Producers like family, says Cheung despite being sacked
ACTRESS Cecilia Cheung says she will always think of producing couple Tiffany Chen and Charles Heung as family, and respects their decision never to work with her again.
Heung said on Tuesday that he had fired Cheung from the 3D movie Legend Of The Gods for her tantrums on set, and that they would never hire her again.
In a statement sent to NetEase website yesterday, Cheung said: "I have great respect for all of Mr Heung's decisions. Mrs Heung has said she sees me as a daughter, so I hope they won't be so angry."
She said she would always be grateful to the couple and their family.
"I will remember how good they have been to me, I will never forget. In my heart, they will always be my family."
Cheung was cast as Chinese deity Nezha in the movie, which also stars Jet Li, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Louis Koo and Huang Xiaoming. Heung said Cheung threw tantrums over having more scenes than the bigger names.
But Cheung said in her statement: "My inability to continue starring in this film may have arisen from a misunderstanding on both sides. From training to filming, I got along happily with all the crew. I love them and can't bear to leave them."
Heung said the role of Nezha had been meant for Chinese actor Wen Zhang, but he was busy filming a television drama and someone suggested casting an actress as the character. It was then that Chen, a long-time supporter of Cheung, proposed casting the actress.
Heung said Cheung failed to make the most of her cross-dressing role as the deity, which could have been Cheung's comeback. Her six recent films did miserably at the box office.
The role will now go back to Wen, Heung said.
Citing sources, Apple Daily said Cheung was frequently absent and her heart was not in her work even when she was around. Instead, the 34-year-old - who has been linked to Chinese businessman Sun Donghai, 47 - often played with her mobile phone. She was distracted and failed to deliver on set, said the report.
Heung said Cheung had admitted having a bad attitude towards work, but hoped to make a fresh start on the set of Legend Of The Gods.
But the actress had a "relapse" as soon as filming started, the producer said.
"This is a character issue," he said. "Every time there were other stars on set, she felt neglected and lost her temper."
He added: "Frankly, everyone is more popular than her, but she had more scenes and threw tantrums over that."
Once, he said, she flew in from Singapore without warning anyone, then blamed the crew for not scheduling scenes for her.
He and his wife have given up on her and do not wish to be made the laughing stock of the industry, he said.
THE STRAITS TIMES