Evil is the new sexy

Look out, all you sweet young things.

In a trend-bucking phenomenon, Hong Kong stars in their 40s have been turning up the heat on TV through their roles as baddies.

The villainous on-screen antics of these elegant, gorgeous women have made them a hit with audiences.

Make no mistake - evil is the new sexy.

And these actresses, who joined Hong Kong's top broadcaster TVB last year, are giving their young, wideeyed colleagues a run for their money.

Alice Chan Wai

Who's that girl

Chan, who boasts enviable 34C assets, turns 40 next month.

She was an actress at rival station ATV for 14 years before switching to TVB late last year.

She is no stranger to Hong Kong's tabloid headlines, what with her penchant for cleavage-baring outfits.

She is married to a Taiwanese businessman and has no kids.

"Bad" reputation

Playing bad is clearly up her alley - and it's doing all sorts of good for her career.

Out of three TVB shows, two saw her play a menacing antagonist.

In legal drama Friendly Fire, she was a ruthless, power-mongering chief executive who seduced a hapless lawyer (Derek Kok) while wearing a bikini.

In crime series Sniper Standoff, which is currently available on StarHub On Demand, Chan plays the steely-eyed daughter of a triad boss.

In her own words

Her bosomy figure has become the talk of the town in Hong Kong, but Chan tells The New Paper in an e-mail interview that she is far from being a sex symbol.

"I don't feel sexy at all, it's just the media praising me. All my friends know I'm actually quite tomboyish in real life," she said.

Her nickname? Wai Gor - Wai is her name and Gor is Cantonese for older brother.

That said, Chan said women in their 40s can still outshine their younger counterparts when it comes to sexiness.

"Some older women give off an air of wisdom and sophistication that appeal greatly to men.

That's what makes them sexy and attractive."

She credits her svelte figure to a "consistent diet of more vegetables, less meat", as well as "doing regular exercise and getting plenty of rest".

Chan doesn't fear being typecast and has no qualms about taking on another role as a baddie.

"As a professional actress, it's only right to keep trying different characters. I don't chuck my roles under good or bad labels," she said.

"Instead, I look at how challenging each is. Each character should have its own complicated, interesting backstory."

Joey Meng

Who's that girl

For more than two decades, the 43-year-old was rival station ATV's main stalwart and best known for her work on the hugely popular fantasy-themed TV series trilogy, My Date With A Vampire, in the late 90s.

She joined TVB last year and has swiftly became one of the most sought-after actresses by producers.

She reportedly commands high fees that are "just slightly below" TVB queen Myolie Wu. Meng is married to a scriptwriter and they have no kids.

"Bad" reputation

The leggy beauty got her second wind after taking on the role of vicious, rich tai-tai Tong Sin-Hang in psychological thriller A Change Of Heart.

In the show, Tong delights in doing evil - from causing hurt and murder to money-laundering and adultery.

The last episode of the show will air tomorrow on VV Drama (StarHub Ch 855) at 9pm.

Meng was so convincing in her wicked ways that netizens have tipped her to score an acting nomination at the year-end TVB Anniversary Awards 2013.

In her own words

In an interview with Oriental Daily, she said: "There were so many emotional scenes in A Change Of Heart, I literally cried every night as I drove home after filming... That's why we should never do bad things. Playing a bad person is tough enough."

Akina Hong

Who's that girl

Long-time TVB fans may find this Tianjin-born actress familiar.

The 41-year-old played forgettable bit parts, cameos and supporting roles in TVB productions for 14 years before leaving the station in 2007 to pursue greener pastures in China.

Hong, who is not married, returned to TVB late last year.

"Bad" reputation

Her comeback performance proved to be a remarkable one.

In A Change Of Heart, her character Lee Yuen Sum is more pitiful than hateful.

As a rebellious, wayward teen, Lee took drugs and killed a woman.

Despite having escaped the law for 20 years, her guilt catches up with her when she discovers that the woman is the mother of her god-daughter Siu Kat (Niki Chow).

In her own words

In a recent interview with China's version of YouTube, Youku, Hong shared that she is game for a May-December romance.

"If we get along, I don't see why (age) should be an obstacle."

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