Fri, Nov 19, 2004 - Page 14 News List

POP STOP

By Jackie Lin and Max Woodworth  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Maggie is a star in The New York Times.

PHOTO: AFP

In a sign that Maggie Cheung (張曼玉) is beginning to crack into new markets, The New York Times Magazine on Sunday featured an effusive profile of Hong Kong's most prized and elusive actress under a headline that asked: "Why Isn't Maggie Cheung a Hollywood Star?"

The simple answer to the question would be that she's never done a Hollywood film, but the article was actually trying to ask why she's never done that.

The article raises a few possibilities as to why Cheung hasn't broken Hollywood yet: audiences aren't ready for an Asian actress who is more than just a kung-fu-fighting dragon lady; she is not interested in the half-baked scripts tossed her way (she turned down a role in X-Men 2); and she's too busy. But for all her snubbing of Hollywood, Cheung is eager to explore new territory, the article says, and her award-winning role in the soon-to-be-released Clean, written and directed by her former husband Olivier Assayas, is maybe the first warning shot of her ascendancy in the West. Five-thousand words in The New York Times can't hurt either.

Stefanie Sun (孫燕姿) had a rough time over the weekend, when she got food poisoning and spent the afternoon Saturday at Mackay General Hospital on an IV drip so that she'd be in suitable shape for a small show in Danshui that night. She made it through her set, but only by taking some time out to vomit, and later was back at the hospital on the IV. Her label, Warner, gave her a day's rest from promo work after which she pronounced that she was OK.

Stefanie didn't only lose her lunch last weekend, but she also lost her first-place spot on the Asia Music charts to Mayday, who just released their fifth album. The rock band put out the album to mark its fifth anniversary and reception has been strong -- their album took up over 30 percent of total pop music sales last week.

Things are looking up for the country's top pop diva A-mei (張惠妹), who has been offered the job of president at the planned Aboriginal TV Station, part of Taiwan Television (TTV, 台視). Trial broadcasts will start at the beginning of next month, according to the Liberty Times (自由時報). A-mei was reported as saying she was excited that more working opportunities would be available for Aborigines and she fully supported the station. She even offered to sing the station's anthem, but said it would be better if the job of president was offered to a more suitable Aboriginal candidate. So no political career in the offing yet.

Local media have been salivating over recent developments in the love life of Taiwanese actress Alyssa Jia (賈靜雯), who was to marry Shanghai's filthy rich Charles Sun (孫志浩). Next Magazine (壹週刊), however, discovered that Jia -- who is notorious for doing the splits -- was going to break the heart of Chinese actor Lu Xing (呂行), who Jia admitted was her Prince Charming when they were shooting a soap opera this year. Lu reportedly could not believe his ears when he was told the shocking news last week. Still, he wished Jia a happy marriage.

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