Tan Kee Yun
The New Paper
12 July 2016
Go ahead and tell it to Cherry Ngan's face that her boyfriend is "ugly".
The 22-year-old Hong Kong actress is aware that her beau, portly Hong Kong actor Michael Ning, 36, ranks low in the looks department.
But the sweetie pie starlet does not mind it one bit.
When asked if she gets upset by criticism over Ning's physical appearance, Ngan - who was in town yesterday to promote her new coming-of-age romantic comedy At Cafe 6 - replied nonchalantly in Mandarin: "No, it's okay, I've never liked handsome guys anyway."
Last month, Hong Kong paparazzi spotted the couple on a date in Kowloon City.
Ngan, whose breakout role was in street dancing drama The Way We Dance (2013), confirmed the rumours soon after by sharing a photo of them on Instagram.
Local audiences might recognise Ning from crime thriller Port Of Call, which opened in cinemas here in January.
The theatre veteran won critical acclaim for his role as a murderer and even won Best Supporting Actor awards at Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards and the Hong Kong Film Awards.
In a group interview with local media, Ngan said that although she was drawn to Ning's talent, it was not his biggest appeal.
"Of course I admire his acting, but we wouldn't be together just because of that. We'd just be actors who respect each other," she said.
"I like him because he's very 'organic'. You can tell it by simple gestures... There is nothing artificial about him."
Their 14-year age gap also poses no problem to Ngan.
"It's very natural between us... I think there is a little boy in every man's heart," she said with a grin.
At Cafe 6, which is directed by Taiwanese novelist-turned-director Neal Wu, is about playful high school boys Minlu (Dong Zijian) and Bozhi (Austin Lin), who fall in love with their classmates Xinrui (Ngan) and Xinyi (Ouyang Nini).
The movie opens here on Thursday.
At Cafe 6 is the latest Taiwanese teen flick in the vein of box-office hits You Are The Apple Of My Eye (2011) and Our Times (2015).
It has a kissing scene between Chinese actor Dong and Ngan, which Ngan said she has "already informed" Ning of.
"If I'm doing any intimate scenes in my movies, I will let him know beforehand," said Ngan.
"Likewise, if he's doing such scenes, he'll inform me too. It's not a must, but I know he will."
When asked if she felt weird playing a schoolgirl in the throes of puppy love - since her real-life romance is of a more mature nature - Ngan laughed.
"Of course not. After all, I was once a teenager. And, hey, I'm still young now," she said.
This article was first published on July 12, 2016.
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