Due to his brooding onscreen persona, Alex Fong (方中信) is known as “Eastern Richard Gere,” a label which followed him for over three decades in the entertainment industry. The 57-year-old actor cheekily said that he does not like the nickname, because Richard Gere is already 70 years old and younger girls do not know who he is anymore! Though Alex displays his offbeat humor when he is at ease, the actor admits that he is normally more guarded with his words after realizing that he easily offended others.
Appearing as a guest on TVB talk show Bong Bong, Amigo! <諸朋好友>, Alex shared how he joined the entertainment industry and what he learned along the way, including a hard lesson that blacklisted him at TVB for years.
Quick Rise in Fame
When Alex was younger, his sister suggested that he become a model. Since he was still young then, he felt that he should try everything and even worked as a stunt actor for a couple hundred dollars for a few hours. Due to his tall stature and handsome appearance, he eventually transitioned into acting. In a year’s time, he quickly rose to male lead status and collaborated with bombshell Pat Ha (夏文汐) in 1987 movie, Life is a Moment’s Story <朝花夕拾>.
However, Alex’s quick ascent to stardom was not a good thing as he was always cursed at by fellow colleagues. “The entertainment industry had a very strong hierarchical system at the time. Artistes who were older or had more experience naturally commanded respect. It was very difficult for us newbies–we were cursed at every day. It only got better after a few years!”
Impulsive Nature Got Him in Trouble
Reflecting on his career path, Alex realizes that his impulsive personality often got him in trouble. “I’m not good with my words and often offend others. I am too direct and over the years, I have offended many people without even realizing that I’ve done so. It’s not because I scream at others, but rather I am too direct and I blurt out whatever is on my mind. Now, I tell myself to only say 30 percent of my thoughts–the other 70 percent should be kept to myself for analysis.”
Looking back, the most famous incident where Alex’s brashness got the best of him was when he was blacklisted by TVB. Starting in 1992, Alex filmed many dramas including Crime Fighters <九反威龍> with Ekin Cheng (鄭伊健) and Maggie Shiu (邵美琪), as well as Eternity <千歲情人> with Faye Wong (王 菲) and Bowie Lam (林保怡). Drama offers continued to roll in until his temperament offended staff members.
Unhappy with how a finished TVB production was very different from the script, he voiced his displeasure to the producer and director. His words offended TVB management, and they eventually blacklisted him.
After this incident, Alex went through two of the toughest years in his career until he was given an opportunity by director Johnnie To (杜琪峯), who signed him into Golden Harvest where he shifted his focus again to filming movies.
After a short stint filming for ATV, Alex eventually mended his relations with TVB and starred in a series of classic dramas such as Burning Flame II <烈火雄心II > in the 2000s.
Realizing that his bluntness was his weakness, Alex learned to be careful with his words and does not speak often nowadays.
Source: Sky Post
This article is written by Kiki for JayneStars.com.