Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin
is a Hong Kong actor
and Cantopop singer
. Early in his career he used the name Dior
(because that was what it sounded like when his younger sister tried to call him 第二哥) as a first name. He has also been referred to as Noodle
Cheng, (鄭伊麵} after a popular noodle product with a similar name. Currently Ekin
is the name used.
Cheng began acting in commercials when he was in high school, the most well-known being for Hi-C Lemon Tea. After high school, he enrolled in TVB
's Martial Arts school, but did not like it and switched to their acting school. After that he began to get a number of TV roles. The latest TVB series he participated in was Always Ready
, working with Charmaine Sheh
, Bowie Lam
(林保怡), and Linda Chung
Even though Ekin Cheng dated Maggie Sui for many years early in his career, their relationship ended. Soon afterward he worked with Gigi Leung
and they started dating in 1999. The press and many of Maggie Sui's fans slighted him over this, and the ensuing scandal caused a downturn in both his career and that of Gigi Leung
. In 2006, Cheng and Leung broke up, ending their seven-year relationship.
In September 2006, Cheng and Yoyo Mung began dating through their mutual interest in badminton.
In 2002 Ekin Cheng was asked to be the official Ocean Environment Ambassador. The Chief Secretary of HKSAR, Anthony Tsang presented the appointment letter. At the same press conference WWF also asked Cheng to be their Ambassador with a special interest in the marine environment. In this capacity he traveled to WWF's Whale Shark conservation site in 2007. TVB's Jade Channel aired the documentary.
2006 saw the publication of Ekin's first book, 'Looking Into Ekin's Eyes'.This book was very successful and in now in its third edition. In 2007 a Japanese version of the book was published.
His first film was Girls Without Tomorrow 1992
(1992) and at the time he was still going by the name Dior Cheng. He changed his name to Ekin before his breakout role in the Young and Dangerous
series as Chan Ho Nam
. The film was first meant to glorify the triad life, but after about the third film, the story focused more on the characters and explored the truth about the Hong Kong triads. It became so popular that it launched Ekin Cheng and co-star Jordan Chan to superstar status. And because of its incredible success, it is said to have made many youngsters at that time fond of the triad life, thus making Teens throughout Asia
join the triads. Though with no solid evidence, its impact no doubt made Triads look good in the eye of young people. It also started a trend for triad films around that time and is considered to be a classic. The film led to 6 sequels, all starring Ekin Cheng, and a lucrative working partnership with director Andrew Lau
. Together they went on to make The Storm Riders
, which was the highest-grossing Hong Kong movie at the time and the first film to utilize a truly large number of special effects. They also worked together on The Legend of Speed
a film about a street racer who would follow his father's footsteps of becoming a racing god, A Man Called Hero
a movie adaption of the famous Comic, about a Martial Arts master in America The Duel
starring Cheng, Andy Lau, and a few other famous stars, and the comedy Women From Mars
Ekin Cheng has branched out in the roles he's taken, including more comedy like earlier in his career with My Wife is 18 with Charlene Choi and Six Strong Guys with singers Hacken Lee, Andy Hui and George Lam. But he still does action-oriented films like The Twins Effect where he acts with rising pop superstars Twins. And Tokyo Raiders where he is cast with International Superstar Tony Leung and Superstar pop diva Kelly Chen. My Wife is 18 tells the story of an arranged marriage between 30 year old Ekin Cheng and 18 year old Charlene Choi. The significant age difference between the two is the source of the comedy. Six strong guys tell the story of Cheng and his other five friends who tell funny stories of the modern Hong Kong man. The Twins effect is an action film about the feuds between vampires and Humans who both share the same world. Toyko Raiders is about international thievery in Toyko.
Recently Cheng returned to the movie scene (having taking a break in 2005 to work on the Ultraman TV Series in Thailand), He had a brief appearance in My Name is Fame as himself. Soon after that he starred in Heavenly Mission a triad/cop thriller starring alongside Stephen Fung & Alex Fong (this is not the swimmer Alex Fong.). He has completed a Pang Brothers film called The Forest of Death, which was released in March 2007. His serial filmed in Mainland China based on the life of martial arts master, Huo Yuanjia with former Young & Dangerous co-star Jordan Chan is currently in syndication. Current projects include a sequel to the blockbuster The Storm Riders, also directed by Pang Brothers and The Legend of Kamui being filmed in Japan. Ekin Cheng's latest film with Shawn Yue Rule Number 1 directed by Kelvin Tong, won Best Actor Awards for both Cheng and Yue.
Ekin Cheng's golden age was during the Young and Dangerous era. At the turn of the century his popularity declined and he has been criticized as being merely an accidental superstar. He has also been criticized by some as being a wood-like actor with little expression or feeling in his work. Despite these criticisms, Ekin Cheng has continued to make movies throughout his career and currently is once again enjoying considerable success.
Cheng had a successful music career with BMG
. But in the 2000s, he signed with EEG
, a juggernaut company owned by Albert Yeung
. Under this company he was 'frozen' and not allowed to put out any records. But as is a custom with EEG, he made several movies with other EEG stars. As of 2004, his contract with EEG ended and he returned to BMG where he released a new record. As of 2005, Cheng is an artist of BMA Records
. Through the course of his career, he has made several hits. Though many criticise Cheng for not having a voice capable of singing harder or higher-noted songs. And though his music career has been going smoothly, his most-acclaimed music came during the Young and Dangerous age. The theme song for Young and Dangerous 1 "Age of Friendship" is considered his best. Though he and Jordan Chan both sing a separate version, it was Cheng who sang it first.
In 2007, Cheng made a guest appearance at a Leo Ku concert and received popular applause from the audience.
In the 1990s, Cheng also starred in a number of radio dramas.
Ekin Cheng has been asked by numerous companies to endorse their products. The most notable are Canon IXUS, Seiko, Shiseido JS and HTC. This year, 2008, Kingsoft featured Ekin in their popular online game The First Myth 2 (封神榜II) as "Er Lang Shen
" (二郎神) a character in the game.
Throughout his career Cheng has been featured in many magazines, and photo books, including an autobiography in Yes Idol Magazine (1997).