Saturday, August 17, 2013

Chapman To: "There is a lot I can learn from Charlene Choi"

The comedy "The Midas Touch" starring Chapman To and Charlene Choi officially hits theaters nationwide on September 6. For "The Midas Touch", Chapman first approached Albert Yeung and recommended that he invest in the movie, then added his old friend producer Chan Hing Ka and a production group from his own company, and then brought on Ah Sa, artist manager Mani Fok, Wong Cho Lam, He Gui and more. He even conveniently took on the position of the male lead actor.

It is usually very difficult for comedy actors to receive recognition for their role, but from Chapman To's point of view, the responsibility that comedy actors must undertake is more than others because, "The result is immediately apparent when the audience laughs or does not laugh." Over the course of the interview, humorous Chapman continuously had golden phrases, he would often laugh heartily before saying a funny story, found time to ridicule Ah Sa, and even let everyone to burst out laughing. But after laughing, you can see Chapman's passion for comedy.

Once became enemies with Ah Sa because of Ronald Cheng

The movie includes promoting a new female group to popularity, helping artists make a comeback, a manager falling in love with a male artist, and more. It even mocks boss Albert Yeung's autobiography released last year. Ah Sa who plays the role of a senior artist manager and Mani Fok making a guest appearance as a real manager also suffer the merciless teasing of the male lead actor Chapman To's slanderous tongue. Above all, the lead actress Ah Sa and Chapman To once resented each other for a period of time.

Reporter: This time, you find Ah Sa to be the lead actress. Other than being your own company's movie, what else was the reason for this consideration?

Chapman: The first consideration was actually about business. This is a collaborative project; I believe that I needed to find an actress with an even higher reputation than myself in mainland China, in order for investment to be more guaranteed. But previously, Ah Sa and I did not get along. At first, our relationship was very poor.

Reporter: Why was your relationship very poor?

Chapman: Because she used to be with Ronald Cheng; Ronald Cheng and I used to be very good friends. One time, he drank until he was very drunk, Ah Sa called to ask him to go home. I thought she was very annoying -- you know some men really dislike their friend's wife. "Sister-in-law" is a very respectful name, but you may not think that way behind their back. At that time, I grabbed Ronald Cheng's phone and yelled at her swearing, "B*tch, don't call again. Ronald Cheng will not come home tonight!" From then on, she hated me. When she saw me, she acted like she could not see me, and it lasted many years. Ah Sa really holds grudges, she is a Scorpio right! (Points beside the reporter) Look at the EEG co-workers who are all, "That's right, that's right," nodding. Afterwards, I joined EEG and she even walked over and asked Mani Fok, why is the company signing these kinds of people now. One time, we went to Chengdu to work and everyone was sitting in the same cabin on the plane. It was a coincidence that there weren't many people. At that time, I believed in Buddhism and felt that it is better to squash animosity than keep it alive. She sat in front of me -- of course she was not going to sit with me. There was a crack between the seats, and I extended my hand to tap her. I said, "Sorry ah, Ah Sa." She said, "Aiya, you don't have to be like that," and forgave me just like that. Afterwards, we filmed several movies and found that we actually matched very well. Right now, we are very good friends.

I heard that there are male and female celebrities who have depended on "unspoken rules" in order to become popular; I believe it all

Reporter: In last year's movie , you portrayed a very controlling artist manager. This time in "The Midas Touch", Ah Sa also plays a similar role of an artist manager. What is different?

Chapman: "Diva" is a tragedy, but is considered a comedy. In this movie, I play the role of a "debt collector." Because I am repaying a debt to a management company, at the same time I fall for several beautiful woman in the management company. But midway through the experience, there are some experiences where I am looked down upon. So it is a story where I learn to be a manager from Ah Sa.

Reporter: What is your relationship with your manager like? Are you also looking for a super manager?

Chapman: My relationship with my manager is like family. We really care about each other, but there are also times when we argue, and what we argue about revolves around work. I feel that my manager is already very good and can be considered the best in Hong Kong. But even if there is a good manager, if an artist does not have their own qualities, it is not possible to be successful. Just like a care without an engine, it will never be able to run. When Chow Yun Fat and Tony Leung started, they did not have managers. All they had was acting talent strength, that's all. So I think that super managers do not exist.

Reporter: How do you determine whether an artist manager is good or no?

Chapman: To see whether an artist manager is successful or not, it depends on whether they are able to match the artist's personality. This is the reason why I say that my manager is very good. Because she is also Nicholas Tse's manager. When Nicholas was the most mischievous, Mani led him. I think that in the Hong Kong entertainment circle, there is probably no other artist more difficult to take care of than Nicholas Tse. Ah Sa and I often joke and say, "With Nicholas here, it will be alright. We are very well-behaved."

Reporter: It is rumored that show business has always had female celebrities relying on "unspoken rules" to become popular. So are there these rules among male celebrities too?

Chapman: I have also heard this a lot. Right now, the mainland China market is becoming larger and larger. Interest in the mainland China show business is comparatively larger. Many Hong Kong artists' film salary cannot compare with mainland China artists. After all, the Hong Kong market is small, and there are few opportunities to fight for one piece of meat. I have heard of celebrities relying on "unspoken rules" to become popular, both men and women, and I believe it all.

Acting in comedies requires assuming a lot of responsibility; comedy actors rely on courage, not acting ability

Reporter: My impression is that in the past few years, you have worked with many 'goddess' level female celebrities. But what is the goddess in your eyes like? Not counting your wife.

Chapman: I still like Ah Sa; she is a girl with an incredibly good personality and very high EQ. She has many things that I do not have. Her catchphrase is: "It doesn't matter." Also, even though she is younger than me by 10 years, since Twins debuted earlier, she has experienced a lot. In the entertainment industry, she is considered by senior. In many situations, there is a lot I can learn from her. But I also have things that she does not have. (After saying this, he starts to puff out his chest.)

Source: Eastday, Kaixian
Translated by: mutts @ AsianFanatics Forum

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