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Nicky Wu Finds Joy in Working

By on January 9, 2013

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Nicky Wu’s (吳奇隆) life is like a very dramatic coming-of-age movie. Nicky was very poor, yet he had an inexplicable talent for karate and taekwondo. If he did not work and go to school at the same time, Nicky would have been able to represent Taiwan’s taekwondo team in the Olympics.

But it all bottles down to fate. If Nicky joined the taekwondo team, he would not have been spotted by a talent agent. He would not have become the talented actor-singer we see today. Most importantly, he would not be able to discover his true love for making movies.

Nicky first joined the entertainment industry as a member of the Little Tigers Team (小虎隊), a trio of young male singers that included Alec Su (蘇有朋) and Julian Chen (陈志朋). Nicky was criticized by his friends and teachers for joining the boy band, but all Nicky could think of was to bring food to the table.

The Little Tigers Team became a big hit in Asia. Every single child who grew up in the early 1990s would remember how to sing to Little Tiger songs and dance to their signature moves. Faced with school and mandatory military service, the Little Tigers Team had no choice but to disband in 1991.

Second Break

After the Little Tigers Team, Nicky’s biggest break  was his portrayal as “Leung San Pak” in Tsui Hark’s (徐克) Butterfly Lovers <梁祝> in 1994. Hong Kong became Nicky’s new hope, and he began to film a string of Hong Kong films and television dramas, including TVB’s epic cross-millennium film, At the Threshold of an Era <創世紀>.

But what happened afterward? A few may remember Nicky’s works after 2000. His most famous work after At the Threshold an Era was likely 2006’s A Battle of Wits <墨攻>.

It was 2011’s Bu Bu Jing Xin <步步惊心> that brought Nicky back to prominence. His portrayal as the intelligent, cool, and tolerant fourth prince was critically acclaimed and touched many fans nationwide.

“When I was younger, I could only feel the applause and appraisal for my work. Deep down inside, I knew that if it wasn’t for my marketable appearance, I would not be on that stage. I would not be doing what I’m doing. Without my company, my managers, and my agents, I wouldn’t know what to do. But now, I’m very proud to say that I could feel that some of these applause is from my own work.”


“He isn’t human; he is a god,” Nicky’s manager said.

Nicky has not had a day off since 2001. He sleeps only an average of four hours per day. Once, he had only one hour of sleep for seven days. “He works too much,” said his manager.

Nicky said, “I can fall asleep standing up. Sometimes, I would cry, but I would not able to feel that they were tears.

Nicky loves to work, and he loves to challenge himself. “I want to try out many possibilities. I want to know how many things a person can do. I want to know if I am capable of doing them all.”

Nicky is an actor, a producer, and a businessman. Flying from point A to point B every day is something that Nicky is used to.

“I am afraid of him sometimes,” Nicky’s coworker joked. “Sometimes his creative mind only works at the middle of the night, and that causes us to suffer through the night with him!”

Nicky apologized, “I can’t tell time anymore, and weekends don’t exist in my book. I am trying my best to change this!”

Would Nicky eventually get tired of working? “Of course! My way of relaxing is by switching up my work course a bit. If I don’t have time to work out, I would produce a martial arts drama for an excuse to go to the gym. If I want to vacation overseas, I will make a drama that requires location film. It’s quite fun.”

Source: Sina.com

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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  • Readers' Comments (39)

    1. ita says:

      His above photo resemblance James Dean

    2. Mlove says:

      Slow down tiger!!! I remember him back when he won the new male artist award in 1993. Dang, 20 years ago. Time flys!!!

    3. advo says:

      I really admire his work ethics, but he’s a total workaholic! I worry for his health.

    4. Bubblez says:

      What a workaholic!
      I honestly hope he still maintains his health since that should be his top priority especially the fact that he’s getting older.

    5. Funn Lim says:

      Haven’t read the article but wow! This man has never failed to take a stunning photoshoot!

    6. Funn Lim says:

      I am very confused about this article and seems inconsistent with his interviews, so perhaps a “panda” can explain or correct me if I am wrong.

      “Nicky was criticized by his friends and teachers for joining the boy band, but all Nicky could think of was to bring food to the table. ”

      At the time he was joining the band, he or his family wasn’t poor or in debt. Yes he was earning what is an allowance but his father was not in the state he would be later. Only after he joined, when he wanted to quit I believe 1 year into training? something like that, his father became a bankrupt and he wanted to help his father clear his debts and the only way he knew he can do so in the fastest time, even if it took many years, I think 11 years? 12 years? Up until Shiao Shi Yi Lang (where he met his future wife), and that was to continue in the entertainment industry. That’s where his workaholic nature kicked in, and it was out of necessity and filial piety. So the article is misleading. It wasn’t at that point but of course it wasn’t much later.

      The band broke up because Julien Chen had to go for military service which in Taiwan is 2 years? Or something like that, hence the song with the lyrics which Nicky wrote for Julien. He himself had to go his own way and he did say he was fearful?

      He went to HK where he had to start all over again, and faced some success, this time in movies. Then it was down again. He didn’t work as much when he was married but since divorce (and a loss of some properties along the way) and with a new resurgence in his career thanks to BBJX, he has worked non stop. Reason is simple. At first it is income driven, now I suppose for his fans and also to fill in his lonely nights. He is one of the first chinese entertainers to use Weibo to full advantage and has a large following. That is important because weibo in a way helped to raise his profile also.

      “He sleeps only an average of four hours per day.”

      True, but not only because of work but because it is probably due to the fact that he has conditioned his body that way for so many years it became a habit. He is famous for being awake middle of the night reading weibo messages and even fans will tell him to go to sleep.

      He likes acting because he is also a people’s person. He likes the comraderie.

      Perhaps a little more about his relationship with his father would have given more insight into this man’s not so private personal life.

      All these I gathered from his interviews. I like how he described meeting the other 2 members of Little Tigers during the audition.

      • Funn Lim says:

        He looks great for his age. Body, face, HAIR. I do think he loves his hair very much. And yes he has great hair.

        But his skin is suffering from the pressure, the work, the lack of sleep. His skin reflects his age. But he is youthful thanks in part to his way of dressing (many could learn from him) and his tendency to be playful cute. To some it may seem odd to see a 40 plus year old man behaving that way but he is probably one of the very few actors I know of that can put his more serious uptight co-stars at ease very quickly and he hardly has any negative news with his costars. That part, Wallace Huo can learn from him on how to deal with the media and deal with costars. And he is a pro at interviews, where he will answer honestly, or at least as truthful as he wants to be. Just don’t ask him about his ex wife.

        • Nicole says:

          Funn, how did he describe Alec and Julian when they first met?

        • Funn Lim says:

          Repeated a lot of times, how impressed he was with Julian who came there with his briefcase and a costume and all ready for the interview and he himself wasn’t that ready.

          Alec was with his school friends and in uniform and he saw Alec’s school badge and he knew it was one of Taiwan’s top schools so Alec must have been smart, so why did he have to come and audition.

          Basically he said he remembered them 2 very very well, especially Julien who went on to become one of his closest friends during Little Tigers because they were closest in age.

        • jasmine7 says:

          Yes, you’re right. He could certainly do with more moisturising (which he mentioned in an interview that he’s into a skincare routine now, didn’t pay much attention before).

          His father was extremely strict with him compared to his 2 brothers (he scores better than them). Only took up judo & taekwando to improve his health cause he was quite sickly as a child but his natural talent for the sport and any other activities which he took up (chinese calligraphy, swimming, basketball, etc) shone through.

          I’m a ‘late’ fan of Nicky (because of BBJX) but I observe that he’s a very filiel son/family orientated, had to learn to be independent from a young age, sensitive, passionate & loving, kind, loyal, caring, compassionate to those less fortunate and never speak ill of anyone. It’s most unfortunate that he was cheated/betrayed by his ex. I’m really happy for him that he has bounced back in a sort-of-way and BBJX’s success has renewed his confidence and popularity, helped him overcome his misery with the divorce.

          He is smart to go on Weiboa. Millions of hits by fans, exposure, high profile. As a businessman as well, naturally he has to watch the Balance Sheet……..but he’s one of the best boss (like Nic Tse). Having said that, yes, he should allocate a little bit more ‘me’ time to relax and just do nothing, he works too hard. I give him another 2yrs to firmly re-establish and by that time, perhaps he would have found love again.

        • Rainbow says:

          Who’s his ex-wife? Why did they get divorced?

        • HeTieShou says:

          His ex wife is mainland actress Ma Ya Shu. If you have seen Xiao Shi Yi Lang, she acted as Feng Si Niang and that was the series that they met. They divorced because she cheated on him with some foreigner named “James”. I think Nicky will find someone better who will love and cherish him…

        • Funn Lim says:

          Not any “some foreigner” but a very rich, handsome and successful foreigner. Google their wedding photos.

        • HeTieShou says:

          I have never seen James until now, thanks Funn. I did not realize that they even had wedding photos. I wonder if Nicky and her even had any?? I feel bad for Nicky and his ex was so lucky but yet did not know how to treasure him… So sad but then heard that her current marriage is not going well either..

      • Funn Lim says:

        A follow up. I don’t think his friends and teachers criticised him for joining a boy band. Rather due to his hectic schedule he wasn’t that much into practice time and he did consider leaving the band to go full time as athlete which he loves and then of course his father’s thing happened and the rest is history.

        By the way he is still physically rather fit and nimble.

        • jasmine7 says:

          He IS very fit and nimble, still does his splits with no problem.

        • jasmine7 says:

          His ex is a typical gold digger. Google and you’ll read the full story. If her 2nd marriage is not going well, she’ll be disappointed as it’s not as easy to pick money off this 2nd husband in Australia.

          Nicky is a true gentleman and also like to keep private thoughts privately. He’s old fashion like that.

    7. msxie says:

      The article fails to mention the Little Heavenly Kings (Nicky, Alec, Jimmy Lin, Takeshi Kaneshiro) formed after Little Tigers. It’s amazing that these 4 guys are still famous and hot after 20 years in the biz.

      • chantilly says:

        Without a doubt, Takashi Kaneshiro is the HOTTEST among them ahhaa… but well i am biased then b/c i never thought the other 3 are consider as hot. I think the above is very lucky since he was just doing so so in the industry but suddenly back up after such a long time.

        • skinnymocha says:

          Takeshi Kaneshiro is fine looking, indeed. :)

          I’ve liked Nicky ever since see him in those two films with Charlie Yeung though.

        • skinnymocha says:


        • chantilly says:

          i know, hes so fine really. n he can speak many languages. whats not to like? hahaah lol…
          he has a canto accent thou but still very much understandable. is he attached? i feel like we hardly know anything about his personal life and ‘low profile’ and ‘private’ is also admirable.

        • shu says:

          the taiwan four tigers are not so hot as the hongkong five tigers hahaha…the hottest is indeed T.K.but not as hot as andy lau in his prime and no one is so manly as sam gor now.lol

        • kiki says:

          i agree about ‘3rd bro’ but andy lau? hhaahah heck NO, gosh skinny as hell monkey and too private and fussing about keeping it a secret when he is already pass 50s…

      • HeTieShou says:

        Actually, I think Jimmy Lin and Alec Su sort of faded in the background. Takeshi has always been popular and Nicky has found success again. But Jimmy and ALec aren’t as popular anymore…

        • msxie says:

          Alec is quite popular in the mainland especially after his acclaimed role in The Message. He has recently formed his own film workshop. Jimmy’s been invited to various film award functions and still looks 20.

          Each of the four have maintained industry longevity and popularity in various degrees.

        • HeTieShou says:

          Really? I guess I am not updated much on Alec’s news. Sorry but Jimmy Lin does NOT look 20. I can say that I look younger than my age but even I don’t consider myself looking 20. Jimmy looks at least his early 30 to mid 30s..

        • kiki says:

          I know n agree that Jimmy Lin does NOT look 20 but comparing to above Nicky Wu i think Jimmy is way more handsome thou ahhaha… I never thought of Nicky Wu as handsome or that cute but i think ppl start to like him again after that ancient drama which he got lucky same as that TVB Kevin dude. He is like a so so dead fish in TVB n now having all these offers from mainaland.

        • HeTieShou says:

          I agree and don’t know why some even say that Jimmy Lin looks like a teenager? what is wrong with their eyes because he does not even look like a 20 year old but a teenager, no way!! Back the days, I thought that Jimmy looked better but now I think Nicky looks better and more manly while Jimmy doesn’t even though he has aged a lot.

          You mean Bu Bu Jing Xin… Well, it is nothing bad at all to have a breakthrough role/series that would bring you fame again. That is normal and I find nothing wrong with that. It is great that Kevin is getting offers from China since they pay better and treat their artists way better than TVB anyways. Most TVB artists want that.

        • msxie says:

          OK, maybe Jimmy looks more like 25. He definitely has a babyface, a liability when it comes to getting mature roles fit for a 35+ year old.

        • HeTieShou says:

          To me, Jimmy looks about early 30s to mid 30s so definately not in the 20s range…

    8. HeTieShou says:

      I am so impressed that Nicky can work so well without much sleep and still be fit and healthy. Boy, if it were me, I would fall to the floor… Great that he has found success again. I remember when he joined the army. It was so hard on him that he had considered quitting showbiz and doing something else. Glad that he continued and is now successful again.

      • kiki says:

        I am just surprised that all these 40’s dudes can still pair up w/actresses’ in their 20’s and let’s face it some of them DON’T look like they are in their 20’s hahaa…

        • HeTieShou says:

          It is just acting and artists often have to play roles of characters that are younger and older than them so I don’t see the biggest deal about it. UNless, they were like really old and had to play a teenager or something like that. Ok now that would look wierd…

    9. Nita says:

      Btw his wife is Ma Ya shu who is a sweet and wonderful person and she was the heroine for Pretty maid (Da Ya Huan). I don’t think she cheated on Nicky wu. They were already having complication and planning divorce. According to her interview, Nicky wanted someone who is perfect. Ma Ya shu said she isn’t the type Nicky wanted, such as perfect. She admitted that she has many flaws and that is why they didn’t work out. I too was sad when they divorce, but its tough for both parties.

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