Singapore has a "thriving gigolo scene".
That's according to Hong Kong actress Sandra Ng, who is doing research for her new comedic film Golden Duck, which she will produce.
So convinced was she that the award-winning 49-year-old even considered Singapore as a filming location.
Golden Duck, a spin-off of her hit comedy franchise Golden Chicken, looks at the lives of gigolos in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia, and is set for release next year.
Golden Chicken (2002) and its two sequels - Golden Chicken 2 (2003) and Golden Chickensss (2014) - tell the stories of Kam (Ng), who works as a long-time successful prostitute in Hong Kong.
In Mandarin, "chicken" and "duck" are slangs for female and male prostitutes respectively.
Ng told The New Paper in a mix of Cantonese and Mandarin: "I visited gigolo clubs in Taiwan and Thailand to do research for the movie.
"I wanted to go to the ones in Singapore, but I didn't have the time. I heard that the scene here is quite big."
She added: "I considered filming in Singapore, but it was difficult due to the tight schedule.
"I needed to finish filming in 1½ months, and there was no time to shoot the movie in different countries."
Ng was in town on Wednesday to promote her latest flick, A Fantastic Ghost Wedding, which also stars Singapore comedian Mark Lee and rookie child actor Keane Chan.
In the Singapore-made film which opens here on Nov 20, Ng plays an overbearing mother who controls her son's life - even after he dies.
She hires a young medium (Keane) and his father (Lee) to help find a wife for her dead son and make him happy on the other side.
This leads to a series of events, which results in a Chinese ghost wedding.
Even though it was Ng's first time working with Lee, the duo share a strong chemistry, as evidenced by their lively banter during the press conference held at Orchard Hotel.
She sang praises of Lee, saying that all her relatives, including her Singaporean sister-in-law, love him for his comedic acting. Lee returned the favour, saying in Mandarin: "When I look at Sandra, I always feel she is a good comedian who can make people laugh.
"However, she can also play serious roles very well, just like me."
Ng, who has an eight-year-old daughter Jillian with her long-time partner, Hong Kong director Peter Chan, said she is nothing like her on-screen character when it comes to real-life parenting.
She said: "I am no Tiger Mum. I am quite relaxed and I let my daughter do what she wants sometimes."
But she admits to being strict when it comes to her daughter's diet, lamenting that the latter is too skinny for her age as she has not been eating well.
"My daughter loves to eat sweetened cereal with cold milk for breakfast, but I feel that it's not healthy for her," she said.
"These days, I wake up at 6am to cook her oatmeal or porridge with pumpkin and carrots. Sometimes, I make her sandwiches or toast."
Ng also revealed that she does not allow her daughter to use a mobile phone, watch YouTube videos or silly cartoons.
She said: "Once she spent HKD$500 (S$80) buying game credits on my phone. I was so angry and banned her from using a phone."
Ng, who appears lean and fit, exercises four times a week to keep in shape.
She also watches her diet as she believes that a celebrity should look good at all times.
She made everyone laugh when she said: "But it's hard to do that in Singapore.
"There is just so much good food that I love to eat here - roast pork rice, curry, crab beehoon soup, laksa...the list goes on."
This article was first published on Nov 14, 2014.
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