Monday, October 1, 2012

Joining director Johnnie To’s management company, Wallace Chung makes his return to the HK entertainment industry

I was reading the latest issue of Mingpao Weekly over the weekend and came across the below article about singer/actor Wallace Chung. I was aware of Wallace when he first started out in HK (specifically as an actor at TVB) back in the 90s, however I never really paid attention to him back then because I never really watched any of the series he was in and by the time I learned of him, he had already left HK to pursue a career in Taiwan. Ironically, it was actually when he was in Taiwan that I become more familiar with him (though still not by much), since there was a period during the 90s and early 2000s when I was 'regularly' following Taiwan entertainment (obviously not anymore, since I pretty much don't know any of the Taiwan artists from the 'after 2000s' era) -- I remember he had that hit song (the dance song OREA) in Taiwan and was known as 'Xiao Tai Yang' (Little Sun) over there. Later on, after Wallace went to Mainland China to pursue his television acting career, I pretty much never heard anything else about him, since I don't follow Mainland entertainment at all. In a sense, I guess you could say that I pretty much "forgot" about Wallace and only knew that he was still active in the entertainment industry, though his focus was primarily in Mainland (and maybe still Taiwan to some extent).

It wasn't until a few months ago when the 1994 TVB drama Journey of Love was re-broadcast on TV and I watched it for the first time (yes, for the first time) that I started to "remember" Wallace once again, primarily because I was so impressed by his performance in that particular series. (Those who are interested can read my review of the series here: JOL Review). Coincidentally, around that same time, Wallace's name also came up during an online discussion I was having with a friend and after that, I started paying more attention to him for some reason. Though I'm not a fan of his by any means (which makes sense since I haven't been following his career these past 10 years), I do like his acting so far in the few series that I've seen of his -- plus he comes across to me as a very 'likable' person based on the interviews I've seen / read of his. To me, his personality (and looks) didn't seem to change at all over the past decade -- he still comes across as the same shy, quiet, cute, friendly young guy that he was back in the 90s (that's the impression I had of him back then)  :o)

Anyway, this was a nice article about Wallace (Oriental Daily also did one a week or so ago -- I read it but didn't translate it), so I just felt like sharing it! Hope Wallace fans (and non-fans) enjoy it!

P.S.: To BOGAEfan (if you're still following my blog): I did this post primarily for you...LOL! You can thank me later! :o)


Joining director Johnnie To’s management company, Wallace Chung makes his return to the HK entertainment industry  

Source: Mingpao Weekly, Issue 2290    

Translation:  llwy12    

One of Mainland China’s most ‘representative’ award shows – the 26th Annual Chinese Television Golden Eagle Awards + the 9th Annual Golden Eagle Television Arts Festival – took place earlier this month [September]. The ceremony included a newly established award for artists from the Hong Kong/ Taiwan / Macau region to participate in this year -- after the nominees were announced, HK actor Wallace Chung (鍾漢良) was widely viewed as the ‘hot favorite’ to win – in the end, Wallace did not disappoint, as he successfully took home the ‘Audience Favorite Hong Kong / Taiwan / Macau Actor’ award for his acclaimed performance in Mainland series Imminent Danger 《一觸擊發》. After a 19 year absence from the HK entertainment industry, Wallace recently signed with HK director Johnnie To’s (杜琪峯) management company and with his participation in the award-winning director’s latest film Drug War 《毒戰》, he makes his ‘official’ return to HK audience’s screens.    

Hearing the name ‘Wallace Chung’, most HK audiences have probably already forgotten who he is – in fact, the younger generation HK audiences most likely don’t know who he is period! Wallace got his start in HK as a dancer and made his acting debut in the 1993 TVB drama series The Chord to Victory 《少年五虎》[TN: the series is a semi-biographical account based on the lives of legendary HK band members The Wynners] in which he portrayed the younger version of singer/actor Kenny Bee (鍾鎮濤). In 1995, Wallace’s singing talent was recognized by singer/songwriter/music producer Samuel Tai (邰正宵), who invited him to Taiwan to pursue a singing career -- his debut album OREA [in 1995] was a huge success in Taiwan and shot him to almost instant popularity. Looking back now, his ‘path to fame’ was very similar to that of HK ‘Heavenly King’ Aaron Kwok (郭富城), except that upon making a name for himself, Wallace decided to remain in Taiwan instead of returning to HK. Later on, he was invited to Mainland China to film TV series and was able to achieve tremendous success as an actor over there – not only does he currently have over 7 million fans ‘following’ his Sina Weibo account, he has also won quite a few awards [acting and music related] throughout his career. After recently winning the ‘Golden Eagle’ Favorite Male Actor Award, Wallace’s status in the Mainland is even more tightly established.      

Doesn’t mind starting from the bottom again    

Towards his ‘Golden Eagle’ win, Wallace states: “Actually, I was already very happy with being nominated for 3 awards, so winning that award was truly the icing on the cake -- I guess you could say it proved that my hard work all these years paid off. The Golden Eagle awards is an important event in Mainland and is pretty representative – plus this year was the first year that they opened it up for HK, Taiwan, Macau artists to participate, so it’s quite unprecedented. Being the first HK actor to win the award is a huge boost of encouragement for me.”    

Recently, after signing with management company Hai-Run Productions (銀河海潤) – of which director Johnnie To (To Sir) is an investor – Wallace will be returning to the HK entertainment industry that he had left 19 years ago. During the first half of the year, he participated in the filming of To Sir’s latest crime drama Drug War , which stars HK actor Louis Koo (古天樂), Mainland actor Sun Hong Lei (孫紅雷), actress Huang Yi (黃奕), etc. Wallace hopes that through the film, he will get the chance to be ‘reacquainted’ with HK audiences: “Deciding to return to the HK market was really a matter of timing. It wasn’t an easy decision to make though, as I was in discussions about it for more than half a year – after all, I’m not a newcomer anymore. I already have a lot of ‘history’ behind me – even though Taiwan and Mainland audiences know me, HK audiences probably already forgot about me and many probably don’t even know me. In the discussions, we came to the consensus that there needed to be more of a balance in terms of my career, which meant bridging the gap within the Greater China region.    

Wallace continues: “My feelings towards returning to the HK entertainment world are actually quite peaceful – after all, I’m not the 19 year old kid anymore who would get emotional at the thought of having the opportunity to become a singer in Taiwan. I don’t mind starting all over again from the bottom, as I’m going into it without any particular expectations. If I’m offered an opportunity that people feel I’m suited for and I’m able to do it, as long as there is room for development, I’m willing to give it a try. I didn’t sign with To Sir’s company because I wanted to film movies – there’s definitely no rush to carve out a movie career; in fact, I want to take it slow and be able to enjoy the process. The movie world is very different [from television], as getting a lead actor role doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best position – sometimes, getting a supporting actor role with a lot of opportunity for development could invoke an even bigger response from audiences.”  

Over a year ago, Wallace ‘officially’ returned to the music world, recording and releasing a brand new album in Mainland China and holding 3 major concerts in Shanghai as well as Guangzhou: “Actually, throughout the time I was filming in Mainland, I did sing the theme songs for many series, but it wasn’t until 2 years ago that I officially went back to becoming a singer again. There are already plans to release another album – this time, I’ll probably add a few Cantonese songs to it.”      

Zero rumors and scandals    

People often tell Wallace that director Johnnie To is a very ‘hot-tempered’ person – however in the 6 months that they’ve worked together, Wallace has a different impression of To Sir.    

“A lot of people told me that To Sir has a fiery temper– luckily, I met him during a time when his temper was already softened. In reality, To Sir is not as hot-tempered as he used to be – even if he does get upset occasionally, it’s usually within reason. He’s actually a very generous person – when we were filming in Mainland, To Sir would have his own tent and he would constantly invite us to visit and chat. He’s also a great person to learn from – for instance, hearing him in discussions with the cameramen, you can tell that he is very knowledgeable about how to utilize the camera lens and camera angles to get the best possible effect. If you have the heart for learning, you’ll definitely learn a thing or two from him. Even during meal time and breaks from filming, To Sir would chat with us and give us acting advice – I definitely learned a lot from him!”    

For HK artists who work for long periods of time in the Mainland, it’s very easy for them to become involved in relationships and rumors with Mainland artists – however Wallace seems to be the ‘exception, as all these years, he has been able to maintain a ‘zero rumor/ scandal’ track record.    

“Actually, I do have relationships and such, it’s just that I don’t talk about them in public -- it’s part of my personality. I don’t keep in touch much with people within the industry and my circle of friends is small and simple – I also rarely talk about my personal life in public settings and try to keep out of the limelight, so of course there won’t be much ‘news’ about me. I’ve never been one to care much about material things, plus I’ve been a vegetarian for a long time, so it has helped me learn how to control desire. For HK artists who stay in Mainland for long periods of time due to their careers, it’s not surprising that they would choose a Mainlander as relationship partner. For me, well, I actually come back to HK quite often – every year, I only stay in Mainland to film 2 series.”    

Wallace’s personality is still the same as it was 19 years ago – simple and unpretentious. In fact, all the money he earns he still gives to his mother for safekeeping: “I don’t own any properties in Mainland, but in HK, I already bought a house for my family. I give all the money that I make to my mom and she invests it for me – but I don’t know if she will return any of it to me in the future…haha!”    

On the topic of marriage, Wallace revealed that his 2 older sisters are still not married and acknowledges that the ‘spinster’ issue is quite severe in society: “Guys are usually not in a rush to get married – I also have not thought about it.” When told that it’s precisely because of this type of ‘no rush’ thinking that contributes to the severity of the ‘spinster’ issue, Wallace half-jokingly replied: “Even if I do get married, it’s only going to help 1 person – the ratio is too small so it’s not going to change the trend in society anyway!”


  1. Of course I am still following your blog. As long as I am alive, you'll see me here:) Just that I've not been commenting much lately because I've been busy reading Chinese novels. Yeh, audio books and google translations have helped me to overcome my inability to read or write Chinese. When I read a comment here on the 3 Horny Guys, I was thinking how can llwy not know who they are whereas I immediately think they are the 2Rs plus a B:P

    When I read the title of this article, I immediately think llwy must have translated this article specifically for me:) It turns out that she is really that super nice & sweet to me:) Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. Lots of hugs & kisses to you, haha...

    I read a summary of this article on jaynestar abt a week ago & is very happy to know I get to hear him speak in Cantonese soon. However, if he is concentrating on the film mkt only then I'll be kind of disappointed. I want to see him on tv !!! It will be my dream come true if he can film for TVB or CTI which I also don't mind. I read Wong Jing gonna produce some tv dramas for TVB & is planning to recruit Hawick Lau. How abt Wallace?

    After translating this article, you can see why I am such a fan, lol. He works from the bottom to acheive his current fame & success. He is a good & hard working actor. I also admire his humble & low key personallity. He has near zero rumour by exercising self ctrl. Also, he is so loyal to HK & loves his mum so much. Oh, I better stop singing anymore praises before anyone get goosebumps, lol. He really sound too good to be ture, like someone who can only exist on tv or in a book.

    Actually I do have a complain against him. That is his poor choice in accepting roles in dramas. I don't know if it is his fault or his manager.I just don't like most of his roles or dramas. It is either the storyline, his co-stars, his characters, the props etc. I've to confess I've only watched 2 of his mainland dramas & plan to watch Imminent Danger soon.

    The only unreleased drama I look fwd to watching is Secrets. I read he gonna film the C version of Kdrama Secret Garden and another remake of Jin Yang's DGSD as Kiu Fung. I saw that Kdrama & don't really like it so don't expect me to like the C version. As for Jin Yong's remake, it has been done to death. Pls no more remake bcos I am very sick of them. I don't understand when there are so many good wuxia novels out there, why always remake JY's novels. His stories are good but they've lost its novelty value.

    1. Part 1...

      @BOGAEfan: LOL! I figured you were probably busy so that's why you weren't commenting much....but good to know that you're still reading the posts though (haha)! No worries -- I totally understand, since I'm that way too! :P

      Oh, which Chinese novels are you reading? Wuxia ones? Jin Yong? Just curious, since I'm also a bookworm so I obviously love books as well. Speaking of books, I still have so many books that I need to read (pretty much an entire shelf full of them -- both Chinese and English), I'm starting to wish for more time in the day so I can actually get to some of the stuff that I've been wanting to get to. I used to be able to read a few books a week, but nowadays, there just isn't time anymore...aiye!!

      Haha...I know, I should have caught on to that 'horny guys' comment -- goes to show I can be a bit 'slow' sometimes...LOL! But in a sense, it shouldn't be too surprising, since it shows that I truly don't care much about those 3 particular artists.... ;-)'re very welcome! I knew you would probably figure out that I had translated that article partly because of our conversation about Wallace...but figured I'd take the opportunity to call it out, since we hadn't chatted in awhile. Plus I'm starting to like Wallace after watching Journey of Love and getting to know more about him, so I was happy to translate the article about him (I'm sure you know that if it's an artist I don't like or can't stand, I wouldn't even bother!).

      The article on Jaynestar is the summary of the Oriental Daily interview he did last week. I actually like the Mingpao one better because it's better written and goes a bit more in depth (though I guess part of it is bias too due to me being a long-time Mingpao reader). In any case, both articles were definitely worth reading, especially for Wallace fans. Yea, it does sound like Wallace is going to focus on movies and music in the HK market, at least for now....bummer, cuz that means we won't see him on TV any time soon. Well, let's see what happens, since things change rather quickly in the entertainment industry....

      As for Wong Jing's series -- I know, I was actually thinking the same thing when I heard he was interested in recruiting Hawick. But to be honest though, I don't have a whole lot of confidence in Wong Jing's series because sometimes he puts stuff in his movies and series just to create fanfare / hype (might not have anything to do with the storyline) and it can get rather irritating. Plus ever since he went the "Category III" route with his movies, I've pretty much lost faith in him....

    2. Part 2....

      Anyway, back to Wallace....actually, I read a few other articles previously about Wallace as well, including one that a reporter wrote around the time that his series was airing -- I could already tell from those articles that he's a good person. That's partly why I'm starting to like I like the fact that even though he sort of started out on the 'idol' path, he's worked hard over the years to prove that he truly does have talent and isn't just one of those typical idol path artists who only have looks and no substance. I also like his 'pure and simple' personality, which really hasn't changed much over the years (I may not know too much about him in terms of career, but when he first came on scene back in the 90s, I could already tell that he had an endearing personality...haha).

      I also appreciate the fact that Wallace has zero rumors/scandals -- I think that he (and other artists who similarly don't have many scandals/rumors) is proof that, as an artist, having self-control is important and the type of person you are is reflective of the type of things you choose to do outside of work. That's why I get ticked off sometimes when there is a whole bunch of gossips and scandals about particular artists and their fans go all overboard to blame the Media for 'stirring the pot' when their own idols are just as much to blame -- I mean, there are artists out there who are truly sincere about wanting to stay out of the limelight and not creating scandal and so they taylor their lifestyles around that....unfortunately, not everyone has that type of discipline though....

      Yea, that's one of the things that I get annoyed about with certain artists too -- their bad choice of roles....though alot of times, it may not be completely within their control. In Wallace's case, I have no clue whether it's his fault or his manager's, but for his own sake, I hope that he does a better job of choosing roles in the future as well. Since he's pretty established as an artist now (well, in China and Taiwan at least), he can afford to be a bit more 'selective' with his roles.

      As for Jin Yong remakes -- my reaction is the same as yours...PLEASE STOP!!! I'm sick and tired of watching remake after remake -- it gets old after awhile. I also don't understand why they all keep trying to do remake after remake of JY's novels when there are so many wuxia stories out there that could be done -- sort of makes me think that the people (producers, etc.) who keep wanting to do the remakes are pretty much just lazy and in it for the quick money that the Jin Yong name brings.....everytime I hear about people doing another JY remake, the saying "too much of a good thing" always comes to mind.....

  2. Sorry for the late reply as I was busy finishing my novel & watching Highs & Lows:) I hope it started high but won't end up low:P What kind of books do you read? I don't really like Jin Yong's novels bcos they are too male dominated. Dislike that rapist Wai Siu Bo & that wishy washy Cheung Mo Kei. Only like Jing gor gor & Yong Guo.Beside Wong Yung, most of Jin Yong's girls are just flower vases.

    Due to my inability to read Chinese, I listen to a fair bit of audio books. They are very interesting, not bland reading of the books but with feelings & music. If you are interested, here is my playground:) I am listening to 且试天下, a good wuxia book with strong male & female characters.Also, listening to 浮生梦·三生约, a good 仙侠 (xian xia) book with the right mixture of humour & angst.As for modern novel, I just finished 许我向你看 by 辛夷坞, a good book on prejudice, social outcasts etc.

    All these books are so much more interesting than tvb dramas:P Why can't they be made into dramas without stupid changes to the storylines? Did you watch 步步惊心 the mainland drama? If not, I highly recommend you to watch it. It is adapted from a book & stayed close to the book except the ending.The change in the ending is appropriate. Thus, this drama is a runaway success last year. I like this drama a lot bcos it has only 30 episode, has tolerable acting, gorgeous props & scenery, interesting storyline, good looking actors:P etc. The author 桐华 writes rather good ancient novels with historical setting like 云中歌.My only complain is the bad CGI which is so obvious. Also, Wallace was offered a leading role but he rejected it bcos he doesn't want to shave his head. I feel this is his most stupid decision:P

    Audio books are good in that they stay true to the books so no crappy endings or trainwreck storylines. I usually research the books before I start reading them. Also, I can use my imagination to cast whoever I feel appropriate to play which characters:P No need to get disappointed or annoyed at the inappropriate casts or bad acting.

  3. Back to Wallace, I don't mind him acting in Wong Jing's drama as long as I get to see him on tv speaking Cantonese, lol. Actually the one Wong Jing did for ATV sometime ago aren't that bad. He has the budget for props, costumes, scenery etc plus the relationship to cast popular artists like Deannie Yip, Simon Yip etc.

    I am not sure if you know abt Wallace's history with TVB. According to what his fan told me, TVB treated Wallace very badly. After the 2 dramas you mentioned, TVB only gave him bit parts here & there but refused to release him. This wasted I think 2 or 4 yrs of his life. After he has fulfilled his contract, he went to Taiwan to pursue his career. I cannot remember what he did to offend TVB. After he makes it big in China, some reporters asked him abt it but all he'll say is thank you to TVB for giving him a head start & refused to say anything bad abt TVB.Such a nice guy:)How wonderful if he can rtn to TVB as a successful actor.

    Compared to the 4 Hornies in TVB (I am including Ah Mo), Wallace sound like a saint, lol. If I am Wallace's sister, I also will have a hard time finding a life partner who can measure up to my brother:P That is why I think his sisters who are older than him are still single.

    Actually I am quite surprised with such quiet & reserved personality, he managed to make it big in Taiwan & China which are no easy mkts to crack. Reminds me of Tony Leung. I guess skilful acting, hard work & perseverance but not hype, rumours & short cut are the long term road to success.

    Yup now he no longer will play 2nd fiddle in a drama yet the drama quality in China leave a lot to be desired due to many constrains like budget, resources, castings, cultural difference, etc in particular their censorship which is a pain.