Gallen Lo Leads a Team of Young Actors in Upcoming TVB Drama “Provocateur”

The TV King is back! Hong Kong’s first best actor in television, Gallen Lo (羅嘉良), will be back on the Hong Kong small screen next week, starring in the TVB business crime drama Provocateur <與諜同謀>. He’ll be leading a team of junior actors such as Fred Cheng (鄭俊弘) and Ali Lee (李佳芯), setting new fireworks for Hong Kong TV-goers.

It’s been eight years since Gallen last starred in a TVB drama. His last drama, 2009’s Born Rich <富貴門>, starred the TV King as a swindler who assumes the identity of a rich heir to amass the family’s vast fortune. To give the audience a nostalgic welcome, Gallen will be returning to the business world in Provocateur, going head-to-head with Fred Cheng in the political world of business.

Spoilers Ahead!

Provocateur, produced by Wong Wai-sing (黃偉聲), stars Gallen as Cheuk Kwan-lam, a manipulative businessman who used sly tricks and ruthless methods to become the city’s richest and most powerful cosmetics mogul. Ironically, Cheuk is understanding and protective of his loyal assistant Rachel (portrayed by Ali Lee), and is a loving stepfather to his daughter Mani (portrayed by Jacqueline Wong 黃心穎), who he has been cultivating to become the heir of his business.

provocateur-3Cheuk comes across a talented young man Ringo (portrayed by Fred Cheng), through whom he sees a younger version of himself. Cheuk grows fond of the young man, but he soon discovers that Ringo is actually part of a team of spies that steal trade secrets from large corporations for money. Cheuk starts to manipulate Ringo’s team from the inside, turning them against each other. Jonathan Cheung (張穎康), Jack Wu (胡諾言), Winki Lai (賴慰玲), and Roxanne Tong (湯洛雯) star as members of Ringo’s conspiring team.

Gallen Mentors a Team of Junior Actors

According to Producer Wong, Gallen had requested to work with junior actors when he was discussing his contract for Provocateur. Gallen’s return to TVB was a huge benefit for the junior actors, especially for Fred.

“Fred’s been acting longer than he has been singing,” said Wong. “He was a graduate of the 2003 acting class and he’s always been a very hard worker. He also has a kung fu background, which was how he got his first major role in Find the Light <英雄‧刀‧少年> that year. Gallen has also praised Fred, calling him smart and hardworking. I always see them chat when they’re not filming.”

provocateur-2Besides Fred, a large chunk of Gallen’s screentime is with Ali Lee, who plays Gallen’s personal assistant and Fred’s primary love interest. In the drama, Ali is six to seven years older than Fred, and is a single mother to a six-year-old daughter. Ali’s role was originally meant for Tavia Yeung (楊怡), who turned it down due to the expiring of her TVB contract.

Provocateur’s Mani is Jacqueline Wong’s first major role since 2015’s With or Without You <東波家事>. In the show, she plays Gallen’s ambitious stepdaughter who becomes jealous of Fred for his quick advancements within the company. Jacqueline is excited for the opportunity work with Gallen, and is also happy for the chance to play a strong female role.

Provocateur premieres on March 6, taking over the time-slot of Tiger Mom Blues <親親我好媽>.


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. Gallen Lo looks rather old in the above photo. In fact, he looked old even when he was in “Born Rich”.

    1. @orchid123

      Yes…agree. Wayne & Roger are aging better than him (lookwise). But i believe Gallen’s acting skill is still as good & convincing. I enjoy watching his acting and will not miss this drama although he is the only reason i look forward to watch the series.

      Too bad Tavia turned down the female leading role because i still like Tavia’s acting more than Ali. Hope this series would turn out as one of the good series this year…so that Gallen’s return will be worthy to both himself and his fans.

  2. So I take it that Gallen won’t have a love interest in this series? Good. Hope they keep it that way, as I hate it when TVB pairs up older veterans with younger newbie actresses just because they feel they need to give the main leads a romantic storyline of some sort.

    I will also watch this because of Gallen but quite honestly, I have zero confidence in TVB nowadays so I have a feeling I will be dropping this series as well at some point (since it’s Gallen, I’ll give it 5 episodes instead of the usual 2 eps). Outside of Gallen, the cast overall is weak and the script doesn’t sound too promising – if this ends up being really bad, Gallen alone won’t be able to save it (hey, if Born Rich, with its horribly written script, couldn’t be saved by its stellar cast, I’m pretty sure this series doesn’t stand a chance).

    1. @llwy12 I do hope that Gallen won’t have a love line. However, I won’t hold my breath. It’s TVB and their track records we’re talking about. Bet it’ll be a love triangle between him, Fred and Ali. It’ll be like student surpasses the teacher and the latter revenge by shattet his love life, some shiz like that xD

      Never understood Fred’s hype. Thought he is a meh actor. He isn’t that awesome at singing (surely I’m a minority since what’s his name gave him a huge chance by mentoring his singing career.) He isn’t a good looker. He does seem sincere. Wonder why Gallen wanted all new casts, assuming it’s true that he did ask for it? More screen time for him? Less stress working with newbs? Hrm…

      1. @jjwong I don’t think it was Gallen specifically requesting to work with newbies. If I remember correctly, I think it was more along the lines of the producer suggesting working with newbies and Gallen not having a problem with it (and even then, I think the discussion was specifically about the female lead being a newbie rather than an established actress as most audiences would expect). I remember Gallen saying in interviews that, in agreeing to return to film a series, his only request for TVB was that he gets to sing the theme song to the series (no mention of specifically wanting to work with newbies). Regardless, I’m pretty sure Gallen already knows that TVB is lacking in talent right now and he’s usually not too picky in terms of co-stars so no surprise that he would be fine with “babysitting” newbies.

      2. @llwy12 hrm, that makes more sense that Gallen didn’t specifically request a new cast. WTF did the producer had to lie or made it seem that way then? If indeed they asked if he’s (Gallen) okay with a newb actress, then I definitely think there’ll be romance between them. Tavia would have been more interesting since there’s a bigger age gap between her and Fred. Seeing older female to male instead vice versa would have been a fresh breath change xD

        Heh, I like how Gallen snatched the theme song from Fred. Surely the latter will be singing the 2nd/closing theme.

        Fred looks cheesy in that pic shielding Ali btw. Also, his tux looks awfully familiar. I do hope he shines in this series. Need young talents! I’m still on the fence with Ali. She’s definitely more bearable than Grace or Sisley.

        Oh, ironically I think TVB had hope for Jack Wu at one point. He co-star’d out of nowhere (one w/ Wong Hei and Moylie) but then he faded to the background. Next thing I know, he got married and had babies xD

      3. @jjwong I’m actually not surprised that the producer would say something like that – it’s their series after all so they can basically say whatever they want, especially in this instance where it kind of helps deflect negativity from the series and masks TVB’s shortcomings in the acting talent area. Besides, it’s not like Gallen is going to say anything to refute it since he has a good relationship with TVB and it’s probably a minor issue in his eyes that’s not worth haggling over anyway. This kind of thing happens a lot actually and most artists just go along with it (especially the veteran ones who’ve been in the industry a long time and know which battles are worth picking).

        In terms of Fred, I’m kind of indifferent towards him at the moment. I felt he was decent back when he was actually participating regularly in series but he’s been out of acting for so long, hard to say how he’ll do here. I actually think he should concentrate more on honing his singing rather than trying to juggle both acting and singing career, but of course, typical TVB mentality, promoted artists must dabble in everything in order to maximize exposure to audiences. Personally, I got a bit turned off to Fred the past 2 years after seeing how he handled his relationship with the Chiangs (Paul Chun and his kids Benji and Lesley, whom Fred used to be very close with), but I’m trying to keep an open mind with his performance in this series. Let’s see how he does.

        Aside from Gallen, the other highlight for me with this series is seeing Jonathan Cheung and his wife Angie Mak getting to work together in the same series. It will be interesting to see how their characters will be linked and what their interaction will be. I think it was Roxanne Tong who said that she has a romance storyline with Jonathan in the series but Angie plays her older sister, whom she is at odds with, so it was super awkward filming those scenes with both of them given how Jonathan and Angie are such a loving couple in real life (Roxanne said that when she had to film an intense scene where she slaps Angie, Jonathan was actually there watching to make sure his wife was ok…aww, so sweet!).

      4. @llwy12 That’s a very cheap tactic/action for a producer. Sure it seems minor and harmless, it’s still a blunt lie. Meh, whatever.

        Yes, Fred has have a lot of exposure. I wonder if he has gain any real and sustaining traction though. Sure he was a “talk” under TVB singing show and produced a few songs, but has he really “made it.” Doubtful. IDK about his relationship with the Chiangs but am tired and turned off by the in-my-face-promo, which is not his fault really; it’s TVB. Typical TVB to make him juggle in all things. Guess they’re playing roulette with him, see which medium he can land on his two feet. My prediction is neither. It’ll be hard for him to break into the music world by being an average (even a slight lower than average) singer and half-arse/half foot in-and-out style. He lacks that charisma and on-screen presence (as I had mentioned it elsewhere) in TV series.

        I do home Jonathan Cheung gets to shine in here. Liked him at first, then found him bleh –he got typecast and he acted the same for multiple characters.

        Still, going in with open mind and see where it’ll take xD

      5. @jjwong Yea, I know. Pretty much the only artist on the planet who would say something to refute the producer if he were in that situation is Anthony Wong, lol (and TVB wouldn’t hold it against him either).

        The only way Fred is truly going to “make it” is if he leaves TVB. As long as he is still in TVB’s clutches (meaning he is under management contract), he will continue to follow the “jack of all trades but master of none” path because that’s the only way TVB knows how to manage their artists. To be honest, Fred is a mediocre singer right now and he won’t get much better if he continues to stay with TVB and Voice Entertainment, since there’s no doubt that TVB is going to prioritize his acting over his singing…besides, when you’re filming for 20 hours a day and barely have time to sleep (which is typical workday at TVB), what time are you going to have to practice your singing? (And no, the 15 minutes in the shower doesn’t count, lol).

        Yea. agree about Jonathan. And of course it didn’t help that TVB made all his characters have the same surname, lol. So far Jonathan has been doing well in this series though (despite the little screen time he has) and it looks like his character may finally be different than his usual roles so we’ll see what happens. As I said in the other thread, I want to see more of Jack and Jonathan and their gang (and Gallen of course) rather than the boring lovey dovey stuff between Fred and Ali (in other words, cut the romance crap and focus on the actual plot please).

      6. @jjwong i agree with you, i don’t know what with all hype about Fred, his acting and singing is ok. I do find him cute but not handsome.

  3. What a weak cast aside from Gallen. Fred can’t act at all. “Fred’s been acting longer than he’s been singing”…..yeah hahaha but no one ever noticed him cos he just blends in with the wallpaper lol!

    1. @isay i actually like fred as an actor. Remember him as yoyo younger bro in FH. Is he exceptionally good? No. But overall he is not bad.

      1. @happybi I hope you’re not asking me to agree with you cos i dont. I’ve always found him bland and boring. As a supporting cast, “not bad ” may be acceptable but his role here seems to be quite a major one. “Not bad” is certainly not acceptable in this instance.

      2. @isay nah not asking you to agree with me but just wanted to say that i remember him as an actor. Will have to watch this drama to see if he improve since his role will have more impact.

      3. @happybi I’m not expecting him to be “exceptionally good ” but i just find him to be lacking screen presence.

  4. wow born rich was 8 years ago , how crazy time has gone pass so quick. I will def give the show ago for Gallen but not hoping much that the show will be amazing.

  5. i thought born rich was pretty bad despite its strong cast. the story was full of cliche and predictable.

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