Sunday April 8, 2007
Compiled by LI EE KEE
THE recent sightings of Zhang Ziyi and the wealthy Israeli investor Aviv “Vivi” Nevo together have all but confirmed that they are dating, although the couple have not publicly acknowledged that.
Pictures of the Chinese star with her beau – including one of them kissing – at a basketball game in New York in January were splashed in entertainment magazines and websites. The following month, the lovebirds made another appearance – at the Armani pre-Oscars fashion show in Los Angeles.
Singapore’s The Straits Times, quoting Hong Kong’s Apple Daily, recently reported that the 28-year-old actress did not deny the romance when asked about it at a promotional event in Beijing later.
Evidently in a good mood, Zhang just smiled and said: “I won’t speak about personal matters. Anyway, I’m very happy now.”
Zhang, currently one of the hottest Asian stars and whose voice can be heard in the new animated feature TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), was previously linked to Eric Fok, the grandson of the late Hong Kong tycoon Henry Fok.
Nevo, 41, once seen with British supermodel Kate Moss, is said to be a fiercely private multi-millionaire whose NV Investments is one of the biggest stockholders of media giant Time Warner.
The leaked single, This is My Year, which features US rapper Fabolous, can be heard on YouTube, all 18 seconds of it. It was slated for release in July followed by the album in October. It won’t be at all surprising if the single and album release dates are advanced because of this.
Hold it, don’t waste your efforts checking out the tune because a recent check on the popular video-sharing website found that the clip had been removed. However, the entire song, which runs for three minutes and 29 seconds, is apparently spreading quickly on other file-sharing sites.
Commenting on the matter, a YG Entertainment (Se7en’s management agency) official said the matter was still under investigation.
Judging by the big names roped in for the album, Se7en, 22, is clearly serious about breaking into the US market. Mark Shimmel, who has produced for Usher, is said to be producing the album while Rich Harrison, the man responsible for Beyonce’s Crazy in Love, handles the producing duties on Se7en’s single.
And while the singer might be a little upset over the leak, at the very least he can take heart that This is My Year has received positive comments like “It’s cool!” and “The song’s hot!”
In the mood for change
MAGGIE Cheung is joining her Chinese counterparts like Zhang Ziyi and Gong Li to take on Hollywood, Hong Kong’s The Sun newspaper reported recently.
The move came after her contract with Wong Kar Wai’s Chak Dung film company ended. Opting not to renew her commitment, the veteran star has signed with an unspecified Hollywood management company.
A Chak Dung representative confirmed that Cheung’s contract had expired.
Said the rep: “We had a good partnership with Maggie over the last few years. Following the success of In the Mood for Love (2000), she has won numerous awards. We are happy that she will be heading for Hollywood. We will continue to support her and we wish her all the best.”
The 42-year-old actress is currently in Taiwan filming a skincare commercial. The said article also mentioned that Cheung had reportedly asked for HK$8mil (RM3.5mil) for the job – a worthy sum to the advertiser, the paper added.
Cheung, whose acting career has been relatively dormant in the past few years, was last seen in the 2004 films, 2046 and Clean. She had only a minor part in the former, a sequel to In the Mood for Love also directed by Wong.
Clean, directed by her ex-husband Olivier Assayas, saw her bagging a best actress award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival for her portrayal of a rock star junkie who tackles parenthood.