asiaone
Diva
updated 2 Aug 2014, 10:25
Login password or
Wed, Feb 13, 2013
The New Paper
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
'Snake dance' gives her a six-pack
by Mervin Tay

For once, her breasts are not the centre of attention.

Just what has stolen the limelight from Hong Kong model-actress Chrissie Chau's famed 32D assets? Her abs.

The 27-year-old's six-pack is on display in Stephen Chow's new fantasy flick Journey To The West, which is currently showing in cinemas.

In the movie, Chau plays a demon hunter who is part of a team led by Miss Duan (Taiwanese actress Shu Qi).

Dressed in a midriff-baring top, she teaches Miss Duan how to dance sexily in one scene.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday night before the film's Hong Kong gala premiere, Chau said that the preparation for that scene was akin to a very effective workout.

"My waist became more slender after filming ended," she told The New Paper in Mandarin.

Chau said she is a poor dancer, so it took her quite some time to practise what she called "the snake dance".

A series of NG (no good) takes gave her a taut abdomen.

"Despite having lots of good food on set, my abs became more defined, and even Mr Chow exclaimed, 'Wow, you have a six-pack!'"

Chau started modelling in 2002 and soon became one of Hong Kong's most famous "lang mos".

The term literally means young model in Cantonese, but actually refers to young girls who lack training and the physical qualities required of professional models, yet are still able to become famous.

The English media in Hong Kong has coined their own translation of this term, calling them "pseudo-models".

But the negative connotations did not hinder Chau's rise.

She became even more popular after the release of her pictorial books Kissy Chrissie in 2009 and Les Vacances d'Amour in 2010, which had pictures of her in sexy clothing and poses.

Her movie career took off thereafter - she played lead roles in Marriage With A Liar (2010), Men Suddenly in Love (2011) and Beach Spike (2011). These roles, however, continued to play on her sexiness.

Acting chops

But in Journey To The West, Chau is smeared with make-up all over to look more tanned.

Does she feel that with this movie, she has finally gained recognition for her acting chops instead of her looks?

"I'm very grateful for this breakthrough because I haven't had many opportunities to act in comedies," she said, somewhat side-stepping the question.

"I learnt a lot from Mr Chow about comedic timing and new acting techniques."

She also got to see Chow perform the "snake dance" as he would demonstrate most scenes before the cameras rolled.

So how was his dancing?

She said with a laugh: "He was much better than me, but he can do it any way he wants - nobody will tell him it's an NG take!"

Having the opportunity to work with Chow and Shu Qi was a dream come true for Chau.

"I grew up watching Mr Chow's movies so it's a great honour to be in his movie.

"He is a very creative person and on set, he is very hands-on," she said.

But over the years, there have been reports saying Chow is difficult to work and get along with. Chau disagreed.

"From my personal experience, he is definitely not what those reports make him out to be," she said.

When comparisons between her and Shu Qi, both of whom were sultry models-turned-actresses, were brought up, Chau was quick to pile on the praise.

"There is no basis for comparison because in my heart, she'll always be the icon of sexiness.

"And over the years, through her movies, she has exuded sexiness from within as well," said Chau.

But when the same question was put to Shu Qi in a separate interview, the 36-year-old humorously downplayed her status as a sex symbol.

"For the past few years, I've been slowly making my retreat from the arena of sexy goddesses," she said, laughing.

"It's now time for the young girls to step up."

"Despite having lots of good food on set, my abs became more defined, and even Mr Chow exclaimed, 'Wow, you have a six-pack!'"

mervtay@sph.com.sg


Get The New Paper for more stories.

readers' comments

asiaone
Copyright © 2014 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.