They pull off some of the sexiest scenes in new aviation-themed romantic flick Triumph In The Skies - just not with each other.
Hong Kong stars Julian Cheung and Charmaine Sheh were in town on Monday to promote the big screen spin-off of TVB's successful TV series of the same name.
They were gregarious and affable as they entertained reporters with interesting nuggets of how they aced the movie's most titillating moments.
Cheung, 43, has a sizzling bathtub scene with his on-screen girlfriend (Taiwanese actress Amber Kuo), where the latter sprawls out on his buff chest as they soak in bubbly bliss.
"Before that, I didn't know Amber well at all, but after we shot that scene, we became really well-acquainted," he told M.
But behind their intimacy was a challenge.
Not only did Cheung and Kuo, 28, have to brave the cold for eight hours - they shot the scene in England in winter - Kuo's body kept descending below the water surface and Cheung had to keep her afloat throughout.
"Amber was sinking like the Titanic," said Cheung.
"I had to prop her up with my leg, which inadvertently touched one of her bones.
"Looking back, it was definitely a 'tribulation' that we managed to overcome together."
He added: "Compared to the rest of the cast members, I got the most tiring scenes.
"In England, while the other couples were doing easy, relaxing activities like making chocolates, Amber and I had to jump around in Hogwarts costumes.
"I also had to play bubble football. At the end of that shoot, I was so bushed, I gave up my English Premier League tickets. We had purchased the tickets beforehand, but I had no more energy left. I just wanted to rest in my hotel room."
Triumph In The Skies, which opens here tomorrow, charts the rocky romantic relationships of three male pilots, played by Cheung and fellow Hong Kong actors Louis Koo and Francis Ng.
Cheung, who has a nine-year-old son with actress-wife Anita Yuen, said Yuen was not jealous about his and Kuo's steamy bath.
"It's great that we're both in the acting profession. She knows I'm just doing my job," he said.
"Just the other day, Anita was looking at our movie poster and she started commenting how compatible Amber and I looked next to each other.
"She didn't dare post such thoughts on her Sina Weibo account, though, as it might set tongues wagging."
In real life, Cheung has only his wife in his heart.
"Amber and I were filming an emotional scene in Brighton, a lovely town in England. We were out in a field and there was a windmill behind us. The scenery was simply gorgeous," he said.
"If I have the opportunity, I'd love to revisit Brighton with Anita."
Triumph In The Skies also sees Koo's character rekindling his love for a former beau, Sheh's air stewardess character.
In one scene, Sheh, 39, frolics with Koo, 44, in a swimming pool and they share a passionate smooch. In another, the couple behave playfully in the bedroom, spraying shaving cream at each other.
"The shaving cream scene was totally spontaneous. It wasn't initially in the script and our directors came up with the idea on set," said Sheh.
"They even had to send somebody out to quickly buy bottles of shaving cream, as no one had prepared them."
She added with a grin: "We did the wide shot in one take. It was fun, but I felt a little bullied by Louis. He's so much taller than me and he kept exclaiming gleefully, 'You're too short, you can't aim at me.'
"Towards the end, I had so much shaving cream on my face while he had almost nothing."
The swimming pool kiss with Koo was less enjoyable, due to the unfavourable weather.
"We filmed that scene in England, when it was about 1 or 2 deg C," she said.
"It took half a day and we were in and out of the water. Of course it was cold."
But Sheh relished the opportunity to "push the limits" in her movie roles.
She said: "There are some things you can't do on television, such as the sexy stuff. I'm fine with intimacy on the big screen, as long as it's tasteful, beautiful and healthy."
In the giving spirit of Chinese New Year, after their press interviews, Cheung and Sheh spent time with 20 elderly folks of the Ang Mo Kio Family Service Centre, COMNET Elderly Services.
The beneficiaries, aged between 56 and 94, received goodies from the stars as part of Marina Bay Sands' corporate social responsibility programme.
This article was first published on Feb 18, 2015.
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