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Mon, Nov 02, 2009
The New Paper
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I didn't use Daddy as inspiration
by Tan Kee Yun

In real life, she is the daughter of billionaire casino tycoon Stanley Ho.

In the gambling-themed movie Poker King, Josie Ho plays a glamorous casino boss.

It is the latest gambling-themed film to hit our theatres.

That means the 34-year-old actress-singer had the best research material for her character right at home in the form of her dad.

But Josie, the youngest of Mr Ho’s three children, told FiRST in a phone interview from Hong Kong that she didn’t seek inspiration from her dad at all.

“Actually, I don’t know what his working environment is like,” she said nonchalantly.

“Plus there wasn’t a need to observe him, because my character, Ms Fong, is a strong-headed independent woman.

“Basically, she reflects the personality of a capable woman in the corporate world, one with lots of attitude to boot.”

That she prefers to distance herself from her dad is not new.

When she started her showbiz career in the mid-’90s, it was reported in the Hong Kong press that Mr Ho had objected to it.

While she could have easily enjoyed life as a billionaire heiress, she simply did not crave the high-society lifestyle.

In a 2007 interview with entertainment news portal, she revealed that she “never wanted to work in her family’s business empire”.

“Maybe I am just a little black sheep who’s running away from them. I’m the rebel.”

Over the years, she has taken on a variety of roles.

From a Khmer Rouge militant in the 1999 action flick Purple Storm and a hooker in the 2003 comedy Naked Ambition (for which she won Best Supporting Actress at the Hong Kong Film Awards) to one-half of a lesbian couple in Butterfly (2004), she has proven that she can handle all of them with aplomb.

She told FiRST: “I don’t set limits for myself when it comes to acting. It’ll be challenging and fun to take on any role that I have not tried before.”

It does help when you have a great on-screen partner, such as Lau Ching Wan, 45, who shares a few flirtatious scenes with her in Poker King.

It was the first time they were acting opposite each other, but Josie was duly impressed.

“Ching Wan is an actor who elevates the performances of whoever he acts with,” she said.

“He’s a natural. Before you know it, he has already helped to ease you into your character.”

She also remains tight-lipped about her love life.

Married to musician Conroy Chan since 2003, she was photographed a few months ago by the paparazzi having a spat with Conroy and subsequently throwing him out of the house.

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This article was first published in The New Paper.

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