Actor Ekin Cheng: Who I'd like to be my female robot
Hong Kong actor Ekin Cheng would like a female robot in real life - for research
In new sci-fi romantic comedy iGirl, Hong Kong actor Ekin Cheng's love-starved character stumbles across a website selling life-like female robots to satisfy male needs.
After purchasing one on impulse, his customised robot 001 arrives at his door step - in the form of sexy Hong Kong actress-model Chrissie Chau - calling him "Master" and ready to do anything Cheng commands.
As The New Paper found out, the 48-year-old wouldn't mind the presence of artificial intelligence lingering around his house for real.
But the robot has to resemble a certain 30-year-old co-star.
In a phone interview from Hong Kong yesterday with local reporters to promote iGirl, Cheng, who is married, said with a laugh: "Well, if I am given an iGirl robot in real life, I don't mind keeping it if it looks just like Chrissie!"
When asked if he intends to keep the robot "as a girlfriend or a maid", he brushed it aside, saying: "No, I'm just interested in technology and doing research."
iGirl, rated PG13 and also starring Lam Chi-chung, Dominic Ho and Connie Man, opens here on Thursday.
Cheng added that his wife, Hong Kong actress Yoyo Mung, 42, will not mind sharing space with a robot. They have no children.
"She is not as interested in tech-y stuff as me," he said.
"That said, should there be a male version of the iGirl robot. I don't mind if Yoyo gets one to try it out."
In the movie, Chau, a sex symbol in Hong Kong cinema for her pictorial spreads in men's magazines like FHM and GQ, makes her grand entrance in the buff.
Cheng said: "That particular scene was re-shot. Initially, when her character first appears, Chrissie wore clothes, but our director (Kan Jia Wei) changed it to her being naked at the suggestion of (veteran Hong Kong film-maker) Andrew Lau."
He added: "Of course when we re-shot it, Chrissie wasn't really naked. Her bits were covered.
"It wasn't really embarrassing, Chrissie was quite collected throughout the scene. Nobody had to leave the film set, there was no need for a closed set."
iGirl features a couple of intimate scenes between Cheng and Chau.
"This is the second time Chrissie and I are playing lovers, the first time was in (2014's) Break Up 100," he said.
"Our chemistry has definitely got better."
Does he feel that his character fulfilled every guy's secret fantasy of having a female robot at one's beck and call?
Cheng said: "I don't think so, but our movie does reflect a real-life sentiment, which is the fact that women today are a lot stronger than men.
"When women become stronger, more men would hide in their bedrooms and harbour desires for a significant other who is gentler and more demure."
Cheng does not know if in the near future, iGirl robots - or their male equivalent - will become a reality, but he feels that robots being part of our lives "might not be a tragedy".
"I'm quite a fan of new technology," he said.
"I feel that robots can be very useful. For example, when it comes to looking after elderly folk and making job processes easier for humans."