Sandra makes a clean breast of it

Big breasts are really a pain, as Hong Kong actress Sandra Ng found out.

The star and producer of the comedy Golden Chickensss boosted her assets to an eye-popping 38G with a prosthetic chest and ended up with aches and pains. The movie about a prostitute-turned mamasan, Kam (below), opens in cinemas here tomorrow.

She says in Mandarin: "It was very heavy, uncomfortable and very itchy." Furthermore, she had to constantly thrust her chest out in order to support the weight.

Ng, 48, was in town with writer-director Matt Chow and singer-actress Ivana Wong to promote the film at the Hotel InterContinental last Saturday.

An effects artist from Thailand was engaged to make the fake chest, which had to fit over Ng's 33B assets.

She said it took her about three hours to wear it on the day of shooting. And as Kam was going to be running along the beach in that scene, water bags had to be added so that her chest would jiggle in a natural way.

Ng quips: "We couldn't afford to spend money on computer effects because it was too expensive just to fly him to Hong Kong."

So what did her partner, film-maker Peter Chan, make of her ultra-busty figure?

She says with a straight face: "The long-haired guy at home said it was very, very real and couldn't help himself and took some nude photos of me. He then said that I could just leave them on and not remove them."

She adds that each time he came to visit her on set, it happened to be a scene involving plenty of nubile women.

It can be hard to tell whether Ng is clowning around sometimes but it certainly puts Chan, respected director of fare such as American Dreams In China (2013), in a different light.

The couple have a seven-year-old daughter.

What is clear, though, is that Ng slips easily into the role of the sometimes loud, sometimes crass, but always entertaining Kam. She played the character in Golden Chicken (2002) and Golden Chicken 2 (2003).

Asked about the long break from the last film, she says: "I had never thought about making another sequel. But things have changed so much, from values to technology, that I thought, why not try and capture that in a movie?"

The film is notable for its many big-name cameos, from Louis Koo to Donnie Yen. Ng says everyone she approached agreed readily to help. "The biggest headache was fitting these busy people into the shooting schedule."

Yen appears as martial arts master Ip Man and Ng had only a few hours at night to shoot his scene.

As for singer-actor Eason Chan, his scenes as a small-time hoodlum were filmed the day he flew back from Vancouver after his concert.

It is a measure of Ng's own power that all these A-listers happily agreed to help out. In a career spanning three decades, she has acted in more than 100 films and TV series, often in comic roles.

And yes, she still bursts out laughing on set.

Ng says: "If I myself don't laugh, then this movie is doomed.

Everytime I laugh in Golden Chickensss, it's a genuine laugh."

She has also accepted the fact that she has been typecast as a comedian.

But playing comedy is not easy, she points out. "To do comedy, you need a lot of courage, you need to throw dignity to the wind and you can't care about money either."

She says endorsement offers tend to pour in for actors in dramatic roles rather than comedians.

"Comedy needs a lot of energy and layers to the performance. I often tell myself that those who can do comedy can definitely do drama but those who can do drama might not be able to do comedy. I don't need to prove myself by picking certain movies just to prove that I can act."

Actually, she has already proven that and she has the accolades to prove it. For her turn as a lesbian triad branch leader in Portland Street Blues (1998), she was named Best Actress at the Hong Kong Film Awards. Her comedic prowess has also been recognised with her Golden Horse Award for Best Actress for Golden Chicken (2003).

Will Golden Chicken once again find favour with Golden Horse?

"I've never thought about nominations and such. This film is about entertaining audiences," she says. "At this stage, the audience comes first for me. Anyway, how much affirmation do I need for this one role? The most important affirmation comes from an audience laughing in the cinema."


Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.