by Paco Wong – East Week, 08/2007
Our special thanks to the magazine scans from Gallenlo.net
English translation by Mouse
Photo from East Week magazine 08/2007. Magazine scans courtesy of gallenlo.net
Read this article in Vietnamese
Tonight Gallen Lo and I gulped down a whole bottle of whisky in the 26-year-old Go Gu Jang Korean restaurant. After drinking, Gallen sighed thoughtfully, “Life is like a dream!” I believe this is not something that he spouted at the spur of the moment. He had been through a full-body anesthesia due to an operation, and said that during the period after the doctor counted “1, 2, 3” and before he woke up, life was seemingly vaporized. He added, “I have been thinking about it, where were I for that period of time? I don’t even have dreams of it!”
Coming to understand that life is like a dream, Gallen cherishes more of his current life. “I think that there are no rights and wrongs in life, everybody has different experiences in his/her life. I am relieved that I have no regrets in my past doings.” I reckon his past doings includes his decision to leave TVB in 2003.
One would naturally become dependent when s/he is too comfortable with his/her current situation. Been a contracted artiste for 17 years, Gallen Lo had started working hard since 1986, filmed more than 60 series, and been crowned with TVB’s anniversary award “My Favourite Actor” thrice. Many would think that he has reached an artiste’s goals and dreams.
However, when the contract ended in 2003, he boldly left his comfort nest and turned to Universe, desiring to have a share of a pie in the mainland market. It was a gallant act, as we all know, it requires a lot of courage to move out of a familiar environment to a new challenge in the unknown world. Moreover, he was TVB’s “Brother No. 1”
A pot of Korean Ginseng Soup was soon served. Taking a sip of it, and a bite of chicken glutinous rice, (I felt that) my drunkenness was neutralized. I asked, “Gallen, you wanted to continue to win, so you took a stake?”
The Spirit of Taking Risk…
Gallen replied smilingly, “(When I was) In TVB, I was already taking risks. On one hand I took on series one after another, on the other I was fearless when it comes to accepting any kind of roles. It’s just like after I had a successful performance in Old Time Buddy, I could unhesitatingly break the frame of “Kei Gor” and came up with a brand new Gambler “Big Head Man” In Secret of The Heart.” Just as a successful character could bring an artiste to his peak; a rotten character could bring him back to square one too.
Therefore, consideration is a must, as the unforeseen may be very exciting, or on the other side, disastrous; conversely, if you don’t take that extra mile, you will never know where your limits are. Gallen picked up a piece of organic lettuce with barbecued beef, and dipped them into the Korean bean sauce, “Before you take the challenge to break out of your comfort zone, you’ll never realize that the sky’s the limit; practically you’ll be looking at the world from a very narrow perspective.” His words were brought on calmly, symbolizing his experiences all these years without being boastful. “When I was on Feminine Masculinity in 1999, I had to dress up like a woman in the morning, resume as a man in the afternoon, and dress up as a woman again at night. I almost broke down.” So he was enlightened, and felt that it wasn’t a good idea to look at the world from a frog-in-a-well view.
It turns out that his departure was actually premeditated. “Although I already had the thought of leaving, but I felt that the time wasn’t ripe, so I used a year try to keep in touch with the people outside TVB, and gain my knowledge about the world outside.” He got reminded of the time when he met his scout, “A year later, I bumped into Universe’s Mr. Lam (Lam Siu Ming) and his wife, and they offered me fantastic terms and space for development.”
I drank with Gallen, feeling happy for him, and also thankful to Mr. and Mrs. Lam. As a relatively successful manager (*), it has always been my motto to spot and treasure talents, hahaha!”
His courage to grab hold of the only opportunity has provided him with the chance to be involved in big-scale CCTV productions like Lady Wang in Exile, Great Navigation and Wolf Scent. He has played the noble navigator (Zheng He) in Chinese History, and the leader of the People’s Liberation Army. He said, “In Wolf Scent, I was a division commander. I heard that I was the first non-mainland actor to play the highest-ranked leader of the People’s Liberation Army!” In my opinion, what could possibly means more to a Chinese actor than bringing a history figure alive on-screen?
After the dinner, I got reminded that of Gallen as a singer. Although his singing career may not be as successful as his acting one, but I still remind him to fight for the chance to perform the main theme of every serial he is in. “Who knows that your next serial’s theme song may become popular in the whole of China!” (**)
Gallen did not drop a comment, but only finished the whisky in his glass.
::: Paco Wong ::: East Week 08/2007 ::: Translated by Mouse ::: Magazine scans by gallenlo.net :::
Read this article in Vietnamese
(*) Paco Wong is CEO of Gold Label Records, HK. – Mimosa
(**) It is quite interesting since Gallen’s latest filming project, Perfect Ending, is funded by EEG to be the company’s first TV production in Mainland. It has been announced that EEG will only use its own contracted singers to record all the songs in Perfect Ending. If Gallen was to follow Paco’s advice, he would have to join Paco’s rival company, EEG, this time around. Let us see what happens. – Mimosa
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