Jessica Hsuan Portrays Villianess in “Sisters of Pearl”

The entertaining value of a television series is usually attributed to the villain’s role. In recent years, TVB created several memorable villainess roles, such as Tavia Yeung Yi’s character in Beyond the Realm of Conscience <宮心計> and Michelle Yim Mai Shuet in Moonlight Resonance <溏心風暴之家好月圓>.

Replacing Suspects in Love’s <搜下留情> time slot will be Sisters of Pearl <掌上明珠> For the first time in her 17-year acting career, Jessica Hsuan will be portraying a villainess. Sisters of Pearl also feature Bowie Lam, Kiki Sheung Tin Gnor, Michael Tao Dai Yu, Chan Mei Si, and Joyce Tang Lai Ming. Set in the 1960s, the story revolves around the three Chu sisters (played by Kiki, Jessica, and Mei Si) and their family pearl business. Due to the frequent bickering among the sisters over the family fortune, there will be many scenes with the female characters plotting against each other.

No Righteous Character in Sisters of Pearl

Jessica’s character will bear evil and greedy intentions, as she schemes to take over complete control of the Chu family’s pearl business. Jessica will have many scenes opposite Bowie and Michael as well.

Perhaps the most extreme villain will be Bowie, who will play Kiki’s husband. Initially, Bowie was loyal to the Chu family. However, after his father’s death due to unjust circumstances, his personality took a drastic turn and he became a sly schemer. Bowie manipulated Kiki and Jessica’s relationship, causing their sisterly ties to turn sour. He also became involved with Joyce Tang.

Michael Tao will play the Chu sisters’ cousin. His character appears to be cheerful, but he plots with outsiders to usurp the Chu family’s pearl business. Perhaps there is no righteous character in Sisters of Pearl.

A crew member on the set of Sisters of Pearl revealed that Jessica and Kiki did not get along during filming. They had sudden outbursts and disappeared during filming, making the Producer fearful of Kiki and Jessica. Allegedly, Jessica possessed diva habits and requested to nap for twenty minutes on the set [in between filming breaks]. This resulted in the other cast members waiting for her.

Allegedly, when the filming location for one of the outdoor scenes was changed last minute, Kiki was enraged and yelled at other people. Jessica and Kiki maintained their distance from each other outside of their shared scenes.


Jayne: The characters’ scheming to benefit from the pearl business for themselves seems a bit contrived. I also dislike series set in the 1960s; the wigs seem very stiff. Maybe the watching factor for many people will simply be Jessica playing a villainess for the first time.

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  1. Thanks for ur news about Jessica. Hope the rating be high!

  2. I love series set in the 60s. Love the fashion, stiff hair and all. 😉 I do have some reservations about the plot though.

  3. I watched the first episode without the benefit of reading this article first. Imagine my surprise at the halfway point when they flashback to the scenes at the beginning involving Jessica and you get to see the scenes from a different perspective that shed light on Jessica’s character actual scheming nature. I was somewhat taken by surprise and have an inkling that she will not be portraying the same headstrong female character with a strong sense of justice that TVB have caste her in with stereotypical consistency since the beginning of time. In fact she may just be the main villain of the piece, which I thought at the time was a welcome change. The only other time I saw Jessica portraying a character which was slightly against type was in Cold Blood, Warm Heart where she was this innocent weak-will girl who falls victim to Gallen Lo’s extreme villain character. And yet, there she still portrays a somewhat ‘good’ character. So, I was looking forward to the subsequent series even more. But after reading this article with its general synopsis, I am having second thoughts. I like series with internal family conflict but for me a good series has to have both a dark and light side to balance out the point of view from both sides. But having practically all the main characters in the series as conniving villains are imho a tad too much. If this is indeed the case, I don’t think the series will do well in the ratings. Nobody, I’m sure, will want to invest their time over 28 40 minutes episodes with no characters with a motive or moral viewpoint to root for.

  4. @sc2010 — I think an all “villain” cast can be done well. I’m sure they’re not all “evil.” They probably all just want the family business to advance their own personal agendas. IMO, a good villain isn’t evil for no reason. I think a really good villain is someone the audience can sympathize with, even though they may not agree with their actions. But good villains require a good script and lots of character development, and frankly, series like that are pretty few and far between.

  5. QuackieChau. I have always been of the opinion that a good villain is a three dimensional character with motives that we can understand and sympathise with although we may not care as much for the characters. Almost all the classic TVB series with major conflict in their storyline have great three dimensional villains who are not flat out ‘evil’ but are motivated by by legitimate causes at the beginning (such as the will to survive) but somehow lost their way completely at the end. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Some have become villains through sheer obliviousness and false self-righteousness. Case in point, one of the all time great villain in a TVB series, Adam Cheng’s Ding Hai from Greed of Man. We understand about his motivation in doing the things he do, we sympathise with his skewered point of view of the world, but we somehow cannot bring ourself to care for him and there is a big sense of satisfaction when he meets with his comeuppance. The same goes for Deric Wan in Looking Back In Anger, Gallen Lo in Cold Blood, Warm Heart and Vengeance etc. There is always a need for a protagonist to balance out the antagonist in these stories. My biggest worry with Sisters of Pearl is that by having an all villain cast, they might go overboard with the antagonistic elements. Of course, TVB has been in the ratings game long enough that they may turn some of these characters like Jessica from ‘bad’ at the beginning to good at the ‘end’, sort of like a redemptive journey like what they did with the principle characters in War & Beauty. TVB have always known to play the crowd-pleasing card very well, but sometimes they tend to get too sacharine sweet with it, hence the too good to be true and rushed ilogical endings of late.

  6. 60’s isn’t really my cup of tea either, I’m just looking forward to watching Jessica Hsuan

  7. Actually, after watching more of the series, I find that none of the character are villains. Each have their own reasons for doing evil deeds and I find that Jessica’s character might be the least evil of all.

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