Mandy Wong’s Spitfire Persona Helps Popularity Surge Ahead

Times have changed. Playing pure, innocent girls may not win the audience’s heart; rather hateful characters may forge a new path instead. Portraying a pregnant spitfire who scolded everyone in sight in L’Escargot <缺宅男女>, “Kwan Yi So” Mandy Wong (黃智雯) successfully leaped forward. Twenty-nine-year-old Mandy was so convincing in her hateful role, in which costar Michael Miu (苗僑偉) noted that she had the potential to become a  true bat por (八婆)!

Filming non-stop at TVB, Mandy in fact already has her own business, investing in a beauty operation with her parents. Mandy was well versed in finances and often dropped by beauty stores to test products and discover new trends. After visiting the flower market the other day, Mandy went shopping in Causeway Bay. She paid special attention to beauty and skincare stores, often testing products.

Mandy Wong Offended by Nasty Role

When Mandy received the script for L’Escargot last year and realized that she will be portraying the extremely hateful character of “Kwan Yi So,” she pondered how to deliver her onscreen performance. Mandy stated, “The character is deplorable. If the performance is convincing, I am afraid that the audience will scold me. I was a bit unwilling at first and did not wish to accept the role.” Since Mandy was not a first-line fadan with the ability to choose her roles, she had to take whatever opportunity TVB offered.

Scolding Herself in the Car

A contestant in the 2007 Miss Hong Kong Pageant, Mandy Wong possessed a weak and gentle voice, the complete opposite of “Kwan Yi So.” Prior to scolding her costars onset, Mandy made sure to prepare in advance. “Kwan Yi So is such a dominant figure and often shouted at the top of her lungs. I was afraid that my voice would not be vehement enough, thus while driving to work in my car, I yelled nonstop, until my voice opened up. Observing my behavior, the drivers in the other road lanes thought I was crazy!”

Aside from scolding thin air, Mandy incorporated numerous bat por mannerisms in L’Escargot. “I added many minor details to my performance, such as scolding people while picking up food with my chopsticks and fidgeted with my nails. I intentionally dragged on the ending sounds in my lines.”

Mandy’s hard efforts were rewarded. Since L’Escargot was aired, Mandy’s performance aroused lively discussion among netizens. During filming, Michael Miu praised her performance. Mandy recollected, “In my first scolding scene, I had to yell at Michael continuously. My lines were 3 pages long, in which I ran out-of-breath scolding. Later, Michael came over and flashed a victory sign, saying, ‘Yi So, you truly have the potential to become a damn bat por (死八婆)! I had less inhibitions afterward.”

Beauty Business Owner

In L’Escargot, Mandy’s character fought with tooth and nail over the family’s public housing apartment. In real life, Mandy’s family possessed stable financial resources. Last year, Mandy invested a 6-figure sum to open a beauty and skincare store with her parents in a Wan Chai mall. Mandy said, “My mother has been in the beauty business for 18 years and was interested in expanding the operations. I took the savings I had from my previous job as a flight attendant and my current salary from TVB to invest in the family business. Together with my mother, we invested $1 million HKD [on the expansion store].”

Last Tuesday, the reporter visited the Wong family’s cosmetics shop. Although the store was only several hundred feet in size, it was very organized. The products sold were perhaps less known, but upscale items. Mandy’s mother attempted to sell numerous products to the reporter, without mentioning that Mandy was her daughter. On the top glass shelf, was a photo of Mandy, in which Mrs. Wong said happily, “Yes! She’s my daughter!” (She is scolded as damn bat por by everyone now!)  “It is only for acting.” The reporter waited outside the store for hours and observed that business was slow, with few customers. Perhaps Mandy Wong needed to capitalize on her current popularity to promote the store more!

Four “Little Fadans” Scrambling to Climb to the Top

Recently, TVB lost numerous siu sangs and fadans, thus allowing even Natalie Tong (唐詩詠) and Selena Li (李詩韻) to be promoted as first-line actresses. However, there was still a serious shortage of front-line artists. Kate Tsui (徐子珊)、Tavia Yeung (楊怡) and Linda Chung (鍾嘉欣) cannot be cast all the time, which led to the rise of “Four Little Fadans” Nancy Wu (胡定欣), Mandy Wong,  Elaine Yiu (姚子羚), and Cindy Lee (李思雅).

Nancy Wu’s Likelihood of Rising to the Top: 80%

In 2008, Nancy Wu won the “Most Improved Actress Award.” For the last 2 years, she was nominated for “Best Supporting Actress.” Her acting in Curse of the Royal Harem <萬凰之王> was praised highly. Nancy has 3 upcoming dramas to be released in 2012.

Mandy Wong’s Likelihood of Rising to the Top: 75%

Mandy Wong was one of the Top 5 Finalists in the 2007 Miss Hong Kong Pageant. in 2008, she started filming TVB dramas and rose in recognition levels after 2010’s Suspects in Love <搜下留情>. In the currently broadcast L’Escargot, Mandy portrayed a spitfire that vehemently scolded people. In 2012, Mandy can be seen in upcoming dramas, The Hippocratic Crush <On Call 36小時>、Flying Tigers <飛虎> and Policewoman Love Battlefield <女警愛作戰>.


Elaine Yiu’s Likelihood of Rising to the Top: 60%

Elaine Yiu entered the entertainment industry in 2002. Despite her female lead status in Safe Guards <鐵血保鑣>, Elaine’s stardom was mediocre.  Last year, Elaine’s role in Bottled Passion <我的如意狼君> finally led to greater public recognition.

Cindy Lee’s Likelihood of Rising to the Top: 50%

Cindy Lee competed in the 2005 Miss Hong Kong Pageant and hosted TVB’s Sports World <體育世界> for several years. Portraying Bowie Lam’s (林保怡) labor rights employee in When Heaven Burns <天與地> who committed suicide over her disappointed love with Bowie, Cindy snagged the attention of many people.


Source: Sudden Weekly # 861

Jayne: Mandy Wong has been featured in numerous tabloid stories over the last two weeks. Everyone wants to read about Mandy, whether the news is true or fabricated (e.g. lesbian allegations after her heart was broken by Him Law). Surrounded by less extreme characters in L’Escargot, it is natural that everyone’s attention will focus on Mandy.

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  1. I love mandy hope she does well in the future.
    Good luck to her!

  2. Mandy sounds hardworking and serious in her work. It seems that she did her homework before jumping into the scene and act her part. Well done to Mandy and good luck for her. I have seen her potential since she acted alongside Myolie in ACOTOB as the shy girl with glasses.

  3. I like Nancy, Mandy and Elaine’s acting more than Natalie and Aimee’s.

      1. eh i Nancy and Mandy yes but Elanie Yiu??? hmm i would rather promote Natalie and Aimee..her performance in Safe Guards was shocking and wooden and i cant stand it when she cries…@[email protected]

      2. Safeguards was like more than 5 years back you know? If you watch her recent series, you can tell that she made tons of improvement from that time.

      3. Safe guards was 6 years ago. Let’s talk about what happen after Safe guards where Elaine’s acting keep improving and recently she did a great job in BP.

        Natalie acts the same way in all her series. Aimee can only act as bubbly as herself and her Canto is bad.

    1. Elaine’s bad luck when her acting in Safeguard is criticized. But after that, always think that her acting is good.

    2. agree ! i also like selena (though not really in wish and switch lol) nancy and selena are my favorites out of the “up and coming fadans”

    3. I would love much TVB to promote Mandy than Nancy Wu. Mandy acting is much better and so she is pretty doesn’t matter if she cry of she smile. Nancy Wu on other hand is overrated by her fan. She looks okay when she didn’t open her mouth. When she cries she is ugly…I cannot stand her in the Curse series….

  4. haha i laughed at “‘Yi So, you truly have the potential to become a damn bat por (死八婆)!” – who knew being a bat po could be a good thing!! hAHA

    Selina should have been a first line fa dan ages ago but she never gets promoted heavily like ah… Kate

    Selena, Mandy and Nancy SHOULD be first line actresses but whether or not TVB will give them the chance is the question…

    Honestly i don’t see Elaine as a first line actress she doesn’t seem strong enough to hold a series.

    And Cindy Lee? no comment cos i dunno her LOL

    Nancy, Mandy and Selina is a series? It would def be refreshing…!

  5. she look a bit like fala on the above pics. She act quite well, watch her in home trooper think that she can act quite well for new comer.

  6. I think I have seen Mandy act but mostly in supporting roles. There are so many new actresses arising everyday that it is hard to keep track of them all.

  7. IDK if it’s just me, but I’ve always seen this generation’s fadans (being Myolie, Tavia, Linda, Fala, Kate) as weaker in comparison to their predecessors. And I find supporting actresses (Selena, Sharon, Nancy, Elaine, and Mandy) to be much stronger actresses. I really hope they’ll find their success soon!

    1. @Addy

      Agreed! the big 5(Tavia, Myolie, Linda, Fala, Kate) are weaker than current supporting actresses(Selena, Sharon, Nancy, Elaine, Mandy) for me too.

      1. I don’t really agree. I think we have to let them lead the series first before we could judge anything. Some of my favorite supporting actors, when they become 1st line actors, I found their acting turn worse and lost interest. Maybe becoming 1st line actors and actresses mean increasing workload and they cannot spend much time on one role, thus the quality decrease.

      2. It work fine for some: example Ruco Chan and Wayne Lai. Though I agree that for some supporting actors they become worse. Example is Tavia yeung,

      3. @Vivien: Ruco Chan was main lead in ATV series, so he exprienced so. Let’s see how he can do with next leading role.

      4. Vivien,
        “Agreed! the big 5(Tavia, Myolie, Linda, Fala, Kate) are weaker than current supporting actresses(Selena, Sharon, Nancy, Elaine, Mandy) for me too.”

        I think the Top 5 deserve their standing as leading fadans, given the current availability at TVB. Anyone who has visited the website knows there are many former beauty contestants in the company, but in terms of recognition level, looks, and possessing good acting abilities, not many have both.

        Mandy Wong-
        That is why the media is so excited about Mandy Wong! Personally, I think she needs a bit of a more stylish makeover though. She doesn’t seem to have a distinct style of her own, sometimes very tomboy and casual and once in awhile, you will see in her a low cut top for magazine shoots.

        Selena Li-
        Selena Li is heavily utilized lately, Selena had many opportunities last year, including “A Fistful of Stances” and “The Life and Times of a Sentinel.” How is she holding up in “Wish and Switch”? She will lead with Kevin Cheng in “The King Boxer” which will be her big chance, as Kevin is fire-hot now. Personally, I think Selena is a capable actress, but something about her looks and acting style doesn’t make her stand out. I always see her as the good girl next door. Her voice and looks makes it difficult to cast her as strong heroine types (professional types, plotting opportunist, seduction palace ladies). I see her more as damsel in distress in ancient roles, an elegant heiress, or light-hearted comedies are okay too.

        Natalie Tong-
        She is considered first-line now too, after “The Life and Times of a Sentinel” and “A Fistful of Stances.” Natalie’s acting style is the complete opposite of Selena. Natalie’s performance style is more dramatic and there is a certain passion in her delivery, although there is room for refinement.

        Sharon Chan-
        Sharon looks very, very glamorous. We will see how she holds her ground in “Queen of Diamonds and Hearts.” In terms of acting and career path, I think she is similar to Natalie Tong. However, TVB gave Natalie all those recent opportunities that I think Sharon would have done equally well in.

        Nancy Wu-
        I think TVB is treating Nancy very well, shaping her into a character actress. She has played a wide range of characters well. Didn’t Nancy also have professional acting training prior to joining TVB? Producers regard her very highly as well. Casting opposite Wayne Lai in the last 3 years mean something. She will have a bright future ahead.

        Elaine Yiu-
        Before “Bottled Passion,” indeed Elaine had more dissenters than supporters. Now the tide has turned and it is a matter of keeping up her quality acting.

      5. Ok without touching the ‘big 5’ this is my preference rank for the new 5 fadans + some heavily promoted fadans listed above

        1. Nancy
        2. Mandy
        3. Elaine
        4. Sharon
        5. Selena
        6. Natalie
        7. Aimee

      6. I agree with you Vivien and also think that the current 5 fadans are not as good as the supporting actresses. I think TVB is really running out of talented actresses since everyone is leaving their company and expanding their horizons. I wonder who will be next?? Hey, but we know that TVB is going downhill and has more competition ahead of them with all of these new companies emerging. Lets see how they will handle it??

      7. @ Jayne

        Selena portrayed a strong career woman in FH2 and I find her portrayal convincing. So, she can play professional types.

        As for Elaine. Her acting has been acknowledge long before BP. So, it’s not true that before BP, she has more dissenter than supporters. This was only true during Safeguard and Revolving Door of Vengeance time. After that, her acting steadily improved and I have read many good comments on her acting. BP just increase her popularity.

        I don’t like Natalie Tong’s acting. She’s often too dramatic.

        Nancy is an actress I have always have confidence in giving a good portrayal and she has never disappointed me until Curse. She was still good when she’s playing servant. But, after she became concubine, her acting kinda to pretentious (jok jong). I also find she used the same expression in FH3 in Curse. She was brilliant in FH3. But, using the same expression in Curse seem not as appropriate.

      8. Of the current big 5, the only actress I like is Tavia, though her acting has been kind of stagnant lately… but I do think she is quite likable as a person and seems to have good chemistry w/ many of her costars… she also has good on-screen presence. She just needs to redo her hairstyle and give herself a fresher/younger image.

        Linda I also like very much, except she lacks versatility in her acting. She can only do the good/sweet/innocent girl well. Like Tavia, she is also quite likable.. though I can’t see her carrying a series quite yet. Hopefully she will mature and not disappoint.

        Sharon has been in the industry for as long as Myolie and even longer than Kate and Fala, though i cannot see much of a difference in her acting from her role in dream of colours w/ myolie. I still can’t see her as the star of the show.

        Though I think Mandy is the least pretty of all those actresses listed above, I see her w/ the most potential. She brings a little something extra to every role she plays… and it shows with the attention she gets from netizens.

        I still have reservations w/ Nancy and Elaine. Neither have left much of an impression w/ any of their series, though I think Elaine has gotten prettier (plastic surgery w/ her eyes?)

        I personally wished they’d promote Joyce Tang more. She was pretty awesome in armed reaction!

      9. If selena is too breathy, then what about Cindy lee? That girl sounds out of breath and has nasal congestion to boot.

        Selena played strong characters in FH2 and “just love 1”. I think maybe her relationship w/ Patrick tang made her career stall.

        Anyway, I hope Nancy and selena keep getting chances. I think they are versatile and can play the good girl or bad girl role quite well.

      10. Elaine definitely looks a lot prettier than before. I believe she has had her eyes done, but other than that, I don’t see much change. Mainly the eyes, and maybe also a really good nutritional diet.

        Selena is breathy, but I rather listen to her breathe than Natalie’s lazy accent. Natalie is like Aimee – she can be an okay actress, given that she’s portraying the right roles. Aimee was god awful in TOT, and Natalie was almost as bad as her in FH3.

        And I’m so glad I’m not the only one who’s impressed with TVB’s little fadans! I’m already bored with TVB’s Big 5 – it’s by time for the next generation to take over. I’m also curious with who TVB will promote as their next siu sangs. They’re a little harder to guess compared to the little fadans due to less exposure.

      11. I agree about Natalie being too dramatic. She should tone down her dramatic acting and focus on varying her acting in different roles. Right now she appears to use a repetitions of acting method for her different series. If this keep going on she might be as boring as Steven Ma and Tavia Yeung.

    2. I also really like Oceane Zhu and Christine Kuo. Their acting is not up there with the rest of the little fadans I’ve listed above (Oceane is getting there), but I definitely see potential in them. They have a spark of elegance that the other fandans don’t have. They still have a lot work left to do on their Cantonese though.

      1. I like them too. Oceane Zhu has x-factor, and I think Christine Kuo is prettier and more elegant than Aimee even though they do look alike.

      2. Yeah, I actually found Oceane cantonese in “7 days” to be extremly cute, LOL.

        So I don’t mind seeing more of her even with her broken cantonese…

  8. I think Mandy is really hardworking and I think her acting improved a lot. She is really convincing in her role in L’Escargot. Sometimes I can’t help but think she is so “bat por”.

    -Nancy was really great in “Curse of the Royal Harem”. She was so evil and also a convincing “bat por” too. Especially her role in Forensic was really similar. I know that Nancy had many evil roles before but she has really improved a lot.

    -Elaine’s performance in Bottled Passion is a breakthrough for her but I also feel that she is not ready to be a first-line actress yet. But I think she has potential to lead a drama again to build up her skill.

    -Cindy Lee- we haven’t seen must of Cindy in dramas, many people don’t even know who she is. But I do think her acting has improved a bit from When Heaven Burns. I felt she has a long way to go. Her screen time wasn’t even that much. Can’t really say much. I thought they would have mention Sire Ma.

  9. Mandy shines in a lot of her roles. I started to like her in ACTOB. 😀

    1. I also started to like her there and it was my first time watching her. After that I watch her again in SOL with Him Law and I like her more 😀

  10. I wonder why Kate is considered more of a first line actress than Nancy. In my opinion, Nancy’s acting is way better than Kate and has so much more experience, which makes me feel bad for her. I never quite understood the hype of Kate, no offense to anyone. On the other hand, if Mandy’s character is so despicable, that means she’s doing a pretty good job of acting. (:

      1. Lol this quote is so familiar. Few years ago I saw many ppl wrote so about Linda.

      2. I wonder if you have to be under 620’s camp in order to survive or succeed within TVB??? I wish that someone better can manage the artists besides her because it seems like she is driving everyone away with all of her favoritism and unfair treatment. Why is TVB allowing her to do that??

    1. I think Kate she is dealing with TVB executives and other sponsors behind closed doors. Based on her acting she is worst than 2nd, 3rd line actresses!

      1. Exoidus,
        “I think Kate she is dealing with TVB executives and other sponsors behind closed doors. Based on her acting she is worst than 2nd, 3rd line actresses!”

        TVB gave Kate a promotional push after she won the Best New Performer Award at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2007. That same year, Kate won TVB’s Most Improved Actress Award (which I think may have been influenced by the HKFA award she got).

        While I think that Kate’s acting has room for improvement, I think TVB did regard her HKFA win quite significantly. Among the current fadans, no one else has a HKFA award on their resume. After HKFA, Kate’s opportunities poured in, where producers were likely asked to give her a chance.

        From tidbits through the news, Kate sounds like she has a great work ethic and very easygoing personality. Watching the 2011 TVB Anniversary Gala, when she was onstage, the TVB executives all laughed and had very bright smiles on their faces when she cracked jokes. They seem to all like her, perhaps for her personality rather than “dealings behind closed doors.” If anything, TVB seems to not be a place where these type of dealings are commonplace.

        I think Kate has a wild, sexy, forward image that makes her stand apart from other fadans. How many actresses can you think of that fits her “Paris” role in “Lives of Omission” or the upcoming drug queen in “Fight Crime”? She has a fierce look that makes her fit such casting, although acting wise, there is room for improvement.

      2. I agree. Kate has the fierce look that suits such fierce roles although her acting is still lacking. The ‘drug queen’ role in her new series with Raymond Lam sounds tailor fit for her.

      3. I watched Turning Point 2 and although Kate has the HKFA award and is acting right beside Francis Ng, her acting is still awkward especially right in the ending.


        In the ending part, I don’t know what she was trying to show. I find myself agreeing with a review I read before watching about her overdoing her ‘shock’ expression and it becomes a bit retarded looking. Sorry for the crude word I can’t find a more suitable one.

      4. SPOILER:

        but to give Kate justice I thought she was ok when she first seeing Professor as her husband Michael. I think her expression and feeling was right. Overall the movie not that great and you won’t understand much without watching LOO first.

      5. I think Kate’s look sort of reminds me of Mainland actress Eva Huang Sheng Yi, but Eva is prettier.

      6. Eva cannot be prettier than Kate lol.. U must see Eva without makeup to make judgement again then you’ll agree with me lol.

      7. @Veejay,
        Well, if that were the case then many of the actresses aren’t pretty at all. They all rely on make up to look the way that they do. Like with Fala, everyone goes on and on about how pretty she is but without make up, goodness…. BUT if you are basing it on natural beauty with no make up, then that is a different story. I have not seen Eva with no make up yet… Do you have a link to her picture with no make up??? Kate looks decent without it, but as you know most actresses don’t so is it fair to judge them when they are in their full package OR when they are completely bare skinned??

      8. Opps wait, which eva are you talking about?

        I thought you were talking about Eva from Taiwan..

      9. @Veejay,
        I am talking about Eva Huang Sheng Yi. She is an actress from China. Here is her link on wikipedia:

        Is there another Eva?? Or are you referring to Elva Hsiao the Taiwanese singer??? She was in White Snake with Raymond…

  11. I just hate Mandy in L’Escargot think she did a fine job as a “biacth” for sure. Wanted to personally slap her myself a few times, LOL.

    Elaine surprised me in BP and I think she have potential as her acting is better than many of current top fadans!

    Never liked Nancy and don’t she her potential and Cindy who? Don’t know her.

    1. Basically, you hated the character that she played. If you hated her character that much then it shows what a good actress she is.

    2. Me too…and I said out loud “Yeah..when Oscar gave her a big slap…hahaha

  12. All of the uprising to-be fadans are beautiful and talented. I support them all!…Well except Cindy Lee who I don’t even know and are pretty sure many others don’t either… And as of the current fadans, I really like Tavia and Fala.

    1. I don’t care for Fala but Tavia is ok… But everything is based on a matter of opinion… We can really like someone while others can love them and vice versa.

      1. I dun really understand ur statement in the first quote. You understand it is a matter of opinion then why have to say so? Hmm I will now make a similar statement and maybe you can explain your idea, ok? “I don’t care for TY but everyone else is ok to me”.

  13. It will be interesting to see Cindy Lee on future TVB series. She did ok in her role on When Heaven Burns.

  14. i wanna see more of Mandy’s acting, meanwhile I dont like her in L’ she annoys me the ways she talks. but perhaps its not an easy role.

    I like Selena in OL roles, with tough personality. Also wanna see Nancy with a softer personality lol. Nat is good in TOT, no more “younger sister” role please.

    I love Elaine after BP and i’m interested in her next role. For Sharon I do agree that she lacks star quality but I dunno why? Aimee is improving and im looking forward to ATF.

    Tavia in TOT was a breakthrough, and honestly I respect her since then. but she needs a new hair-do to refresh. Myolie is still “Guing” in her acting, hope to see her as if she is in real person

    1. You are mentioning of Gwing? The supposed to be cryinh face? Hmm I think not only Myolie have it in txb world.

      1. Yes Fox you’re right the gwing face doesn’t only exist in Myolie but also in other actresses but only Myolie got attacked. It’s hard to control how your face look like when you’re crying hard

      2. And I dun think Myolie’s Gwing face is too annoying. I’ve seen some more annoying crying acting.

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