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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Actress Shu Qi cuts fee by 30%

Asia One

THE Hong Kong entertainment industry is starting to feel the effects of the financial crunch.

Faced by fewer opportunities, some artistes have started to lower their wage demands.

Xinhua reported that sultry actress Shu Qi (left) has dropped her asking price by 30 per cent.

The 32-year-old attended an event for Dom Perignon champagne in Hong Kong last week.

When asked if she's affected by the economic crisis, she claimed that her investments had shrunk by half in value, but she's optimistic that she would be able to recoup slowly.

She said: 'The outlook is looking gloomy for the Hong Kong film industry. I have cut my wage demands by 30 per cent. Since the crisis hit, I've not taken any new roles.'

When a reporter asked if she thinks she's being noble by taking the lead, she replied: 'I should do it, since I'm part of the movie industry.'

Looking elegant in a green, backless Versace dress and Chaumet jewellery worth about 400,000 yuan ($88,000), Shu Qi said her next assignment is to do a voice-over for the new film of Chinese director Feng Xiaogang, of The Banquet fame.

Several Hong Kong artistes are also following suit.

Actress-singer Miriam Yeung told Xinhua that she agrees with Shu Qi's call. Said Miriam: 'The film industry is in the doldrums now and if the film company has certain budget constraints, I'm willing to compromise.'

Actress Josie Ho didn't fare any better. She claimed that for her last job, all she got was a hongbao with a nominal fee.

Josie, who is the daughter of casino magnate Stanley Ho, said she had started some projects with her own film company, but has had to cut down on her budget even before the projects got into full swing.

Mr Chen Huanzong, a senior official of Media Asia Group which Shu Qi belongs to, commended her.

He said: 'This will help the HK film industry greatly.'

However, Jet Tone Productions, which has Tony Leung and Carina Lau in its stable, said they have no plans to reduce their stars' pay packet yet.

This story was first published in The New Paper on Oct 24, 2008.

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