Ron Ng Reminisces About TVB Filming Days: “Went Without Sleep for Seven Days”

Ron Ng (吳卓羲) and Annie Liu (劉心悠) attended a wrap party to celebrate the end of production for their upcoming film, See You Again, Ladies’ Market <再見·女人街>. Annie also used this opportunity to surprise Ron with a birthday cake, who will turn 39 years old next month.

The former TVB actor shared that he will be celebrating with his family on the day of his birthday. As for his birthday wish, he said, “More jobs, and more opportunities to make good productions. I wish to be able to work with many different actors, and of course, I wish for good health.” Ron will soon film the web drama Flying Tiger 2 <飛虎2> after his short break.

Ladies’ Market had not been an easy film for Annie to do. She developed a skin reaction to the hot weather as a result, which was only aggravated further by her makeup. “We had to do a lot of night scenes for this film. My skin and my health were not in very good shape. I am usually an early riser and early sleeper, and I usually film during the day. I’m not used to this.”

Ron joked and said he got used to late night filming. He said with the pun, “I had good sleep (fun = training) at TVB. We all know that we’re not used to sleeping at TVB. ‘Sleeping’ had nothing to do with us. When we go home, we would only have time for a shower. (What was the longest you went without sleeping?) Seven days.”

Looking shocked, Annie said, “The most I went without sleep was three days [for TVB’s Deep in the Realm of Conscience <宮心計2深宮計>]. Three days was already hard enough for me. How could he handle seven days? Wouldn’t you die?”

“You can say that,” said Ron. “At the time, if you couldn’t even handle seven days, then you’ll automatically lose your job.”

Ron then recalled the day he did his last scene with Damian Lau (劉松仁) after not sleeping for seven days. “It was around 4 or 5 in the morning. That scene only took up two pages, but it was all my dialogue. Not only that, but I also had to do kung fu for many different camera angles. I NG’ed after the third line in my first take. I NG’ed again after the second line in the second take. In the third take, I NG’ed in my first word. That’s when the director told me to just go home. I really couldn’t take it anymore.”


This article is written by Addy for

Related Articles


  1. A sequel? The first wasn’t even good!

    Filming for TVB is hard work. That’s why a lot of productions enjoy working with ex-TVB artists.

  2. This proves once again that TVB’s labor conditions are in inhumane. They treat their workers poorly. People, this is not normal!

    1. @peachyogurt True…but obviously there are no labor laws in HK or if there are, they are ineffective. TVB has been driving the slave train in this manner for 50 years and nothing has ever been done about it. Even after countless artists complain, nothing happens because this type of treatment is considered “standard practice” over there — like Ron said, if they didn’t comply, they could lose their jobs (which is true, as many many artists have attested to this over the years — TVB’s mentality is that every one who works for them is dispensable — if you aren’t willing to do it, there are plenty of people out there who will). I think what drove this whole thing home for me was a few years ago when ATV had their salary scandal — how is it possible that a government allows a free-to-air TV station (whose existence is predicated on a license from said government) to get away with not paying its employees for 6 months straight and basically suffer zero consequences (its license wasn’t taken away until way later and the reason wasn’t because of its treatment of employees). I guess in an industry where not paying artists for their work is acceptable practice, it’s not a surprise that inhumane treatment such as working artists 7 days straight with no sleep is nothing to really complain about….

    2. @peachyogurt And how does TVB decide to deal with the issues of poor working conditions and low pay? Have the artists work fewer hours and give them more time to rest? Nope — that’s something that viuTV and other stations do but not TVB. How about give employees salary increases? Hell no — they would rather invest the money elsewhere.

      The answer: lay off 600+ people, cut all “frivolous” expenses (i.e. award ceremonies overseas), shut down parts of their studios that aren’t being used, find even more ways to increase ad revenue, create an e-commerce platform and use their artists to get ordinary citizens to buy stuff, increase the number of co-productions so they can use China’s money instead of their own…(and the list goes on and on and on…)

      There are alot of changes coming down the pike for TVB (as outlined in CEO Mark Lee’s interview with HKEJ yesterday:…unfortunately though, none of those changes involve 1) a sincere effort to actually improve the quality of their productions, 2) improved working conditions / environment for their staff, 3) re-adjusting the salaries of those staff who are making less than basic cost of living so they can at least put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads without working themselves to death (especially if they are not going to get any sleep for x number of days)…

      1. @llwy12 Thanks for summarizing the article and spot-on points you discussed!

        I do not know about the future of TVB, but I hope that TVB will change its ways, or that the Hong Kong Government will enforce better labor laws. If not, there better be a television broadcasting company that will arise and will be able to take productions and their cast to a greater height.

      2. @peachyogurt You’re welcome! 🙂

        There actually was such a company 5 years ago…a homegrown one too (meaning from within HK)….but the HK government (in collusion with TVB) shot them down. And there won’t be others in the future because the HK government has managed to make the process so dragged out and difficult that companies would rather invest their money and resources elsewhere. The only options for TVB at this point (unless they change their ways, which we already know they won’t) are to either exit the HK market gracefully (before they turn into a complete embarrassment like ATV was when they folded) or allow themselves to get swallowed up by Mainland and officially become “CCTVB” (lol)….most likely they are going to choose the latter option…

  3. tvb doesn’t even care about the actors at this point, they just make them work,work,work, and work some more

  4. Seriously 7 days without sleep? How is it even possible? Or did he take short naps in between? 3 days without sleep for me feels like passing out and will have giddy or headache, moreover 7 days? This is really crazy.

    1. @hayden I know right? How did he manage to do that? A few times I stay up the whole night studying and the next day I couldn’t really stay awake the next day lol

Comments are closed.