23 Apr

By Kwok Kar Peng
April 23, 2010

Gary Chaw has a temper.

Well, he’ll have you know it’s all in the past.

For a man known for talking with his fist, Chaw took every below-the-belt punch his co-star delivered.

Like a toothpaste advertisement star, he was all teeth and gums at the press conference FiRST attended last week for the Malaysian movie Ice Kacang Puppy Love, directed, co-written by and starring singer A-niu.

The entire A-list cast was there – Angelica Lee, Fish Leong, Gary Chaw, Victor Wong, Jet Yi and Eric Moo, who mocked his past arrests for fighting and that infamous battle in public with a friend.

The oooh factor went up a few notches when Moo, 46, chortled in Mandarin: ‘Chaw’s only gripe is that he has too few fighting scenes in the movie. It doesn’t reflect his real life.’

The reporters obviously appreciated the jibe and we all guffawed.

The media had gone to town with the story about how the 30-year-old Malaysian singer publicly walloped his friend, singer-songwriter Justin Lo, in Hong Kong last September after a night of boozing.

The scuffle, videotaped by the paparazzi, also showed Chaw stomping on the backseat of a taxi. Lo emerged, grimacing with his hand on his nether region.

The clip cast a dark cloud over Chaw’s image: His concert in Hong Kong was cancelled after its sponsor, ironically a whisky brand, pulled out.

He was also arrested by Hong Kong police for fighting in public before being released on bail. The singer was later given a year’s probation.

Chaw had also reportedly been in other brawls which landed him in hospital.

But Moo didn’t stop shooting his mouth off.

When the 34-year-old Lee talked later about how she had to stomp on Chaw’s private parts for a scene in the movie, Moo again stole the thunder.

‘That’s revenge for Lo!’ he joked.

Again, the stars shifted uneasily while the reporters squealed with delight.

Chaw, who moved to Canada when he was nine, nevertheless claimed during our interview that all was cool.

He said in English: ‘I’m used to (people talking about the brawl). It’s fine as long as I know what I got from it afterwards.’

Which was?

‘Going through it changed me,’ Chaw added, saying that he has learnt how to be a better son, husband, brother and friend.

Chaw has patched up with Lo, who is also godfather to his 20-month-old son Joe. Lo makes a cameo appearance in Ice Kacang Puppy Love.

Making an effort

And Chaw seems to be walking the talk about change.

Singer and first-time actress Leong, 31, who plays Chaw’s sister, told FiRST that Chaw has not had a tipple in the last five months – not even during the many movie-related celebration parties.

‘It’s not that I’ve quit drinking,’ Chaw said. ‘I just haven’t found a good enough reason for me to drink.’

‘The judge may have sentenced me to one year’s probation. But to me, Gary Chaw is on probation for the rest of his life,’ he said, with a determined look on his face.

Hopefully, his debut performance in Ice Kacang Puppy Love, which revolves around the adolescent love lives of six childhood friends in the 1980s and opens here today, may help audiences shrug off his past.

Chaw plays a small-town ruffian who bullies Lee’s character (Fighting Fish) from young. But his character is endearing – even comical.

With his hair centre-parted with a floppy fringe – the follicular rage of the era thanks to Heavenly King Aaron Kwok – he struts through the movie in his signature high-pitched voice.

He has one tiny regret though.

In one scene, his character sneaks into Fighting Fish’s home to steal her prize fish and she throws her underwear at him.

Chaw lamented: ‘I’ve always wanted to film a movie, but when I saw that scene, I asked myself, ‘Oh my God, what have I done? Why did I agree to have bras and panties draped over me?’

But A-niu added: ‘Gary was superstitious and didn’t allow us to put panties on his head!’


The NewPaper

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: