POP STOP

By Ho Yi  /  STAFF REPORTER

Fri, Sep 14, 2007 - Page 14

Zhang Ziyi (章子怡) was among the first to congratulate Ang Lee (李安) on his recent record-breaking achievement after winning his second Golden Lion trophy in three years. And, according to the Chinese-language media, the Asian megastar expressed keen interest in working with Lee again.

Propelled to international stardom by Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (臥虎藏龍) in 2000, Zhang's desire is understandable since she lined herself up for a role in Lee's latest movie, Lust, Caution (色戒), but lost out to up-and-coming Chinese star Tang Wei (湯唯).

How did Lee respond to Zhang's charming solicitation? The genteel director promised the star he would give her a "better" role next time.

Aboriginal diva A-mei (張惠妹) consolidated her reign over the Mando-pop music firmament with a concert last Saturday that reportedly attracted 30,000 fans. That figure should put her rumored erstwhile lover, Wang Lee-hom (王力宏), to shame as his concert on the same day managed to muster only 5,000 concertgoers.

A-mei pulled off her classic taimei (台妹) look with pink fishnet stockings, stilettos and a bosom-boosting corset, but failed to divert the media's attention from her ongoing relationship with Super Basketball League player He Shou-cheng (何守正), who is 11 years her junior.

The star responded with the well-worn"we are just friends" speech, but entertainer Blackie (黑人), the pair's go-between, sent gossip hounds into a spin by saying the 35-year-old singer is childish and the age difference is not an issue in the pair's relationship.

Top stylists, designer outfits and her taimei getup also help, of course, to keep A-mei looking hip and sexy.

In other babe-related news, queen of cute Rainie Yang's (楊丞琳) status as the "first lady" at music giant Sony BMG was reinforced as her third album hit store shelves last week, ready for a duel with Sony BMG deserter Jolin Tsai (蔡依林), whose new album is slated to be released by the end of this month.

Known as local show biz's dancing diva, Tsai is expected to take the battle to the dance floor with her improved pole dancing, acrobatic and yoga stunts in tight and glittering attire.

The other contender, known as the founder of the cult of cuteness, has practiced her splits, somersaults and twirls, but is said to face a tough fight ahead since she has hitherto built her entire career solely on her baby-doll visage.

The fight is on.

One week after his commendable donation of NT$15 billion to National Taiwan University for the construction of a cancer center and biomedical engineering projects, tycoon Terry Gou (郭台銘) has reportedly given NT$13 million to veteran producer and funny man Wang Wei-chung's (王偉忠) new television program, which is slated to go on air by the end of the year.

Audiences shouldn't expect to see anything like the zany cast of The Big Pressure Cooker (全民大悶鍋), a TV program that caricatures politicians and celebrities, on the show, but academics, professionals and entrepreneurs lecturing on different topics. The aim of the program is "to help people find new directions or inspirations in life," Wang is reported as saying.

It looks like the country's favorite comic sketch writer is cleaning up his act to suit Gou's charitable ethos.