Kong Wah: “Filming for TVB Had No Meaning!”

During the prime of his successful acting career, Kong Wah (江華) lost his desire to continue working in the entertainment industry. He was uncertain about his career path as he was trying to find the meaning of life. Understanding his frustrations, Kong Wah’s wife, Mak Kit Man (麥潔文), emotionally supported him during the most challenging times of his life.

After graduating from ATV acting school, Kong Wah had starred in numerous TV dramas, and even won the Best New Actor award for the film, Life Goes On <願人長久>, in the 1990 Hong Kong Films award. He gained more popularity with his role of Tang Sanzang in his first TVB drama, Journey to the West <西遊記> in 1996. With his brilliant portrayal of the dashing Emperor Yongzheng in The King of Yesterday and Tomorrow <九五至尊> in 2003, Kong Wah was at the peak of his career.

Kong Wah Disappointed in TVB

However, after filming The Conqueror <楚漢驕雄> in 2004, Kong Wah suddenly left TVB and shifted his focus to filming TV dramas in mainland China. Many of his fans were disappointed and surprised at his sudden departure.

With all the speculation about his leaving of TVB, Kong Wah finally revealed his reason. He said,  “During that period of time at TVB, I felt that work had no meaning, and really hated the way I felt. There were no quality productions and my roles had no substance. I didn’t want to act just for getting paid.”

Kong Wah also revealed, ” When I was first cast in The Conqueror, I was so excited to work with veteran actor, Adam Cheng (鄭少秋), reputable producer Lee Tim Shing (李添勝) and a big budget to film the war scene with a thousand horses and men. With the huge budget cut, it turned out that the battle scene only featured Adam and I fighting against each other.” Kong Wah felt he had put his heart and soul into the role, but the production team did not share the same point of view.

With the mentality of an idealistic artist, Kong Wah left TVB to search for his dream and the meaning of life. He laughed at himself and said  that this kind of personality will lead to him starving to death.

An Idealistic Nature

Kong Wah has a great passion for acting and hopes to discover a new generation of actors who share the same goal. A few years ago, he started his own acting school to mentor talented and passionate actors. Kong Wah laughingly admitted,” I have been accepting students for the last few years and have no success of discovering any new talented actors yet. I charged them tuition, but it doesn’t look like I will make a profit.”

Over the last few years, Kong Wah has filmed only one drama per year as he did not want to do something that resembled assembly line work at a factory.  He is looking for a more meaningful project that will fulfill his emptiness inside. With his strong faith in Christianity, Kong Wah joined an evangelical production company and starred in a Christian film last September. He believed it was a project that he had to do.

Grateful for Wife’s Love

Looking back at all his struggles over the years, Kong Wah’s wife Mak Kit Man completely supported him and did not give up on him.   He shared his feelings towards her, “I have a great wife who understands me and knows that I am not an irresponsible person. She has never pressured me and she has allowed me to do what my heart desires.”

Kong Wah is very grateful to his wife’s faith in him during the most difficult times of his life. He strongly feels that a couple is no longer two individuals as they will be become one after marriage. The road would be a difficult one without each other’s tolerance, forgiveness, appreciation, and sacrifice.

Source: Apple Daily via ihktv.com

This article is written by Lance for JayneStars.com.

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  1. If he wanted big budget, he should have joined 3 kingdoms in Mainland China. The number of people was astounding.

    TVB is still the same in terms of budget but at least they travel to Hengdian even if they still same number of people in a screen.

    Kong Wah, as much as we need quality productions, we need quality actors. COME BACK and let TVB make a decent ancient drama series or a wuxia series!

    1. This guy got mental problem .Luckily he got a wonderful wife that can provide bread and butter to feed the family.He is to obsessed with artistic and quality

      1. Mental problem? Is it wrong to expect quality as an artiste or should we be content with mediocrity? That is precisely the problem with tvb. Just look at tvb, the productions that they churn out. Undoubtedly, tvb series are sometimes quite good but can they be better? Tvb are earning millions per year at the very least. I dun think that it would hurt them to incorporate realistic effects to improve the quality of their dramas. At the moment, I feel that Tvb have been relying overly on their stable of good actors/actresses and neglecting other aspects.

      2. All artists are mentally insane. Whether they be painters or actors, none of them are normal.

        so get used to it.

      3. To clarify: actors who actually act, and not just go through the motions are crazy. People who act as though it’s just a job and just go through the motions dont count

      4. i think tvb just lacking this kind of artist and directors, thats why the quality of there grand ancient drama droping dramatically the last decade.its a pity that there are no more good ancient/wuxia dramas from tvb now.the last grand ancient/wuxia production worth to watch is ‘step into the past’ 12 years ago.

      5. Why do you think he has a mental problem?? Is it wrong to want love your profession/work with passion instead of just going for the money? True, that if you don’t have money, you can’t live a very high maintenance life but who said that all you go for in life is money? Also, who said that it always had to be the guy that provides for the family??? These days, many women are the ones that provide for the family not the men. I find it sad that many new celebs of today can’t be like Kong Wah and have the passion and love for acting rather than just go for money and money only because it does become meaningless if you have no interest in your work but only monetary values.

      6. i agree. sure, ideals are part of life too but NOT when u also have to be practical and support your family.

    2. Wasn’t he involved in a scandal with Sheren Tang few years ago? She accused him of touching her on her private body parts.

  2. Kong Wah seems to be a typical artiste with artistic temperaments. There are pros (we can expect good acting from him) and cons (very hard to get along with him as a co-artiste or co-worker).

  3. He expected 1000 horses and men? Does he not understand the difference in budget btwn HK tv and movies? Such a dreamer, doesn’t look like he found what he was looking for, in the mainland either.

    1. Mainland can have about 1000 horses if it is ever needed. It is all about budget. What he means is TVB is a miser.

    2. 千軍萬馬 is a common phrase that means lots of army and horses. I doubt he meant actually having 1000 horses.

      1. Even I am not a Chinese I am still able to understand he meant to have a lot of horses. It is about having the feeling,

    3. I think what he was implying was that TVB does things at a minimum and only ever seek profit, which is true. Like any company, greed has taken over TVB over the years. You can see it in their dramas.

  4. I remember watching him in TVB dramas and very much liked his acting. Also admire his true passion for acting. But from reading this article, seems like his high expectations and strong sense of self would make him quite difficult to get along if things don’t go his way. I think he was overestimating HK production from the very beginning that lead to his disappointment. Better off in the mainland then fella.

    1. All great actors are difficult to get along with. You don’t be great by being nice but point is was he unreasonable? Was he rude? Was he so diva that he tortured the crew?

      1. He can voluntarily donate his wages and salaries to absorb to gaining more horse scenes in that production

  5. He can find these huge budget in mainland dramas if he can get himself into the cast ensemble. Gallen Lo found one and it was aired in HBO.

    1. Ahh yes yes and it was the main villain role, and perhaps one of the most famous villain in chinese history. Yue Fei series right? Already broadcast??

  6. Sigh….. he’s one of the better actors- so charismatic!!!!
    Enjoy every single one of his performances so much.

  7. its a pity that he has left tvb,he is charismatic and skillful actor. as a king is he unbeatable. i hope he will come back on the screen some days.

  8. TVB is cheap. They use the same mansion for every rich man, they use thin metal foil for hair pieces, maids have the same clothing as a miss in another series, rip-off scripts, two outfits per actor per series, they use actors that can’t sing theme songs, one foundation colour for all its actors even when their neck is shades beyond it.
    This is what I expect from ATV because they are bankrupt, not TVB.
    But what can I do? Watching TVB is a habit and family pastime I have had since childhood.

    1. Lol, yea…just look at the same bloody car being used as well. Same number plates. It’s okay to conserve budget, but don’t overly do it. And scripts are so cheesy nowadays too, some are just not realistic. In addition with the newcomers, I think Kong Wah shouldn’t and wouldn’t come back. He would be too pissed off, lol…

    2. YEP. For example, SSSS, Ron Ng can’t sing for crap…WHY is he singing the theme? Raymond Lam on the other hand is splendid.

  9. Really enjoy his acting and I fully agree with him on his views about TVB. No doubt his expectations are a tad unrealistic but he was misled by the crew and script in the first place about the scene with a thousand men and horses. Notice the huge contrast with the final scene with only him and Adam. I can definitely understand his disappointment.

  10. Kong Wah should come back to TVB. His fans would be wildly excited if he were to return. He has that distinct lady-killer charm that epitomises the glamour of great Western actors. He is also a symbol of masculinity admired by men and adored by women.

    1. I doubt he would come back if he still has such high standards for a cheap company like TVB.

  11. i support the evangelical production company, follow your heart to seek God, that’s a great choice

  12. I love watching him when he was acting in TVB. He was a total disappointed when he filmed in Mainland series. I watched 1 or 2 episode and could not continue despite I love watching Kong Wah!!!

  13. He should fire his agent and find someone who can find him big budget movie with 1000 horses. Nevertheless I still love his talent.

  14. Interesting, Journey to the west was his first TVB,

    I think he will film for TVB soon …

  15. Haha, so he expected 1000 soldiers and 10000 horses yet it turned out to be 3-4 kittens.

    CTI is calling 🙂

  16. if he wants big production, he should consider movies rather than tv series. Then again, how many people will paid to see him in a movie? he needs to be realistic. he either increase his fan base or accept what TV has to offer. No offense, I did like seeing him in tv series and was surprise he disappeared. cost is everything nowadays. even the once cheaper labour in China is getting expensive. just look at all the factory closing down coz they can’t afford to pay staff anymore.

    1. totally agree, like his name is big enough for movies? please, all this talk is yes good while you have food on the table but when u have to support your family, you have to be practical and responsible as well…. hes NEVER super popular anyway…

  17. Did wonder why he left TVB so suddenly and not heard about him since then! Sounds like he is quite an eccentric man with his set values which can make one find it difficult to survive in this world. However seems like he has found religion and a good wife who has supported him.

  18. I think he is being a bit extreme. Granted that A Conqueror’s story certainly cannot compare to the budget if a mainland drama, it was still pretty well produced. I’ve seen the series multiple times and from memory I recall several large battle scenes, not just Adam vs Kwong Wah. 3KRPG is what I call not having a budget. ACS had big battle scenes, it did have hundreds of extras playing soldiers I. Battle scenes, and yes there were quite a few horses. For a TVB series the budget seemed sufficient.

  19. Love kong wah!!! He’s very good looking!!! My father thinks so too!!!

  20. hurrah!! to kong wah for supporting his creator

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