Sunday, March 29, 2015

MemeHK Interview / Live Chat with the Cast of HTKV's The Menu

I'm watching HKTV's currently airing series The Menu (導火新聞線) right now and it is an absolutely enjoyable series!  I haven't decided whether I'm going to write a review on the series or not, as it depends on how I feel in 2 weeks when the series finishes -- but I do want to encourage people to watch the series, as it is a high quality production and definitely deserves a spot up there (right alongside To Be or Not To Be and The Election) as one of the best HK series I've seen in more than a decade!

The series has gotten alot of praise and positive feedback since its debut on-line 2 weeks ago (rightfully so) and the cast has experienced new-found popularity as a result (which I'm very happy to see!).  There have been quite a few interviews with certain members of the cast as well as the scriptwriter and director/producer on various platforms (television, internet, newspapers, magazines, etc.) the past 2 weeks.  The one I chose to post below is "fresh off the press" so to speak, as it is a live chat interview with the cast that took place a few days ago (on March 27th to be exact).  Even though the interview is really long (more than 1 hour), I highly recommend watching it, as it is very entertaining -- I love the chemistry of The Menu's cast and the close friendship that the entire cast and crew have off the set as well.

** Note:  There is alot of good information in this interview, including some 'behind-the-scenes' stuff about the filming process and also upcoming "must watch" scenes.  Oh and for those of you interested in the sub-theme song, there's information about that as well (I actually posted about the song in AF as well, so feel free to visit here if you're interested)...the information that came out in the interview is in addition to what was already previously revealed.

*** ADDITIONAL NOTE:  I actually found the source of the "Can't Let Go" song based on the information Gregory Wong provided in the interview (thank you, Greg!).  Still don't know who the singer is, but I already sent a message to the music label / copyright holder to ask.  Will update if I hear more.  Meanwhile, I posted a clearer picture of the song's information at the very bottom of this post...

Below is a link to the actual interview along with a [lengthy] recap that I put together.  Enjoy! 


MemeHK Live Chat Interview with Gregory Wong (王宗堯), Catherine Chau (周家怡), and Kate Yeung (楊淇)


-          The host introduced Greg, Catherine, and Kate as “god and goddesses” (this is based on the reactions from netizens on the various HK discussion forums).

-          How close are the characters to your real life personalities?
o   Kate said that she is very similar to Mallory
o   Catherine is completely opposite of Fong Ying – her real personality is actually closer to the character of Mallory
o   Greg says that his characters in The Election and The Menu are both him and represent different sides of himself – there are times when he is ‘messy’ like Lok Ka Fai and other times when he is ‘tempermental’ like Cheung Kwai Leung

-          Since the series started airing, the feedback from audiences has been very positive.  What are your thoughts on this?
o   All 3 are very grateful and hope that audiences will continue to support the series
o   Catherine said that she saw some feedback online where some people said they would watch each episode more than once. 
§  The host concurred with this, as he is one of the people who watched more than once.  He said that in the first few episodes, the cases were relatively simple and easy to understand, but as the series went on, the cases got more and more complicated, so he had to re-watch again to completely understand everything going on.
§  Greg and Catherine said that they felt the exact same way during filming – they actually had to map everything out in order for them to understand it.
§  Greg said that they actually had to re-film certain scenes because they gave the wrong reaction due to not properly understanding one of the cases (he’s referring to the current case from episodes 12 to 14 on Liu Bing Kwan).
§  The host complimented how, as actors, they take their work seriously and make sure they pay attention to the plot just as much as the scriptwriter does.

-          As they were talking about re-filming and how the props need to be the same, the host took the opportunity to ask about the location where they filmed all the office scenes.  He said the location truly did look like a newspaper office.
o   Kate and Greg explained that it actually is a real-life news office – those scenes were all filmed at HKTV’s headquarters.  Ricky Wong actually had his news department empty out an entire floor of offices for them to create the set.
o   The interesting part is that the newspaper office setting with the files and papers stacked all over the place was actually manually created by the cast and crew.  They put in the time to design and personalize each person’s desk according to their characters in the series – for example, Kate said that she chose to use a cup with a red lid because it’s a bright color that suits her character Mallory.  And Catherine has that figurine on her desk that is an important prop in the series…(wow, talk about sincerity!  I definitely appreciate their efforts to make the set look realistic and adding all those personal touches!).
o   The host commented that the entire production is very meticulous and there is a lot of attention paid to detail.

-          The host relayed a question from a netizen who asked what were their most memorable scenes from the series.
o   All 3 of them said there were way too many memorable scenes and it was too hard to pick just one.
o   Greg said he was impressed with how meticulous the production team is and how seriously they take the production.  He recounted the ICAC investigation segment from episodes 12 and 13.  He said that even small details such as what type of boxes the ICAC use when they pack up things they find during the investigation, the exact words the ICAC use when they “invite” people to cooperate with their investigation, the arrest process, etc., the production team did a lot of research and made sure they mirror everything exactly.
o   Catherine said it’s hard for her to choose only 1 memorable segment because the entire filming process was memorable and she loves the whole series.  She said that because her character Fong Ying has such a sad past experience and so much pent up unhappiness inside of her, it was a challenging character to play, but she enjoyed every minute of it. 
§  Greg chimed in and said Fong Ying is a very unique character – he said that oftentimes, when you have a sad, depressing character like that with a lot of crying scenes, some audiences get annoyed or turned off by it, but with Fong Ying, that wasn’t the case at all…in fact, audiences sympathize with her more than anything else.
§  Catherine agreed with Greg and said that’s why when she first got the script, she was afraid that the audiences might not like her character.  She said that the 3 females in there have such different personalities – Kate’s character Mallory is always happy and chirpy so is easily likable, Noelle’s character Alma is strong and domineering, but then when she got to her own character Fong Ying, there were no obvious personality traits, so she wondered how to play the character.
§  The host relayed 2 particular scenes that netizens praised as their favorite Fong Ying scenes:  the first was the one (in episode 8, if I remember correctly) where Fong Ying goes to the hospital to visit Fu Wing Hung’s (Alan Luk) mother right after his death, how she held her emotions in while talking to her and then started crying when she walked away (personal note – good choice, as that was one of my favorite scenes too, as it really shows Catherine’s depth in acting).  The second one was, of course, Shek Chun Yin’s suicide scene in episode 9 – Fong Ying’s entire reaction from running up the stairs, to hearing the ‘thud’ (of Shek’s body falling to the ground) and car crash, pausing, then turning around and running back downstairs, only to be met with tragedy and devastation….that scene was well-executed and highly praised by netizens/audiences (I definitely agree – Catherine’s acting was awesome in that scene).
§  Greg said to be on the lookout for another intense scene coming up.  Kate said she felt the same way about that suicide scene – she also shared a memorable Fong Ying scene of her own – the scene in episode 2 where Fong Ying is alone at the bar, sadly drinking from the bottle of whiskey that her boyfriend left for her (since Kate already knew the entire story arc, that particular scene had emotional impact for her).  Greg chimed in and said he especially liked the scene near the end of episode 9 where Fong Ying and Mallory have that heart to heart conversation in front of the Justice building (that was my favorite scene too!!).
o   The host then asked Kate what was her most memorable scene involving her character Mallory.  She said there were a lot, but hinted that it would be a scene involving her family.  The host said that everyone has been guessing Mallory’s past involves some type of domestic violence from her father towards her mother – Kate wouldn’t reveal whether that was the case or not and encouraged viewers to continue watching, as the ‘mystery’ will be revealed next week.

-          Next question:  netizens really want to know about the relationship arcs in the series and who will end up with whom.
o   The host said that obviously, Greg and Kate will end up together, since the episode that just aired featured their intimate make-out / sex scene.  Kate jokingly told Greg to do the talking because she was a bit embarrassed.  Greg said that the scene is an important transition point – audiences might think that this means Lok Ka Fai and Mallory will get together and live happily ever after, but that’s actually not the case at all.  All 3 of them said there will be some things that happen that complicate the situation, but won’t reveal any more than that.
o   The host then asked Kate an interesting question:  if this were you in real life, would you fall in love with someone like Lok Ka Fai?  Kate couldn’t help giggling and said she probably wouldn’t because she very particular about cleanliness – she’s willing to be friends, but definitely not someone she would consider dating.
o   Catherine said that Lok Ka Fai is the type of guy who would be able to attract a lot of females if he really set his heart to it (Kate chimed in and said yes, that’s how Catherine is too).  She said that he deliberately made himself look like a bum physically, but inside, he is actually a very good person, very smart and kind – women can become easily attracted to guys who have inner beauty regardless of how he looks on the outside.
o   The host then asked Greg if he would fall in love with Mallory in real life – he said that he likes Kate more than Mallory, because Mallory can be a bit annoying at times (Kate concurred and said she feels the same way – she said one difference between her and Mallory is that she doesn’t talk as much and doesn’t ask as many questions).
o   Greg said that Mallory can be annoying, but she has the ability to make you see another side of yourself and find that ‘hidden cuteness’ in you.
o   How about Fong Ying’s relationship line?  We all know that Shek Chun Yin has a important place in her heart, but it’s obvious that Prince (Benji Chiang’s character) has a lot of admiration for her.  The host asked if they could reveal a little bit – will Fong Ying and Prince have the opportunity to develop?  Kate replied: “Perhaps….but what will happen in the future no one knows” (she was jokingly giving the “canned” response).  Catherine replied that there will be a little bit of development.
o   The host then asked whether in real life whether Catherine prefers the politician (Shek Chun Yin) or Prince.  Catherine replied – definitely the politician (Shek Chun Yin). She likes that he is more reserved and refined, at least in the series.

-          Moving on to the next topic – the host went back to the ICAC scene and mentioned all the research that went into that segment.  Since they portray reporters who work at a newspaper agency, what other type of research had to be done to make their character more realistic?  Also, is the newspaper agency in the series insinuating a particular real life news agency?
o   Catherine said that this is definitely something they need to talk about, as many people were asking them why the 2 news agencies were named ‘Lau Lin’ (Durian Daily) and ‘Gwing Bo’ (Smart Post).  She said it’s necessary to clarify on behalf of the scriptwriter Poon Man Hong.
o   Catherine made it very clear that the 2 names have nothing to do with real life news agencies and in no way are they trying to insinuate any particular news agency.  She also revealed that later on in the series, they will ‘explain’ why the 2 newspapers are named the way they are.
o   One of the netizens said that the whole news agency piece is very realistic, down to the process, so could it be an adaptation from a real life newspaper agency.  The 3 of them explained that the scriptwriter Poon Man Hong has a journalism background, as that was her major in college…plus she has a lot of friends that are in that field, so she got a lot of information from them as well.
o   Also, they said that Poon Man Hong had the concept for a news-oriented story back when she graduated but just never got the chance to bring it to fruition.  So when the opportunity presented itself (referring to HKTV giving their scriptwriters complete creative freedom to write about anything they want), she jumped on it.
o   The host asked about their own experience – he said that they truly do come across like real reporters in the series…any particular preparation that they did for their roles? 
§  Catherine said she did research on the internet, as there are plenty of news stories that she could read to get that journalistic flavor, but at the end of the day, it was a group effort – the director (Ben Fong) did a good job producing the series and the scriptwriter (Poon Man Hong) did a great job with the script…plus all the personal experiences of each character added to the mix really helped to bring the characters to life.
§  Kate said she actually couldn’t do much preparation because her character Mallory is brand new to the field and doesn’t have any prior journalistic experience – if she was too familiar with what goes on at a newspaper agency, it would be too unrealistic.  She wanted Mallory to truly experience the process for the first time so even though she usually does prepare for her roles, she didn’t this time.
§  Greg said that he had some reporter friends whom he was able to get ideas from to come up with a basic foundation for how reporters are supposed to be, then he just threw the character into the news agency and let him loose – there wasn’t a lot of particular preparation.

-          Next question:  netizen asked how Catherine prepared for her crying scenes and praised her for her acting.
o   First, Catherine thanked the netizen for the compliment.  She then recounted her preparation process (which she already talked about in previous interviews).  Once she got the script and read about Fong Ying’s tragic background and experiences, she started writing daily journal entries for the character so she could really connect with her.  There was also a little bit of spontaneity too in that, just like Greg and Kate, she let her character experience things first-hand in the series….sometimes, you have to let the moment drive the experience.
§  Catherine gave a great example of this:  in that scene where Fong Ying is arguing with her mom over that report about the water, there was no preparation as to whether she is supposed to cry or not.  But as she was acting out that scene, the argument became so heated that she felt like crying, but she (as Fong Ying) couldn’t let her mom have the satisfaction of seeing her cry, plus there were others around, so she held it in.
§  Catherine emphasized how their surroundings have a huge impact on their acting (personal note:  this is very true – many truly consummate actors/actresses have said the exact same thing).

-          After the commercial, continued on with the interview.  The host asked Catherine what her thoughts were on becoming first lead and her sudden popularity after being a virtual unknown for 17 years.
o   First, Catherine clarified that she didn’t feel those 17 years were ‘hardship’, as she is an optimistic person.  She said she actually had a lot of fun those 17 years since she was doing what she likes (acting).  As supporting actors, they get to play a variety of different and interesting characters, which helps them accumulate experience and build their [acting skills]. 
o   Catherine said that she felt lucky to be able to experience so many different characters – that’s why to this day, she is still very grateful to her previous employer (TVB) for giving her the chance to learn so much.  The host said – oh, so you don’t have any animosity toward TVB – to which Catherine replied – of course not!
o   The host said he read some reports about Catherine asking TVB for more opportunities, but they blatantly rejected her – wouldn’t that make her upset?  Catherine said that she doesn’t view that as a bad thing – she understands that the company has their plans and operational procedures.  Perhaps they analyzed it and felt it wasn’t the right time for her, so they made that decision…can’t really blame them for making a business decision that they felt was best for the company at that time.
o   The host relayed the sentiment of the audiences (I actually had the same thoughts  now that they see how good Catherine’s acting is, of course the first thing that will come to mind is that TVB wasted her talent all these years.  What are Catherine’s thoughts on this?
§  Catherine said that she doesn’t feel that way.  She said that without TVB, she wouldn’t have the experiences she has today.
§  She said that if when she started with no acting experience and they gave her a lead role to play right off the bat, she would be dead in the water.  She expressed that acting is a ‘life calendar’ -- an actor can only get good at what he/she does through cumulative experience…that experience is what she was able to build up in her 17 years at TVB.
§  She said the core difference of why she is able to have this type of mentality:  she entered the industry wanting to be an “actress”, not a “celebrity”.
o   The host then asked Catherine why she decided to study law (note:  a few years back, Catherine decided to go back to school for a few years and get a law certification).
§  Catherine said that she got the law certification to satisfy her parents, as they were worried about her future and she wanted to give them reassurance that she would have something to fall back on.  But she emphasized that it’s not a law degree, as what she got was just an advanced certification (pretty much the first step to becoming a lawyer – there are still  years of schooling that she would have to go through if she were to pursue that path).

-          Next, it was Kate’s turn to talk about her background.  The host said that when she first started in the movie industry, she had the opportunity to be nominated for several international-level acting awards, but now things have seemed to quiet down.  What are her thoughts on this?
o   Kate said that any actor’s journey will consist of peaks and valleys.  She said that she didn’t feel there were any major waves in her acting career, it’s just that there were some personal things that happened which she needed to take time off to handle.
o   She said that it might feel like she ‘disappeared’ from the acting scene for awhile but she actually was still around, it’s just that she became a theater actress – with theater, it is a niche market and there is very little promotion. (the host gave her the opportunity to promote her upcoming stage play, which will take place next month).

-          Next was Greg’s turn to answer a netizen’s question:  both of HKTV’s series (The Election and The Menu) has helped Greg become popular.  With the upcoming movie that he will be in, does he have confidence in perhaps being nominated for some type of award?
o   First, Greg said that he agrees that both series have helped him become popular.  He took the opportunity to thank HKTV and director Ben Fong – if Ben hadn’t selected him to participate in The Menu, he would not have gotten the opportunity to film The Election. 
o   He said he’s grateful that he got the chance to participate in series that “challenge” the norm, as that has always been his goal as an actor.  HKTV provided a platform for him to continue in that direction.
o   Greg’s new movie will be in theaters in June – he said that he has no particular thoughts about whether his performance will earn him accolades or other rewards.  As an actor, his job is to put all his effort into his acting and give a quality performance.  Greg said something very similar to Catherine and Kate in that sure, it is nice to get recognition and applause, but he views all that as “bonus” (Catherine commented that the 3 of them have similar thoughts toward acting career, which is why they are such good friends).
o   The host told Greg that there is an obvious physical difference with Greg in both series – he was much slimmer in The Election.  Was that done on purpose?  Greg said yes, he deliberately gained weight for The Menu, then went on a diet regiment for The Election.
o   All 3 of them commented that they enjoy the variety of acting and getting to play completely different characters.

-          In the next segment, the host commented that since they portray reporters, he wanted to “test” them to see how much they know about the current political environment and social issues concerning HK at the moment.  He would ask them a series of questions about certain issues and wanted to get their thoughts on them.
[Translator’s note:  I didn’t recap this section, as none of the questions were relevant to the series, but I will say that this segment is enjoyable to watch because all 3 of them answered extremely well – especially Greg and Catherine (I could totally tell from their responses that they are well-educated and keep up to date on current events in society).  This is a good chance to see what their personal views are on certain issues.]

-          Last segment:  What is the future direction for them?  Any upcoming special projects?
o   The host asked whether they will film season 2, which they replied that they don’t know, especially given the current environment.
o   Greg said that he knows HKTV has at least 10 completed scripts on hand that have not started production yet (personal note:  this is definitely news to me!  I didn’t realize they had that many scripts in inventory).
o   There are also a few series in the queue waiting to air – for example, Greg mentioned the series Night Shift (starring Dominic Lam and Frankie Lam), which he is personally looking forward to because it was filmed entirely at night.  Then they started calling out names of the remaining series already filmed (not sure of air dates though).
o   Greg said that he still has 1 series waiting to air with HKTV, Catherine doesn’t have any and Kate still has Hidden Faces.  Catherine is currently filming a series for RTHK and Kate has her upcoming stage play.
o   The host asked Kate whether she will consider filming movies again, since that’s where she started her acting career – she says she never really left, but for right now, she’s going to focus on her stage play first.  She said that the movie industry has always been difficult to survive, as most investors / production companies won’t be willing to invest in artists who haven’t established themselves yet (which is very true).
o   They said that the 3 of them don’t really think too much of the future – if there are work opportunities, they do it and work hard at it.
o   Greg made a very good point – in the West, there really isn’t a huge differentiation in terms of TV vs Movie vs Theater artist like there is in HK.  The artist can jump back and forth between different disciplines and still be highly respected and produce quality work (he cited actor Kevin Spacey as an example).  He said that’s the way it should be – artists crossover between various multi-media platforms and all media companies should have access to the entire pool of artists.

-          A netizen asked a very important question – if TVB were to invite you guys back to film for them, would you do it (this question is mostly for Catherine, since she’s the only one of the 3 who actually worked for TVB)?
o   Catherine said that she views all job offers as opportunities – it doesn’t matter who the offer is from.  She will still give the same consideration regardless of whether it’s TVB, HKTV, etc.
o   The host went further to ask – well, if TVB invites you back to play the same type of ‘minor’ roles that you did before, what would you do?
§  Catherine replied that it would then come down to a matter of choice -- she would look at what jobs she currently has in the pipeline and see which one she prefers more or which one is more ‘fun’.

-          Any particular wish / hope for the future?
o   Catherine was reading the comments from netizens on the screen – one netizen posted that a lot of the netizens on HK’s Golden discussion forum are very supportive of her.  She first wanted to thank them – she said that she actually does go on Golden to look at the comments (translator’s note:  in a previous interview with The Group HK, scriptwriter Poon Man Hung said that all of them go on the discussion forums often to get feedback).
o   It was cute that a netizen actually wrote – “I’m trying to cap pictures…can you guys give me a close up shot of Catherine Chau please?”  So the memeHK crew actually did a closeup of Catherine and held it for a few seconds…haha…that was sweet! (and I love Greg’s reaction..hehehe!). 
o   Catherine reiterated what Greg had said about artists in the West not being clearly ‘categorized’ into a particular type of artist (TV, movie, theater, etc.).  Both expressed that the market is bigger, which does help build more tolerance for that kind of structure.

-          Back to questions about The Menu:  of course, the question came up about who sings the sub-theme song “Can’t Let Go” (this is probably one of the most discussed topics as of late!  I actually posted about this in AF).
o   The answer is:  no one knows, but they are all diligently trying to find out.  They found the song in a data bank of songs that the company purchased.  Greg once again praised the production team, saying that they didn’t just put any song as the sub-song – there was actually a lot of thought that went into it.
o   Greg actually took his phone out because he said he had asked someone and told them to text him if they found out.  He pulled up the information from his phone, showed it on the screen, and told everyone to ‘cap’ the info.  [I actually did a screenshot of what he showed and included it below.]
o   A lot of people have been asking whether they’ll be able to buy the song on iTunes.  Greg and Catherine said that hopefully the singer of the song will find out and officially release the song.

*Pic credit to Gregory Wong*

-          Last question – can you guys reveal any upcoming “must watch” scenes?
o   Kate immediately said – EPISODE 24!  Then Catherine said – but episode 24 is the finale!  Then Kate said – then episode 23!  Kate said that what happens in that episode caused her to be unhappy for 6 months and Greg chimed in that the episode is ‘earth-shattering’. 
o   Greg said that he would like to recommend a scene where Mallory “spills a basket of porridge” – he said when audiences watch it, they will understand what he means.  It’s a scene involving Catherine and Kate.
o   They all said that the entire cast has become friends now and have a very close relationship.  Kate calls Catherine ‘big sister’.

-          Very last question:  At this moment, is there anything you want to say to Ricky Wong?
o   Kate raises 2 fingers and says:  The Menu, Season 2!
o   Catherine says:  Please film stuff! 
§  Catherine went on to explain that she totally understands Ricky Wong’s position (Greg concurred) – after having invested so much money, time, and energy, then to be dealt such a blow (denied a license), she can understand why anyone in his position would feel lost and uncertain (she did say that she’s not certain whether Mr. Wong feels that way, but she would feel that way in his position)
§  She hopes that Mr. Wong will continue to persist and not give up.  Also, they will continue to support him.
§  She and Greg are very thankful that he gave so many opportunities and experience to so many people. 
o   Greg said that Ricky Wong is a very brave person.  He hopes that he will be able to once again find the courage and ‘fire’ he had in the beginning to keep fighting.  Also, he half-jokingly said that he hopes the ‘white knights’ will help Ricky Wong instead of Wong Ching (LOL).  After that, he said that he hoped the ‘game’ would be more ‘fair’ and HK will let more people play, as it will be the audiences who benefit in the end.
o   Catherine said that one of the reasons why so many people who worked for HKTV are grateful to Ricky Wong is because they truly see his heart and passion for television:  throughout the past 3 years, he had the artists participate in various workshops where they were able to learn a lot of things about acting and production process – they feel like they’ve gained a lot of experience the past 3 years and truly got the chance to grow and develop.
§  For example, he had some of the artists participate in director’s workshops so they can learn what directors and producers do.  His whole point is to open up the lines of communication and allow his staff to expand their knowledge of the ‘big picture’, since that will ultimately help with their performances.
§  The host said – wow, that’s a new concept!
§  Catherine said that everyone has the mindset that there’s always room for improvement.  She said that if they got the chance to re-film The Menu, they already identified areas where they could do it better.

-          For the last couple minutes, they read off a whole bunch of comments from netizens, since the netizens took the time to post, so they didn’t want to waste it  (that segment was funny..LOL).
o   Most of the comments were praising the 3 artists for their performances and also  messages of encouragement (someone said that Kate Yeung looks like Karen Mok – that person must have read my mind because that’s the first thing that came to mind when I first saw Kate on screen).
o   One of their friends (and also fellow artist) Bryant Mak posted during the live chat “support you guys!”  The 3 of them were so happy, they waved crazily at him (and plugged his upcoming HKTV series Night Shift and Hidden Faces). [Note:  Bryant is actually Catherine and also Charmaine Sheh’s god-brother – they all call him “Boy Boy” (haha…cute nickname!)].
o   Someone asked – if they were given the chance to film The Menu again, which character would they want to play?
§  Kate said she would still want to be Mallory
§  Catherine said she would want to play Mallory (because that’s closer to her personality in real life and also because the character is constantly happy)
§  Greg said he would want to play Fu Wing Hang (Alan Luk’s character).  Even though the character was only in 3 episodes, all 3 of them agreed that Alan did a great job.  Greg said that he had asked Alan how he prepared for the role – Alan said that he actually locked himself up in a room for 3 days to get into the character.  Greg praised Alan’s professionalism and said he could definitely see the helplessness and despair in Alan’s eyes when he was filming his scenes.  Greg felt the character is a challenge and so would like to try that character next time.
o   Someone asked why Prince (Benji Chiang) wasn’t there?  They said that Benji was actually supposed to be in the interview too, but he fell ill so he couldn’t make it.  The host said he had actually prepared a lot of questions to ask Prince – the others told him to go ahead and ask and they will answer.
§  The host asked whether Prince is really that picky with his appearance in real life.  They said that Benji isn’t like that in real life – he is actually very easy-going.  Greg said that Benji is very CBC (Canadian-born Chinese).  Kate revealed that when Benji eats shiu mai, he likes to add Worcestershire sauce (all of them said that Benji likes to eat in general and had to try really hard to abstain in preparation for his sex scene with Catherine). 
§  Kate said that her friendship with Benji has grown deeper because they filmed 3 series together (Once Upon A Song, Hidden Faces, The Menu).

-          Lastly, the 3 of them asked that people help promote the series and teach their friends / family how to download the app to watch or go on the internet.  Also, they said that there will be a preview clip airing in theaters next week, which not many people know about so they asked if fans could spread the word.

Details of The Menu's sub-song from the "music label's" database (this is essentially the same information that Greg shared, except the information is much clearer.  Please refer to additional note above.

** UPDATE:  According to ASCAP's database, the singer of "Can't Let Go" is a female vocalist named Laura Jones.  Unfortunately, this still doesn't really help, since Laura is likely an independent singer who is probably not too well known (I actually did a search on the name and found at least 5 "Laura Jones" on the internet who fit the description of 'independent singer-songwriter' and who released music / albums in the 1990s).


  1. A labor of appreciation for quality tv dramas. Thanks for your hard work.

    1. @Tamaya: Thank you! I like the way you put it: "a labor of appreciation". Indeed, I wouldn't bother if I didn't feel it was worth it. This series is definitely worth the effort!

  2. llwy12, been quite busy so haven't had time to watch hk series. If you find anyway to legally download the full version please let me know! I've heard the song on HKTVnewtwork youtube channel and liked it right away.

    This was definitely on top of my list when I saw the trailer few years ago. Glad it's gotten so much great feedback. I heard some news about Rick Wong buying ATV? I seriously hope he's not considering cause ATV has so much "internal" issues. But then again the Hk government has left him without much options. Bottomline, if they can't get rid of WongChing mainland businessman from ATV there really no point in purchasing it.

    1. @sport: Wow, you must be really busy to not have heard the latest news about ATV!

      The news about Ricky Wong buying ATV was already confirmed to be false on Wednesday. Stupid Wong Ching basically used ATV's 6pm news cast on Tuesday night to relay false information (many say his motive was to either force the government to renew ATV's license or force the real buyer to hurry up and sign). Ricky Wong issued an official statement Wednesday morning denying any acquisition of ATV and a few hours later, the Deloitte people announced that the real buyer had already signed papers to buy ATV. That same afternoon, the government held a press conference announcing that they would NOT be renewing ATV's free TV license -- so ATV will be closing up shop in 1 year (IF they last that long).

      Definitely feel sorry for the 600 ATV employees who will be out of a job. Damn that Wong Ching for using ATV as his personal toy and 'playing' with 600 hard-working employees' livelihoods!

    2. @sport: In terms of The Menu -- absolutely recommend the series, as it is definitely a 'must watch'!! Unfortunately, I don't know of any place to download the drama legally (I usually watch on HKTV's website or on their app)...either way though, definitely a series worth watching. And that sub theme song is absolutely I can't stop looping the song in my head...LOL!

    3. hi llwy12 I actually meant the full version of the ending song lol.

      I've heard about the rumors but knew it was false cause I saw the title of an article of Ricky Wong clarifying.

      Wow so Wong Ching's scheme actually worked and he managed to sell ATV before the announcement? Such a sneaky businessman.