Ruco Chan: Kevin Cheng is like a big brother

The tanned actor who is in Singapore to plug his new drama talks about his Eye in the Sky co-stars

 The tanned actor who is in Singapore to plug his new drama talks about his Eye in the Sky co-stars

Video: Tay Yixuan

It’s been close to five years since Ruco Chan last worked with Tavia Yeung and Kevin Cheng and the trio’s reunion on TV in upcoming TVB series, Eye in the Sky, makes for a refreshing change.

The actor tells us he is more than glad that fate has brought them back together again in this detective series because 1) it’s been a long time since he worked with Tavia and their last project together (“The Other Truth, a very important show to me,” he says) propelled him to household fame and 2) Kevin, who hasn’t done a TVB show in a while, once gave him a lot of encouragement during his career reboot days.

“We didn’t have much scenes together in those shows (Burning Flame in 2009 and Only You in 2011) but he gave me a lot of encouragement and gave me a lot of space to develop my role back then too,” said Ruco, who admitted to have jumped at the opportunity to work with Kevin in Eye in the Sky.

Ruco said that Kevin once told him to take it easy and to not be afraid of not making it big. “Now, he doesn’t say such things,” he laughed, “In the past he’d tell me to act however I want to do so but for this drama he told us to discuss our roles to see how we can improve every scene, and we’d discuss with the producers too to make it better.”

Another perk of working with Kevin, joked Ruco, is his popularity. “He’s really popular. By working with him, more people would know me too. (Chuckles)”

 There'd be a love triangle brewing between Ruco, Tavia and Kevin's characters in Eye in the Sky

While Kevin had a fair bit of action scenes and Tavia had to climb trees and film a challenging kidnap scene in a huge fish tank filled with water (by the way, the actress can’t swim too) in the drama. Ruco, on the other hand, had more emotional scenes to deal with.

“Perhaps they feel I’m better suited to play such grey characters with more emotional struggles. I prefer that (over action scenes) too, but it is equally tiring,” he said. Still, said Ruco, nothing beats the trying time he had filming green-screen scenes for a dynasty production called Captain of Destiny – on top of the early call-times of 3.30 am (the latest call-time he had was at 4 am) he had.

The drama which features the use of animation and filmed in China (Hengdian and Wuxi) for a span of five months had plenty of dramatic, horse-riding, high wire and animation scenes, shared Ruco. “It’s just like a Hollywood movie and there are even slow-motion effects! But it’s really difficult,” he chuckled.

“When I was filming it, I thought I’d look super cool while working with animation, but it’s really tiring in real life. The smallest of mis-action is easily captured and spotted on camera, so you have to really fight with 50 to 70 per cent of strength. And if your reaction is not lifelike, you have to shoot those scenes again.”

“I’d actually rather do actual fight scenes than do animation,” he mused.

Ruco had to shave his head for his role in Captain of Destiny

On his desire to do comedic roles
“I want to try comedy but a lot of people think I cannot do comedy. But, maybe, I'm capable of doing it? They think I’m cool, I guess, but I’m actually quite comical in real life although it takes time for me to warm up to people. I’m not the goofy type of person but I’m actually quite humorous - especially with my family and loved ones."

On what he’ll be doing for the next few months
“I want to focus on body-building for the next two months because I hope for a change in image. I need to get much fitter (Ed: is it for a new role?) – but I can’t reveal so much information currently. (Chuckles). I hope to go travel and focus on body-building for the next few months. I want to go to many places like Holland, Taiwan and even Eastern Europe. ”

On his 'similarity' to Johnny Depp
“I love Stephen Chow’s comedies – we all grew up watching his movies. [On the Hollywood side] Johnny Depp is good too. I think I can do Johnny Depp-type of roles. His comedies aren’t in-your-face, it’s subtle and all about character-building and the details. His characters are also often in the grey area, he wears spectacles and looks quite stylish too – just like me (chuckles).”

On his next career goal, after having won the My Favourite TVB actor at the StarHub TVB Awards
“Awards aren’t my goals and I hope to take on more roles – be it comedy or despondent-type of characters… And on awards, I haven’t won an award in Hong Kong and Malaysia yet actually. Awards are important and a form of encouragement and I’d love to get a popularity award from the audience.”

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