Flying fish opens up
Alex Fong Lik-sun found moving into the world of entertainment as easy as diving into a pool after a spell of competitive swimming representing Hong Kong.
Fong started swimming at a young age, and in 2000 he represented Hong Kong at the Sydney Olympics. His popularity with female fans led to offers from record labels, from there it was a short jump to hosting television shows and then predictably starring in movies.
As the lead in the upcoming film The Fantastic Water Babes, Fong stars opposite familiar faces Gillian Chung Yan-tung and two-time Olympic Gold medal diver Tian Liang in a romantic comedy about - what else - competitive swimming.
Young Post sat down with Fong to talk about swimming, the new film, and his career so far.
Sunday Young Post: What's the story behind your nickname, 'Little Flying Fish'?
Fong: Actually, it isn't really a nickname. That name was given to me by the entertainment industry. Probably my only real nickname is one given to me in school. Classmates called me 'sea monster' because I'd smell of chlorine from the pool. They knew I was around without even looking because of the smell.
SYP: What is it like hosting the TV show Beautiful Cooking?
F: I've realised that good food should not be taken for granted and cooking a meal is not as easy as it looks. So I think I've developed a deeper appreciation for cooking. I like the show and think that I have also learned from the experience. I guess it's because the show has a live audience. Added to that, I don't always know the guests. So I think I've improved at interacting with a live audience and also interacting with unfamiliar people as I work to create a successful and entertaining show.
SYP: Which do you prefer: swimming or being an entertainer?
F: It's hard to say, because swimming is not my career anymore and being an entertainer is. So, of course, I have to work harder at my career, and swimming is more of a hobby. This may be what I do now, but even so I still enjoy swimming and sometimes I even dream about being in a swimming competition!
SYP: What did you find the most challenging while filming The Fantastic Water Babes?
F: It was probably the fact that the film is a comedy. This is my first effort in the genre, and it was challenging in the sense that all my movements and expressions had to be exaggerated.
SYP: What was the most memorable scene to be a part of, and why?
F: This film has a romance element to it, and it includes a scene we shot at night with Gillian and me riding a bike down the street. This scene was memorable because the lighting was very effective at creating a romantic atmosphere. Also, that scene was a moment that marked the transition between our characters' relationship: from enemies to having romantic feelings for each other.
SYP: What did you enjoy most during the filming?
F: The thing I enjoyed most was being on Cheung Chau Island, where the movie is set. The atmosphere on the island is very relaxed and soothing - and that's a rare thing in Hong Kong.
The Fantastic Water Babes opens July 15