First Lead in 13 Years, Fred Cheng Has Nothing to Lose

By on April 15, 2017 in NEWS

First Lead in 13 Years, Fred Cheng Has Nothing to Lose

Provocateur <與諜同謀>, which aired it series finale last week, was Fred Cheng’s (鄭俊弘) first drama as a lead actor in his 13-year acting career. The 33-year-old, who made his acting debut in 2003, struggled as a C-list actor for years before finally becoming an overnight sensation on The Voice of the Stars <星夢傳奇> in 2013. Ironically, it was his singing career—not his acting career—that got the kickstart.

After two years of making music, Fred halted his singing career to dedicate his time on Provocateur, in which he starred alongside Gallen Lo (羅嘉良). The drama was Gallen’s first TVB serial in eight years.

provocateur-3Playing a vengeful youth set on taking revenge on his father, Fred’s role was generally regarded as the show’s main antagonist. “Of course I don’t think he is,” said Fred. “He does all those things for a reason, but I’ll let the viewers decide.” Fred didn’t think about his idol image while working on the show, saying, “I gave it my all. I had nothing to lose.”

It is a lot of pressure—to suddenly jump from being a minor actor to costarring a series with a veteran actor. Fred said he would be lying if he said he wasn’t stressed, but he is thankful for the support he received during the production process. “I’m really thankful to the directors for their patience in leading me,” he said. “And Gallen Gor is such a great costar to work with. If it’s only me carrying everything, I’d explode from pressure!”

Provocateur is not Fred’s first drama with Gallen. One of Fred’s first acting projects after debut was 2003’s The W Files <衛斯理>, which starred Gallen. On working with the veteran star, Fred said, “It’s so fun acting with Gallen Gor. He’s amazing. He’s not even acting. He is that person. He also helps you get in character.” (Were you scared when you first started work with Gallen?) “I was a bit. He appeared to be very cool, and really quiet. I’m like that as well. It takes me a while to warm up to people, but after you past that stage, then it’s great. He’s given me a lot of great advice.”

Too Poor to Withdraw Money from the ATM

Before his big hit in The Voice of the Stars, Fred spent years swimming through small supporting roles, often times as a background actor. With no fame, no jobs, and no money at the time, Fred felt trapped.

“Since I had nothing to do, I took some days off and returned to Canada, where I took up an acting class. My instructor, who had a master’s degree in acting, was also like me, who couldn’t land big acting roles. One day I actually asked him if he felt like it was a waste of his education, but he immediately stopped me and told me to not think that way. Our jobs as actors is to bring the character to life, regardless of how big the role is.”

Like many struggling actors, Fred also went through a period of economic difficulty. “It’s a process that we would all go through. My worst time was when I couldn’t even withdraw money from the ATM. The least you can withdraw is HK$100.”

Fred said he has to thank Provocateur producer Wong Wai-sing (黃偉聲) and The Life and Times of a Sentinel <紫禁驚雷> producer Leung Choi-yuen (梁材遠) for giving him opportunities when no other producers were interested. “Sing Gor was the first producer to give me a job after graduating from [TVB]’s acting class in 2002. Uncle Choi was the first producer to cast me in a drama after my return from Canada, and he’s saved me a spot in many other dramas after that.”

Source: Mingpao

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

7 comments to First Lead in 13 Years, Fred Cheng Has Nothing to Lose

  1. Profile photo of hellome hellome says:

    He was pretty good in the series, especially since that he was his first big role. His crying scenes were actually pretty good. I’m hoping that we can see him in some more series.

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  2. Profile photo of linvin8 linvin8 says:

    It was Gallen Lo who made me look forward to this series since it was announced but it was Fred Cheng who kept me interested until the end. I really enjoyed his performance and he had very good chemistry with Ali Lee as well as the rest of the cast especially Ringo’s group of friends.

    I really hope he finds a good balance between acting and singing because I would really love to see him more on screen. Even though he’s been in a lot of dramas, as a lead actor Fred is truly a refreshing face!

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  3. Profile photo of megamiaow megamiaow says:

    Tvb really does need to promote more fresh leads. But less tony hung would be better.

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  4. Profile photo of ekoay ekoay says:

    Fred Cheng started off a little shaky in the first few episodes, but very quickly embraced the role as he moved along. From the middle of the series onwards he was very engaging and had many memorable scenes. His chemistry with Gallen Lo and the little kid were fantastic – especially touched by 2 small scenes when he was talking with little Hong abt their dads. Gallen Lo seems to bring out the best in Fred in their interaction scenes too.

    Fred is a good “crier” – his crying scenes were all well executed. Apart fm the “letter” scene in the last episode, the hug scene with Mani was especially touching too.

    Hope to see more of him in dramas apart fm singing.

    This drama’s casting is quite refreshing, and the older woman/younger man romance line also a commendable new angle by tvb.

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    • Profile photo of jaylee jaylee replied:

      @ekoay yes, I really loved his scene with Mani in the last episode. When his face slowly became sad and his tears were forming as he told her how sometimes he thinks that she seems more like his father’s real child than him. I could feel the regret he had buried – of not spending his father’s last days as his son and wasting years haboring hate.

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  5. Profile photo of summerdale summerdale says:

    I had really enjoyed Fred’s acting in Provocateur. He was absolutely awesome. Although not conventionally handsome (like Bosco, Kevin Cheng etc) but he is extremely charming and watchable.

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  6. Profile photo of diana80 diana80 says:

    Fred was indeed good in his 1st lead roles and i also hope to watch him again as lead in future dramas. He is more watchable than Tony Hung and Benjamin Yuen…thus should be given more opportunities to lead a series so as to sharpen his acting skills.

    Fred was also lucky to have the opportunity to act alongside veteran like Gallen in his first series as lead. I believe he has gained some acting tips from Gallen and the latter indeed played a part in bringing out the best in Fred.

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