17 Jan – He might have been the only person who has something good to say about Stephen Chow, but screenwriter-director Lee Lik Chi can be blunt while talking about other actors.
Jayne Stars website reported that the "God of Cookery" co-director recently said that Hong Kong's highest paid actors Kevin Cheng and Raymond Lam are not great enough to command the reported high remuneration in China, after it was reported that both stars has been offered RMB 500,000 (approx. USD 80,423) to star in mainland Chinese dramas.
Lee explained, "China is not the same as Hong Kong. Actors [such as Kevin Cheng and Raymond Lam] are not worth that kind of price in China, unless you're Sun Honglei. Now, that is what 500,000 RMB is worth!"
Lee Lik Chi also revealed that Kevin Cheng was initially cast in mainland drama, "The Four Scholars of Jiangnan" but was replaced by Hawick Lau due to conflict in schedules.
The director was full of praise for the Hong Kong actor, saying, "Hawick has worked in China for many years. Yet, to play a convincing role, he actually seeks a teacher from the Central Academy of Drama to coach him in his Mandarin pronunciation."
Lee added, "To do well in China, you must first be able to speak Mandarin well," hinting that a lot of Hong Kong actors lack of good Mandarin communication skills.
Asked if he was not afraid that he will offend Kevin Cheng, Lee bluntly said, "I am not even afraid of Stephen Chow. Why would I be afraid of Kevin Cheng?"