Ruco Chan, Shaun Tam to Lead TVB Qing Drama “Heaven’s Will”

By on December 14, 2016 in Hot Gossip!, NEWS, TV Dramas

Ruco Chan, Shaun Tam to Lead TVB Qing Drama “Heaven’s Will”

The cast of new TVB Qing dynasty drama Heaven’s Will <天命> gathered together yesterday for a costume fitting press conference. Produced by Chong Wai-kin (莊偉健), Heaven’s Will centers on the corrupt imperial official Heshen, and the events that took place in the 28 days leading up to his death on February 22, 1799.

Ruco Chan (陳展鵬) will be playing Heshen, with Shaun Tam (譚俊彥), in his first TVB drama, playing the Jiaqing Emperor. KK Cheung (張國強) costars as the Qianlong Emperor. Selena Li (李施嬅), Lai Lok-yi (黎諾懿), Joel Chan (陳山聰), Elaine Yiu (姚子羚), and Jonathan Cheung (張頴康) will co-lead. Former ATV actors Pinky Cheung (張文慈), Frankie Choi (蔡國威), and Andrew Yuen (袁文傑) will be making billed guest appearances.

Heshen, known as one of the most corrupt officials in Qing dynasty history, became a famous figure in entertainment after Wang Gang (王剛) famously portrayed the character in several Chinese television dramas of the early 2000’s, most notably in The Eloquent Ji Xiaolan <鐵齒銅牙紀曉嵐> series. His popular portrayals have led many to associate Heshen as a plump and comical man.

heaven's-will-costume-fitting-ruco-chanRuco said, “I was surprised when I first heard of my casting. Isn’t Heshen supposed to be stocky and clever? But historical records say he actually looked sophisticated and elegant.” (Have you seen Ji Xiaolan?) “I have when I was younger. We’re going for a completely different style. [Ji Xiaolan] was more light-hearted, while we’re going for a drama, and closer to history.”

Whereas Heshen would be treated as a stock side villain in previous historical dramas, Heshen will take focus in Heaven’s Will, with its main story detailing the events that took place in the 28 days before his death. “It will talk about his poor relationship with Jiaqing, as well as answer the question to how Heshen got so powerful,” said Ruco. “How did he achieve so much? How did he amass such a great fortune?”

Ruco’s Heshen will have several love interests in the show. Selena Li portrays his first love, but she will marry Shaun’s Jiaqing instead, and later becoming his empress. Heshen will also be involved with Elaine Yiu’s Changmei, the western-educated daughter of an official.

heaven's-will-costume-fitting-shaun-tamSelena teased about her character’s tragic story, and said she is mentally prepared for the role. The Presumed Accidents <純熟意外> actress is most excited to work with Shaun, who spent the past few years playing supporting parts in Mainland Chinese television dramas.

Shaun shared that he recently signed a management contract with TVB, and plans to focus his career in Hong Kong for the next few years. He admitted that his reason for doing so is because he wants to spend more time with his one-year-old daughter.

Principal photography for Heaven’s Will begins this December, based in Hong Kong, and will run through April 2017. Photography will continue at Hengdian World Studios and the Great Wall of China next year.

Source: Oriental Daily (1, 2, 3)

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.



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Ruco Chan, Shaun Tam to Lead TVB Qing Drama “Heaven’s Will”
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17 comments to Ruco Chan, Shaun Tam to Lead TVB Qing Drama “Heaven’s Will”

  1. Profile photo of coralie coralie says:

    Hmm never heard of Shaun, but always good to have fresh blood.

    Ruco seriously looks so noble & charming in ancient gear. Looking forward to his portrayal. He did a great job when he was in that pirates drama.

    This series sounds really crowded too…just 28 days leading to his death and it’s also going to give an in-depth peek at how he got to power/riches/women? =/

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    • Profile photo of funnlim funnlim replied:

      @coralie Nahhhhh.. it will be first scene present time and heshen about to die and then flashback to wayyyyyyyyy beginning. 28 day is trailer, the real story is 30 episodes long with typical present-past-present style I think. He can’t be noble here. Charming yes. he has to be corrupt.

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    • Profile photo of llwy12 llwy12 replied:

      @coralie Shaun Tam is veteran actor Ti Lung’s son. Shaun hasn’t had many big roles, whether in movies or TV series, so not surprised that few people heard of him (compared to his dad, who is super famous).

      Not sure how I feel about this series at the moment. Ruco will do a good job no doubt, not sure about Shaun, since he has yet to play a major role in anything…the rest of the male cast is relatively strong though, which I guess is a good thing given that the female cast is quite weak (nothing against Selena or Elaine, but neither of them are lead material in my opinion, though thank God they were cast in this series instead of Grace, Sisley, or any of the other newbie actresses). Also good to see that TVB is at least not being cheap with the production, with filming taking place in Hengdian and real locations in China rather than their own studios – definitely a step in the right direction. Let’s see how the script turns out though…

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      • Profile photo of creidesca creidesca replied:

        @llwy12 Shaun was the lead of a TW idol drama back in 2004 (Love Bird) where his leading lady was played by Cherrie Ying. He did well as the villian in the drama Xia Ying Xian Zong where his dad also had a role. But those were his early works…

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      • Profile photo of llwy12 llwy12 replied:

        @creidesca Yea, but those roles were way long time ago….nothing major or significant in recent years. Considering Shaun has been in the industry for 16 years already, definitely not much lead experience to his name. With that said though, this is probably a good time for him to sign with TVB given the talent drought they are going through right now – if he does well in this series, he could become a household name pretty quickly.

        By the way, I wonder if this is going to be the type of Qing era series where TVB requires the males to shave their heads or they are just going to have the guys wear hats in every scene (probably will be the latter). Also, since TVB seems to be going all out in terms of the location filming, they might as well invest in the costumes too and not recycle old outfits for a change…kind of hard for audiences to take their productions seriously nowadays when they themselves don’t even bother with the details…

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  2. Profile photo of m0m0 m0m0 says:

    excited to see pinky on screen again. she’s such a versatile actress.

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  3. Profile photo of funnlim funnlim says:

    I am excited for Ruco. This will be a great role if written well. Since it focuses on his last days I suppose it will be filled in with his younger days. he real He Shen was supposed to be very beautiful looking and a favourite of the old Qianlong. I’ve been to his house and it was bombastic. I don’t think elegant is the right word to describe him. I went to 4th prince’s house and it was elegant. But Heshen’s home was quite nauseating.

    It would be interesting role for whoever playing Jiaqing who had to wait until his father died before he can do away with heshen who famously was so corrupt his fortune was how many times over the national treasury. I am sure Ruco will portray him sympathetically but I don’t want that. I want a corrupt Heshen.

    But the female leads are so second rate. Or maybe I am old school; maybe I remember these stars as second rate when they’re now first rate. I am not excited about the women. Anyway this series should be about He Shen and Qianlong and then He Shen and jiaqing. No need to even talk about the women except…anyway… maybe ruco is also a miscast because he shen is supposed to be fair and all. I would say Vincent Wong would be a better fit or anyone fairer. don’t care. Am hoping this is Ruco’s make or break role. Enough of kung fu roles and nancy Wu. Time to test his acting chops.

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  4. Profile photo of funnlim funnlim says:

    “Ruco’s Heshen will have several love interests in the show. Selena Li portrays his first love, but she will marry Shaun’s Jiaqing instead, and later becoming his empress. Heshen will also be involved with Elaine Yiu’s Changmei, the western-educated daughter of an official.”

    Sigh. Rubbish.

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  5. Profile photo of bubbles23 bubbles23 says:

    Gotta love a SelenaxRuco pairing!

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  6. Profile photo of diana80 diana80 says:

    I think this drama will emphasize on the male leads’ character more than the female leads.

    Selena looks beautiful in ancient costumes as in her previous dramas. Her acting is tolerable…so i don’t mind her becoming the female lead of this drama. With the lack of good lead actresses and repetition of same female lead nowadays…it is no harm to give opportunities to second line actresses to see if they can carry the first lead role well.

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    • Profile photo of happybi happybi replied:

      @diana80 Agree with you. I like the pairing with Selena. I think she can pull it off.. she’s not a bad actress, just need more screen presence.

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  7. Profile photo of msxie0714 msxie0714 says:

    those Qing hats, costumes and pigtails totally lack visual appeal.

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    • Profile photo of funnlim funnlim replied:

      @msxie0714 Thats because TVB recycles. Watch BBJX. The costumes are gorgeous there.

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      • Profile photo of msxie0714 msxie0714 replied:

        @funnlim

        recycle or not, Qing male clothes/hairstyle is just ugly.

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  8. Profile photo of cutie777 cutie777 says:

    This drama reminds me of captain of destiny. It’s good to see Selena on screen again.

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  9. Profile photo of hannah hannah says:

    Nice ! Cant wait! Good to see Selena and Elaine !

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  10. Profile photo of elizabeth elizabeth says:

    Sounds good so far. I am happy with the cast and storyline. Because it would be focused on the 28 days period, it would unlikely to be stretched out and draggy. I hope it would be a serious drama and not have awkward bits of humour strangely injected in between the plotline.

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