Fri, Jun 23, 2006 - Page 14 News List

Pop Stop

Compiled by Ho Yi  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese-language media on both sides of the Taiwan Strait have been putting the squeeze on their sources to find out who will be the lucky actors and actresses starring in Ang Lee's (李安) next project Lust Caution (色戒).

Although a troop of Taiwanese stars auditioned for the movie in Taipei earlier this month, the top candidates for the leading roles are said to be Tony Leung (梁朝偉) from Hong Kong and Zhou Xun (周迅) from China.

Attending the Shanghai International Film Festival last weekend, the director told the local press that the cast had yet to be finalized, but did say, "If Leung is the leading actor, it would be bliss for everyone."

If Leung secures the top spot on Lee's film the actor will have a prosperous and busy year ahead as he has already bagged the leading roles in films to be shot by Hong Kong director Andrew Lau (劉偉強), John Woo (吳宇森) and Stanley Kwan (關錦鵬).

Amid the hubbub surrounding Lee's next project, Mando-pop queen Jolin Tsai's (蔡依林) ill-informed remarks on the art of acting have probably infuriated seasoned actors.

When asked by local media whether or not she thinks she is capable of playing the role of the seductive college student in the film, the teen-idol who has expressed a keen interest in the movie business struck a confident note by saying, "I should be OK with some practice."

A piece of advice to the green star: acting is more than pouting your lips and looking sexy.

Japan-born heartthrob Takeshi Kaneshiro (金城武) is hot property. The movie star's pretty face has earned him the role of Asian spokesman for French cosmetic brand Biotherm, and also a fat pay check of NT$25 million for appearing in a commercial that took six hours to shoot.

A human cash cow, Kaneshiro is rumored to have his eye on the exclusive Di-Bao (帝寶) apartment complex in Taipei, favored by the rich and the powerful. But his agent assured the locals that they would never see the star taking a stroll on Renai Road with a sarcastic aside: "Oh god, haven't all the Di-Bao apartments sold out already?"

Australian movie star Hugh Jackman was in Taipei last weekend to promote his Hollywood blockbuster X-Men 3: The Last Stand and won the hearts of the ladies with his impregnable image of a family man who just can't stop talking about his wife and kids.

Lauding his trip to Taiwan as a dream come true, the easy-going, 37-year-old star also showed an ability to adapt to local tastes.

He paid a visit to Shihlin night market (士林夜市), surrounded by a troop of bodyguards and smiled at bystanders like a political candidate on the campaign trail. Jackman listed pearl milk tea (珍珠奶茶) and pig-blood sticky rice cake (豬血糕) as memorable delicacies during his Asian tour. A good-looking family guy who makes top bucks in Hollywood and digs commoners' cheap snacks: What's not to love?

To broaden her fan base, newly crowned Golden Melody pop queen Tanya Chua (蔡健雅) has charmed her way into the local gay community. In preparation for a concert at Taipei gay bar Funky tonight, Chua was spotted scouting out the joint earlier in the week. Judging by the number of clubbers who asked for kisses from the singer, Chua's rising popularity among the queer folk is assured.

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