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From:The Straits Timesposted on 3 July at 6:30 PM
3 July at 6:30 PM

Tang Wei and Kim Tae Yong: 10 facts to know about the newly engaged couple

BY TUNG SHI YUN

Chinese actress Tang Wei will soon tie the knot with South Korean director Kim Tae Yong later this year in a private ceremony, a piece of news which will probably upset many fan boys.

The 34-year-old, who is best known for her role in the 2008 highly controversial film Lust, Caution, directed by Lee Ang, declared her relationship with 44-year-old Kim in a statement issued by her management agency on Wednesday. It said the pair's friendship blossomed into love when they filmed a commerical together in October 2013.

This has sparked a series of reactions from netizens around the world ranging from congratulatory wishes to outright shock. Allkpop reports that many South Korean netizens expressed "he must have saved the universe in his past life", with others commenting on the website itself that it is "another case of beauty and the beast". On Twitter, there is also a slew of comments regarding their engagement:

As for the engaged couple, who have created shockwaves around the world, it is time to dig up some facts about them.

Tang Wei:

1. Her Lust, Caution sensation

Tang was selected from more than 10,000 actresses to star in Lust, Caution, directed by Lee Ang, in 2006. She rose to prominence by causing a sensation in her film debut, which featured explicit sex scenes with Hong Kong film legend Tony Leung Chiu-Wai.

In 2008, she was blacklisted by the Chinese government for her participation in the controversial film. This led to her being banned from acting and pulled out of endorsement advertisements for Ponds skincare products in China, which was reported to be worth nearly US$1 million (S$1.25 million).

2. Bang Yongguk's ideal woman

Tang had been lauded by South Korean boyband B.A.P's Bang Yongguk, who calls her his ideal woman, one who "follows public etiquette". In a broadcast of Mnet's The Beatles Code in Sept 2, 2013, he said that "she is beautiful, but she also does a lot of charity work".

With Tang soon to tie the knot, it might be time for Bang to decide on an alternative.

3. Her romantic rumours with Hyun Bin

Tang met Kim on the set of Late Autumn in 2010, where she acted alongside South Korean actor Hyun Bin. Interestingly, a long-standing rumour of a budding romance between her and Hyun Bin started to spread when she unofficially visited South Korea when Hyun Bin had left his military camp for vacation.

Later in 2012, she reportedly purchased a 150-pyeong (5337.5 sq ft) property in South Korea, worth about 1.3 billion won (S$18.6 million) and which was registered under her name, leading many to speculate that her romance with Hyun Bin was the reason behind the purchase. Now we know, of course, the real reason behind it.

4. Too naive to avoid scams?

News portal xinmin.cn reported earlier this year that Tang Wei had been swindled out of 210,000 yuan (S$42,000) in a telecommunications scam, after allegedly receiving a fraudulent phone call asking her to wire the money to a local Bank Of Communication outlet.

This has sparked mixed reactions from netizens, with some calling her naive for falling victim, and others showing sympathy towards her plight.

5. Chris Hemsworth's frustration at her multiple takes

Tang's break into the Hollywood scene in 2013, as part of the cast in the American film Cyber, was plagued with difficulties as the actress reportedly made frequent bad takes for a simple scene during a shoot in Hong Kong.

She was only able to complete the scene after much personal guidance from director Michael Mann. Chris Hemsworth, her fellow cast member and on-screen love interest, was reportedly frustrated by the slow progress of the scene.

Kim Tae Yong:

1. A politics and diplomacy graduate-turned-director

Born Dec 9, 1969, in Seoul, Kim graduated from Yonsei University, majoring in politics and diplomacy. He later studied film at the Korean Academy of Film Arts.

2. Multi-talented with a delicate sensibility

Known as a multi-talented director with a delicate sensibility, he has made three commercial feature films and one documentary, including Momento Mori, Man Choo and the critically acclaimed Family Ties. He also co-directed two short films, Pale Blue Point and Seventeen with friend and director Min Gyoo Dong.

3. He remade classic films

Kim directed an English remake of Late Autumn in 2010, a classic South Korean movie of the same name that aired in 1966. It starred Hyun Bin and his now fiancee, Tang Wei.

4. And re-directed South Korea's oldest known silent movie

In 2011, Kim re-directed Crossroads Of Youth, the oldest surviving cinematic South Korean release which premiered in 1934 at the Choson Theatre. The film is South Korea's oldest known silent movie. Kim breathed new life into the movie by adding musicians and narrators, and it was screened at various international film festivals, including the Busan International Film Festival in 2008 and London's Thames Film Festival.

5. His ventures into 3-D technology

Kim also made ventures into the world of 3-D this year with his recent indie film, Mad Sad Bad, a 3D omnibus project that premiered in the 15th Jeonju International Film Festival. He co-directed the film with directors Ryoo Seung Wan and Han Ji Seung. The film aims to break 3-D conventions and fuse technology with storytelling.

 

Read also: Chinese actress Tang Wei to wed Korean director Kim Tae Yong later this year

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