Kevin Cheng‘s popularity rose immensely with his portrayal of the Eighth Prince in the China drama Scarlet Heart (Bu Bu Jing Xin). His fellow cast members also gained widespread recognition for their roles and allowed all of them a steep increase in pay. Kevin’s earnings went from 100K per episode to 350K per episode. While everyone is anticipating the sequel to the successful BBXJ, Kevin confirmed yesterday that he would not be taking part in the drama as it would conflict with his filming schedule. Kevin expresses his regrets for not being able to film with the original cast and will not be able to reap in the earnings for the 40-episode drama.
Lately Kevin has been busy attending events in Mainland China and it seems like his rise in popularity has no end in sight. With his portrayal of the Eighth Prince, he also created a huge fan base in China. Kevin returned to Hong Kong yesterday to film an advertisement. He revealed that he will be taking part in a new series that will start filming in February, but it won’t be for BBJX2. “Originally BBJX2 was suppose to start in December, but because there were still revisions to the script, it was pushed back until March. I already accepted another project which will start filming in February, so I won’t be able to participate in the sequel. It’s a bit of a regret. But as far as I know, Nicky Wu and Cecilia Liu have already been confirmed for the project. With them leading the drama, I’m sure both the ratings and the reception will be great. If there is an interesting character, perhaps I will make a guest appearance.” As Kevin’s per episode earning is estimated at 350K and with BBJX2 being 40 episodes long, Kevin will likely lose out on a $14 million paycheck. Aside from that, there’s bound to be disappointment from his fans.
Although Lee Lik Chi has been accusing Kevin of speaking horrendous Mandarin and frequently making changes to scripts, Kevin says he hasn’t been paying too much attention to the news and has continued filming dramas. His new project will be another ancient series. After completing ‘Ip Man’, the drama has been slated for release in March. There are rumours that he’ll return to film the sequel with a fee of 500K per episode. Kevin says, “Actually the sequel hasn’t been confirmed yet. We’ll wait to see what the response is like when it is released in March. Even if we do film it will probably be in the summer, but nothing has been set in stone.” There have been reports comparing Kevin, Anthony Wong and Tony Leung’s portrayal of Yip Man. Many have said that Kevin’s portrayal is one that ‘looks good but can’t fight’. Kevin says, “The drama hasn’t even aired, so I hope everyone will watch it first before they make their judgement. I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t even had time to watch ‘The Grandmaster’. I hope I will have to time to watch a production of that calibre.”
Kevin will be traveling to Korea at the end of the month to attend a joint event between TVB and a Korean television station. What does he think of the Korean wave with artists like SS501 and Sistar? Kevin laughs and says he won’t be comparing himself to them and will only be singing. Will he dance PSY’s Gangnam Style? “I won’t be dancing, I’ll stick to singing!”