Maggie Cheung

Hong Kong cinema is not exactly short of babes -- it would be possible to come up with an entirely acceptable top ten of people like Christy Cheung, Anita Mui, Cynthia Khan and so on. But Maggie has that certain something which sets her up above even these highly-rated beauties. It's easy to be appealing in a good movie, but the test of a true star is to do it in a bad one, and Maggie's intelligence and charisma mark her out, even in pretentious drivel like 'Irma Vep', where she shines like a diamond in the dust.

Her main flaw is a tendency towards the art-house; as she has a, perhaps surprising, ability for comedy which she really should play more often. It's amazing to see how she's blossomed since her early days, playing Jackie Chan's whiny girlfriend in the 'Police Story' series. Her poise and self-confidence has flourished, and lifted her to stardom: it can surely only be a matter of time before Hollywood swoops to land her rare combination of beauty and acting ability.

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