Kevin Cheng Said No to “Cold Mountain Hidden Dragon”

Raking gold in mainland China has kept TV King, Kevin Cheng (鄭嘉穎) so busy that he has no time to film TVB series. Although offered the leading assassin role in  Cold Mountain Hidden Dragon <寒山潛龍>, Kevin has no desire to accept the filming project.

Since starring in last year’s popular mainland drama, Bu Bu Jing Xin <步步驚心>, Kevin’s fees increased from 200,000 RMB to 400,000 RMB per episode within a year. Kevin is rumored to be earning 500,000 RMB per episode filming TV drama, Ip Man <葉問>, compared to the fee of only $15,000 HKD per episode filming a TVB series. In addition, it was rumored that Kevin is going to earn a whopping 12 million RMB to star in a mainland wireless mobile commercial. No wonder he has no desire to film any TVB series next year.

When his acting career in Taiwan went stagnant in the early 2000’s, Kevin was saved and revived by his mentor, TVB executive, Catherine Tsang (曾勵珍). She was the one who bought him back to TVB, and had given him numbers of prominent roles in many dramas. However, with Kevin’s stardom in mainland, it will be very difficult for Catherine to convince him to star in a TVB drama again.

It was reported Catherine and the executive producer, Tommy Leung (梁家樹) had requested Kevin to play assassin Ximen in wuxia series, Cold Mountain Hidden Dragon. The filming is slated to begin next March. The role was supposed to be a great opportunity for Kevin to shine, and Catherine had plans to promote him to win another TV King Award next year.

To show her sincerity, Catherine reportedly invited Kevin to a private meeting to discuss the details of the new drama earlier this month. Acting insincerely, Kevin reportedly rejected the role immediately after he found out that wearing a bald cap is required. He told Catherine, “Please don’t make me do it; you know I hate wearing the bald cap. It’s going to make me lose my hair. Why don’t you find someone else instead?” Catherine then told him to shave his hair instead. Kevin allegedly became even more upset and said, “How can I make a living as a baldy?”

It was reported Catherine was furious with Kevin’s lack of cooperation and told the other producers not to ask him to film anymore TVB series in the near future.

After Kevin’s refusal to star in the drama, Catherine needed to find someone suitable to replace him. She allegedly had a private meeting with her former favorite star, Steven Ma (馬浚偉), to personally invite him back to film dramas for TVB. Although Steven had a strained relationship with TVB before leaving, Catherine still believes he will be the one who is willing to help her out. It was reported that Steven will be earning a whopping $80,000 HKD per episode if he is willing to star in the drama.

Source: Sudden Weekly #908 via

This article is written by Lance for

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  1. Good because he wouldn’t have fit the look of wuxia. Steven Ma will be a great choice.

    1. steven ma is a great actor/human but i think he doesnt look like a ‘dai hap’ type in a wuxia serie. bosco or raymond is more suitable i think.

    2. I know! Steven ma is better in acting and suitable for the role. Even though I’m a fan of Kevin but he just not the same as Steven ma.

      1. i think steven would look better filming a qing dynasty drama. I’m so used to his half bald /half braided head. I personally don’t think he should go all bald if they ask him to film.

    3. I agree with many of you. I think Kevin should remember who saved him. He started off as a singer, who wasn’t even great. Then his trip to Taiwan failed him. Who was able to bring him into who he is today? Yes, he was good looking, now, b/c of TVB. He wasn’t good looking when he was younger.
      I don’t think people should just look at the money. Money is good, but don’t burn your bridges.
      Also, I hope Steven comes back too, he is a good actor. I don’t think it’s entirely TVB’s fault he hasn’t ever won any awards. It’s also based on luck sometimes. Steven is a great actor, it’s just his luck wasn’t goood he was always up against people who played better roles.

  2. Kevin is really giving a lot of attitude now that he has made a name for himself. I am really beginning to dislike him despite his good looks.

    On a side note, I would love to see Steven return to film for TVB. Hope they can agree upon the terms.

    1. You can’t blame Kevin fully for his attitude. He’s paid 500,000 per episode in mainland. Compare that to 15,000 per episode in HK + need to shave hair bald. If you’re in his place, won’t you do the same?

      1. but catherine tsang have saved his career early. doesnt this count anymore for him? is money really more impotant then your relationship with your mentor who saved you and who have led you to where you are now? does he forget his fans in hong kong?
        and talks mandarin now to hong kong citizens?

      2. Kevin really needs to remember who had given him opportunities to reach his current status as without them, he would probably still be trying to make ends meet.

      3. If it wasn’t for TVB he wouldn’t be a star like today! Catherine helped her so he should help back. Look at Charmaine she’s famous in China to but she always films a drama once a year got TVB her mother home.

      4. Catherine helped him by allowing him to act in prominent roles, but it was his own acting skills and popularity that made him who he is today. I am not saying that he should forget his roots or forget whoever helped him in the past. I’m saying that it doesn’t mean that he has to obey all her orders and instructions. If my boss gave me a job, does it mean I have to do every single thing my boss asks me to do even if I really really don’t want to do it. No right? Don’t be so quick to judge him based on one incident. I’m sure there are a lot of men out there who are vain enough to refuse shaving their heads.

      5. rejecting this drama doesn’t mean he rejects all drama offered by TVB. and we don’t know what he may have done for TVB what would have evened out his “debt”

        moreover, TVB definitely wouldn’t help an actor or actress, if he or she didn’t have the potential/or the qualities of which TVB could reap benefit of within the contract duration.

        moreover, i’m not sure if he has an attitude or he is sincere. with such answer he gave to Catherine he actually acknowledges that he is selling his appearance mostly and acting secondly.

        and money is indeed important.

        but ofcourse it would have been better for him to at least agree to film a serie per year for TVB as what Charmaine did.

        i just hope he saves a part of his money instead of investing it all in his production company. and all goes well for him.

      6. There is a saying in Chinese Cross the Bridge and pull the Plank.

    2. Didn’t he also have attitude during the filming of GCO? I started to dislike him as well after hearing the news. First that now this.

      1. I remember Kevin had a huge fight with his ex vocal teacher which never ended and later rubbed the wrong way with two older actors in GCO blasted him.

      2. I really don’t think Kevin had any problems on the set of GCO. Yes, maybe a bit cool. But not any of the things Lee Ka Ding and Sin Ho Yin said IMO. Justifying myself, Sin Ho Yin is the type of guy who gets in many things. He once had a fight with Pierre Ngo. Also he blasted Kevin in public. Doing that is already not part of their ethics. The things they said about Kevin was waaaaay past the line. I remember Lee Ka Ding saying something about Kevin making a big deal out of a little scratch he got from set. A LITTLE SCRATCH!?!?! It was a bloody slash running across his entire arm with the scar still remaning after like 5 months.

        Sorry I don’t mean to attack you but bringing up that news makes me angry. I’m not a giant Kevin fan- I just started to like him after GJ however I am definitely not a fan of Lee Ka Ding and ESPECIALLY Sin Ho Yin. They think they’re some kind of mafia boss. Dissing other actors about their ethics when they are barely supporting actors themselves.

    3. Honestly you can’t really blame him… Anyone would do that. Filming a drama isn’t an easy job therefore money is a big aspect of it. I wouldn’t give up 3-4 months of my time to earn 15,000 per episode when I have other offers where I can earn 500,000 per episode. 15,000 compared to 500,000 is a giant gap.

      Regarding his attitude, I think Kevin has always been the “cool” kind. Frankly, I’m kinda glad he showed TVB some attitude. Time for TVB to change their work ethics. I mean, look at the news about that director smashing the actress’ head on to a wall. WTF. Treat your employees with respect.

  3. Alternate headline: Money-grubbing scabs TVB perplexed as to why Kevin Cheng will not do HK drama at 1/30th of price of a mainland drama

    And this is why everyone should support the free licensing scheme for start-up broadcasting companies in HK. Don’t let TVB rip off their actors or all you’ll see on TV over the next few years are amateurs who are doing drama for next to nothing.

  4. Wow…I heard that TVB pays their artists low, but I don’t know it’s very very very….low. What is a big ripped off if those figures above are true!!

  5. Athough he sounds ungrateful, money is the main point here. If TVB pays him at least half of his mainland fees he might’ve been considering this.

  6. Why don’t they use back the actors in the sales presentation i.e. Kenneth Ma, Raymond Wong and Kenny Wong?

    1. No Raymond Wong please. I am bored with him. Let have Him Law

  7. If Kevin doesn’t want to play the role, why can’t Raymond Wong or Kenneth Ma played the part? They both shaved their heads in prior series and would not hesitate to if offered the lead role even for much less than 80K per episode.

    1. exactly. honestly i dont know whats the big deal. i bet so many artists reject roles. and in triumph 2, tvb allowed raymond lam and bosco wong to take other roles and develop their career in mainland. whats wrong with kevin doing that aswell!?!??!?

      1. The problem is Kevin has been away or absence for a year already. Owing to his popularity in mainland , there is good demand for his TVB dramas, as they are shown all over the mainland TV stations. However for next year, there is none in the pipeline and TVB certaintly want to cash on his popularity. Unfortunately his plan and TVB’s plan for next year just cannot match, I reckon.

  8. Kenneth is slated to star in THC2 which starts filming around the time this series will be filmed o not possible.

    Remember that the actors just film the SP clips but it doesn’t mean they’ll film the series for sure.

  9. Too bad Kevin won’t film this, but hey, with the money he’s making in CHina right now, eh, makes sense. On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind seeing Steven in this. He’s always great with ancient series! 😀

  10. It would just entice Stven to come back to TVB after the debacle with Ms Lok in the past. I think Kevin is just not ready to shave his head all over again just for this series and I don’t think it’s the payment. After all, he is still loyal to TVB and did not sound rude to Ms Tsang. To just ask the other producers to reject him for other forthcoming series is quite unfair. Offer him one that suits him and I’m sure he’ll be fine.

    1. I think so, too. If Kevin shaves his head, he will not be able to act other drama series in Mainland China for a while until his hair grows back to normal. In other words, he will lose a lot of opportunities to make good money in Mainland China. It is not only the pay that he gets in filming “Cold Mountain Hidden Dragon”.

    2. doesnt want to shave his head again, but he is offered to wear a bald cap,so he also refused to wear it. i think its just a diva attitude and want to earn more money.

    3. Kevin has always hated filming ancient costume dramas. Wearing the glued on wig or shaving his head is definitely not good for his hair growth product endorsement.

      If Cat tsang really plans on freezing Kevin, I think it’ll be more tvb’s loss than his. Kevin would probably love to have more time to sing and film mainland dramas. I hope they can find another series for him b/c I really miss seeing him in tvb series. Charmaine too.

      1. Kevin said he wants to invite charmaine to star in one of the series his company would be producing.

    4. I don’t think you need to shave for this drama, take a look at their sales presentation clip, Kenneth is having a super long hair with weird curls, Raymond is having short hair but not bald LOL. They look really really weird. If they were to make the cast look like that, I may end up not watching to be honest.
      I think it’s quite slow for Kevin to grow his hair back after shaving, considering his age, so that may be one of the reasons he hates ancient series

    5. I thought it was Virginia Lok who saw the potential in Kevin and invited him to join TVB and not Catharine Tsang. BTW why must that wuxia figure be bald? If it’s based on a true story, then naturally stick to it but if it’s not, let him have hair ***

      Kevin is not the type to forget ‘mentors and their kindness’. This is evident in Steven Chan’s ‘Be MyGuest’ show as he has never spoken badly about his first mentor even though his singing career was sabotaged by this same person.

      Kevin has stayed cool and his hardwork finally paid off but BBJX gave him his actual big break and GJ really showcase his versatility. I hope he’ll invest his money wisely. Personally,I don’t think a production company is suited for him. Investing in property is safer. Perhaps he should invest in Nicky Wu’s production company as NW is a shrewd businessman with better experience. And both NW & KC are as ‘hot as fried chicken’ at this point in time, a win win situation too. 🙂

  11. if steven ma was ms tsang favourite then how come he never recieved the tv king award his acting is at wayne level

      1. there are rumours that he is in bad terms with ms lok,thats why he left tvb

      2. Catherine Tsang, Virginia Lok,Tommy Leung
        Stephen Chan ( no longer @TVB)

      3. @ cloud9 if catherine tsang, 620, Tommy Leung and Steven Chan are no longer at tvb, where / what are they doing now? and why is catherine tsang asking kevin to act in this new series for tvb?

  12. Kevin has already told his fans that this TVB and Astro award anniversaries will be his last one. He is planning to setup his own mainland drama production unit in the second half of next year.

    He will star in another ancient series based on a popular novel, starting in the middle of next month.

    I suppose his heart is not with TVB anymore. With his current wealth he can work for himself, doing things that he likes to do, rather than working merely to earn a living.

    1. Damn, that is pretty cold. While I totally get why he would want to leave TVB and its measly pay, TVB has basically carried him to fame for years! He could at least give them a couple of years just out of gratitude. Or a per series contact like LF has, instead of abandoning ship right away.

      1. why? he’s youth has a limit too, moreover ppl in hongkong are very materialistic, anyhow tvb bosses are super rich, why do they need the actors to donate their ‘prime time’ to the company?

  13. kevin made fortune doing series in mainland and also with EEG singing prospect..moreover, ip man2 TV series might be starting in mainland…maybe, he reject due to the mainland series and singing commitment?

  14. Is Kevin going to film BBJX 2? Too bad he will not be appearing on TVB dramas that often anymore, I assume he has the same contract as Charmaine? Can’t blame him for focusing on mainland anyway, comparing 400,000RMB to 15k HKD? I’d choose the former.
    Steven is a good choice though! I like in ancient series. I’m just hoping that their attire would not turn out to be exactly the ones in the sales presentation clip (Especially Kenneth and Raymond) Those are weird..

  15. I do hope Steven does join! Just hope he isn’t paired up with Aimee or some newbie. :\

  16. Wait a minute… 西門吹雪? Isn’t this series TVB written? Why are they pilfering a famous character from Gu Long?

    Can Gu Long family please sue TVB for copyright infringement, and also possible marring our fantasy for the handsome XiMen ChuiXue.

    1. do you know that most of the tvb’s ’70 and ’80 wuxia drama’s are from the two most famous writer kam yong and gu long?

      1. Shu, of course I know. But TVB claimed that series is written originally and not adaptation of wuxia novelist. So I’m wondering why they used Ximen ChuiXue, who is a famous character in Gu Long novels.

    2. That’s what I was thinking but sadly, I doubt that GL’s family even cares for him.. I heard that they weren’t even there for him during his final days nor were they even at his funeral. I think that is why he values friendship over romantic love…

      1. He didn’t have a good relationship with his family. I read that he was not a good father. That’s why his relationship with his son was bad.

        ” I think that is why he values friendship over romantic love…”

        Or maybe it’s because he valued friendship over romantic love that caused his bad relationship with his family.

      2. I heard about his life too and it is sad that his relationship with his family was not good. We all don’t know the whole story, so you really wonder what the truth is. It makes me think of Gordon Liu’s current situation… So sad…

    3. I’m wondering what story they plan to give Simon Snowblower. Simon is not a monk in the novels. Why need to shave?

      Anyway, this ‘news’ might just a creation of the ever creative reporter and not true at all.

      1. Actually, no one need to shave bald for the role. According to the article, KC declined to film the series because he doesn’t want to wear the wig, because prolonged wearing will lead to hair loss (actors will need to flatten their hair, wear bald cap then wear wig). So Catherine may have suggested to shave bald if he doesn’t want to deal with the process and just wear the wig I guess.

        There was similar rumors back a few years back that Kevin refused to shave his hair for another TVB series but I forgot which. But he did shave his hair for BBJX.

        My conclusion is that Kevin is not eager to film another costume series with TVB, plus he already have mainland series lined up in the same schedule.

      2. lol,simon snowblower sounds good in an western actionfilm.

        i think they only use half of his name ‘simon’ so they may avoid to pay the copywright.

  17. the character xi-men chui-xue ( Sai-mun Chui-suet)
    has already been portraited by wong yuen sun in 1976 tvb’s drama lok siu fung. so i think they already got the copywrights too.

    1. Gu Long has passed away already so I think that is why they don’t feel that they need to get any permission or copyrights anymore…

    2. Copyright royalties is usually per project/use and not for entire lifetime. Gu Long is still alive in 1976 and I don’t think he signed off agreement until 40 years ahead.

      People no longer need to pay copyright to adapt Gu Long novel starting from 2035 (50yrs after his death).

  18. if actors in tvb are paid real low, wonder who gets most of the profits? catherine tsang and miss lok?

    1. just like with every corporation, it’s always the fat cats at the top who make the most money. TVB is no exception.

      If CTI or NowTV succeeds, there will be a mass exodus.

  19. TVB you cheap asss bastardd. That is so low. Everyone deserve a better pay. Good job Kevin for turning them down. No wonder everyone is leaving TVB. Once you have shined in TVB, you gotta BBG (b*tch be gone) hahaha

  20. HK$15,000 sounds awfully low.

    Are you sure it’s not HK$150,000?

    1. HK$15,000 sounds awfully low ……for one episode. I think Kevin Cheng makes more now in TVB due to his popular demand in Mainland China.

      I think a top artiste in TVB would only make HK$30,000 to $40,000 per episode. In a drama series with 20 episodes, he or she will easily make 600,000 to HK$800,000, just in 2 – 3 months. I know the money is better in China because it had more than 1 billion people to support their TV market, and Hong Kong only has 7+ million people plus some overseas markets.

      1. I agree. HKD15K is measly for KC who already won TV King years ago. Generally leading actor are paid around 25-45k per episode in TVB, depending on your contract agreement and status.

  21. Fresh from the press and right from the horse’s mouth:

    [..]Lately, a weekly tabloid reported that TVB executive, Catherine Tsang, has plans to produce a new series, and that she has invited Steven to return to the nest to film it. When asked about the rumor, Steven said: “I did not hear about my filming this series. Return to TVB? Actually all along there have always been various tv stations contacting me, and indeed I have plans to return to HK to shoot a tv series. But as to which tv station I will end up collaborating with, it is not convenient just yet to disclose. Tsang Jie is my benefactor and TVB is my maternal home, we maintain a good relationship. When all is set and confirmed, I will duly reveal my HK series to the public, until then, thank you for everybody’s concern.”[..]

    There, straight from the horse’s mouth. Steven knows nothing of the reported series. The rumor is probably just TVB using both Kevin and Steven to publicize the series, or enterprising reporter selling news.

    From observing Steven and Miu Siu Ching’s weibo interaction, I won’t be surprise if his first HK series is with MSC not TVB.

  22. I thought Kevin Cheng is Ms Virginia Lok’s fav son. Learnt something new.. Catherine Tsang is indeed very popular& smart to groom all the best actor and actresses. Good job, Ms Tsang
    I’ll really miss Kevin Cheng in TVB drama

  23. Good! Kevin shouldn’t film this lousy drama. This crappy drama shouldn’t even be filmed in the first place.

  24. I think these rumours are fabricated to a certain level of extent. It’s either that or TVB is using Steven Ma and Kevin Cheng for publicity purposes.

    To be honest, $15,000 HKD isn’t much to Kevin Cheng compared to the earnings he earns in China but the most important thing is that he should be able to enjoy what he’s acting and his health comes first. However, to someone who isn’t part of the entertainment circle, $15,000 HKD is a pretty big amount.

  25. He refused one drama – it’s not like he refused to film for TVB ever again… Even if he did, I would agree with his decision. Money aside, why would you want to work for a company with poor working conditions and treats you with no respect? You know, unless you’re Kevin and they’d have to suck up to this cash cow. As for one of the higher-ups supporting him earlier on when his career was at a bit of a standstill, it helps that he’s a decent looking man.

  26. Kevin has moved on to better things. TVB can no longer afford him. Why do people think he owes it to TVB to come back?

    When a player moved from the minor leagues to the majors, people don’t expect that player to return to the minors here and there for charity work do they? (Because at the pay scale offered to him at TVB, it would be charity work for him to return :P).

    Maybe, one day, his popularity will wane and he’ll no longer land the big jobs in China – or maybe he’ll grow tired of the routine there, and he might return with all his money back to Hong Kong and then maybe he’ll do some TVB dramas just for fun.

  27. After all this I think we should at least allow Kevin to make an announcement himself re the situation so that we get the true story. After all, he always reiterates his loyalty for Ms Lok, that as long as she remains in TVB he would do likewise. Don’t think he wants to offend anybody or pooh-poohing the series because the pay is beneath his accepting it.

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