The Kiss and One Hit Wonders

Fiona's latest entertainment and community updates column.

  ·  AsianWeek   ·  Link to Article

The Kiss:   Fiat Heir Lapo Elkann had been hanging around with a relatively unknown China actress/singer (no Wiki page on her yet) — before their infamous kiss in France! However the actress, simply named Zhu Zhu, is not just another pretty face. She studied electronics and information engineering at Beijing Technology and Business University and then attended Parsons School of Design in NY but chose to return to China to be a host on MTV China. Zhu released a solo album in 2009 and starred in the 2012 China remake of “What Women Want.”  More recently she raised eye brows again at the “Cloud Atlas” premiere in Los Angeles (Zhu Zhu should not to be confused with Zhou Zun, the Chinese actress in the movie or Korean actress Doona Bae).  Welcome to Hollywood! Hope she gets some celebrity tips from Bai Ling.

Guanxi:  ”Cloud Atlas” with its six story lines was too much for me. Call me simple but I really like action movies with a good love story. Having said that, I’m not embarrassed to say that I’m a fan of all the “Fast and Furious” series regardless of what critics and my family members think. By the way, they all make money…and lots of it….so others must like Paul Walker and Vin Diesel too! First off, there’s never a dull moment. Second, there’s always a strong woman who’s playing with the boys. And third, the cast is always diverse with at least two Asian co-stars. (See A winning duo is Director Justin Lin  and Actor Sung who have appeared in the last three “prequels” together. The two started working together on Lin’s breakthrough film and directorial debut “Better Luck Tomorrow.”  Mr. APA wrote in his blog following Fast Five: “Fast and Furious Part Four and Five are prequels simply because the Asian American Director Justin Lin wanted his buddy Sung Kang to be in the movie even though he already killed him off in part three.”  WHATEVER…nice to have friends who can help each other in business. Fast and Furious 6 is due out May 2013…cant wait!

One Hit Wonder:  I loved seeing “Psy” on the Jumbotron during the Giants 7th Inning Stretch. He’s the rage amongst the young people.  I mentioned my recent trip to Korea and our search for Psy paraphernalia and SF Supervisor David Chiu asked me if I remembered “Jin” and his 2003 hit “Learn Chinese.”   Chiu recalls seeing Jin, who played Jimmy the Mechanic in “2 Fast, 2 Furious” (I guess Supervisor Chiu is a fan too. LOL)  MC Jin was born Jin Au-Yeung in Miami and later moved to New York to hone his street skills.   He is considered the first Chinese hip hop artist to get a major solo record deal and collaborate with such big names as Wyclef Jean and Kanye West.  People do evolve… 10 years after his first hit; he’s back in New York but as a mature and thoughtful married man with a newborn baby rapping a very different message on his album “Crazy Love Ridiculous Faith.”

Go Big or Go Home:   Jean-Claude Van Damme may not like to get hit filming a movie but Cung Le doesn’t mind…in fact he relishes the opportunity, even if he gets beat up by a lady.   In the recently released Tarantino Production “The Man with the Iron Fists” starring Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu, Cung Le plays Gold Lion (he’s prominently listed on the movie posters next to the other stars so he’s Big Time) where he can been seen doing his signature high leg flying scissor takedowns and doing battle with Liu.  Le left Vietnam three days before the fall of Saigon with his mother under heavy gunfire and spent several months in a refugee camp in the Philippines before being sponsored by a family in San Jose, CA.    Growing up, he was skinny and constantly picked on so his mother signed him up for Taekwondo classes at age 10 and the rest is history.  Le excels in many martial arts disciplines and has won many championships over his career.  On November 10th, Le faced former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin in a long awaited battle in Macao that was over in the blink of an eye. Just 2:17 into the first round, Le scored a devastating right hook that knocked out Franklin before he even hit the mat. Check out Le’s moves in “Dragon Eyes” (available on DVD) with Jean-Claude Van Damme as the mysterious “Mr. Miyagi” mentor released earlier this year.   Move over Bruce Lee and Jet Li…there’s a New Fighter in town.

Karaoke Caucus Continues:  Congrats to all APIs who won elections across the U.S.  In California, as I and four other API legislative members term out this December, I’m glad that there are four capable members who will continue the Karaoke Caucus which I informally started.  A big welcome to Phil Ting, Ed Chau, Al Muratsuchi and Rob Bonta, the first Filipino member ever elected to the California Legislature.    These guys fall under the new 12 year-in-either-House term limits so they can take more time to find the bathrooms and navigate the stairwells.  On the Federal level, the API Caucus is expanding exponentially with the election of Senator-Elect Mazie Hirono and Reps-Elect Tammy Duckworth, Tulsi Gabbard, Grace Meng, and Mark Takano.  Dr. Ami Bera’s race is still too close, but he’s gaining, so look for him too.21 Gun Salute: As we celebrate Veteran’s Day, I’d like to give a special shout out to Tammy Duckworth.  As Captain in the National Guard and Black Hawk pilot, she was deployed in 2004 to Iraq.  On November 12, 2004, her helicopter was hit and she lost both her legs and part of the use of her right arm in the explosion.  “I could have died when my helicopter was shot down in Iraq.  Now, I believe that this time in my life is a second chance for me, a “bonus time.”  We salute you Tammy  for your patriotism, positive attitude and belief that you will be a unique voice for peace in the world.

The Ever Fashionable First Lady:   Who will win the First Lady Lottery?  Over the past four years, Mrs. Obama has helped launch the careers of many young designers including Jason Wu (Taiwan), Thakoon Panichgul (Thailand), Naeem Khan (Indian) and Doo.Ri Chung (Korea). These young stars are replacing the 80′s fashionistas Anna Sui and Vera Wang.  In an interview with the Huffington Post, Mrs. Obama said “I don’t buy a designer.  I buy a dress.”  The public awaits ….