Ruco Chan: Sudden #1 Brother at TVB
“If you were to ask me who will rise to become TVB’s first-line actor in the next 2 years, I will unwaveringly say one name: Ruco Chan,” thus began Director Patrick Kong’s (葉念琛) recent newspaper editorial.
Director Kong praised Ruco Chan’s (陳展鵬) solid acting foundation and how he had proved himself in The Other Truth <真相>. Aside from Ruco’s handsome exterior, Director Kong also noted that Ruco carried a maturity in his acting performances.
Regarding Director Kong’s praise towards his acting, Ruco said surprisingly, “Actually, I have not worked with Patrick Kong before. I thank him for his praise!”
After Ruco starred in last year’s The Other Truth , he was dubbed as “Office Lady Killer.” He successfully mesmerized women with his handsome looks and acting. When it appears as if Ruco Chan has suddenly become #1 Brother, he admitted that he possessed secret doubts about himself. He had even considered quitting the entertainment industry!
A 17 Year Struggle
The bittersweet chapters of Ruco Chan’s last 17 years of life were well known. After graduating from TVB acting class in 1994, he left 4 years later to join Polygram. His music dreams did not go far. He floated around in the film industry in minor roles before joining ATV in 2001.
Ruco struggled internally as to whether he should rejoin TVB in 2008. He did not like to backtrack his footsteps. “TVB was my bottom line. My return was my last chance. At ATV, I really was not much. If there were no new opportunities at TVB, perhaps I would need to switch industries. Except, I told myself that I cannot turn back. Before rejoining TVB, I was floating for more than a decade. Perhaps I gained the experience of what would have taken another person 30 years time. Looking at it this way, I have already gained!”
Ruco said, “Many people at TVB witnessed my maturation. I have a feeling of belonging here. Finally, I feel a sense of self-worth, that I did not waste my time over the last decade. I felt very stressed while filming The Other Truth and Ruse of Engagement <叛逃>. It felt as if I had to break the piggy bank to take out everything I had inside!”
Asked whether he had emptied his pockets, Ruco said, “No. I have worked for more than a decade. I still have a lot of experience left!”
Although only 35 years-old, Ruco came across as older than his true age due to his mature outlook. He was often partnered with elder actresses, such as Maggie Cheung (張可頤) in Forensic Heroes 3 <法證先鋒>. Asked whether he would date an older woman, he replied, “I do not know! I never tried it! But it is important to have a mature level of thinking and good communication. Especially working in the entertainment industry, it would be very difficult if your partner is immature.”
Relieved Audiences Did Not Scold Him
Marketed as the male lead in The Other Truth made Ruco feel very uncomfortable. He was not accustomed to see a super-sized poster of his head shot prominently displayed at promotional events.
Ruco said, “In the first three episodes of The Other Truth, my screen time was very significant. If the reaction was not good, it would be a big problem! I went to the online forums–not looking for any praise–I was checking to see if anyone was scolding me.” Ruco finally breathed a sign of relief when he saw that there were no negative comments even past the broadcast of episode 15 of the drama.
Finally, Ruco has secured his position as first-line male lead at TVB, appearing in new drama No Good Either Way <衝呀！瘦薪兵團>. Appearing in his official first comedy, Ruco had an enjoyable filming experience with costars, Louis Yuen (阮兆祥) and Kristal Tin (田蕊妮).
Ruco said, “Normally, I keep to myself and do not talk to many people. When I first returned to TVB, I lacked confidence in myself. I did not know a lot of things and had to learn. They helped me to open myself up. The filming atmosphere was very good and interactive, allowing me to immerse into character.”
With the upcoming television wars to erupt in Hong Kong, TVB was clamoring to deploy its “warriors” properly. There were plenty of opportunities for actors to ascend to the next level. Favored by TVB management, Ruco possessed the qualities of a future TV King, as per hearsay circulating in the industry!
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Jayne: Before Ruco rises to #1 Brother, I think Kenneth Ma will step in first. Based on the number of high profile projects Kenneth is involved in this year (Silver Spoon, Sterling Shackles, Triumph in the Skies 2, and The Hippocratic Crush 2), Kenneth is a very cherished first-line lead at TVB.
Although Ruco’s popularity was fire hot after the airing of “The Other Truth,” TVB did not follow up in broadcasting another drama with him as lead actor. His guest starring role in “Forensic Heroes 3” did not have enough development. Now, one year later, a lot of momentum has slowed down already. I consider it to be poor handling on TVB’s side.
It was the same happening with Raymond Wong’s popularity shooting up after “Bottled Passion.” But TVB did not follow up with more Raymond Wong promotion.
Otherwise, I think Ruco and Raymond’s popularity levels can be even higher than right now.
But very impressed that Patrick Kong singled out Ruco in a one page editorial.