Dicky Cheung and Twins Recall Working for TVB Back in the Day: It was Hard

Charlene Choi, Gillian Chung and Dicky Cheung reunite 21 years later
Gillian Chung and Charlene Choi last worked with Dicky Cheung in the TVB series The Monkey King
Photos: Charlene Choi and Dicky Cheung / Weibo

It’s been 21 years since Dicky Cheung and Cantopop stars Gillian Chung and Charlene Choi last worked together on the TVB series The Monkey King: Quest for the Sutra yet their memories from that time are as fresh like it happened yesterday. Reuniting on the mainland variety show Meet Rosey Clouds 与彩云相遇, the three took a stroll down memory lane as they reminisced about “the old days”. Dicky revealed that himself, Gillian and Charlene worked together every day for half a year. And although they didn’t really do things together during their down time like going out to eat, he said that seeing them again brought out a strong feeling of warmth.

Despite this, don’t for a second think it was all rainbows and butterflies for actors back in the day. Dicky recalled he almost quit being an actor to drive a taxi if his last chance as a male lead in the film One Step Beyond 老友鬼鬼 tanked. At the time he said he was working as an actor during the day and would drive out to Shenzhen to sing in bars in the evenings.

Thankfully it all panned out in the end. However, working as an actor was anything from glamourous. Dicky remembers that when he was still filming Journey to the West for TVB, he’d take off all the faux hair he wore as the monkey king but wouldn’t bother removing his headgear anymore. Then he’d place chairs together and sleep in his dressing room. The next day, after the makeup artist wakes him, he’d brush his teeth and then stick everything back on, run a comb through his hair and jump back on set to continue filming.

Charlene and Gillian who broke into acting after starting out as the Cantopop duo Twins also commented, “it was really difficult to work for TVB that time.” In the long run though, all the lessons in hardship, adversity and adaptability seems to have served them well, enabling them to grow in the industry. That’s why, Gillian added, “the actors who come out of there are all so capable”.

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