Alec Su (born on September 11, 1973 in Taipei, Taiwan) is a Taiwanese pop star and well-known actor. He was first known as a member of the Taiwanese Idol band – The Little Tigers – formed in 1988 and later in his first Chinese TV series – Princess Returning Pearl I, II.
Alec Su started his stardom career in 1988, at the age of 15, when he joined The Little Tigers trio boy band. The Little Tigers band was the first idol singing group that debuted in the Taiwanese music industry. Its elevated popularity was unprecedented by any other singing group in the history of the Taiwanese music industry. The Little Tigers attracted fans from Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, and almost among all Chinese communities around the world. The popular music group was compared to as the Chinese Beatles. The success of the band began the new generation of Taiwanese pop culture in the early 1990’s.
Apart from being a talented singer, he was also epitomized by the general public as an excellent student. He attended Taiwan’s best male high school and was accepted as a student at the prestigious National Taiwan University. Alec’s outstanding academic achievements are recorded in his book entitled “Youth Never Die”.
In 1995, after the break up of The Little Tigers, Alec Su embarked on his filming pursuit. His role as the fifth prince in the Chinese TV series blockbuster Princess Returning I, II swiped Asia and won him the fame of an idolized actor in 1997. He again surprised the audience in 2000 with another hit TV series Romance in the Rain that further escalated his popularity and success. His later TV series Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber animated the role of WuXia hero“Zhang Wu Ji.�? In 2004, Alec Su starred in the giant production TV series Love of the Aegean Sea collaborating with Korean Actress Chaerim. His upcoming TV saga The Magic Touch of Fate is projected to be the highest budgeted Modern Chinese Series co-acting with Taiwanese actress Ruby Lin and Korea’s A1 singer Kang Ta. The new films are expected to spread dynamic waves into the Chinese pop culture.
Along with his robust filming success, he has released thirty top-selling albums. Starting from The Little Tigers , the band’s every album hit Taiwan’s number 1 spot in the Music Charts. Alec Su continued his adherence to music as a solo artist presenting ten single albums. Beginning with his first well-acclaimed Go to Are You Happy or Not to his latest release Before and After , his music career has also received eminent achievements in Taiwan and China.
Alec Su’s sixteen years of extensive accomplishments and vigorous efforts as an artist have solidified his stellar status in the Chinese Entertainment Circle. His talent, diligence, resolution, and intelligence mark the prominence of his fame and the definite prosperity of his future career. Alec Su is a true star in the minds of all his supporters.
» Youth Talent – Top Ten Hits in Hong Kong: Bronze medal
» Ten Superstars of Taiwan: Ranked fourth
» Singapore – Top Ten Hits for “Are You Happy or Not”
» Singapore FHM Magazine – “50 Most Famous Asian Individual”: Ranked third
» 2nd Golden Melody Awards – Most Adored Artiste: Silver medal
» Singapore FHM Magazine – “50 Most Famous Asian Individual”: Ranked third
When Yes! Magazine first approached me and invited me to write an autobiography, I was actually a bit hestitant; I thought that to simply write up one person’s personal life experiences just wouldn’t be too interesting. Even though I publicized “Wo Zai Jian Zhong De Ri Zi,” the purpose of that book was to share with other youths my experiences and thoughts while trying to get into university.
Later though, I was touched by Yes! Magazine’s perseverance. This was also because my life experiences, no matter in which time period, could easily apply to many other people; it is with this feeling that I begin this “autobiography.” Hopefully, everyone is reading this with the same feelings.
To tell Su Youpeng’s story, you obviously have to start with September 11, 1973, which was also, coincidentally, August 15 of the Lunar calendar (the day of the mid-autumn festival). On that day, I was born in some hospital room in Taipei, Taiwan. The birth went well (obviously!), except I don’t know how heavy I was at birth. My mommy says though, I couldn’t be considered a plump baby, but definitely a very healthy baby. At the time, I was the only child, and so I received a lot of my parents’ attention!
Why do I have the name “Youpeng?” This was because I was born on the mid-autumn festival, and coincidentally, so was my mommy; two “moons” put together make “peng”; hence, this became my name (note to non-Chinese speakers: the character “peng” consists of two of the characters “moon” side by side).
My brother is six years younger than me. When I was young, I was just like an only child, with my parents’ attentions completely focused on me. They let me study many things; you could probably say I had the opportunity to learn all of “qin, qi, shu, hua” (“qin” refers to music, “qi” refers to chess, “shu” refers to everything academic, and “hua” refers to arts). From this, you could tell that my parents doted on me and had very high expectations of me. As well, my parents thought that my studies were extremely important; my dad was especially worried about them. This was because he thought that studies were the most important thing; in particular, he thought that boys must complete their education well in order to have room for expansion in the future. From this, most people think that I lived in a stereotypical family with a strict father and a kind mother; this was true, and my mother was extremely close to both me and my brother. Even now, my relationship with her is still very close, and I feel like I can tell her anything, whereas my relationship with my father is a bit more distant. This is probably because he always gave me the image as being more strict, so I don’t get that feeling like I do with my mother about being able to talk about anything. Perhaps when I am a bit older and more mature, our father-son relationship can take a turn for the better.
As for my relationship with my brother, I must first thank my parents for bringing him into this world since, besides being my brother, he is also my best friend. I can go to him whenever I have any problems since he is an excellent listener, and always gives me many useful suggestions. Even though we have a six-year age gap, and he is now pursuing his studies, we have no generation gap between us. Instead, we have a better relationship now than when we were younger since I started working when he was very young; consequently, we didn’t spend very much time together back then.
Surprisingly, I don’t actually remember much from my childhood; everything’s just a blur, and I remember next to nothing about my time in kindergarten. My mom, though, has told me of an interesting story about that time period, and I will share this with you.
I got lost once when I was four or five years old; as a result, my parents got very worried and searched for me everywhere. Eventually, a policeman called them since the police had found me and brought me to the station. I was so young that I didn’t know to be afraid; I’d even asked the policeman to buy me an ice cream cone!
When I was young, my parents were very strict about my education, but I know it was all because they loved me. My parents tried their best to give me whatever I wanted, as long as it was reasonable. When I wanted to learn to play the electric piano, my parents still got me lessons even though we weren’t in great financial times. They were less eager with toys though, especially with things like video games.
At the time, arcades were extremely popular and I loved spending my time there. However, I usually didn’t play; instead, I’d watch the others. That actually made me very happy. Once though, I lost track of the time and I wasn’t until 11:00 PM that I realized I should’ve been at home. Usually, I’d go home right after school, so this really angered my parents. I couldn’t get out of getting hit as punishment!
Later on, for some unknown reason, my parents decided to buy me a video game. I remember it well since I actually got into a fight becuase of that game, even though I was usually quite peaceful.
A classmate had borrowed that video game, but refused to return it, making up excuses each day. One day I couldn’t stand him any more, so I met him after school for a fight. When I think about it now, it’s actually kind of funny. What’s even funnier is that he met me at the agreed time. What was even more funny was that neither of us fought with anyone usually. That fight obviously didn’t get bloody or gory; in fact, it was probably the most hilarious fight ever. He locked my neck while I hugged his head for a while and that was pretty much it. We never even figured out who won the fight and I’m still not even sure if I got that video game back. I was so childish!
In the last chapter, I told everyonne about my “naughty” behaviour; those things didn’t actually happen to me very often though. When I was young, I was surprisingly not mischievous at all. Instead, I actually liked to study. Therefore, it would make perfect sense to call me a bookworm!
Thanks to my family, I always paid a great deal of attention to my grades at school. Plus, I was a bit of a show-off and liked the feeling of being number one. That was why I always studied super hard to become number one! As a result, I eventually climbed to the top of my school in terms of grades. However, thanks to this, I was also rather conceited. When I saw others cheat, I was always the kid who told the teacher. That was why the good students didn’t like me since I was competition, but the bad students didn’t like me either since I was a goody-two-shoes, if you will. During my days in school, I really didn’t have many friends.
Though I received good grades, not all my teachers liked me, since I liked to talk in class. They couldn’t really punish me though, since I was doing so well. I did well in all my subjects, but my favourite subjects were definitely English and Math, while History was my least favourite… I didn’t like memorizing things!
It’s sometimes said that fate rules people. Though it’s true that I didn’t have many friends at school, I did have one or two extremely good friends with whom I am still friends to this day. Wenliang Wang is a good example — during elementary school, we were in constant competition to be number one. Back then, we weren’t friends at all; “enemies” is a much more fitting word! While still in elementary school, he moved and transferred to another school; later though, during junior high, we became classmates again. This time around, we became good friends; when I went to TV stations to audtion, he always came with me. I definitely consider him to be one of my better friends from my school years.
Like most other kids, I began to enter adolescence when I reached junior high. That was when I began to pay attention to my appearance, constantly staring at myself in a mirror and styling my hair. When I reached junior high, I, like many others, began my adolescence. That time, I began to pay attention to my appearance. I would constantly look in the mirror and pay attention to my hairstyle. Also like most teenagers, I dreamt of becoming a movie star and had my idols too. Back then, my idols were Madonna. You could say that I was crazy for her, but obviously, not to the point where I’d fly over to the States to stalk her. I would, however, buy all her albums and posters. When I tell people now of how much I used to adore Madonna, many people don’t believe me! Maybe it’s because they’re so used to seeing me as “Xiao Guai” (roughly translated to Little Nice), and perfect (I think that perfect, in this case, means not wasting time on a superstar). I’m not as perfect as most people think though!
Like many other people in this sector, I first entered show biz just wanting to have some fun. I got my start when I participated in a contest from a Taiwanese TV station, where they were looking for people to create a new Little Tigers group to mirror the Little Cats group. I still remember getting the invitation for an interview. I was unbelievably happy — so happy I could jump around! I was only 15 then, so you could probably say that I didn’t know what sorrow or fear were. The letter they sent me told me to perform a short dance during the interview, so I practiced a dance in a traditional native style. As for the actual interview, I didn’t dress up in any way. I just showed up with Wenlian Wang, then an enemy, but later a friend.
It wasn’t until I actually got to the interview that I realized I was probably the youngest one there, and probably also the one with the least amount of talent. Qilong (Nicky Wu) could do cartwheels, while Zhipeng (Benny Chen) could do ballet. I was so impressed with them that I wanted to applaude! As for me though, I could barely perform my dance and didn’t follow the beat very well. For some reason though, I made into the final group of six people. Maybe it was because I had a cheerful attitude.
The second interview took place in front of a camera. I was very cheerful again, and somewhat surprisingly, I stood out from the others. And that’s how I became one of the Little Tigers. It wasn’t until later that I learned that it was a producer of the TV station, Xiaoyan Zhang, that insisted I be given a chance. I owe a lot of what I have today to her. Another producer, Xiaoli Miao, who is my manager now, was also rooting for me. I have to use this chance to thank these two people since without them, most of you wouldn’t know of Su Youpeng.
In a previous chapter, I’d mentioned that my father was very strict while my mother was very close to me. To them, me becoming a Little Tiger was a very big issue. Before entering the contest, I thought that my father would disapprove of it, so I carefully planned how to avoid telling him with my mom. The plan was basically to not tell him since I never thought I’d win anyhow. Later thuogh, since I’d actually won, we had to tell him. My mom slowly brainwashed him by making him watch the show until he realized that it was a clean-cut show for kids. My mom eventually broke it to him one day, first asking him to make sure he liked the show, and then telling him I was actually involved in it. By then, he couldn’t object!
However, my father still believed that a man who uses his face to earn his living is not honourable. After all, he’d declined many offers when he was younger about entering show biz; he’d had the face of a movie star and had been approached by talent scouts. When I was in the same situation, he made me promise that I could only participate in the show if my academic studies were not disrupted. Obviously, I promised him everything. Later though, this was the reason why I decided to stop working for a year.
After the first time I was on the television show, and the first time my picture was in the newspaper, I remember thinking that I had become a huge movie star. I remember thinking that I would be recognized by everyone on the street. I was still very young back then, and quite arrogant. At school, however, I wasn’t very popular, and even on the show, I was only a small part of the Little Tigers group.
I was very young back then and it was very important for me to look out for my education. Qi Long (Nicky Wu) and Zhi Peng (Benny Chen) were considerably more talented than myself, and as a result, I always carried this feeling that I wasn’t their equal. As well, they studied at a private, specialized school where their scholastic schedules were somewhat flexible. I, however, had originally promised my father that my work would not interfere with my education. Yet, it was impossible to expect that the television station would change their schedule to fit me. Eventually, the station began to feel that I was causing many problems for them and thought about letting me go. They asked me for my opinion first though, about topics such as whether my work was interfering with my school work and whether I would like to quit the job to focus more on my studies. However, by that time, I was determined to succeed. The television station must have been impressed by my attitude so they began scheduling all my work for weekends. In turn, I began to feel more and more guilty, and ended up working harder to make up for everything. It was at this time that I was accepted to Jian Zhong High School.
When the Little Tigers group was first started, we were merely part of a youth contest. Later though, the company helped us get lessons in singing and dancing. After our first album (Green Apple Playgound), we began to catch the attention of the younger generation, which also gave us our nicknames. Just like that, I became “Little Nice Tiger” (Xiao Guai). Basically, this meant that I was the well behaved one of the group, and thus, I became a role model for good behaviour. It is unfortunate that such a perfect person does not exist!
Due to the pressures of work and the fact that Jian Zhong High School was the best in the city, I was no longer a top student as I was in years past. At school, many of my fellow students disliked me, and some made rather disparaging comments such as “What’s the big deal about being a ‘star’? Go be your star and leave school!” Other students looked down upon anyone who didn’t get good grades. Many others, however, still thought that I was doing well at school. My family, especially, had extrememly high expectations in my scholastic career. As a result of all this, by the time I was ready to take the college entrance exam, I had made an important decision — the decision to stop working for a year and focus solely on my studies.
At the time (when Alec was 15), I felt a lot of pressure from all directions, but to actually decide to stop doing show biz for a year was a very difficult decision. This was because I knew that if I stopped working, The Little Tigers (which was quickly rising to popularity at the time) would have to stop singing; therefore, Nicky Wu and Benny Chen (the other two members of The Little Tigers) would also be affected. I felt so guilty! Luckily, they understood what I was going through, and even the company supported me wholly; during the time I was studying, they allowed Nicky and Benny to explore other areas of show biz on their own, doing things such as TV series, so that they wouldn’t waste their time.
However, it’s also quite difficult to concentrate on studies. Because of the popularity of The Little Tigers at the time, my decision quickly became a hot topic; even if I wasn’t working, there would still be a great amount of pressure to do well. That was also the first time I was unhappy to receive fan mail; their support actually became the root of a large amount of pressure on me. After all, if there are no expectations, there are no disappointments. At this point, I spent all my energy trying to get into university. This was extremely important to both not let down my fans, as well as to show the critics.
The third year of secondary high school (I think that it’s grade 12), besides being a very important time in terms of my studies, also brought to me my first love. While I was studying, I met a very nice girl. She was very clean-cut (I guess like the Gap look) and quiet, but most importantly, sat across from me every day doing her studies. Though we didn’t go to the same school, my friends and I all knew that she was the “school flower” (the most popular and pretty girl in the school). For some reason though, she seemed to like me. At the beginning, after my friends and I did my studies, I would just invite her out for something to eat or just to walk around. Even though it could be said we had a relationship, because we were so busy, we actually spent very little time together; most of the time, we were just studying!
I, who entered show biz when I was 15, had already received many many flowers from adoring fans, but this was the first time I’d given flowers to someone else! And this girl was the person who received them. At the time, it couldn’t be called romantic, but it was definitely impossible to forget. I completely agree with those that say first love is unforgettable.
Though I believe that first loves are generally unforgettable, I also believe that most don’t last particularly long. Mine was no exception. At the beginning, we met nearly everyday at a bookstore to study, but later on, both of us needed to focus completely on college entrance exams, which in turn left us with less time to spend together. Eventually, she became the girlfriend of a classmate of mine.
Thinking back, I didn’t know how to appreciate love. Love needs time to blossom. It’s not nearly as simple as saying “I love you”, and presto, all the problems are solved. Love isn’t about receiving, but also about giving. Now, I am often asked about my love life, but the truth is, I am so busy working that I really don’t have any free time at all. If I was to, hypothetically, get involved romantically right now, I would never have time for her and end up neglecting her. If it was up to me, I would choose to not fall in love now. When destiny comes though, it’s not up to me to choose!
After I had spent a year of my life focusing on my studies, the college entrance exam results were finally publicized. Luckily, my hard work paid off and I was accepted into the top university in Taiawn, the University of Taiwan. I majored in mechanical engineering, much to the joy of my family, my friends, and my fans, but most of all, much to the joy of myself, since I didn’t let anyone down.
Later, the Little Tigers held our first concert. I thought that since I had made it into the best university in Taiwan, all the pressure that I had previously felt would disappear. Unfortunately, a new set of pressures emerged. Ironically, since I had gotten into such a good university, people began to hold higher hopes for me. As well, I was not accepted by my classmates, some of whom said some rather negative things about my reasons for going to university. Eventually, this all led to my realization that I was not very interested in my studies. My college life, like my high school life, was not overly pleasant.
Despite all this, my work went great. The Little Tigers had gotten quite popular in Taiwan, and we, as a result, received acceptance and affection from our numerous fans. At this critical point, however, Zhi Peng (Benny Chen) received a letter requesting his enlistment in the military. Once again, we were faced with the possibilty of disbanding. Besides my studies-work problems, Zhi Peng was now being called to the military. This created a giant challenge for us, and after six years of working together, we said our good byes and were faced with the greater challenge of making it on our own.
I believe that it was after pursuing a solo career that the public began to recognize me. At that point, I began to move toward the Hong Kong market, spending at least half the year there. My career was going great and I was even honoured with a HK radio station’s 17th Annual Award Show’s Best Newcomer award. It was also during this time period that I released my solo albums “I only want your love,” “Wait until that day,” and “My precious wallet.” At the same time, I was also featured in many commercials and visited other Asian destinations such as Mainland China and Singapore to promote. Eventually, my career kept me far too busy to continue my education and I ultimately decided to quit school.
The pressure I felt when I made this decision to quit school and the pressure I felt when I decided to stop working for a year cannot be compared. This was because when I decided to stop working, I kept my focus on the college entrance exam. However, when I decided to quit school, there was nothing for me to focus on so that I could not think about the pressure. I decided that the only method was to wait and let the public forget. However, it was extremely difficult for my family to agree with my decision and approve of it.
At this time, my feelings basically centred around the idiom that short, sudden pain is better than long and agonizing pain. If I forced myself to continue with my education, I would only be wasting my time, as well as that of the university. I also knew that I would destroy everyone’s hopes for me. Thus, I figured that in light of all this, it made more sense to just quit everything right away instead of dragging things on. Besides, my education was for me, not for anyone else, and as such, when I think back, I do not regret that decision at all.
Due to past experience, I knew that my decision to quit school would mean more pressure from the public. However, the stress became overbearing and I chose to leave show biz temporarily. Therefore, I went to study in England, yet the word “study” is only loosely applicable since I really did nothing more than wander around. I didn’t know anyone, and spent those days wandering aimlessly with only my backpack. For the first time since I had entered show biz, however, I could honestly have said that I felt carefree and independant despite the lonesome feelings that I experienced at the same time.
My England trip had no time restraints; I was free to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. This was very relaxing, but also cultivated feelings of extremely loneliness. At one point, I got ill, but a friend who I had met in England took care of me until I got better. It is regrettable that I didn’t stay in touch with these friends. Emotionally though, I am still close to them, and I know that if we were to meet again, we would still have endless topics to discuss. Maybe it was because we didn’t know anything about each other when we met, but our relationships were very simplistic and pure. This period in my life gave me the time to reflect and thoroughly collect my thoughts. When I returned to Taiwan, I published my autobiography (Not this one!), entitled My Days at Jian Zhong. I simply wanted to share with others the feelings I had during high school.
During this period of wandering in England, one particular event occurred that gave me a completely new perspective to everything in life. Today, many people ask me why I see things so lightly and whether it is due to my entrance to show biz at an early age. However, it is actually due to what happened to me in England. Normally, I don’t let myself think about it too much, since it depresses me greatly, and as such, I think that this will be the last time I mention it.
Basically, what happened was when a group of friends and I went touring, we were involved in a car accident. Since the group of us was too large for one car, we travelled separately in two, with me sitting in the first. As we drove in the treacherous mountain roads, we suddenly realized that we couldn’t see the car behind us anymore. As we stopped to take a look, we realized that they had driven off the cliff. The front of the car lay crumpled against a large tree. The driver died instantly, while the front passenger barely had his last breath. This was the first time anything so scary had happened to me. All I could do was pray, and so I did. I prayed that God would save my friends.
Life is so fragile and fate is so unpredictable that there is no point in taking everything so seriously. This doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in working hard. I still try my best, but I now know that fate determines a lot of things. Thus, I believe in trying my best and leaving the rest to fate.
Despite the idiom that misery doesn’t occur only once, I believe that this was by far the worst, and least joyous, event that ever happened to me. This lowpoint in my life, however, was the turning point for me. It was at this time that I accepted the role of Prince #5 in Huan Zhu Ge Ge. When we were filming this serious, I never would have thought it would catapult me to my success today.
It can be said that my pre-Huan Zhu Ge Ge career went up and down at different times. (That was why I accepted a role in the artistic film Qing Se.) When I first accepted the Huan Zhu Ge Ge role, I had no idea that it would become the turning point in my career. All I wanted to do was to take advantage of the opportunity and do my personal best.
When we first began filming, I wasn’t used to it at all. Though I have worked in Mainland China in the past, I had never stayed for so long, nearly six months. I come from the South, and as a result, I was not accustomed to the climate. At the time, my face was covered with acne, which made me very uneasy about filming. As well, this was also my first time filming a lengthy series. Since everything was very foreign to me, I had to take extra time to accustom myself.
This show caused a lot to happen for me. However, I do not wish to first talk about how it helped my career. It was more important that it was from this show that I met many new friends such as Vicki Zhao and Ruby Lin. Prior to Huan Zhu Ge Ge, I didn’t have many friends in show biz besides Nicky Wu and Benny Chen. I used to focus predominantly on singing, which makes it considerably more difficult to meet people than filming a TV series, where you spend at least half a year with the same group of people. Seeing them all the time made it very easy for friendships to emerge. Since we are all very busy now, we can’t see each other very often; however, I know that our friendships won’t diminish.
Huan Zhu Ge Ge also helped my career greatly. The response was rather good when the show first aired in China. Many magazines talked about it and some even listed me as Most Favourite Actor. In my native Taiwan, however, I was not. The most popular one from the show was of course Xiao Yan Zi, but I was the lead male.
My success in HK was most surprising. The last time I was there, my career was still rather immature and, on top of that, my record company was having certain problems at the time. As well, I always thought that the HK public was uneager to accept foreigners. Since it is very difficult for foreigners to enter that market, I never had any hopes to do so. During my first visit, I never would have thought that the next time I went, I would be accepted by the public.
To promote Huan Zhu Ge Ge, I visited Hong Kong again. The reaction I got was amazing! I was absolutely shocked at the nmber of reporters and fans waiting at the airport… I could not believe my eyes!!!
Since public response to Huan Zhu Ge Ge was excellent, my workload got ever heavier and busier. The series Biao Mei Ji Xiang (a.k.a. Lao Fang You Xi) was a direct result of Huan Zhu Ge Ge. Though it had nothing to do with Huan Zhu Ge Ge, the fact that Vicki and I were paired in it makes the connection very obvious.
The media asked me what my hopes were for Biao Mei Ji Xiang when it first aired in HK. Originally, I didn’t think it would do very well since it’s a low-budget series about a very simplistic love story. I, therefore, did not expect the HK public to accept it. Huan Zhu Ge Ge enjoyed an unforeseeablely positive response in HK, and when Biao Mei Ji Xiang received a positive response as well, I was very suprised and pleased. However, regardless of the response, I had a very enjoyable time filming the series with Vicki. We were already good friends and I had gotten accustomed to working in Mainland china. As well, when I compare the Ch’ing dynasty costume I had to wear in Huan Zhu Ge Ge to the modern clothing I got in Biao Mei Ji Xiang, the latter was far more relaxing to film.
Huan Zhu Ge Ge didn’t only bring about other series, but also its own sequel. Since sequels are generally only made if the original was popular, there was much more pressure on the actors in this sequel. I’m sure that I’m not the only one that felt this way; Vicki and Ruby doubtlessly would agree. Immaturity was completely gone on the set and we were all very serious about our work. It was very cold on set since the studio had no heaters, but everyone forced themselves to feel certain emotions nonetheless. We cried and we laughed whenever it was necessary. There was no faking involved in this series. Since we had worked together on the original Huan Zhu Ge Ge, working together on this sequel was very pleasant.
We were amply rewarded for such great efforts. Huan Zhu Ge Ge Part II was also very popular, which further aided the popularity of its actors. Furthermore, Huan Zhu Ge Ge (Part I and II) was popular not only in China, Taiwan, and HK, but also wherever Chinese people were. Finally, I saw how easily something could become so popular; as well, I realized that my career was going up…
Princess Returning Pearl’s success really meant a lot to me… The fact that Prince #5’s character was so loved by the audience caused people to ask me if I’m similar to the character. Looking back, when I was his age, we probably were similar, except that Prince #5 is more passive than I am with his feelings. He was only 18 or 19 (a child, really); his romance with Little Swallow could be considered his first love…
People have also asked if my expectations for a future love will be the same as that of Prince #5. Before, I placed more emphasis on outward appearance, but now, I notice personality more. Her personality has to go well with mine, so that there’s something for us to talk about when we’re together. Just being beautiful on the outside is useless; it would be good if she was independent and unique.
After filming Princess Returning Pearl, I realized that I had been in show business for 11 years. Maybe it doesn’t look that way, but I’m no longer young; working in this business really causes you to mature and grow up fast. I realized that if people still call me “Xiao Guai,” it’d be a bit embarassing… When I first got into this business, everyone thought of me as the nice boy next door, a perfect person, if you will, in my studies, singing, everything… But really, who can be perfect? I’m only a normal person, not that perfect… Yet, singing requires being yourself; that is why I have not sung in the past three years. I want everyone to see me as a new person, to forget the old me. I feel like a new person, which is why I want people to stop calling me “Xiao Guai” and to start calling me “You Peng.”
Some people think that since Princess Returning Pearl was my first TV series, coupled with the fact that I was not accustomed to the climate in mainland China, it must have been the most difficult role for me to film. However, this logic would be wrong, since Hua Wu Que’s character in Jue Dai Shuang Jiao was much harder for me to act. It was just like how in Princess Returning Pearl, Little Swallow could perform more than Zi Wei, since to move and to speak is a much easier form of expression. Yet, to convey inner emotion without any facial expression, without any tone, is much more difficult. That is why I felt that playing Hua Wu Que’s lack of outward emotion, yet to fully express his inner feelings, was extremely difficult.
Though Jue Dai Shuang Jiao’s character of Hua Wu Que was the most difficult role in which I have acted, I was very content on set. This was due to the smooth cooperation with the other actors (as well as the other people involved in the filming process); the work atmosphere was at least equal to, if not greater than, that of Huan Zhu Ge Ge.
With such stars as Chen De Rong (Vivian Chen, who had previously acted in many Qiong Yao television series), it was our first time filming together. When I first met her, I got the impression that she was very cold and distant. After we had worked together for a while, however, I discovered that she was actually a very friendly girl. Some actors only consider their own parts when filming, but Vivian is different, and really makes eye contact with her fellow actors. Although she had high personal standards regarding her work, she didn’t pressure herself too much in an attempt to be natural and at ease. As such, I felt that working with her was very pleasant, with a lack of pressure.
Though I had previously worked with Lin Zhi Ying (Jimmy Lin), we hadn’t known each other very well at the time since he had been serving in the army (and was subsequently “borrowed�? for the film) as well as recording a music album. As a result, we didn’t go out together back then, though we worked together well. This time around, when working on Jue Dai Shuang Jiao, we spent more time together and discussed the problems at work together; as such, we are currently good friends. He is a trustworthy and responsible person, but on set, he was very stressed (perhaps because it was his first TV series). I must now point out that it was complete nonsense for the media to say that we could not co-operate. Such reporters just don’t have anything better to write: they make things up, forcing you to explain whatever they’ve made up, which then gives them more material to “report.�?
While I was filming Jue Dai Shuang Jiao, there was one greatly unforgettable event: the birthday party for me hosted by Yes! magazine in HK. Not only did they invite my good friend from the Little Tigers Nicky Wu, they also invited many fans. They were very friendly with me, causing me to be very excited knowing that I have many new friends. Later, when we talk about this party, many fans are surprised that I could remember their names… Perhaps this is because they always ask me to remember their names.
When we filmed in Mainland China, I often found myself rather bored, and thus, also found myself going online to relieve the boredom. I visit my own site quite frequently to read the messages from my fans; sometimes, I joke with my fans in foreign countries, asking, for example, if I could stay with them if I ever ventured to their country. By now, it has become habit for me to go online; wherever I go, I bring my computer and go online whenever possible. I have very little time however, but what I wish most is that my fans can communicate with other fans all over the globe through the Internet.
Many people were surprised that I accepted a role in the film Bai Mian Hua (White Cotton) after the filming of Jue Dai Shuang Jiao was complete. After Huan Zhu Ge Ge, I received many offers to film more series/films set in the Ch’ing dynasty. However, I did not accept any of them, choosing White Cotton instead. This was because had I continued to film Ch’ing dynasty films, I would not have broke through the barriers surrounding my filming style. I would rather try new things. Thus, I decided to act as a down-to-earth, simple man from the countryside who secretly falls in love in White Cotton. This role provided me with a new challenge.
After filming White Cotton, I got numerous offers to act; for example, I was asked to act as Sun Zhong Shan (Sun Yat-Sen). When I heard of this, I was very pleased since I have heard his stories and political theologies ever since I was very young. In my mind, this “father of the nation�? is a just, great man with vision who I have worshipped since childhood. Since people were now asking me to act as him, it meant that I would have the opportunity to bring my feelings about him to others. I definitely want this challenge.
I hadn’t thought of coming to HK for development prior to Da Ying Jia (Winner Takes All) since I didn’t think that I could have great achievements there. Therefore, this film gave me the idea that there is still room for me to develop my career more in HK.
I was actually a bit nervous about shooting Winner Takes All since it was my first HK film. I was somewhat afraid that I would be unable to handle HK showbiz since I had always had the idea that it required high efficiency, with strict, professional requirements. Thus, I was naturally a bit pressured. After filming began however, I realized the fact that it was a comedy and that there were several main characters; as a result, it was easier for me to handle the film since my role was not too heavily concentrated upon.
The most unforgettable moment while filming Winner Takes All was when we were given the change to film on a luxury cruise ship. Though we didn’t stay there for very long due to work obligations, we (meaning with fellow young actors like Ruby, Joey, and Nicholas) had a great time.
After this joyful first filming in HK, I think I will be more confident the second time around, and I do hope that this second time will come soon… If I was given an opportunity to try a different role and a different style, that’d be even better!
Presently, my career takes me to Taiwan, HK, as well as Mainland China. Fans from all three of these places constantly ask me which location I will pay more attention to and which location I consider my base. Honestly though, all three places are equally important to me. Mostly though, I wish that people in my homeland of Taiwan will accept the idea that I’m in showbiz now and that emotions can’t affect my work and career. At times, it is exceedingly difficult to set a schedule; the end result is my acceptance of more assignments that fans in all three places can enjoy. Personally, I would rather travel all over the place promoting myself, which would take care of fans in all three places.
As for the present, I want to work diligently; besides to repay the support I have gotten from my fans, I also want to earn my greatest wish.
As for what my greatest wish is, it’s actually quite simple: I don’t want to beg anyone for help. This is remarkably hard, and I have probably accomplished 20% or 30% of this wish. I will save more money, since I don’t want to ever force myself to do something for the money. Perhaps this day will come when I’m 35. At that point, I doubt whether I will still be in showbiz, since I don’t want to stay in this business my whole life. What I’m going to do after though, I still don’t know… After all, I have nine years left to think about it.
This autobiography has come to its close; now that I am done, I have a developed a new sense of knowledge about my past and myself. Just as I wrote when I began, regardless of whether you are a fan of myself or not, I sincerely hope that knowing my experiences will be of some aid to you. I don’t know how helpful these could be, but I certainly got something out of writing them down. I hope to see more of you in the future.