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Monday, 17th June 2024

Irish Born Chinese

Hong Kong cinema/television veteran Kent Cheng Jut Tse

Created Wednesday, 2nd February 2011, 21:11 by Vinnylee
Happy Chinese New Year. May the Rabbit bounce with you. I am happy to see the year of the Tiger out as one as challenging and memorable as it was fun. This post is about one of my favourite actors from Hong Kong. He is an unusual choice too. Born in 1951, Hong Kong to a poor family, Kent Cheng Jut Tse wanted to become an actor since childhood. In Hong Kong, it is popular to compose a written essay/comprehension of "My Dream" or "My future career". Although criticized by his teacher Kent didn't give up his dream and joined a film company in 1971. He couldn't make any headway or rise in the ranks, and joined TVB in 1976. He was one of those actors who like Yuen Wah would never get the starring role, but will be a recognizable face in a series. Many from the audience will remember that "fei ló"/fat guy. But the most heart rending moment and memorable of his performances for me was his 1985 film which he directed: "Why Me" in the role of "fat cat"/Fei Mow. It is a melodrama that unfolds into a narrative of sadness and unjust that possibly leaves the audience mellow for days. The sequel "Beloved Son of God" was broadcast by TVBS one Sunday night in the late nineties. This time the big supporting role went to Maggie Cheung, but it is a film I will probably never watch again due to its unfair and emotional nature. What can I say? I am a very sympathetic and perhaps gullible person? There is one aspect of his character roles I have come to respect. In recent TVB Hong Kong television series, I have noticed his resemblance to my father who passed away in 2006. Aside from being the wieght he is: There is the way he physically moves, walking, sitting, gesturing. The way he speaks in precise, logical, wise and even authoritative voice(s). ("Hey, BadBoy!" - calling to fellow actor Mike Wong Hei). All of these things, brought up first by my siblings and also my aunts for the resemblance. I knew them then too, it's keeping the memory alive. Funny thing is the actor may be some sort of relic from the 1960s-70s era Hong Kong whose values as a person may have been shaped in those formative years. He is almost the same age as my father, mind. People call these people "dinosaurs" because they are practically extinct in their values and morals. Even in Ireland people say the 60s was a different time. Simpler too. Sometimes I feel even though actors are doing just that - acting - their portrayal on TVB families are somewhat displaying their true selves to an audience that resonate with them.