Posted: 04 Aug 2011 02:34 AM PDT
Ntv7's latest reality drama series, What Men Want, seeks to investigate the intricacies of the male mind.
DEANNA Yusoff has the grace and charms of a refined, older woman. Though noticeably absent from the public eye since her last big-screen project Chermin (Mirror) in 2007, the actress has not lost that vivid sparkle she's known for.
Tucked in a quiet corner at Hoofed in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, the Malay-Swedish beauty lights up the room with a smile as she talks about her upcoming projects.
"I've been in the industry for nearly 20 years and I lost some of my passion for acting along the way. I took a break because I needed to rediscover that passion," explains the stunning 44-year-old.
Deanna thinks her age limits her choices in film roles. "When you're my age, people always expect you to play the mother. The problem is, mother roles are always so stereotypical over here – you're either the doting mum or the nagging wife – everybody can do that.
"Why can't we have more roles that have more substance for mature females? Because you've reached a certain age you're not cool anymore?" she muses with a wry smile. "Look at the American actresses – they're married and they have children and they still have exciting roles to play. I think the industry here tends to overlook those of us who are not too young and not too old."
The actress, who now divides her time between singing, emceeing and running her own handmade Swiss chocolates business, says she constantly strives for progress. "I always want to be better and not be typecast into any particular role. People like to stereotype me as a model but I think that's boring. I don't like labels," she says with a shrug.
She hints that she could be making an imminent comeback on television. "People have been saying things like, 'Oh, you have to make a comeback' but I don't think I ever went anywhere. But after Ramadhan (this fasting month), maybe … a drama," she teases.
"I've definitely been getting a lot of offers but I can't talk about them yet as nothing has been confirmed," she hastens to add.
One thing's for sure – Deanna will be the host of Ntv7's latest reality drama series, What Men Want. The testosterone-charged series, which sees six young Malaysian men huddled up in a penthouse, seeks to investigate the intricacies of the mysterious male psyche.
"It's a social experiment that brings these very different men together to show who they really are," Deanna elaborates.
The show, she adds, will reveal the social dynamics between six vastly different characters and highlight the relationships that develop among them as well as their lives outside the apartment.
Deanna claims that the series is completely unscripted. "The guys are just themselves and the show documents their real-life interactions. Nothing like this has been done here before and I find that really refreshing." And it is precisely that uniqueness and honesty about the programme that got the seasoned actress onboard.
The six gentlemen on the show are: The Joker – Imran Mohd Noor (Wolfie), 22; The Player – Gerrit Lee Poel, 24; The Stuck-Up – Fendi Shareef Ang, 24; The Filial Son – Kit Mah, 26; The Wimp – Ken Wong, 27 and The Romantic – Imran Fadzil, 28.
Self-professed funnyman Imran, a communications graduate, says he was picked to star on the show because of his big hair. "It looks a little like Wolverine's (from the X-men series). Someone just came up to me on the street one day and roped me in," he recalls with a laugh.
"Some of my friends also call me 'Bulu' (hairy)," he adds, displaying a hairy forearm. "I've been really hairy since I was 10."
Meanwhile, Lee Poel, a German-Malaysian business and arts student, has quite a reputation for being a ladies' man.
"I have no plans to commit at all, I hate responsibilities and I'm not into serious relationships," he reveals. "But when I have fun with a girl, I do it in a respectable manner. I make sure they know what they're getting into and I respect them just as they respect me."
Marketing executive Mah, on the other hand, says he is a one-woman man. "I've been in a relationship for eight years now," he shares.
Mah admits that he is very close to his mother as well. "I share everything with her." A part-time model, he works out daily to maintain his honed physique. "I like doing yoga. A lot of men don't do it but I think it's beautiful."
Wong, clearly the most easygoing chap of the lot, says he doesn't mind being dominated by his sassy girlfriend. "I'm quiet and I seldom talk but once I get to know a bunch of guys, I wanna be their taiko (leader)," the lumbering art director says with a laugh.
> What Men Want premieres on Nov 12 and will air on Saturdays at 8.30pm on Ntv7.Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.
Posted: 04 Aug 2011 02:33 AM PDT
Food enthusiasts get their chance to be AFC's Next Celebrity Chef.
IF you are a food lover who dreams of becoming a chef on the Asian Food Channel (AFC, Astro Channel 703), here's news that would put a smile on your face.
The AFC and Eastern & Oriental Berhad (E&O) are conducting a region-wide search for Asia's next celebrity chef, through the channel's first ever reality TV series, E&O Search For AFC's Next Celebrity Chef.
With contestants from across Asia and auditions held in five countries – Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore – the programme hopes to attract some of the region's most talented cooks.
All aspiring chefs, individuals with culinary training, or those with a passion for and knowledge of cooking are invited to sign up for auditions and take up the challenge to be crowned AFC's Next Celebrity Chef.
Besides providing inspiration and training to new chefs in an attempt to unearth their culinary talents, the competition also offers budding chefs opportunities to step up in their careers and embrace aspirations they dream of.
The winning chef will sign a one-year contract as a celebrity chef with AFC. The winner will also receive a year-long employment contract with the E&O Group and be the gourmet group's creative director and head of research and development.
AFC managing director and co-founder Maria Brown expressed her excitement at this production.
"This is AFC's first ever fully produced and filmed reality TV contest. We want contestants of different personalities and backgrounds to add to the mix of culture and character dimensions to the series.
"AFC has always supported Asian talents through productions featuring Chef Wan and Chef Martin Yan. This series gives viewers the chance of a lifetime to be a chef on our channel," said Brown in a press release.
Auditions will run till Aug 16 in the five countries. Shortlisted contestants must undergo a series of cooking tests and challenges. This is followed by an eight-part series which will reveal the top 12 finalists. Details of the show's premiering date, hosts and challenges will be announced at a later date.
Each week, one or more participants will be eliminated based on decisions made by judges comprising AFC celebrity chef and host of TV series Tablescapes Chef Bruce Lim and E&O Group's director of group hospitality & lifestyle Michael Saxon. A host of international and celebrity chefs will make surprise appearances as guest judges in selected episodes.
Lim said the show is open to individuals who are passionate about cooking.
"Auditions are open to Asians aged 18 and above. We are looking for candidates with skill, enthusiasm, passion and who are camera-friendly," said Lim during AFC's Next Celebrity Chef's press conference in Kuala Lumpur recently.
The 33-year-old chef has high expectations of Malaysian participants due to the country's exotic blend of culinary delights.
"I enjoy Malaysian food because they are flavourful and rich. Malaysian cuisine comprises Malay, Chinese, Indian, Nyonya and Eurasian dishes which are distinct and piquant. I love how spices are used in different cuisines. I hope Malaysians will showcase their skills and hopefully promote spices to the world," said Lim.
The entire series will be shot on location at E&O's numerous hospitality and lifestyle properties, including E&O Hotel and Lone Pine Hotel in Penang, and St Mary Residences and Delicious restaurants in Kuala Lumpur.
> All interested candidates can register at asianfoodchannel.com/nextafcchef.Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.
Posted: 03 Aug 2011 07:02 PM PDT
BEVERLY HILLS, California (AP): Ashton Kutcher will play "an Internet billionaire with a broken heart" when he arrives as the new star of "Two and a Half Men" next month.
CBS Entertainment Nina Tassler shared this tidbit about the much-anticipated cast change for TV's biggest sitcom during a session with television reporters on Wednesday. Kutcher, of course, will fill the void left by Charlie Sheen, who made a stormy exit from "Men" last season.
Kutcher's character will be named Walden Schmidt, confided the CBS boss, who added that Schmidt has no family connection to the characters played by continuing stars Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones. They portrayed the brother and nephew of Sheen's departed character.
Tassler would not confirm or deny reports that the new season of "Men" begins with the death of Sheen's character, Charlie Harper, and a funeral.
"The mystery is part of the marketing," she said.
"Men" begins its ninth season on Sept. 19 with the first of a two-part kickoff that establishes Kutcher's character.
Kutcher's first week on the job begins a new chapter for "Men" after a tumultuous conclusion to Sheen's eight-season run as a fast-living, womanizing cad. Sheen's portrayal drew inspiration from his own life of sex sprees, serial marriages and substance abuse, which spiraled into clashes with the show's studio as well as its creator, Chuck Lorre, and CBS. He was fired in March and the season was shuttered early.
Predictably, Tassler voiced excitement about the show's new star. Kutcher, she said, "is an extraordinarily professional, talented, funny, gifted actor who comes with a tremendous amount of commitment and enthusiasm."
"The show will be as irreverent as it has ever been," she promised. "Our Program Practices people are already on high alert."
Even so, Kutcher and his "Men" co-stars were conspicuously absent from Wednesday's sessions of the Television Critics Association, which was visited by cast members from several of CBS' new autumn shows as well as from "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," the veteran crime drama that is welcoming Ted Danson to the fold for its upcoming 12th season.
Asked why the "Men" gang wasn't on hand, Tassler replied that the show is in production. It resumed shooting Monday, and a break for a meeting across town with reporters would have been too disruptive, she explained.
"There is a tremendous amount of energy and focus and attention," Tassler said. "I would be lying if I didn't say when everybody walked on that set on Monday, you could cut the air with a knife."
Tassler was asked what she had learned from her experience with Sheen.
"Oh, where do I begin?" she replied with mock weariness, but hastily insisted she preferred to look forward, not behind.
Then, when asked if, in the future, CBS might introduce new policies for casting actors who are known for erratic behavior, she cracked, "That would probably be every actor in the business."Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.
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