Choo suspects slapping fracas staged

Mimi Choo..

Hong Kong actor Patrick Tse's recent fracas with Kenneth Tsang, his reality TV show co-star, was probably staged, says actress Mimi Choo.

She believes Tsang would not fake an illness during filming, an allegation that Tse threw at the actor when promoting their reality show, Four Amigos Bon Voyage.

Choo, who has known Tsang for two decades since she joined the Hong Kong variety show Enjoy Yourself Tonight, says of him: "He's a nice guy, but he's very straightforward. Even though I was a newbie, he would give me pointers."

She also suspects the tiff between Tse and Tsang was staged because it did not seem natural.

"One of the other cast members, Joe Junior, was holding a recorder throughout the incident," says Choo, who is in her 50s. Other observers have also made this point, adding the argument between the two men was staged to increase publicity for their show.

Regardless of the spat's authenticity, it appears to have helped boost the ratings of the debut episode on Monday.

The TVB travelogue ratings peaked at 26 points, attracting 1.68 million viewers. A TVB spokesman says this makes it the highest rating for the timeslot this year.

Choo, a Singapore permanent resident who is more active in Hong Kong, was speaking to the local media on Tuesday to promote her concert here at Resorts World Theatre on Nov 8. She has been busy staging concerts in places such as Hong Kong, Australia and Canada.

"Earning money from concerts is much easier than acting. I sing for 45 minutes, perform five to six songs, throw in some talking and the cash will come in. Filming takes much more time," she says.

Choo, who has starred in local productions such as Channel 8 drama Double Bonus (2012) and Channel 5 telemovie Love Is Love (2015), has not been more active in the local scene partly because of run-ins with directors on the set of a local drama.

In one incident, a director wanted her to cry "tragically". But she says: "I felt it should be more lighthearted because it's a drama aired during the Chinese New Year period."

That said, she does not believe in burning her bridges. She says: "I won't say no to money. If they offer me enough money, I'll take on the project."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2015, with the headline 'Choo suspects slapping fracas staged'. Print Edition | Subscribe