Chrissie Chau, one of Hong Kong's most famous pseudo-models, is set to star in the upcoming film Beach Spikes.
Also touted by the media as "Million Dollar Babe", the 26-year old model-turned-actress is infamous for her TV commercial advertisement for Slim Beauty which saw her stripping down to her skimpy bikini walking on the streets of Hong Kong. She first made her name after clinching the 1st runner-up title as the 2002 Comics Festival 'Game Girl'.
Beach Spike stars Theresa Fu, veteran actor Lo Mang and Jessica C, and will air starting this Sunday on Starhub Cable TV.
In this film, Chrissie plays a waitress Sharon at a local restaurant owned by their Kung Fu Master, Uncle Tao (Lo Mang). Set on Paradise Cove, the land is owned by the wealthy Bu family who plans to change the beach to a playground to get rid of the youths at the beach.
The Bu daughters challenge Sharon and Rachel (Theresa Fu), a fellow waitress, to compete in the upcoming All Hong Kong Women's Volleyball tournament. If they win, the Bu family will revise their plans for the beach. Sharon and Rachel underwent Kung Fu training with Uncle Tao on skills that can be applied to volleyball.
[SEE SLIDESHOW: Chrissie Chau's bikini shots]
Having little prior experience in volleyball, Chrissie spent three months before the shoot training daily while juggling her night shoot on another production. She describes the overall filming experience as enjoyable with the crew.
"We were shooting on one of Hong Kong's most beautiful beaches and so it felt great. Learning volleyball was like returning back to my secondary school days. I think because of the exercise, everyone's stamina and body reflexes during that time were better too," she told reporters.
When queried on working with her co-star Lam Chung Him, Chrissie gave a refreshingly candid answer. "I've worked with him before and initially my first impression was that he's a little funny," she laughed, quickly adding that "After getting to know him better, I realised that he's quite a thoughtful and spirited person."
A secret that most ladies are dying to know perhaps will be how she maintains her slim figure despite her busy schedule. Chrissie attributes that to a careful diet comprising lighter foods and exercising whenever she has the time. Her favourite exercise, she said, is jogging. She switches her exercises from time to time; she also loves to swim in summer and ski in winter.
Most recently, Chrissie launched her own lingerie line called ShowNa Collection (秀娜系列).
In collaboration with lingerie brand La Miu which she used to model for, the series launched online two days ago mainly targets teenage girls in mainland China and Hong Kong.
Speaking to Yahoo! Singapore, Chrissie gushed excitedly about the launch of her new collection. "I am really happy about this venture because I've always wanted to do business."
Chrissie had worked with La Miu's in-house designers to produce her own lingerie series. "I know what girls want in an intimate wear because it's something we wear daily. To me, the design is still secondary. What are of utmost importance to me remain the two aspects of comfort and functionality," she said.
When this reporter asked if she has plans to cater to the Singapore market in the near future if the business takes off, she laughed. "I have low expectations at the moment since it's my first entrepreneurship venture. But if the business takes off, then of course it's worth expanding — and not just to Singapore but also to other countries," Chrissie said.
Gorgeous, ambitious and humble. It comes as no surprise that Chrissie Chau quickly captured the hearts of the public. But not everyone is an enthusiastic fan.
The topic of pseudo models remains a topic of controversy. Otherwise known in Cantonese as 'lang mo' which means young and immature, they are a new breed of models that in recent years rose to prominence in Hong Kong via the unconventional way of playing hostess to shows and exhibitions, particularly those promoting video games and electronic products. The most notable criticism came from veteran Hong Kong actor Anthony Wong has openly criticised and ridiculed such models, in particular Chrissie, calling them "brainless" and "bimbos".
Of course, it is her full 34D assets that first won her the title of a sex symbol. But the Guangzhou-born actress let on none of this during the phone interview. Keeping her poise, Chrissie readily fielded questions from local reporters throughout.
With her talent for modeling and acting, coupled with her knack for business, will she eventually leave the movie scene?
"For now, acting remains my primary focus," Chrissie quickly clarified. "It's something I love doing and I've only been in the movie industry for two years. I still have a lot of roles I want to try."
Beach Spike premiers 5 February, 9p.m. on Starhub's Cable TV Channel 868's Celestial Movies.