updated 20 Nov 2013, 02:07
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China's new eye candy
by Tan Kee Yun

The Sex Bomb


Dubbed "China's sexiest and bustiest host", host-turned-actress Liu, who boasts 34E assets, has become synonymous with controversy of late, partly thanks to her voluptuous figure.

The Chinese language and linguistics graduate from Hunan Normal University started her career almost a decade ago, hosting mostly infotainment programmes.

Compared with her peers, mainstream fame hit her late - she only garnered attention after starring in films, notably wuxia epic Mural (2011) and mystery thriller The Incredible Truth (2013).

Her latest big-screen outing, action comedy Badges Of Fury, which was released in June, saw Liu wrestling away attention from Taiwanese actress Michelle Chen with her scenestealing supporting role as the buxomy, boyfriend- stealing half-sister of a murder suspect.

Liu, who attracted more than 1,000 fans with her appearance at the 2013 China Hainan International Automotive Exhibition in Haikou, is currently in the midst of filming The Four II, the second part of a martial arts trilogy co-starring Hong Kong actors Ronald Cheng and Anthony Wong.

But with stardom comes a price.

Last year, Hong Kong paparazzi reported that she had a dalliance with TVB hunk Bosco Wong and cited her as the main cause behind the split of Wong and long-time actress-girlfriend Myolie Wu.

Liu, whose other rumoured beaus include Taiwanese magician Liu Qian and host Ou Hansheng, denied the allegations.

However, she makes no bones about her showbiz ambitions.

In a 2009 talk show programme, Best Live on Beijing TV, she admitted that her main motivation for becoming a host was to get a chance to hug her idol, Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai, in front of Leung and his actress- wife Carina Lau. The lucky girl had her wish fulfilled.

"Besides my 'career line' (Chinese slang for cleavage), please also take note of the effort I've put into my career," she once posted on her Sina Weibo microblog in 2011.

"Since I'm already in this (industry), I want to make the best out of it."

Liu has gamely flaunted her ample cleavage countless times, whether in lad mags or on red carpets, and doesn't shy away from talking about her assets.

The Flirt

MA SU, 32

Singaporeans might not be familiar with pixie-faced actress Ma from Heilongjiang province, but sports fans will recognise her athlete ex-boyfriend Kong Ling Hui, two-time Olympic champion and one of table tennis' all-time greats.

Still, Ma has been dubbed by the Chinese media as "Rising TV Queen" for her prominent roles in inspirational urban drama Beijing Youth (2011) and wuxia fantasy 42-parter The Bride With White Hair (2012), which is currently showing on Channel 8 every Saturday at 10.30pm.

She told in a recent interview while promoting her new romance drama, Tonight The Angels Descend, that acting-wise, she "wised up" sometime in 2008.

"I became quite obsessed with (acting) and it was the only thing on my mind... I observed my co-stars and tried to remember the (techniques) I liked," she said.

But she made headlines in China earlier this week with her love life when it was announced that she had parted ways with Kong after 11 years together.

Kong, 37, who is currently serving as head coach of the Chinese women's national table tennis squad, put out a written statement on Monday, explaining that his "care and concern" for Ma was "not enough".

Amid ongoing reports of her alleged infidelity in the Chinese press - Sina.

com reported that she had "a one-night affair after too much to drink", while spotted her "out on a date" with an actor eight years her junior - Ma has only good words to say of her ex.

"It's really hard to let go of a relationship that's been (so) long... We are still very good friends and will help each other like family members," she told entertainment portal Sohu.

Perhaps her newfound singlehood will finally put an end to her rumoured two-timing ways. In the 11 years she was with Kong, Ma was said to have "dated" Hong Kong actor Ruco Chan and her The Bride With White Hair co-star Nicky Wu on separate occasions.

The Thespian


Don't be fooled by Jiangsu province native Jiang Yiyan's gentle, demure demeanour.

When it comes to acting, she's anything but sweet.

Her resume is full of diversified roles that would make serious actresses like Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett proud.

She played a feisty prostitute in war drama film City Of Life And Death (2009), an imprisoned murderer in mystery flick The Bullet Vanishes (2012) (which snagged her a Best Supporting Actress nomination at April's Hong Kong Film Awards) and most recently, a lonely singer in horror director Oxide Pang's thriller Conspirators, which was in local cinemas in April.

"I've always had this rebellious streak in me, since my teenage years, there was always a desire to do something different," she told news site in a recent interview.

Jiang, who published her debut collection of essays, I'm Xiaojiang The Crawler, earlier this year, said the turning point in her career came when she ticked off City Of Life And Death director Lu Chuan after learning that he was undecided about casting her for the prostitute role.

"I simply said, 'If you don't trust me, I won't act' in his face," she recalled.

Compared with the ignominy of her celebrity peers, Jiang has stayed relatively squeaky-clean.

Her only scandal came in December last year, when news broke that "there was something fishy going on" between her and actor Deng Chao, who is married to actress Betty Sun.

Jiang promptly brushed the rumours aside, saying: "It's too hilarious, artists need friends to."

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