Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Jack Wu talking fat ‘nonsense’

Roughly estimated Myolie Wu gained about forty pounds. Recently, she has been on the cover of three magazines with a total of almost ten articles. The recipe to increase weight is different for every person, but at least Myolie’s exposure and figure has both expanded greatly.

With the same surname Wu and also gained forty pounds is Jack Wu. However, this Wu definitely isn’t the same as the other Wu. It hadn’t been played up by the media. If it was, at the most it was a little gossip article of hundred till two hundred words, like in our weekly of last week, with the title “Jack Wu becomes fat Wu”.

Whether one is popular or not, the entertainment circle has always been very ruthless. But Jack has gone through even more ruthless times. In 1996, he won a singing contest and in 1997 he became a newcomer in the industry. Suddenly there was a financial crisis. From the newcomer with the most potential, he turned into a ‘businessman’ struggling for money. To earn money, he would often have to depend on doing shows. It is a choice that one often wouldn’t like to choose. In 2000 he joined TVB, beginning from scratch again. No one remembered that he was once a singer.

Working hard for a few years, it wasn’t easy to become a male lead. His co-star is the current rising starlet Myolie Wu. Believing he could rise up in one go, who could imagine he was frozen for the next three years. If it wasn’t for the recent creation of ‘TVB pay channel’, we wouldn’t even have a clue what was called “Net Deception”.

“Being an artist, you can’t control when a series will be aired. As long as you did your best, it is enough.”

Having been through too many situations where hope will turn into disappointment, one has learned to relativise. For example portraying a fat guy this time, it is already enough when has given his all.

“Of course it is good when I become popular with this role. If I don’t, well, I can always try next time. Anyway, at least this time I can eat and drink as much as I want. In the past, I had to watch my figure. I wouldn’t dare to let myself go like this!” Jack has just eaten curry beef noodles followed by toast, chicken wings and a coke. It seems he is talking straight from his heart. So enviable.

Perhaps I am still not good enough
Originally, we wanted to interview Jack Wu when “To Grow with Love” is airing. However, it was said that halfway the series he will start losing his weight. At the moment, he is on his heaviest. Everyone believed it was necessary to have at least a picture as a reminder.

That day, he arrived with a body weight of almost 170 pounds and a 36-inch belly. Sitting down, he was either drinking high-nutritional milk or coke all the time. His mouth never stopped working. He was asked to sit on the ground for a picture, but he couldn’t bend his legs enough. In the end, he had to sit on a chair. Seeing him like this, you would think he was having a hard time.

However, Jack is really enjoying being a fat guy. He is smiling a lot with a mischievous expression. He even swallowed the cold food props into his stomach. “It is not hard work. No matter what, I still have to eat!” he said.

What he is most excited about is not the fact he successfully gained weight. However it was this rare opportunity of performance.

He has waited for nine years, but the moment he might become popular has finally arrived. Jack knows very well what he is doing. This fat guy, his last name definitely is not ‘dead’.

“Nowadays, if I don’t feel full, I would immediately eat something. The way I eat is actually quite frightening. As soon as I wake up I will drink three yakults which help my stomach exercise. Afterwards I drink a glass of high-nutritional milk. For breakfast, I order a regular menu A: noodles with omelette and toast. In the past I would drink tea with milk, but now I drink coke. Before lunch I eat an orange and some chocolate. Then I eat a dish of greasy fried rice plus a chicken buttock. After lunch I drink another glass of high-nutritional milk. When it is tea time I eat a braised chicken bun, rice with shredded meat and vegetables plus a chicken wing with French fries. Before dinner I have two yakults followed by baked pork steak with rice. As for my midnight snack, I usually have a portion of glutinous rice with chicken and another glass of high-nutritional milk.

Besides saying my lines, my mouths is continuously eating. In the past I would go running and go to the gym. At the moment I try to move as little as possible so that I absorb a lot of warmth and energy.

To tell you the truth I am actually quite happy. As an artist, you always have to look after your body. You have to eat many small portions, but you also fear for water absorption. Usually we eat half a dish and then we stop. It is not often that they order me to let myself go food-wise. To be able to let yourself go like this is truly a rare opportunity.

Losing weight in the future are worries for the future. The company has already helped me contact a slimming company. I am a slim person from nature, so losing weight should be easier than gaining weight.

This time the company has arranged a fat role for me to play, it is a very rare and valuable opportunity. Naturally I would give it my all. Many of my friends think that my exposure has been considerably less that Myolie’s. Nobody has ever looked out for me… I admit that. However I can always relativise. She is a pretty girl who gained forty pounds, of course it has caused a sensation. No one noticing me, perhaps I am still not good enough to make others notice me!”

Pre-destined in life
No one really knows Jack Wu. We only know that he was originally a singer. He has filmed a few series and most recently, he is hosting “Scoop”. The background one grows up in often influences one’s personality. Jack should be the best example of it.

“When I was young, my family was really poor. My first memory is that my parents, my younger brother and I lived in a house with one bed for us to sleep on. Afterwards my father became a firefighter. We moved to the firemen living quarters in Kwai Chung. You could call it a richer residence. At that time, we didn’t have a television at home. My younger brother and I would daily sit on the door porch, sticking our legs through the grills of the door. Then we could see the television in the apartment across.

My mother is very smart. She often sews clothes at home. The factory knows that she is very good at it, so she doesn’t need to take those herself. Every week someone will deliver bags full of cloths to our home. My mother knew that we wanted to buy a television. Therefore she accepted an order to sew hundreds of winter coats. After sewing for a couple of months, she has earned enough money.

I grew up in a strict family. My younger brother and I weren’t allowed to play on the street. My mother always had to go with us, she feared that we would mix with a bad crowd.

Talking about it, my family actually exists of five members. After my mother gave birth to my younger brother and I, she wanted to have a daughter. However, she gave birth to another son, yet we loved him very much and treated him as a little prince.

In the second grade of high school, my youngest brother was three years old. I remember very well that one evening, he was suddenly crying of tummy ache. My parents brought him to the hospital. My other younger brother and I carried on like nothing had happened as we were playing computer games at home. We were sleeping till the middle of the night, when father phoned us: “Come quickly to the hospital, your brother doesn’t have long anymore!” Very scary, it is really scary.

The doctor told us that our youngest brother had a hereditary disease. His trachea declined sorrowfully and he would only live till his three years. This had a great impact on us, it was very sudden as there wasn’t any prior decline in his condition. When we returned home, we saw his toys and started crying.

Before this, my other younger brother and I were quite naughty. Afterwards I feel we both have matured. We wouldn’t only care about playing and will voluntarily help out in the household.

My younger brother is currently studying in the United Kingdom. At certain times, he will call back home. He is very reliable.

As for me, you often ask me that Jack Wu doesn’t seem to care about anything. I never compete with anyone. The truth is that from very early on I understood that many things are pre-destined. Fame is just something that passes. We can’t control it, so it is best to let nature take its course. For me, family will always comes first. With my parents’ support I was able to persevere till now. Perhaps in the eyes of many, I am only an unknown kelefe, but for my parents I am the male lead. My father is truly the best father you can have. Since I started out in the entertainment industry, he would record every performance I did. Afterwards he will write the time, place and date on it. The last year, it became very popular to record with VCD, so he transformed all videos in VCD’s. I am very touched by it.”

Not allowing others to forget
Actually Jack Wu entered this profession as the winner of the ‘Big Echo Summer Karaoke Contest’ in 1996. Readers with a good memory will remember that the winner before Jack was Joey Yung.

Two winners, but not the same fate. However, there is one positive note, men do not age that quickly. Working hard for the past ten years, Jack is already 28 years old. He might suddenly become another Leo Ku or Kevin Cheng in another few years’ time, which is not too bad.

“When I was young I have dreamt about following my father’s footsteps and become a firefighter. However, I developed nearsightedness afterwards. At that time, laser corrections weren’t really popular, so I had to eliminate this thought. Actually, when I was growing up I have never dreamt of becoming a celebrity. Participating in a singing contest, it was sheer greed to win the car. In the end, I really won it.

In 1997, I signed a contract with Wah Laap (record company) and in October, my album came out. The title was “1997 Wah Laap newest star Jack Wu – one promise” (Jack’s Chinese name is Lok Yin which means promise). It was quite cool. However at the end of the year, there was a financial crisis and all plans were shelved.

The following two years I had a lot of free time as I only had some singles out once in a while. My friends knew that I have to look after my family, so they introduced many mall and hotel shows to me to sing. It was actually quite awkward sometimes. You are singing, but the elderly audience doesn’t have a clue who you are. They are just eating. However to continue living, I can’t not do it. The funniest was after I have been a guest at the fitness centre for a few times, they gave me a free membership. Whenever I have free time or have nothing to do, I will go to the gym.

In 1999 Wah Laap ended the contract and introduced me into TVB. In the very beginning I did a weekend music show. Before when I was a singer, everything was arranged for me. But then I suddenly had to read the announcements myself to know whether I had to go to work or not. I really wasn’t used to it. However, there was nothing I could do, but adapt myself.

What I was less accustomed to was that I had to go to the recording studio to interview Edmond Leung. I have to such studio’s before, but this time my identity was a host. I didn’t belong there anymore. Although I was filming with a smile, my heart really felt sour.

I am actually quite fortunate. Before I was only a newcomer who just started out, coming from a normal family. Now I am only starting all over again.

Afterwards other artists taught me that only being a music host wasn’t enough. I should go upstairs and introduce myself to the producers, then I would have more opportunities. So I bravely went to look for Leung Coi Yuen: “Uncle Coi, my name is Jack Wu. I have just signed an artists’ contract…” Actually, I was quite afraid back then. He didn’t even know me at all. Fortunately, he had a new series “Lost in Love” afterwards and he really asked me. That was my first series. I was very happy then.

Recently, I have had quite a lot of opportunities. [Do you think that is dangerous?] I have never thought that. I have never been a first-line siu sang. Why should I feel pressured? (wry laugh) Raymond Lam, Ron Ng and Kevin Cheng; they are truly tall and handsome. I can’t be compared with them.

Naturally I dream of singing. In the past I would think when I could be on stage again. I want to let them know that Jack Wu also sings. However, I would ask myself: based on what can I ask everyone to buy my album? Even I can’t convince myself. If in the future I have the opportunity to participate in something like the album “All About Men” and sing one or two song, then I would already be very satisfied.

Currently I will focus on filming series. The most important thing is to keep on having work. Not allowing myself to be sifted out nor to be forgotten by the audience. Hopefully one day I will recognized by everyone. Looking at it broadly, shooting series is also satisfying. If someone calls me ‘Siu Fu Yun’ (his character’s name in “Real Kung Fu”) on the street, then I would be happy for the rest of the evening.”

Epilogue: Would you like to try it?
Inside Jack’s backpack, he has a package of yakults and four cans of high-nutritional milk. All stocked on each other.

“It isn’t actually that heavy. This kind of milk was recommended to me by a nutritionist. It especially increases fat very quickly. Fluids are much easier to take in. Let’s drink it first and worry later!”

It says on the can: “High energy, highly nutritional. Before or after an operation, during or after sickness. Suitable for middle-aged and elder people…”

“Would you like to try it? The taste is actually quite good. Give it a try.”

Wah, so fat. Of course I won’t try it, no matter how good it is. In Hong Kong gaining weight so happily, I believe there is only Jack Wu.

Source: Sudden Weekly 7th July 2006

Posted by black eyed susan @ 10:29 PM

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