he stated that he actually prefers not to have a script when he performs — instead of giving him a script, he would ask the producer to clearly explain his expectations of the character and then he would execute accordingly. Wow — that’s actually quite impressive….it’s rare to find an actor who doesn’t even need a script and can still perform at 110% (though of course, with someone like Francis whose acting has already reached a certain level, it should probably come as no surprise….)

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    • ppearl replied:

      yes, he’s that brilliant. i listened to the radio interview by Ron and he said that on one scene, both Francis n Ron were going through their script. thereafter, Francis asked Ron to take control of the script and he will just respond/react/act spontaneously. Ron said he was so impressed, first by Francis’ unselfishness to let him take charge and then by his talent to “jip” (in canto -catch/receive).

      he’s so natural that i don’t even find that he is acting at all. he is Sam Tong, naturally. 🙂

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  17. Giakiem says:

    I have many fav scenes of Sam &Zoe in Part 1. There was one scene they standing under the rain and Sam kissed Zoe’s forehead . Another one is when Sam surprised her with the book/CD signed by Eason Chan , Zoe leaned forward and landed amiss on his lips .

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    • Giakiem replied:

      *landed a kiss on his lips

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  18. sky says:

    lol..what’s up with that pix?

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  19. bubbles says:

    After Zoe died, I find no reason for Sam to be with a girl like Holiday. It only makes sense if he’s with Belle. :C

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  20. felicity says:

    I keep waiting for Flora Chan to make a cameo appearance in TI2. In my imagination, Belle would suddenly arrive at the airport surprising Sam and giving him a big hug. Yeah, I was rooting for Belle and Sam to be the OTP back in TITS 1. Zoe was sweet and lovable, but it always seemed to me that Sam settled for Zoe because he was too nice a guy to snatch Belle away from Vincent. Sam and Belle seemed destined for each other, with the triangel doll significance of Sam buying it for Belle (Zoe picked up the doll accidentally but she selfishly kept the doll for herself until much later before returning it to Sam), and Belle kept losing her bracelet only for it to be found Sam. I couldn’t believe that the TVB scriptwriters threw so many “it’s fated” hints between Sam and Belle only to have the two of them end up with other people. It annoyed me at the time that Sam and Belle did not end up together because their chemistry was amazing. I did not like all those missed opportunities, misunderstandings and also Vincent and Zoe’s interference in the Sam/Belle relationship (although individually Vincent and Zoe were good characters and well acted by Joe Ma and Myolie Wu). Now it makes sense to know from Francis Ng that originally Sam and Belle were supposed to be end game but the relationship lines morphed into something quite different while filming.

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    • Lamoure replied:

      Yeah the story lines in TITS 1 does seem to point toward Sam/Belle being together at the end. However, fate does not meant ‘Love’. Sam and Belle may have been fated in meeting and many other chance but I do not think that it really true love. they did love each other in the beginning, and had a second chance to be together after Vincent passed away and when Zoe broke up with Sam. They kissed but then to realized that the feelings they thought they have for each other were in the past. So, I don’t think Sam was settle for Zoe because he was a nice guy and didn’t want to steal Belle from Vincent. In addition, the message Vincent left for Belle before he died also made her realized that he is her true love.

      I’m glad that the director/writers decided for Sam/Zoe as a pair in TITS 1, if not it wouldn’t be the same.

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      • felicity replied:

        Well, yes, Sam and Bell had the chance to be together after Vincent died, but by that time they had both moved on already and it was a bit too late for them as their moment had passed. Relationships are about timing, after all. How could Sam and Belle get together when Vincent just died and she was still grieving for him and wrecked by terrible guilt? Also Sam could not abandon the sick Zoe to be with Belle. It would not be right, Sam is a stand up guy and he chose to do the right thing. Unfortunately for Sam and Belle, their fate was not to be…that I agree with you but disagree that it wasn’t true love. As Vincent wisely told Belle, it’s you yourself who decides your true love, not waiting for the universe to give you a sign. It could have been true love for Sam and Belle if both had grabbed the chance to be together, putting themselves first (instead of being afraid to hurt Vincent) and facing their feelings for each other. But they missed their chance, and that’s life. You don’t always get to together with the one whom you love most passionately. Sam grew to love and treasure Zoe a lot but it wasn’t the same type of intense and passionate feelings he had for Belle. It was quite out of character for a conservative man like Sam Tong to have a passionate one night stand with a woman he just met, that goes to show the instant connection and deep attraction he felt for Belle. Actually, I don’t mind Sam and Zoe as a couple, they work too. But I’ll always wonder “what if”…when it comes to Sam and Belle.

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  21. felicity says:

    Ugh, typos –

    …. waiting for Flora Chan to make a cameo appearance in *TITS* 2….Belle kept losing her bracelet only for it to be found *by* Sam.

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    • Lamoure replied:

      Sam realized he loves Zoe before he know she was sick. The intense passionate love Sam had for Belle was the reason why it is easily faded and passed. It’s more an inflactuation rather than love. The love he had for Zoe keep growing and that the reason it lasted. Sam/Belle kissed which indicated that they were willing to be together after the death of Vincent if the feelings were there, so I don’t think that was the deal breaker.

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      • felicity replied:

        I rewatched TITS 1 a few months ago and I’m pretty sure that Sam and Zoe got together after she fell sick. We’ll just have to agree to disagree about the romantic pairings. I have no intention to change your mind if you’re on team Sam/Zoe. I get that they have a lot of supporters. Likewise, no one can ever convince me that Sam and Belle were not better matached than Sam/Zoe and would have been together happily if their fate were not thwarted cruelly. Sam and Zoe, to me looked like a pair of father and daughter. He dotes on Zoe like an over-protective father would. Lol.

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      • felicity replied:

        Another thing, the reason that Sam and Zoe’s love lasted is because they committed to each other and no one else. It’s a conscious decision that one makes. The reason that Vincent and Belle’s relationship hit the rocks was because Belle had been unsure of her feelings for Vincent and Sam, and was constantlysecond guesskng herself. Belle was not committed to Vincent emotionally even though she was married to him. If he was The One for her, why would Belle even be thinking of Sam and be bothered that she might have missed her chance at true love? There’s a saying that goes – “if you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you’re with.” Sam understood this better than Belle.

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      • Lamoure replied:

        Zoe did told Sam that she was sick when his vision was bad but he didn’t remember. If you watch the scene after Sam/Zoe broke-up, Zoe went to Rome @ the same time Sam/Belle were there. After Sam/Belle kissed and realized that they no longer have romantic feelings for each other, Sam called Zoe but she refused to see him. He then went to his mom’s old apartment where he found Zoe’s medications, he called Paul and asked about Zoe. That is when Paul told him tht Zoe been suffered from congenital heart disease. I literally re-watched the serie right before TITS 2 was broadcast.

        Yeah, we can’t really agreed and we can change each other mind. Afterall these love scenarios were created by dramas writers, not real life. But pairing an older actor and younger actress could most of he time cause the factor of father/daughter feeling.

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      • Lamoure replied:

        I meant *can’t change* each other mind

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  22. Ribb says:

    yeah right! Zoe & Sam forever! Holiday looks retarded.

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  23. Choi1404 says:

    I really unhappy with the poor and little scene of Sam and Zoe part. They have to has more scene about them 2 together but who can know that it is just some scenes….. Btw happy that Francis a top and the best actor with a higher level in acting say that the most important and lovely part is with Zoe(Myolie). Hope to see more scenes about Sam memory’s with Zoe and even in Myolie new character love it. Please more and more Tvb.

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  24. hltong says:

    We want Sam & Zoe back。。。。。。。。。。。。

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