Archive | June, 2010

I Didn’t Dare To Look At Myself

30 Jun

I didn’t dare to look at myself
Actress Ong Ai Leng takes days to get used to new look for role of sick woman
By Kwok Kar Peng
June 30, 2010
 
 

THE reflection in the mirror was so ghastly that actress Ong Ai Leng didn’t dare to look.

Gone were the pretty face and long smooth tresses worthy of a shampoo advertisement.

Instead, the 32-year-old had bald patches on her head and looked deathly pale.

‘It took me two days of filming to finally accept the new look,’ Ong told The New Paper in a recent interview.

So dramatically different was her new image as a seriously ill patient for the upcoming Channel 8 police drama Unriddle that even her colleagues didn’t recognise her at first.

In the series, which is still in production, Ong stars as Li Shan, the girlfriend of a gangster played by Zheng Geping. The show, which also stars Chen Liping and Rui En as the cops, will debut in August.

For her role, Ong had on light make-up and exaggerated dark rings under her eyes.

Shocked

But it was the wig with glaring bald patches that shocked most people .

Ong added that wearing the wig for long hours gave her headaches.

She said: ‘I even asked the drama’s executive producer if Li Shan has any scenes looking beautiful, and he said no.

‘The character is sickly right from the start. There aren’t even flashbacks of her looking healthy.’

Despite that, Ong, a former model, admitted she’s quite happy to sink her teeth into this new role, which is the first time she has ‘uglified’ herself.

Director boyfriend says after seeing photo of her in new role: ‘Your eyes look too lively for a sick person’

‘I think it’ll be a real challenge to play an ugly character like the one Karen Mok played in the 1996 Stephen Chow movie God of Cookery,’ she said.

Mok’s character was uncouth, had huge buckteeth and a scar above one eye.

Ong said her scenes were filmed behind closed doors in hospitals and nursing homes, away from the public.

She also didn’t have many lines.

Ong said: ‘It was very uncomfortable. I needed to make my eyes look listless so I kept telling myself that I was very tired and weak.

‘I would feel very down at the end of the day. Even though I didn’t have much action during filming, I felt very tired.’

The Malaysian-born actress said some colleagues were shocked when they saw her at Caldecott Hill before she left for filming.

Even Ong’s co-star, Zheng, 46, and the cameraman were taken aback the first time they saw her.

Said Zheng: ‘Before we started filming, I saw a photo of her character which was to be used by the policemen in the drama. She looked very pretty there.

Like Darth Vader

‘Then on the first day of filming, I was shocked to see her in her wig. She looked like a totally different person, like Darth Vader from Star Wars when he took off his helmet.’

Another co-star, Andie Chen, 25, added: ‘Some places where we filmed were old and dark. When I walked past a corner and saw her sitting quietly there in her wig, with the lights shining from behind her, I was truly spooked.’

The film crew even advised Ong to stay unseen during the lunch break in case her image frightened the public.

Ong took photos of herself with her mobile phone and sent them to her family members. She also told her boyfriend, who lives in Canada, to look at photos of her character published online .

‘I told him that I missed him so much that I looked like that,’ she joked.

‘But he replied that my eyes appeared too lively for an ill person.’

The couple met on the job when Ong was filming the drama Addicted To Love in Kuala Lumpur in 2008. The drama was a joint collaboration between Media-Corp and Malaysia’s ntv7.

Ong played one of the leading roles and he was the director.

The actress declined to reveal more about her boyfriend, except that he’s in his 40s, was born in Hong Kong and later migrated to Canada. He now directs advertisements there.

She said in a 2008 interview with Malaysian newspaper The Sun that his name is Kenne Yam.

Romance bloomed only after filming had wrapped, she said in the interview.

The couple keep in touch via Skype every day.

When she isn’t busy filming Unriddle, they chat online for a few hours in the morning and a few hours again at night.

While she’s now a homebody who spends her nights chatting with her boyfriend, watching movies and replying to her e-mails, things were quite different two years ago.

Ong said she went out with her three girlfriends every night.

‘I named us HBO, which stood for High By Ourselves. We were high without the influence of alcohol or attention from men,’ she recalled happily.

‘We made a point to dress up every time we met. It was very fun. We didn’t care how people saw us and we never fought.’

In that one year, the girls, one of them MediaCorp actress Apple Hong, were out every night either partying, dining or watching movies.

The other two are a fashion stylist and a spa owner.

Ong added she also did a lot of shopping during that period.

Shoe collection

‘I’m usually very thrifty but that year, I allowed myself to spend and live a different lifestyle,’ she said.

She had around 40 pairs of shoes, some of which cost about $1,000 each.

Said the actress: ‘That was the peak of my singlehood. I saw, experienced and learnt a lot. I travelled to Europe for the first time with my girlfriends.

‘We went to many fashion shows during the London Fashion Week and partied at members-only clubs. I also met Hollywood actor Cuba Gooding Jr there.’

When asked why those days ended, she replied with a smile: ‘Pak tor (Cantonese for going on dates) lor. Things changed, and my girlfriends understood. We have passed that partying phase and everyone has found their focus.’

Her time spent in Kuala Lumpur filming the drama Addicted To Love also changed her. While she still enjoys looking at branded products, she doesn’t buy them any more.

She said: ‘I was posted to KL right after I returned from Europe and I experienced a different kind of a lifestyle. Life there is simpler.

‘The people there don’t look at what you wear or what bag you carry. I like that feeling and it pulled me back to who I am.’

 

The NewPaper

Advertisements

Pranks, Jokes Draw The Crowd

30 Jun

Pranks, jokes draw the crowd
More listeners tune in to The Married Men show on 91.3FM
By Cheryl Lim
June 30, 2010
 
 

LIGHT-HEARTED content is the secret to their success.

ST FILE PICTURE

The banter among DJs Rod Monteiro, 43, Daniel Hutchinson, 26, and Jillian Lim, 20, on radio show The Married Men is so infectious that Singaporeans are tuning in in droves.

91.3FM’s morning show airs daily from Monday to Friday, 6am to 10am.

A survey by research company AC Nielsen over a period of eight weeks showed that listenership of the show has increased 64 per cent – from 73,000 last year to 120,000 this year.

The station also improved its standings overall.

91.3FM is now the third most popular station here.

At the top of the class is Class 95, which drew a listenership – of those 15 and above in the time belt of between 6am and midnight – of 790,000 this year.

But 91.3FM had the highest increase – listenership grew from 173,000 to 258,000.

The results have bumped the station from No. 4 to No. 3.

In the 25 to 44 age demographic, 91.3FM came in second, with a listenership of 120,000. Class 95 topped this category with 443,000 listeners.

Monteiro, 43, attributed his show’s popularity to its creative ‘content that delivers what the audience wants’.

He also believes it’s because The Married Men team has the support of a dedicated writer, Caroline Mowe, 36, and a producer, Shaun Antonio, 23.

One of the show’s biggest draws, he said, is its signature ‘Kena Pluck’ segment where presenters call up unsuspecting Singaporeans and play pranks on them.

He pointed out that numerous sound clips of previous pranks have been uploaded to video-sharing site YouTube.

One of the most memorable pranks was on a boy waiting for his national service enlistment.

The DJ pretended to be a sergeant and accused the boy of ignoring his enlistment date. He even ordered the boy to perform push-ups on the spot.

The terrified boy obeyed and did the push-ups in his office.

The prank’s clip attracted more than 45,900 views online.

Laugh

Monteiro said: ‘We’re driven by the desire to wake Singapore up with a smile, so you’d all start your day with a laugh.’

Monteiro said the team brainstorms about 10 hours a day, bouncing ideas off each other.

Nothing is spared as potential fodder for the programme – from escaped detainee Mas Selamat, disgraced local pageant queen Ris Low to American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert.

‘Even watching a movie is a different experience for us. Any punchline or any part of the script can be an idea for the show,’ Hutch said.

Other pranks are inspired by the mundane of ‘everyday life’ or drawn from their life experiences.

Monteiro said: ‘The NS prank on the recruit, for instance, was inspired by our own NS days.

‘I was a sergeant and Shaun was a commando.’

 

The NewPaper

Don’t Forget The Right Underwear

29 Jun

Don’t forget the right underwear
Celeb contestants have tough time on Don’t Forget The Lyrics show
By Kwok Kar Peng
June 29, 2010
 
 

THE audience was having a good laugh but onstage, the three comedians were not having such a swell time.

TNP PICTURE: GAVIN FOO

Guo Liang had a throbbing headache.

Michelle Chong was so nervous she said she could feel herself perspiring.

And Dennis Chew forgot to wear the right underwear.

The artistes were at the recording of ongoing Channel 8 game show Don’t Forget The Lyrics! – All Stars.

Based on the popular US game show, contestants have to sing along to a karaoke machine. Halfway through the song, the lyrics are removed and contestants must fill in the correct lyrics on their own.

But during the recording of this special episode, which The New Paper attended, the contestants were local artistes competing to raise money for charity.

And there was an added twist – the TV hosts had to participate by doing impersonations of veteran Taiwanese singers.

Chong impersonated Tsai Chin, Chew was Fong Fei-Fei and Guo was Fei Yu-Ching.

This particular episode will air tomorrow at 8pm on Channel 8.

(We are not party-poopers so we’re not revealing what songs they sang and how much they won.)

Chong and Guo were indeed the highlights, their impersonations uncanny and hilarious, thanks to make-up and some sticky tape.

But Guo had to suffer for his art and to an extent, his make-up. To mimic Fei’s long slanted eyes, he had to tape the ends of his eyes upwards.

‘It’s very uncomfortable,’ the 42-year-old lamented after having been in character for six hours.

‘Blood rushed to my eyes and I felt giddy. It has definitely affected my thinking too.’

But the China-born host was not the only one suffering throughout the night.

Chong, 32, also had a stressful night. She sang off-key several times and even stopped mid-way through a song and asked for a retake.

Fellow contestant Chew and host Mark Lee didn’t try to hide their amusement. Chew almost fell off his chair laughing while Lee called it ‘a torture’ to hear her sing.

Chong said self-effacingly: ‘I really can’t sing. I was quite apprehensive about taking part in this show because I’ve never sung in public before this.

‘I got more comfortable with the idea when the production crew told me that I’d be in character. But then when I knew that I’ll be impersonating such an acclaimed singer, I felt even greater pressure.’

Even though she couldn’t sing like Tsai, she certainly looked the part.

Her short hair was done up like the chanteuse’s signature bouffant hairdo, her lips were drawn thicker and a ‘mole’ was dotted under her left eye.

All she needed to do was pout and lower her eyelids and it was almost as if Tsai herself was on stage.

Chew seemed to have better luck being in character compared to the others.

Furthermore, he had an edge. The 37-year-old released his solo music album in 2005.

He had one problem though.

‘Usually when I’m impersonating a woman, I wear more restrictive underwear. But I forgot to today.’
 

The NewPaper

PAYBACK TIME

28 Jun

enjoy

Enough of the blog slog. It’s…
PAYBACK TIME
Modelling jobs, invitations to movie premieres and an online business…the perks are rolling in for those bloggers
By Charlene Chua
June 28, 2010
 
 

BLOGGING is not their full-time job. But for these three women,their cyberspace ramblings have given them rewards beyond just extra cash.

For one blogger, a part-time model, it’s the opportunity to get more modelling jobs. For another, it’s free passes to exclusive events and movie premieres. As for the third, she has turned her site into an online shop.

Nira Chan, 23

More modelling jobs aside, Nira Chan knows too well the downside of fame. Two years ago, a netizen claimed that the sexy model was the person in a sex video making its rounds on the Internet.

It turned out to be a Korean woman who resembled her.

Said Ms Chan, 23: “The truth was there (in the video) for everyone to see and (it’s clear) it’s not me. I wasn’t affected by this and I continued blogging as usual.”

Ms Chan, whose real name is Nitikan Pipattanasak, is of Thai-Chinese descent. Born in Bangkok, she moved to Singapore for her studies eight years ago, when she was 15.

She began modelling part-time as a student and turned professional after she completed her fashion studies at Lasalle College of the Arts.

Ms Chan has graced the covers of men’s magazine Maxim and ranks 8th on the FHM 100 Hottest list.

She began blogging three years ago to “share my life experiences with my readers”.

On http://www.nirachan.com, she waxes lyrical about anything from her hobbies to her shopping sprees and comments on issues like racism too.

One post, after she went for a modelling audition, read: “I saw two white (Caucasian) ladies… One of them gave me such a bright smile while another one gave me one kind of look (not in a good way and this happens a lot when there is competition). For a moment, I was thinking, are you racist to Asians or something?”

On the perks of being in the spotlight, she said: “I have better exposure and this helps to further my career. Apart from that, the networking is great as sponsors get to know me.”

Invitations to private fashion shows and events like the Singapore Arts Festival are not uncommon.

However, she declined to say how much she earned from the advertisements placed on her site and the number of daily hits her blog gets.

She also writes advertorials for apparel, gadgets and beauty products.

Her blog fans, she claimed, include people from Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia.

Ms Chan, who was nominated for last year’s Singapore Blog Awards, said: “I think my appeal lies in the way I write.

“I am straightforward, inspiring and I don’t use vulgarities.”

She gets freebies and exclusive invitations

Ong Yiqin, 20

For someone who did not excel academically, Ong Yiqin is now glad that her parents have something to be proud of.

The “daughter that didn’t manage to get into a junior college” not only snags invites to the hippest events in town, she has also been featured in CosmoGirl what is this? a magazine or a fashion website? Indonesia this month.

So how did the bespectacled cutie rise from zero to hero?

By dressing up in her signature retro outfits and posting them on her blog called Qin At The Discocheck.

Two years agocheck, Yiqin never expected that sharing her fashion style on the Internetin cyberspace would garner her a following that now includes American netizens, who form the bulk of the fan base. Her website blog gets 1,000 check hits on her website a day daily.

“I know of people who think that I started this blog because I was ‘in love with myself’. What they don’t understand is that I just like sharing my clothes and fashion advice with other like-minded people.””When I was still with my then boyfriend, he would help take my pictures. Now that we’ve broken up, I use a photography tripod stand instead,” she said with a laugh.

The Ngee Ann Polytechnic student, who also works part-time at clothing store Topshop, is crazy over headbands, polka dots and sequins.

Korean boy band Super Junior’s press conference and showcase which she was invited attended early this month is one of the exclusive events she gets invited to.

She was also the only non-media person who interviewed Taiwanese pop group Da Mouth when they were here in February.

Fashion shows like DKNY, Pull Aand Bear and Stradivarius and the premiere of Sex And The City 2 are just some events she attends in a typical week as a fashion blogger.

The advertisements placed on her website bring up to $1,000 a month, she said.

“I also get lots of freebies from people who want me to write about their products,” on my site. She said of I’ve receivedthe items like contact lenses, facial products and hair products.

“But the best thing are the vouchers I get when I attend fashion shows. For example, I was given $100 check Uniqlo and $300 check Puma vouchers.”

She earns $1,000 a month

Cheong Jiaxin,19

By selling her merchandise online, Cheong Jiaxin can lay financially independent.

SHE is 19 and earns $1,000 a month

More Fash For Less Cash

28 Jun

Enjoy

Family Matters
More fash for less cash
By Dolores Tay
June 28, 2010
 
 

BACK when the MRT was just an urban myth and mega malls like Ngee Ann City appeared only in the imagination of Singaporeans, there was good old Havelock Road Isetan.

BAG THESE BARGAINS: Gap Kids, Oshkosh B’gosh, Petite Bateau and Carters.

That was where my mother used to take my sisters and me for our fashion fix.

Life, and choices, was so much simpler then. Everything we needed – dresses, shoes, accessories, bags, underwear – was all spread out on a single floor.

Shopping for our clothes was a quick zip-in, zip-out 15-minute affair.

Mum never had to worry about forking out a quarter of her pay cheque for an imported house brand. Somehow, kids’ clothing had kid-sized prices then.

Life has got a lot more complicated since.

Nowadays, some parents want their kids to look like mini getai performers. Especially if they look like one themselves.

For some, dressing up kids to look cute, sweet and innocent is just not enough. They want their children to be their mini-me – extensions of themselves right down to the tiny painted toenails.

Thanks (or no thanks?) to celebrity kids like Suri Cruise, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, Maddox Jolie-Pitt, Lourdes and their gang of Hollywood friends, the fashion cult of little adults are alive and gowing.

Little girls want Suri Cruise’s chic bob, handbags and those customised Louboutins. Little boys want Maddox’s mohawk cut and that cool leather jacket.

While this is good news for fashion brands and children’s wear retailers, it has given doting parents a whole new set of headaches.

You see, these little adults are known to grow at amazing speed. One day they could be wearing a tiny size two sneaker and the next day, they are sharing yours.

With the variety of brands available in the market, and the different price ranges, how do you make your dollar stretch and still get your kids looking like they are one of the celebrity posse?

1. Invest in unisex items.

This works best if you have a brood like the Jolie-Pitts.

Little girls can wear little boys’ pullovers and little boys can wear their older sister’s cargo jeans.

Pick items in neutral shades and buy one size up for a relaxed fit.

PICTURES: FJ BENJAMIN, JAY GEE ENTERPRISES, PETITE BATEAU

Get creative with belts, sashes and scarves when you want to create a more fitted silhouette for the girls.

2. Learn from the best

As one colleague loves to say, the internet is your best friend.

Observe how celebrity mums dress their kids and pick up a few tips along the way.

3. Buy at sales

Wait till your kid’s favourite brands go on sale and pick up what you need there at a discount.

If you don’t know where to start, here’s a list of my favourite kids’ fashion labels and their amazing offers.

Kiddy sales

1. Guess Kids

Up to 70% discounts at Guess Kids Paragon and Forum stores. Offer is valid till July 11. Terms & Conditions apply.

2. Gap Kids and Baby Gap

Up to 50% discounts at all Gap Kids and Baby Gap. Also, you’ll receive an additional 10% off the sale price when you buy three sale items and above, and an additional 20% off when you buy five sale items and above. Terms and conditions apply.

3. Esprit Kids

Up to 50% off selected styles on Esprit Kids Spring Summer 2010 Collection, till July 11.

4. Petit Bateau

From now till July 25, sale discounts are up to 70% off selected items. And if you pay with a Citibank credit card, you’ll receive a $20 Petit Bateau voucher. For UOB cardholders, you’ll get 10% off with one item purchased, 15% off two items puchased. Terms and conditions apply.

Petit Bateau Boutique is located at Tanglin Mall and Paragon.

5. Carters

30% off all regular-priced items from the second item onwards. Terms and conditions apply. Available at all Kidstyle boutiques islandwide.

6. Levi’s Kids

30% off all regular-priced items from the second piece onwards. Terms and conditions apply. Available at all Kidstyle boutiques islandwide.

7. Oshkosh B’gosh

30% off all regular-priced items from the second piece onwards. Terms and conditions apply. Available at all Kidstyle boutiques islandwide.

 

The NewPaper

Both Guns Blazing

27 Jun

Net Noise

We round up the Internet sites or videos that people are talking about
Both guns blazing
June 27, 2010
 
 

What’s the noise:

Trust Lady Gaga to always make a statement.

Here she is again, on the cover of the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine, well, showing off.

In the accompanying interview, the 24-year-old plugs her new album, due out early next year. In typical Gaga style, she plans to unveil the title exactly at midnight on New Year’s Eve, for dramatic effect.

But Lady Gaga also seems to want to prove she can get serious.

She told Rolling Stone cryptically: ‘The message of the new music is now more bitter than it was before. Because the sweeter the cake, the more bitter the jelly can be.’ Huh?

Lady Gaga also rails about the issue of gays in the military and reveals how she looks up to the late Michael Jackson.

She talks about life behind her persona: ‘When I wake up in the morning, I feel just like any other insecure 24-year-old girl.

‘Then I say, ‘…you’re Lady Gaga, you get up and walk the walk today’.’

What we say:

When Rolling Stone magazine slapped half-nude pictures of Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears on the cover, we all screamed: ‘Sell out!’

After all, the seminal music magazine is revered for its street cred and in-depth interviews.

But sex sells, of course.

In this same issue is that controversial interview with General Stanley McChrystal – yes, that interview which cost the former US commander in Afghanistan his job.

A picture of the dour-faced general in his army skivvies probably wouldn’t be as eye-catching?

Still, Lady Gaga needs all the love she gets. It has been a tough week for her – she took an embarrassing tumble at Heathrow Airport and comedian Jerry Seinfeld has recently said he just ‘hates’ her.

Seto Nu-Wen

What people say:

‘Her mainstream audience will abandon her eventually. She will go too far. Word of advice Gaga, leave the bitterness at home and stay more universal.’
PDawg

 

The NewPaper

Belum Masanya Untuk Bertudung – Lisa Surihani

25 Jun

Ditulis oleh Nonie
  
  

Manis dan sopan sekali Lisa Surihani mengenakan tudung pada penampilan terbarunya. Adakah sudah terbuka hati untuk Lisa menunaikan tanggungjawab yang pastinya wajib untuk dilaksanakan? Namun bagi empunya diri, itu hanyalah sekadar watak yang dipegang dalam drama terbaru Astro Prima, Tudung Ekspres.

“Persoalan adakah saya akan bertudung atau bilakah saya akan bertudung adalah terlalu personal untuk dijawap. Biarlah saya yang menentukan apa jua yang ingin dilakukan. Kalau boleh saya mahu ianya berlaku secara natural tanpa paksaan. Tapi jujurnya, setakat ini saya belum rasa ingin ke arah itu.

“Tak guna juga bila pakai tudung kerana terpaksa dan hati kita tak ikhlas dengan perubahan itu. Pastinya perubahan itu tak akan kekal lama.

“Tapi untuk bawakan watak sebegini, rasanya tak ada masalah kerana tak ada yang luar biasa mengenainya. Setiap kali ada majlis yang memerlukan saya bertudung, saya akan hormati majlis demikian dan menutup aurat. Bertudung dalam membawakan watak bukanlah cabaran yang besar kerana satu-satunya cabaran yang harus diatasi adalah untuk memikat hati penonton,” ujar Lisa yang juga duta produk Garnier yang baru.

Wajahnya kini sering muncul di dada akhbar, drama dan filem. Rezekinya semakin melimpah ruah, namun tidakkah bimbang jika penonton mula lali melihat wajahnya sehingga hilang minat untuk menonton wajah yang sama berulang kali.

“Bosan atau tidak bergantung kepada rezeki. Saya memang memilih watak yang diberikan dan kemunculan saya adalah selepas memilih skrip yang terbaik untuk dilakonkan. Kalau orang tak mahu lihat saya lagi, saya hanya mampu serahkan kepada Allah soal rezeki. Buat masa sekarang saya hanya mampu buat yang terbaik dan lihat ke hadapan,” tambah Lisa merancang untuk melanjutkan pengajian ke peringkat yang lebih tinggi.

FOTO oleh AZMAN MOHAMED ASMAYATIM

Mangga Online