Who knew that Kevin Cheng (鄭嘉穎) would end up being one of Hong Kong’s highest-paid actors within a year? Just a year and a half ago, the 43-year-old actor was struggling to make a name for himself – his dramas were not well-received, his work output was low, and he failed to sign with a reliable music label to realize his singing dreams. However, in 2011, Kevin suddenly became an overnight sensation with his role as “Law Ba” in Ghetto Justice <怒火街頭>. A few months later, Kevin’s popularity traveled to mainland China after starring in the highly successful time traveling drama, Bu Bu Jin Xin <步步惊心>. His popularity increased tenfold.
Kevin Cheng Looked Tired and Stressed on the Set of “Ip Man”
However, earning big money came with a hefty price. Earlier this week, Kevin was caught filming Ip Man in an elusive film studio on Kunshan, a small city that is an hour away from Shanghai. Having to film nonstop action scenes for several days under the 36 degrees Celsius weather, Kevin looked exhausted. He consistently smoked to relieve stress and the script never left his hands. Filming the action scenes was also tough as Kevin has no martial arts background. It took him over an hour to complete just one camera angle and one Wing Chun move.
An insider revealed, “Besides the attractive price, the drama’s production is also grand scale. Many big actors wanted the role, but the producers decided to choose Kevin. Kevin really wants his own representative work, so no matter how difficult it would be, he’s still willing to do it.”
Kevin, who is born with high blood pressure, has to take consistent medication. Doing such vigorous and intense martial arts scenes for long hours everyday can be harmful to his health. “Kevin is always checking his blood pressure and eats very carefully,” the insider said. “His mother is actually very worried about him. She’s scared that he’ll get sick.”
Kevin Cheng Becomes Highest Paid TVB Actor
After accepting the lead role as “Ip Man” for the mainland Chinese television adaptation of the iconic martial arts hero, Kevin’s price rose from $200,000 RMB per episode to $300,000 RMB per episode, pocketing $7 million RMB for the drama. Kevin reportedly earned $36.03 million between 2011 and 2012, making him the highest-paid TVB actor of the year.
A friend of Kevin revealed, “His mother is helping Kevin to look for a new place to stay. He wants to buy two residential units – one for himself and one for his mother.”
Moses Chan and Raymond Lam Drop to Second and Third Place
Within a year, Kevin’s money-earning capabilities have superseded his TVB colleagues, Moses Chan (陳豪) and Raymond Lam (林峯), who were the top earners in 2010. According to Next Magazine, the role that brought Kevin his fame, Bu Bu Jing Xin’s “Eighth Prince,” was actually originally offered Moses. However, Moses decided to turn down the role due to his busy schedule.
Nonetheless, Moses’ remains as one of Hong Kong’s highest-paid television actors. He is currently second after Kevin, earning $10.08 million HKD. Third on the list is Raymond Lam, who earned $8.29 million HKD.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.
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