Ruco Chan: TVB’s Next Big Star

Ruco Chan (陳展鵬) arrived at the studios for the cover shoot of Classic Magazine on time, and quickly pulled out a few sets of eyeglasses of all shapes and sizes. As he was deciding the pair to wear for his photo shoot, he amusingly said, “People say I look courteous and gentlemanly when I wear glasses, and I would be able to convincingly portray lawyers and doctors. But once I take them off, I would look menacing. I could go from being a lawyer to a police inspector, and even to a gangster! Haha!” Ruco still behaves like a big boy, and for a TVB actor who was known for portraying convincing villainous characters, witnessing a playful Ruco is a surprising spectacle.

The crew members of the photo shoot gasped at Ruco’s toned figure when he took off his jacket. The stylist herself was worried that the attire she chose for Ruco would be too small of a fit. Ruco bowed his head humbly and said, “I’m not as muscular as I used to be. Earlier, I had to train for a drama, but I’ve lost a lot of that muscle already!”

When the money comes, the time goes. A few days after completing his scenes for Brother’s Keeper <巨輪> in January 2013, Ruco had to toss away his 90s suit for a light-weighted t-shirt for Outbound Love <單戀雙城>, a romantic comedy drama that is currently filming in Malaysia. Ruco barely has the time to eat or sleep. Not having muscular arms is the least of his concerns.

The 36-year-old actor debuted in the industry when he was just 17 years old in 1994. He was a graduate of TVB’s acting training class, had starred in films, and even took a small quavering step into the music industry when he turned 21 years old. But not all stars stay bright, and before Ruco could release his debut album, his music label closed down and filed for bankruptcy. Ruco was left jobless, and in 2002, he finally decided to sign with TVB’s rival station, ATV.

Ruco stayed with ATV for the next six years. The singer-actor did not regret the time he spent with Hong Kong’s least popular television station, expressing that his days with ATV were “very educational.”

“There were definitely times when I would look back to the past and think about all the mistakes and wrong decisions I had made. But if it wasn’t for that past, I would never have been able to achieve all the things I have achieved today.”

Joining TVB

After signing under TVB’s management in 2008, Ruco felt overwhelmed and intimidated.  “My first thought was – I’m finally home. But I was very scared. After all, it has been a long, long time since I had last been with TVB. My old friends and colleagues may not remember me anymore, and I kept asking myself – was I really ready for this?

“I still remember how starstruck I felt when I first walked into the TVB makeup rooms. Everyone around me were famous celebrities. As a returning member of the TVB family, I had strange feelings of familiarity and unfamiliarity. Fortunately, my colleagues treated me well. None of them really minded your background, but we all shared one common thing mind – to do our utmost best in our jobs.

“The most touching moment of my return [to TVB] was when I met an old friend, a costume stylist whom I first met when I was still a trainee with TVB. The stylist is still working for TVB after all these years. When she saw me, she immediately said, ‘So you’re back? That’s great!’ It was very heartwarming.”

The Evil One

It was one role – Keith Lau in 2011’s The Other Truth <真相> – that propelled Ruco to leading actor stardom. “It was definitely a role that I have always dreamed of doing. Keith is a professional; he is very noble, just, and humanizing. I am thankful of producer Amy Wong (王心慰) for trusting me and giving me a chance to play such a wonderful character.”

But before Ruco’s Keith Lau fame, he was well-known for being one of TVB’s “stock” actors to portray villainous roles.

“Once, my mother had a serious conservation with me about whether or not I really looked evil. Why else would I have to play so many villainous characters? Maybe I’m just too good at being evil!” Ruco laughed.

“To be honest, I never minded about playing the villain. Those who truly enjoy acting would want to play a role that is challenging and rewarding, and playing evil isn’t a very easy thing to do. But I was also beginning to notice that most of my roles were villainous ones, and in the end I couldn’t stop myself from asking the producers if I really looked that evil!”

Future Goals

Universally praised for being one of TVB’s most talented siu sangs, Ruco’s acting skills are critically lauded. Ruco creates Best Actor buzz with every television drama he stars in, most recently in Reality Check <心路GPS>.

“I’ve been in this industry for 18 years. Acting requires devotion, but more importantly, it also requires experience. If I didn’t experienced anything in life, how would I be able to understand how a certain character should be portrayed? Now that I have the experience, I am able to learn how to become my character.”

Many TVB stars have left the station to pursue a career in mainland China, in film, as well as commercial endorsements. Will Ruco do the same?

“We all have our own target. Of course, I would also like to have the chance to pursue other things. No matter how many roads I would end up walking on, I would always return to acting. My father had taught me that I should not live my life for money, but for myself. I still hold onto this belief.”

Source: Classic Magazine May 2013 via

This article is written by Addy for

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  1. I REALLY THINK HE IS A WORTHY CONTENDER FOR THE BEST MALE ACTOR AWARD THIS YEAR!! He’s so versatile! Raymond Lam and Kenneth Ma need to wait. I’m so disappointed with Wayne Lai’s recent performances. I was watching Journey to the West, and I was so shocked why people never noticed his acting back then. I feel like since he has won the male actor award consecutively, he has been more conservative and reserved.

    1. I thought he already became a household name since Journey to the West? A lot of other actors like Rain Lau and Kingdom Yuen were also recognised by the audience for their acting, but that doesn’t guarantee promotion…

      1. He went MIA when he is not in TVB in those years.

    2. Ruco is ok but nobody beats Ray. He is not only handsome but very talented. He looks/acts really good when he cries.

      As for Wayne Lai.. he is so overrated.. how he won Best Actor for 3rd time was just outrageous/insane.

  2. He is a good actor but I still favor Wayne Lai than him. I really enjoy the Bullet Brain because it gives something new and fresh.

  3. Finally, he gets the recognition he deserves. Hope he will continue to rise to TVB # 1 king. Hehe..That’s not his best picture but still cool. I can’t believe he started @ 17 and so many many years he finally gets leads. Wow Wow

  4. i am not his big fans…but i want him to be promoted and be TV King this year!!!! He works hard and act great! Deserve it

  5. Ruco is bound to be a best actor contender this year. He will likely be the lead in 4 series by the end of the year if not more. There’s such a thing as being overused though, especially as a leading actor.

  6. I’ve always kept an eye on Ruco even before The Other Truth but I’m sure like with everyone, his Keith Lau character made me fall in love with him. Ruco is truly a versatile actor and he deserves Best Actor recognition at the awards this year. I also hope that a singing career would take off for him 🙂

  7. I like Ruco so much! Really want him to win best actor this year, but then at the same time, I really want kenneth ma to win as well! They should be the top contenders for this year, and Linda should totally win the best actress award!!!

  8. ruco i dont think he will win the best actor award for a long time he is so under rated

  9. ruco or kenneth for tv king this year! don’t ser anyonr else performance worthy to fight! certainly not wayne who confirmed he’s a one note actor in bullet brain and moses who was unconvincing in beauty of war!

    support ruco and kenneth! tvb should promote ruco and kenneth more!

  10. support ruco and kenneth as tv king! wayne and moses performance are not worthy for tv king this year and they’re overpromoted. leave it to the young generation ruco and kenneth!

    chilam and francis will of course be great but they’re excluded since tvb only care about management artistes

    1. Me too, this year I support either Kenneth or Ruco.

      1. that’s true right. don’t see any other worthy contenders to be tvb king besides ruco and kenneth!
        absolutely not moses or wayne eww!

    2. Between Ruco and Kenneth I think Ruco is more versatile and can act emotional scenes better. Like in Reality Check when he was tearing up and getting worried for his foster mother it could touch me, as for Kenneth his acting is more “on the surface” (frowning and his “puppy-eyes= sad?)

  11. Here’s my little 2cent on this.. Oh yeah, I’m sure that many people would argue against me… but these are just my honest thoughts xD
    Out of all the male actors at tvb and as of now, I think Ruco and Pierre should be contenders for Best Actor. Wayne is simply overrated these days. Raymond Wong, Edwin Siu and Chris Lai has the potential to be best supporting actor but these will depend on their upcoming dramas.. For Ruco, I was amazed/captured by his performance in TOT. When I watched Every move you make, I felt that Ruco can portray both evil and good roles. As for Pierre, he was amazingly convinced as Columbo and he portrayed the role very well.

    I do not feel that Kenneth has any true breakthrough roles yet. And as for raymond lam (I’m a fan of his), I don’t think he’s a contender this year since I haven’t seen any dramas of his lately.

    Moses: not fond of him at all to be honest.

    1. And I forgot about Jason Chan._.
      he’s going to be a contender for best supporting actor soon. maybe not this year, but eventually.

      1. no way jason can’t act. this year belong to edwin and pierre! Pierre overshadowed 3 times tv king wayne in bullet and edwin overshadowed tavia and alex in great way to care. edwin also has two more breakthrough roles in brother’s keeper and no reserve. both are bug heavy series

      2. sel_fi_wu: I’m saying that in a couple of years, he would be a contender. It may not be necessarily this year. but he will eventually unless something happens. >.<

      3. And I definetely agree you with Edwin. He was quite good with his role in his dramas. Well at least that’s what I heard.

    2. fact is kenneth and ruco are worthiest tv king contender this year.

      wayne – criticized for exaggerating and one note actor and better in supporting roles. overshadowed by pierre.

      moses – more famous for dating aimee sweetly than as an actor. Criticized for unconvincing in beauty of war.

      raymond lam – more famous this year for almost full time dating karena, work is second place. his movie box office flopped and no tvb series. also becomes long hair raymond lam in both his mainland series instead of the roles.

      bosco – no noise in hk. gone with the wind. only series is change of heart where sharing lead with michael miu yawnn.

      michael miu – too old veteran and always is a one note actor. best performance was in highs and lows because raymond lam is weaker and role suits him.

      chilam and francis – great veterans but tvb won’t consider them.

      lawrence ng – kenneth is still titular role in on call 2 even if lawrence stole his screentime. overrated old actor.

      roger kwok – overshadowed by supporting roles in inbound troubles and tvb won’t promote him.

      don’t see any worthy contender besides

      1. TVB will be less likely to give chances to their veteran actors, which is a shame. If TVB is willing to award their older veteran actors, then, I would definitely say Michael Miu, Chilam, and Francis. 🙂

        Raymond Lam, Bosco, Roger, Moses has not reached their breakthrough roles yet. Well at least they have not deeply left an impression. As for Kenneth, I honestly do not think it’s time for his turn yet. Unlike Ruco’s role in TOT, his role in THC did not leave a lasting impression on me.

        Pierre should be given more opportunities for leading roles (regardless of award or not).

      2. Bubblez:

        I believe Roger got his breakthrough role many times already. Lol.

        Moses is up for debate, but I don’t think he has anything to prove now. Pretty darn successful. And I’m not even talking about his relationship with Aimee Chan.

        Raymond Lam and Bosco Wong still have stuffs left in their tanks. Only problem is, I think they gave up on TVB.

        Out of everyone left, I hope to see Pierre and Ruco succeed and one day really get the recognition. Kenneth, as darling and idolizing he was in his role in THC, ugh, that’s his character. His acting is still taped between Sammuel Chan, Raymond Lam, Bosco Wong and Ron Ng. Yeah, them five.. in my eyes, they’re still bundled together. As to who is better between those five is all on preferences.

      3. Crystal:
        I agree with you. But these awards are given on tvb executives’ preferences. ._.
        And I once again left out Ben Wong. I hope to see more of Ben Wong (:

      4. How many breakthroughs does Roger needs? he was promoted when he first came out, went away, came back, promoted and never looked back since. Roger is now a veteran. No need promotion at all.

        Moses is practically in every year’s big anniversary production. How much more to say he is promoted?!

        Ray had his breakthrough role a long time ago. He just stopped improving.

        If you want to talk about candidates for promotion, the more apt is Jason, Edwin and the likes. Most of the names thrown in here are established stars in their own right.

      5. I am sorry to say but compared to Edwin, Pierre and Ben, Moses is very plain with his acting. I found his role in BAW to be very annoying unless that is what the producer/scriptwriter intended!

      6. I feel that Raymond Lam has been focusing on his music career and then.. spending most of his time with Karena.

        Roger probably won’t win another award.

        In these upcoming dramas, it would be: kenneth, ruco, edwin, maybe Pierre.

      7. that’s why at least half of moses and wayne’s over promotion should at least be shared with great younger generation tvb big brothers evidently kenneth and ruco who got the most support from audience like and praises and no negative news. that’s the making of big stars to lead as tvb #1 brother.

        roger, moses and wayne are already filled up with promotion in their days until now. if tvb is wise they should let ruco and kenneth have more breakthrough roles and take over the baton from the olds!

      8. @Nikki: more like focusing his priority for karena, karena and karena. the teenage girl successfully let a 33 year old uncle put his career second and prioritize dating her first. quite powerful girl karena. mavis pan must be gritting her teeth looking at what she failed to do back then.

      9. Funn:
        Roger= only good in that drama in which he pretended to be that kid with low iq/disorder

        Moses= so what if he’s in every anniversary production? And I feel that this is not true. only in 2007/2008. He cannot act.

        Raymond= spends way too much time on his gf and music. last breakthrough role was last breakthrough.

        guys to look out for: ben wong, kenneth, benjamin yuen, edwin, jason.

  12. have been reading many Ruco’s interview in the past, but i find every single interview of him is heart warming.. totally touched by him. Go go Ruco~!

  13. Ruco, after Reality Check, I am your fan! Just give us good work, everything else doesn’t matter!

    1. that depends on the producer and scriptwriter. As a contracted tvb actor, he has limited say.

    2. What a typical fan. After watching one drama, that’s when you become a fan?

  14. yeh roger got overshadowed by the supporting cast that only because the series needed a solid leading actor like roger to lead a series with all those unknown actors it was for roger to shine and show us his acting talent

  15. Has anyone noticed that every time when someone makes a good point to some commenters, they disappear..?

  16. The first time I saw Ruco was in the period drama with Steven Ma. I was like, wow who is this good looking villain?! Then, in ‘The Other Truth’ where he leads, was even more impressed with his acting!
    An actor with a lot of potential, TVB should realise that Ruco is one of their shining asset as of now.

  17. Ruco is the best actor in tbb in my mind. He deserves tv king title. tbb should give up their reserved policy. Awards should be given to those who deserve and not for position,long service or loyalty.

  18. Like Ruco since “Every move you make” as he did an excellent job portraying his character! Very to know he is being recognize as he’s def. one of the better ones in TVB nowadays!

  19. Funny how I seem like the only one who noticed him since the 90’s with TVB and a few of his films then. I noticed him from day one, it’s great to see him getting recognition.

    1. Haha sharp eye! I was born in the 90’s so i don’t think I know to watch TV that time..

      1. I was born in the 90’s too but I watched them back hah

  20. of course he’s gonna become tv king one day. with all the old ones (like kevin, raymond, ron, bosco branching out) tvb will have to find a replacement. its just like jungle life.

    1. TBB should take time. If this one day is too remote, they might lose their last gem.

  21. Even if Kevin, Raymond,Ron,and Bosco are still acting. I believe that Ruco’s acting is better than theirs.

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