Joining Hollywood celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez and Paris Hilton will be Hong Kong star Karen Mok Man-wai , who is venturing into a new business. With 'Karen Mok the Fragrance', she became this week one of the few Asian stars to launch their own brand of perfume.
'In western countries it's quite the norm for celebrities to have their own fragrances or have their own line of clothing,' says Mok (right). 'The fragrance market in Asia can definitely expand and it is about time we had our own.'
She earlier launched her own designer lingerie collection, 'Passion Play'. Although she has a growing interest in expanding her business concerns by launching her own clothing, jeans and shoes collections, acting and singing will remain her main occupations, Mok says.
Her latest film is Lost, Indulgence, released last week. The romantic drama directed by the mainland's Zhang Yibai depicts karaoke girl Su Dan (played by Mok) caught up in a relationship with a taxi driver, his wife and his son.
In order to prepare for the role of a Cantonese karaoke girl in Chongqing, where the film is set, Mok visited a local bar.
'The director actually suggested that,' she recalls. 'He said then I could do my homework. So we [the whole crew] all went but I made the big mistake of going too early.'
The others were in awe of her star status and stayed quiet in her presence. She decided to leave but sneaked back later.
'That's when it became very wild. It was fun. They were playing those drinking games and everyone was all over everyone,' she says laughing.
However, her role itself was less of a challenge than the climate. Chongqing is one of the hottest cities on the mainland and the shooting was done during the two hottest months in the year.
Mok says the director wanted to bring out the characters' anger and frustration.
The heat took its toll on the slender Mok. At one point, she weighed less than 45kg, she says.
'I didn't have much to lose to begin with. I didn't notice until I stepped on a scale in the bathroom,[and said to myself,]'Oops I lost 2kg'. I was very scared because it was not healthy.'
But physical challenges don't seem to deter Mok, who has starred in 44 films since 1989, and has plans to produce a film about a long-distance runner.
'It's still in a preliminary stage. All I can say is that I'll play the lead character. I have liked running since a young age. I was inspired by my father (Alan Morris) who was one of the top marathon runners in Hong Kong about 20 years ago.'
The second half of this year has been extremely busy for Mok. Just this week, she represented Hong Kong at the Asia Song Festival in Seoul. Earlier, she performed at both of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. Before that she was in Taipei to pick up the best album in Mandarin prize with her Live ... is Karen Mok at the 19th Golden Melody Awards in Taiwan.
'This year has been amazing. What a trip,' she says. She sees her participation in the Olympics ceremonies as the most rewarding of her recent activities.
'It was something I had in my mind for seven years ever since Beijing was announced as the Olympics host. I made it my goal to be part of it and do something for our country.'
But some people questioned whether she was qualified to perform at such a high-profile event. The singer's father stood up for her and wrote a letter to Hong Kong media outlets pointing out Mok's previous achievements, including being the first Chinese artiste to take part in a Broadway show (Rent) as lead actress.
'I totally agree with him, I can't think of anyone who would be more suitable, really,' Mok says.
'For my dad to actually come out and say this, and to make such a strong statement, he must feel the necessity to do that.'