TVB Prepares a New Line of Leading Actors
TVB’s current generation of in-house leading actors include Ruco Chan (陳展鵬), Vincent Wong (王浩信), Edwin Siu (蕭正楠), Lai Lok-yi (黎諾懿), Kenneth Ma (馬國明), and Shaun Tam (譚俊彥), but the lack of new faces in TVB isn’t helping the station stay competitive in the industry. And while TVB likes to invite old friends back to star in their dramas, such as Kevin Cheng (鄭嘉穎), Dicky Cheung (張衛健), and Gallen Lo (羅嘉良), it’s about time for the Hong Kong station to introduce a new generation of actors to grace TV screens.
Among the new generation of stars is 31-year-old Owen Cheung (張振朗), best known for his supporting role “GoGo” in last year’s Legal Mavericks <踩過界>. It is confirmed that he will lead the new TVB drama Airport Security Unit <機場特警> alongside Mat Yeung (楊明), who will soon be seen alongside Vincent Wong and Philip Ng (伍允龍) in the anniversary drama Fist Fight <兄弟>.
Owen auditioned and graduated from TVB’s 25th acting class, debuting in 2012. Though he was known for his resemblance to Bosco Wong (黃宗澤), Owen had a lukewarm career of playing small roles in TVB dramas for a few years. It wasn’t until his appearance on 2014’s Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk <Sunday扮嘢王> when he shot to fame for his accurate imitation of Chilam Cheung (張智霖) in Triumph in the Skies II <衝上雲霄II>. In 2017, Owen won My Favorite Supporting Actor at the StarHub TVB Awards, establishing his position as TVB’s new rising star.
Airport Security Unit is not Owen’s first time leading a TVB drama. He is also the male lead in The Offliners <堅離地對堅離地> and Finding Her Voice <牛下女高音>, though both dramas are still in post-production.
A familiar name, Mat Yeung has been in the industry since 1999, and was in the 13th graduating class with Raymond Lam (林峯) and Tavia Yeung (楊怡). Once considered to be a rising young star alongside his classmates, the 37-year-old’s personal life spiraled out of control, and he was put back in acting class, becoming the first TVB actor in history to take the class two times. After graduating from the 21st class of 2007, Mat found his new breakthrough role with 2011’s Be Home for Dinner <誰家灶頭無煙火>, earning his first nomination for TVB’s Most Improved Male Artiste. His popularity skyrocketed after starring in 2015’s Momentary Lapse of Reason <收規華> and in 2017, Mat won Most Improved Male Artiste for his performance in My Dearly Sinful Mind <心理追兇Mind Hunter>, 18 years after his debut. Mat will soon be seen leading the anniversary drama Fist Fight. His drama with Samantha Ko (高海寧), which was shot in 2017, has no confirmed air date.
Another rising star to TVB lead is Benjamin Yuen (袁偉豪), who was Mr. Hong Kong 2007. He had his first shot of popularity after his supporting appearance in 2012’s Hippocratic Crush <On Call 36小時>, but it was really 2016’s A Fist Within Four Walls <城寨英雄> that pushed him to leading status, with the role winning him Most Popular Male Character at the TVB Anniversary Awards. He has since appeared as male lead in various TVB dramas, such as Threesome <三個女人一個「因」> and Stealing Seconds <棟仁的時光>. Currently, Benjamin is starring in Another Era <再創世紀> alongside Roger Kwok (郭晉安), Frankie Lam (林文龍), and Pakho Chau (周柏豪). He is also the male lead in The Defected <鐵探>, a new TVB co-production with Penguin Pictures, starring alongside Kara Wai (衛英紅).
The singer-turned-actor had a controversial love life. As the former lover of Florinda Ho (何超雲), Joel dropped his promising acting career to date the casino heiress. When he returned to TVB, he started from the bottom again, and steadily worked his way back to the top.
Joel experienced a steady rise to stardom ever since joining TVB in 2000. Critically praised for his acting talent, Joel portrayed a myriad of different characters throughout his acting career. Though mainly known for playing the antagonist in many TVB dramas, Joel found his place in TVB again after starring in 2015’s The Executioner <刀下留人> alongside Maggie Shiu (邵美琪) and Kenny Wong (黃德斌). In 2017, Joel won Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Unholy Alliance <同盟>. Joel will soon be seen leading the TVB drama Golden Night Building <今宵大夏> with Selena Lee (李施嬅), and starring alongside Shaun Tam in The Killing from 18 Years Ago <十八年後的殺人告白>.
Like Joel, Hubert Wu (胡鴻鈞) came from a singing background. Hubert joined TVB after winning second place in The Voice 2 <超級巨聲2>, and became a prominent voice in TVB drama theme songs. In 2015, Hubert had his first shot of acting with Young Charioteers <衝線>. In 2017, he co-starred with Kenneth Ma in The Exorcist’s Meter <降魔的>, and was well-received for his performance. He will lead the new drama Wife Interrupted <救妻同學會> alongside Moon Lau (劉佩玥).
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.
Joel Chan is the only one that can act out of this “new” crop of leading actors.
Benjamin Yuen wasn’t bad in Line Walker 2, but that one decent performance shouldn’t justify him as leading material. He was just average in Another Era.
The rest are forgettable.
@anon Actors are filming series back-to-back with no sleep (hence, the tired eyes/ monotone voice I see in Benjamin), with no time to reflect on their own acting skills. They are just going to film studio after film studio to fulfill their contract, and not focusing on acting skills. I’ve said this before, but TVB needs to provide their actors and actresses continuing education on acting, film, theater, etc. either through courses or/and live coaching on set.
Joel is defiantly the best actor of those listed above right now. Matt’s been in the industry for a long time, I kinda feel bad for him missing out on the “Most Improved” award until last year, though I don’t see him leading any big productions any time soon.
Owen’s not bad himself, but I still don’t think he’s ready yet. Maybe in another 5 years. I don’t even know what to say about Benjamin.
I’m pleasantly surprised at Hubert’s acting skills. I remember watching The Voice and thinking that he has no personality. He did well in Exorcist and did a total 180 with his BDSM rich boy in My Ages Apart. But I still think he should focus on his singing.
Joel is the only the best actor of those listed above. Benjamin has the face and body but that is his disadvantage as he cares too much on his looks! The rest are not leading status-no charisma! For example: Bowie Lam doesn’t have the looks but he’s charismatic and make his character swoon-worthy. TVB drama will be flop if they are the one leading.
TVB is definitely doomed if those are the “new” faces they’re going to promote . Ben is already heavily promoted but his acting still sucks. Joel has this villain look that he can’t shake off even when he’s acting as a good guy, not going to be looking forward to him in lead roles. The others are just bland.
@passingby ben’s acting has not improved at all over the years, still so mediocre
@passingby I basically have no words….if the above are the “new line of leading actors,” then yes, TVB truly is doomed….the “current generation” of TVB artists (with the exception of a small handful) have already proven that they’re incapable of taking the reins from the previous generation, yet the “newer generation” has even less talent, which means things are only going to get way worse. All I’m going to say is — if TVB gets to the point where they become a complete embarrassment like ATV ended up being (and it’s not a stretch to say that they are quickly reaching that point), I would prefer they take the exit route rather than continue floundering about aimlessly as they’ve been doing in recent years…at the very least, it would save us veteran HK entertainment junkies the heartache of having to see yet another crucial part of the industry die a slow and painful death…
joel – baddie look all the time, can’t see him act as a variety of characters
hubert – alright, not much to say
owen – too soon? give it another 3 years and i’ll say he’ll be good
matt – don’t really have an opinion, not really that fond of him leading a drama
benjamin – acting isn’t all that good, haven’t improved at all. he’s only got the face and body
I like Hubert and Owen.
Joel has the most talent and Owen has the charisma to potentially become the next TVB star…
Even this group of rising actors are over 30 y/o. Joel is probably the same age as Ruco. Only Hubert is under 30. Tvb really needs more young blood and young faces. Even though Joel and Benjamin got the wcting experience, their age shows when they smile.
I don’t understand why they don’t experiment with casting different actors. Some guys who went through the Mr. HK path are barely promoted. Jack Hui and the guy who played the rising cop in Line Walker 2 don’t get more meaty roles even with memorable roles.
The rising cop from Line Walker 2? Good suggestion! The guy has already been sacked for sexual harassment of his costar from the series….
@jimmyszeto that’s unfortunate. He was promising in his acting.
@bubbles23 I was so disappointed by this news when it first broke out. He had so much potential. I really enjoyed all his scenes with Michael.
@jimmyszeto @bubbles23 @passingby Joel has been with Tvb for over 20 years. It’s such a pity that he only start to get promoted to lead status recently compared to many siu sungs fandans, who had joined the entertainment industry for only a short amount of time but had already been heavily promoted to leading status by Tvb.
I’m glad that someone mentioned Jack Hui. I’ve like him since Mr.HK and always felt bad for him that he didn’t get much promotion even when other Mr.HK winner did. He started out poor in acting, but, worked hard to improve and it showed in his later performance such that the effeminate chef in ‘Love As A Predatory Affair’. I’m glad that ‘Lo and Behold’ gave him a breakthrough.
He’is kinda busy with ‘Lo and Behold’ and other side activities he does with Mandy Lam now. Sitcom regular cast seldom have time for big roles in other series. Maybe after the sitcom ended he will get to play bigger roles in other series. He will be in the upcoming series ‘Fist Fight’.
@bubbles23 exactly my thoughts. Back in the day they were promoted in their 20s like Chilam Cheung and Louis Koo in the Condor series. Why is it these days young actors dont seem to be given any opportunities?
Benjamin is like Sharon Chan, mediocre acting with no sign of improvement.
TVB needs to beef up their leading actresses as well. Natalie is not ready as one, Samantha worse, hopefully will see less of Grace Chan now that she is married.
TVB needs to promote actors and actresses within each generation. 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, etc. So that they’ll always have a backup and leading material should they “graduate” from the company.
They used to do youth dramas that features up-and-coming siu sangs, but they haven’t done that for a while.
I don’t know why everyone is so negative about this list (except for Joel Chan). To me, all the above actors can act. Even Bejamin Yuen, who I always think is a block of wood has shown great improvement in ‘Stealing Seconds’ and actually impressed me.
Owen Cheung and Matt Yeung have proven to be versatile and can play varied characters, while Hubert is raw talent.
Why isn’t Hugo Wong getting more attention?
He’s a much better actor than Benjamin, and the majority of male actors on TVB’s current roster. He’s not bad looking either. His roles have also been very versatile.
joel chan is great, very handsome, tall and can act. i wonder why hubert, he doesn’t have the vibe at all. owen and matt are pretty good choices. they forgot pakho, he’s also excellent lead material.
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