Dicky Cheung’s (張衞健) “The Learning Curve of a Warlord” (大帥哥) is gaining popularity after originally being passed over for TVB’s other anniversary series. Many netizens even said Dicky Cheung has what it takes to compete for “Best Actor” with TVB’s “own sons.” However, it was once widely rumored 22 years ago that after he got popular portraying the “Monkey King”, he requested a pay raise from TVB. It was alleged TVB told him, “You’re nothing without the hair.”, insinuating Dicky Cheung was not worth anything outside of his portrayal as the “Monkey King.” It was rumored Dicky Cheung left TVB because of their response.
Through an interview with Oriental Daily, Dicky Cheung clarified, “I have to clear up something. It wasn’t someone from TVB who said that to me. This person was actually a senior in the movie industry. He invited me to talk about a film at a coffee shop. The role didn’t require gluing on hair. It turns out some people can be very extreme when they want to lowball you. That phrase hurt me deeply. I got so mad, I immediately left.” Dicky Cheung also says those words deeply impacted him when he was a young actor trying to hustle. He says, “Back then, I really thought, ‘If I wasn’t the Monkey King, I wouldn’t make it?’. Then, I thought, shit, I was already in my 30’s.”
Dicky Cheung wouldn’t reveal that person’s name, but said he’s not angry anymore. He said, “When I think about it, I think of two “F” letters words. It’s “forgive” and “forget.” Once I forgive, I will delete the incident. Even if I see that person again, it won’t be awkward. When asked if he’s kept his head bald to prove that “Dicky Cheung without hair can still make it”, he says, “Yes and no. At that time, I had to shave my head to film a Qing dynasty series. Anyway, I rely on my skills…and a little bit of good looks.”
When talking about him taking one for the team by returning back to TVB even though he is worth a few hundred million dollars (HKD), Dicky Cheung says, “I have a cheap life. So far, I’ve never filmed a series comfortably that would explode in popularity. Every time, people will say this is the best of the best. Filming is pretty exhausting. So I think to myself, I was born with a hard life, but if I don’t suffer, how would we get all the fortunes in the world?”