Kent Tong Invited to Film TVB Drama “The Hero”

TVB’s upcoming period epic The Hero <梟雄> may call for the strongest cast ensemble in recent years. The drama’s producer, Amy Wong (王心慰), has recently confirmed that 1980s TVB star Kent Tong (湯鎮業) may return to film the 1930s period drama, which is slated to begin production in June 2014.

In a brief interview, Amy Wong said there is a “high possibility” for Kent Tong to return to TVB for the series, but details remain to be finalized. “There are still many things that haven’t been set in stone yet, so I don’t want to talk too much about it. The series hasn’t started filming yet so we can’t predict what will eventually happen [to the casting].” She declined to talk about Kent’s potential role. “I can’t reveal it yet,” she said.

In addition to Kent Tong, Film King Anthony Wong (黃秋生) and TV King Wayne Lai (黎耀祥) are also confirmed to take part in the series. The Hero, which takes place in 1930s Shanghai, tells the story of three brothers and their struggles to survive in the corrupted and lawless city. Ron Ng (吳卓羲) and Ngo Ka Nin (敖嘉年) will also star. The female leads are still in the process of being finalized.

It has been 30 years since Kent Tong last stepped foot into TVB studios to film a drama. Kent was a member of the highly popular Five Tigers, which also included Tony Leung (梁朝偉), Andy Leung (劉德華), Felix Wong (黃日華), and Michael Miu (苗僑偉). One of Kent’s most popular roles for TVB was Duan Yu in the 1982 adaptation of Jin Yong’s <金庸> Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils <天龍八部>. Before shifting his career to mainland China and Taiwan, Kent’s last TVB drama was an Amy Wong production.

Asked why she chose a 1930s backdrop for The Hero, Amy said, “After working on Brother’s Keeper <巨輪>, I noticed that the audience really appreciates realistic period dramas. So I gathered all my research and came up with a heroic story that takes place during the chaotic era of Shanghai. I want to present Shanghai’s history with a different angle. [The characters] will fight for power in their strive for survival. The stor will span through the 1950s.”


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. A blast from the past…hope he can help TVB ratings. Better him than Liza Wang.

    1. Isn’t 2014 Tvb ratings like 25-32? I do not understand why rating is that low for Tvb this year. What else can they watch besides Tvb?

      1. You mean like just turning off the television?

  2. sounds like a copy of the bund,isnt really that difficult for tvb to be original?

    1. Larry 3,
      I’m more excited to see Anthony Wong return and what he will do to shake up viewers.

      1. Jayne,
        I am a bit disappointed that it is not an ancient series. IT is just a premodern drama which I don’t really fancy. Has TVB truly lost its touch when it comes to making a good ancient/historical drama? Or are they just too cheap since ancient series cost a lot more money and require a lot more effort to make????

      2. However, some mainland ancient dramas are ridiculous like the one my sis is watching now with Cecilia Liu and Nicky wu. Lame outfits and plot. Mainland version of 3 kingdom is too boring to watch.

      3. Me too. I’m also more excited to see Anthony Wong. Has always like his acting.

  3. No Ruco?

    And I am not interested in Kent Tong. Get Chow Yun Fatt and I will say maybe. Kent Tong is to me has been washed up actor since eons ago.

    1. Funn,
      Perhaps Amy Wong didn’t want Ruco to play a supporting role. Kent Tong is still famous for his Five Tiger days so viewers may tune in for nostalgia.

      1. Whether fair or unfair, his career died when Barbara Yung killed herself. His popularity was before that and after her death his career was never the same again so to hear TVB is asking someone whom I don’t think will have viewers rushing to switch on their TV for is a bit surprising. I think maybe Bowie coming back to TVB would have made a bigger impact than him. Or like I said, try getting Andy Lau (maybe) or Tony Leung (will never happen) or Stephen Chow (when hell freezes over). Or get Sean Lau. Any of these would attract viewers rather than Kent Tong. Sorry to Kent Tong’s fans but I just feel he has no significant ratings value.

      2. Agreed, Barbara Yung is the first thought that came up when I saw that face up there. No man is worth it really.

        How about Louis Koo. Ratings will sky rocket. 🙂

      3. agree with funn,how about gallen lo? i think all hk viewers miss him.tvb should try to get him back instead of kent tong.

      4. Louis Koo in a TVB drama sounds awesome to me! I think he still owes TVB a drama or two so perhaps he’ll make a small screen comeback soon. On Ruco, he’s had way too much exposure nowadays, I’m getting tired of his face already… Gallen Lo would be good as well, but he shoots dramas regularly with TVB so there wouldn’t be as much attention.

      5. To Funn Lim,
        I don’t know whether ppl still talks or blames him for her death. He could be one of the reasons for her death but then again she took her life on her own accord. He didn’t kill her. And I’m sure he felt remorseful or guilt, I would have felt guilty if someone took his or her life because of me. Anyway, after all these years, everyone has put the past behind.

      6. I’ll go for Louis Koo. Pair him up with Jessica Hsuan and I’m sure that would shake up the rating.

      7. Bloom,
        I totally agree with you and very well said. Honestly, no one knows for sure if she truly committed suicide or not, let alone for or because of Kent. I am sure Barbara had many other problems in her life that may have pushed her over the edge, so I have a good feeling it was not because of Kent. Also, I don’t know if you and others have read her ex boyfriend’s page and his stories about their love. I had a feeling that she loved her ex even more than Kent and IF she was able to get through that and start anew in HK, then I do not think she would kill herself over Kent. Also, it has been nearly 30 years so I am sure that many may have forgotten about that already and would love to see Kent again. It’s not like he murdered her so why continue to blame him?? I think it is only those die hard fans of Barbara that just cannot let go and still hold a grudge against Kent. However, I think the majority of people have long gotten over it already. Kent’s career did suffer a bit of a backlash, but hey time will heal all pain and many will forget and move on.

      8. I do not think it is only getting big stars back, but good script writers,directors,producers,etc… back. I have seen some stars come back but TVB is still lacking. They are lacking in many other areas too, not just good cast members.

        I don’t think that Kent’s career died when Barbara died. It is true that he suffered a lot of backlash and all, but that was only for a period of time. It is now nearly 30 years so I am sure many have moved on from that incident. But like I have mentioned, it is not only cast members or big name stars they are lacking, but good backstage crew members and other resources as well. They are also very very cheap which does not help at all.

      9. @hts,although he didnt kill her,nevertheless he was indirectly the cause of her death,if he had threatened her better on those days this wouldnt happened.sure everybody has moved on,lets say you can forgive but not forget.

      10. @kolo,
        Like I have said, none of us know for sure if she died because of him. From what I know and feel Barbara had many more serious issues which led to her death,so it is not fair to blame it all on Kent. As I gave said,if she can get through the painful break up with her ex before coming to HK then she should have gotten over the issues with Kent. I have a good feeling that there were other problems that she had which may have pushed her over the limit. But seriously none of us know and anything any of us say is just theory because even her ex who dated her for 5 years does not even know for sure. Therefore, what are we as outsiders and strangers know for sure?

      11. I didn’t say his career totally died. But he was never the same level ever again. He sort of faded into background. Like I said whether it was his fault or not, his career died the day she took her own life. The impact was great. To say otherwise really is pretending it wasn’t.

      12. HeTieShou, Barbara Yung killed herself. To say you aren’t sure is questioning if there was foul play. There wasn’t. Position of her body probably indicated at the end she didn’t want to die but she initiated the committing suicide thing. So how can you not be sure? Are you saying she was murdered? Or she accidentally killed herself? It was a deliberate act.

        It may or may not have been because of Kent. She was seeing someone else. But she was probably already manic depressive and seeing Kent with another girl probably was her tipping point, apart from everything else. So yes Kent was unfairly punished but it is accurate to say is career died when she died. Pure and simple. He never had it like Andy Lau or Michael Miu or Tony Leung ever again.

      13. Please no Ruco again he been exposed too often in Tvb. Tvb is too heavy promoting Ruco. I guess TVB uses Ron again as supporting cast to boast ratings. Back then I wasn’t going watch Rosy business cause didn’t get it and didn’t like ancient times drama but I slowly started to fall in love with it but Ron was in it and themesong was good so I watched it back then. And the reason Tvb found Kent Tong unstead of CHOW YUN FAT OR GALLEN LO OR LOUIS KOO because Tvb is cheap and they kinda have a secretly bad relationship with Tvb.

      14. I mean Tvb have a secretly bad relationship with those actors cause they left TVB to flim other dramas and movies.

      15. To HeTieShou,
        Thanks for agreeing. I wasn’t a die hard fan of Barbaru Yung nor Kent Tong to begin with. I only remembered vividly my classmates in primary school were crying on that news. Those days we didn’t have internet so only relied on newspaper or tv gossips news. Since it has occured for such a long time, I personally feel it’s not healthy to hold grudges on Kent. I can imagine he was on the edge when he was blamed when Barbara took her life. I tried to picture myself in his position at that time, he wasn’t a famous actor therefore I don’t think he earns much and those days you just didn’t have so many tv stations. At that time, going to China was not something to look forward unlike now. I agree that things were never permanent, remember Hongkies used to address the Mainlanders “Ah Chan” and looked down on them because Mainlanders had to swim over to HK to work. Now Hongkies have to go to Mainland to work, it’s like the other way round.

  4. It’s obvious that TVB is trying really hard to get previously popular actors/actresses to return to film. I don’t think it’s a bad idea at all, but it’s not sustainable. No matter who they find to return to film, it’s just a short term solution to attract viewers. Eventually, they’ll have to solve their bigger problems, which include a serious lack of talented young actors/actresses, bad scripts, unoriginal and predictable plots, low salaries but long work hours, a competitive mainland market, etc. Even if Chow Yun Fat or Andy Lau or Tony Leung or Stephen Chow or Sean Lau or Louis Koo do return to film TVB series (highly unlikely by the way), it will only be temporary and will not work in the long run . TVB, it’s time to own up to these problems and stop looking for the easy way out.

    1. Louis Koo is coming back to TVB remember? For TITS the movie?

      1. Yes, only temporary like I said and not a long term solution.

      2. He’s a movie star. He is considered a special guest.

    2. Tvb, lack of talented young actors/actresses, bad scripts, unoriginal and predictable plots, low salaries but long work hours, a competitive mainland market, etc? Whats u toward your hatred toward Tvb. I think they are all perfect.

      1. You’re kidding, right?!?
        Just because I express my opinions about TVB, doesn’t mean I feel hatred toward them. Don’t even try to use that to stop me from talking, it won’t work! In fact, I watched TVB all my life and quite enjoyed them…that is, until the arrival of bad actors and actresses, bad scripts, and unoriginal and predictable plots.

      2. To MT,
        I agree with you, I grew up watching TVB dramas too. I must say those days the scripts and artistes were good. I think they used to have more talents. It’s a known fact that talents are going away especially to mainland china for higher salary and more rest time just to name a few.

    3. Mt. Do not understand why you said competitive mainland market? No one in Hong Kong and the outside world watches mainland series besides the chineses who live in China. We just find them boring plot, all ugly actress, overacting, and errors and flaws in every series. 9/10 are all garabage series. Tvb is 50 levels above mainland. Please stop your BS toward Tvb.

      1. Jamie,
        Boy are you a blind and bias TVB fan if you think they are perfect. Have you worked for them before? Many of their former artists have complained about them so that obviously shows something. I used to really enjoy their series too but I always knew how they were slave drivers that works everyone to the max with long hours and low pay. I thought that it would change after so many years but sadly, they have not done anything to change for the better. If you did not know that about tvb then boy are you lost. It is either that or you are in denial.

      2. Also if you think tvb is above mainland, you are lost and in denial or you have not seen any decent mainland series to compare.

      3. No, TVB is on its downfall. I used to watch TVB but not anymore. They’re not the same as they were before. Low quality, boring plots, etc.

      4. TVB is has also become even more cheap when it comes to producing anything good. They just want to use as little money as possible in everything. China productions use a lot of money and resources to try to make the best productions possible, but TVB is the direct opposite.

      5. To Jamie,
        You’re not entirely right. A lot of people watch mainland productions now apart from korean series. I don’t understand Mandarin so I don’t watch but I heard a lot of positive feedback i.e. they really spent a lot of money on some of the productions, scripts are more original.

        It’s a known fact that there are so many Hong Kong artistes who didn’t want to renew their contract after it expires and they head to mainland to act. Because of money (yes, salary is much higher than what TVB is paying to them) and no 2 alot of them commented that they get more rest time whereas filming at TVB dont give you so much of rest time. So, if you were the artiste which one would you choose and I think the answer is obvious isn’t it?

    4. To Mt,
      Yes, I do agree with you that TVB doesn’t seemed to know what went wrong with them. Those days they monopoly the industry, now they’re not only competing with other tv stations, they’ve to compete with mainlanders, koreans dramas etc. It’s not only on the talents of its actors/actress, I feel the biggest problem it’s also the script. The script writer seems to be out of idea what to write anymore. There’s no originality, story line is boring, they really have to correct these. As for losing talents to Mainlanders (salary, perks or even rest time etc), it’s going to be tough, TVB were never competitive, they never had to but now it’s a different story. They’ll never be able to pay the salary as good as the mainlanders, so those with talents will eventually move out of TVB as most of them want money. If I were them, I would go to Mainland as I know I’ll get more in terms of salary and I get more rest time.

      1. Unfortunately, I don’t think the bad scriptwriting thing will change anytime soon because the fact of the matter is that most of TVB’s best scriptwriters are “gone” already (“gone” meaning left TVB for movie industry, went to Mainland or other country, went to another TV station such as HKTV or, in a few cases, passed away already). TVB has gotten to the point where they have to recruit ‘outside’ scriptwriters (for example: non-contracted scriptwriters who used to work for them in the past but no longer do currently) in order to get a good script going. “Never Dance Alone” is a great example of this — main scriptwriter is Susan Chan, who used to work for TVB, but moved to the film industry and won alot of accolades for penning the script to the award-winning film A Simple Life.

        I’ve been re-reading former TVB scriptwriter Alex Pau’s book about his 20 year experience working for TVB and also his life as a scriptwriter — it definitely reminded me just how badly TVB has deteriorated in this area over the years….

  5. Whoa…I haven’t seen him in a TVB series since forever. I wonder who else can TVB invite to film for them again…

  6. Is that a recent photo? I always thought he shaved his head cause he was going bald, but that looks like he has a full head of hair if he chose to grow it out again.

  7. It will be the story based on Shanghai infamous 3 tycoon n triad leaders.I think Kenneth n Ron will play youth version?

  8. I thought Myolie was already confirmed to film this and rumors circulating that Selena will also join this series since she just renewed her contract. Looks like Ron may be overlooked…again.

  9. how about TVB ask the crazy hilarious Golden Chicken Sandra Ng to help save the ratings? Sandra Ng can pair up with Wong Cho Lam for Inbound Trouble 3….

      1. Unless she comes back because of friendship or whatever and not because of money.

  10. any chicks are better than the golden chicken, “ladder mouth”.

    come on, get real!

  11. Kent is extremely busy with his career and business in China, so I really hope that he has the time to come back. I recently saw him in a guest star role in the Heroes of Sui and Tang Dynasty. Glad to see him still acting. I wonder if he will have a big role in this series?? I hope that the plot and all will be good. It is great to know that Anthony will/may come back as well.

    1. @HTS: Kent’s participation in the series is already confirmed — he confirmed it himself during a recent interview with a radio station.

      I was also wondering about how much screen time he will have, but it looks like he will be one of the three main triad leaders (alongside Wayne and Anthony) that the series revolves around, so I’m assuming that means he will have decent screen time? At this point, I’m pretty sure it will be more than just a guest starring role…

  12. Looks great! I hope it would be as successful as BK! I am glad to see Kent talking Cantonese again after his numerous appearances in Yu Zheng production!

  13. In this drama Wayne Ron gonna be no one if any wanted to use Wayne as a lead she could have used Wayne as a lead in one of her drama a long time ago

    1. Anthony Wong is a boring actor. Not saying his acting is bad. If only have him and no other tvb actor, this drama is going to fail big time

    2. Although Kent is joining this drama, it looks like he is 3rd lead

  14. Jaynestar,
    Who is Andy Leung? Dont you mean Andy Lau who was one of the five tigers in the 80s.

  15. Barbara got over her ex in england because they seperated w both agreeing n bc circumstance didn’t allow. Its more harder to get over kent bc he rejected her. That’s more painful esp all she did for him. As far as his career, he was never popular. One main reason, his acting sucks, look at The Bund for example. Maybe he acts better in evil roles but viewers hate that. If anything, I think he should thank barbara for making ppl know him. If not for her, most ppl won’t really care about him.

    1. To Cookie,
      Those days viewers will really dislike or even boycott you if you acted in evil or villian roles. But not anymore. I didnt really like Kent Tong because he always acted in villian (yes, he suits that type of characters) though.

  16. i like that the producer Amy Wong actually considers the audience and puts in the effort to produce something that the audience want to see and are interested in. i also love period dramas so will look forward to this no matter who the veteran actors are. that i don’t care as much, wasn’t born when any of them were filming for tvb =P hahaha

  17. lol wonder if roxanne tong will film this alongside her uncle hahaha

  18. kent is a legend in acting… its was his acting skills that saved him in enterainment .. if kent could not act his career would have been gone.. but his acting career is still alive

    1. its the acting legend like kent which cant survive outside… maybe he cant boost rating but who can boost the rating…

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