Kate Tsui: 'I never thought of myself as sexy'
HK actress Kate Tsui says she was raised like a boy
In her series of TV ads for Hong Kong's premier wellness centre Slim Beauty, Kate Tsui looks every bit the irresistible bombshell as she gambols on a sandy beach, playing volleyball in a blue bikini, confidently flaunting her cleavage and slender figure.
But the 34-year-old Hong Kong TVB actress hardly considers herself a sex symbol.
"It's very odd when people refer to me as sexy, because I never thought of myself that way," Tsui told The New Paper in an interview last Friday while in town to promote her new finance-themed drama, The Ultimate Addiction.
"My parents raised me like a boy. If I'm not working, I'm in T-shirts, jeans and sneakers practically all the time.
"Also, I'd wonder, I take on these cop roles so often - how is that even sexy?"
Tsui has played on-screen police officers eight times over her decade-long showbiz career.
In The Ultimate Addiction, which premieres tonight on TVB First (StarHub Ch 860), StarHub TV's new video-on-demand channel dedicated to TVB dramas, Tsui plays a police inspector-turned-revenge seeker who infiltrates the company of an evil business mogul (Bosco Wong) to avenge her father.
Since the news broke last month that she had "replaced" fellow TVB star Linda Chung as the new spokesmodel of Slim Beauty for a hefty seven-figure sum, fans from both camps have reportedly engaged in fiery online arguments in support of their idols.
For the past five years, media hype of a perceived rivalry between Tsui and Chung, 30, has been mounting, especially since the duo are among TVB's stellar female artistes.
Tsui, the winner of the Miss Hong Kong Pageant in 2004, brushed off any suggestion of ill will between her and Chung.
"Of course there is no rivalry between us. People just love to compare, but there is really no need to," she stressed.
"In fact, I feel very grateful towards Linda and (TVB actress-host) Leanne (Li), who fronted the brand before the two of us.
"They did such a fabulous job during their stints as Slim Beauty's ambassadors, so much so that Slim Beauty decided to continue using another TVB artiste - me - when they had plenty of other choices. I have to thank them."
CROSSING HER BOTTOMLINE
Li, 29, was Slim Beauty's spokesmodel in 2008. Chung endorsed it for three years, from 2011 to last year.
Tsui even regards herself as "far less sexy" than her predecessors.
"Both Linda and Leanne have amazing figures, definitely better than mine. They're also much taller than me, I'm the petite one," she said.
Chung stands at 1.73m, Li at 1.72m and Tsui at 1.68m.
While she was forthcoming on the topic of sexiness, Tsui remained tight-lipped when it came to two things - money matters and her cup size.
The bachelorette declined to confirm the amount she pocketed for her ambassadorship ("Ha ha, you know I cannot say it!") or if her bust size decreased due to her weight loss as she "dropped a couple of kilograms" as a result of Slim Beauty's slimming treatments.
With regard to the latter, she simply said: "The treatments targeted specific areas of my body. Overall, I developed more toned muscles, which was great because I look nicer in skintight jeans now."
For now, The Ultimate Addiction throws up Tsui's most challenging role to date. Her character pretends to be a lesbian as part of her ploy to destroy Wong's marriage and shares two intimate scenes with female co-star Nancy Wu, who plays Wong's shrewd wife in the drama.
In one scene, Tsui disrobes in front of Wu. In the other, Wu pushes Tsui against a wall and forcibly kisses her on the lips.
"The kissing scene totally crossed my bottom line, never ever did I think I'd do something like that in my life," recalled Tsui with a laugh.
"Seriously, it was not enjoyable at all. It wasn't comfortable, even though I was the passive one and Nancy was the proactive one. It didn't feel right, that's for sure. We were being professional for the cameras."
Tsui isn't even sure if the scene can make the eventual cut for prime-time television.
"I have no idea how TVB has edited it in order for it to be shown on TV. But I do respect our producers for coming up with this (bold) idea."
I take on these cop roles so often - how is that even sexy?
- Kate Tsui