TVB’s new historical fiction drama, King Maker
<造王者> premiered on August 13th to positive reviews. With 90 percent of the drama’s cast and crew coming from The Greatness of a Hero
<盛世人傑>, King Maker also stars award-winning actors, Kent Cheng (鄭則士) and Wayne Lai (黎耀祥), as two powerful court officials vying for political power.
Kent reportedly turned down a mainland Chinese drama, which offered to pay him over $2 million RMB in total, in order to film King Maker. Kent Cheng and Wayne Lai on their Characters
Kent said, “What made me decide to film this drama was Uncle Choi (producer Leung Choi Yuen 梁材遠). I am accustomed to working with him. When I heard that Wayne will also be in this drama, I became even more interested. It was my first time working with Wayne since he won TV King. Although I have collaborated with him four times before, this drama is the one where we have the most screen time together.
A battle between good and evil was featured in The Greatness of a Hero, in which Wayne portrayed Wu Zetian’s evil nephew, Wu Chengsi, who harbors intentions to claim the throne. However, his attempts are rebuffed by Wu Zetian’s loyal chancellor, Di Renjie, portrayed by Kent. However, in King Maker, the two areas are grayed, as both Kent and Wayne’s characters compete to have their favored prince to win the throne of China.
Wayne replied, “The good and evil in The Greatness of a Hero was very obvious; my character was obviously very evil. Our characters are more ambiguous this time around. It is difficult to point out who is a good person and who is not. We all have our own reasons to do what we do. There has never been a right or wrong when it comes to fighting for power.”
Kent joked that their characters are like legislative council members. “We all have our own positions! It’s hard to say who the bad guy is.”
Kent revealed that he spent a lot of time crafting out his “evil” role in King Maker, “An evil role does not necessarily mean a challenging role. Any role can be fun to portray; it just depends on how you see it. If you want to develop your own charisma, you cannot have your role control you. Once the role is in your hands, you should have your own ways to act it out.” Pierre Ngo and Lai Lok Yi on Their Characters
Pierre Ngo (敖嘉年) and Lai Lok Yi (黎諾懿) portray two princes fighting for their father’s throne. Lai Lok Yi portrays the young and immature second prince Chiu Kwai Wo, who indirectly led to the imprisonment of his older half-brother Chiu Kwai Sing, portrayed by Pierre. Kwai Sing spent ten years as a hostage in the Jurchen Empire. When he was released back to the Song Empire, he lived in the streets as a beggar. The struggles he endured in the Jurchen Empire left a lasting effect on him – he could not walk or talk anymore, and behaved like an animal.
“It was really hard,” said Pierre. “I could not use dialogue to communicate with the other actors. I can only use my body language, so during those days, I observed a lot of cats and dogs, and learned their body movements.”
Pierre continued, “And then Wayne’s character would have to teach me how to walk and talk again. There was one touching scene where I began to recognize my mother (Kingdom Yuen 苑瓊丹), and called out to her. It was an emotional scene for all of us.”
Ecstatic to work with Wayne and Kent again, Pierre thanked his two seniors for looking after him during the long hours of filming King Maker. Lok Yi also praised the veteran actors, “Kent Gor is not only an actor, but also a good director and scriptwriter. He will teach us how to use different perspectives to view our roles. When Kent Gor’s character is not involved in our scenes, he will still stay in to watch us and give us pointers on our acting. He really spends a lot of time teaching us.” Harsh Filming Experiences
Pierre recalled his gruesome filming experience, “We filmed those scenes in August, the hottest time of the year. I had to have my face smothered with mud. My sweat turned brown!”
Wayne said, “We filmed this during the hottest and coldest times of the year, and I almost fainted from a heat stroke several times! When it was cold, we had to do scenes where he fell in the water! That scene involved Jack Wu (胡諾言) and I running away from the palace guards – it was around 8 to 10 degrees at the time, and we had to swim! We also had to do a lot of hiking. I finally knows how it feels to be exiled!”
Creds: TVB Weekly