Joe Cheng Publishes New Book and Goes On Promotional Tour

I’m usually a little more fair with the actors and the dramas I love, trying to spread my affection equally so that no one feels like an unloved child. Lately Playful Kiss has taken over AKP, but I do have other interests, LOL.

One of my favorite Taiwanese actors, Joe Cheng, of It Started With a Kiss and They Kiss Again fame, recently released a book titled What a Beautiful Life (the literal English translation of the title is Self-Directed, Self-Acted).

The book is part autobiography, part-travelogue (Joe went to Los Angeles and Las Vegas to shoot the pictorial accompanying the text), and part musings on the craft of acting and directing.

Joe really has been branching out his repertoire. He started out as a model (same agency as Ethan Ruan and Mike He), became an actor, tried to be a pop star (epic fail on my ears), and has published a few books in the interim, this one being his most recent. He’s going back into acting next, doing SETTV’s idol-drama X Channel with Amber Kuo.

I haven’t read the book, and probably won’t. I’m not big into star pictorial books, even if it includes some existential and/or philosophical contemplations. Nevertheless, the pictures are quite well-shot, and the model in Joe never fails to deliver.

To promote the book, Joe’s been on a mini-publicity campaign recently, doing the rounds of the Taiwanese variety and talk shows. Below I have embedded two recent videos that are awesome to watch if you are an ArJoe shipper (me, me, me!).

In the first video, Joe calls Ariel Lin and asks her to take an overnight trip with him. Three guesses on her response. The second one, Joe is grilled about his professional and personal relationship with Ariel.

What I love about the segments are (1) how hot Joe looks recently – I think it’s his best hairstyle ever, even better than his cut in They Kissed Again, and (2) how comfortable he is with Ariel as friends, genuine platonic friends and acting partners.

Watching Kim Hyun Joong in Playful Kiss, I am fully satisfied with his Baek Seung Jo, a character unique and with his own identity. But I shant ever forget that Joe breathed so much life into ISWAK’s Jiang Zhi Shu that I became a Joe-admirer from that moment on.

Oh, his character was pretty much a grade-A jackass for the majority of the ISWAK, but the fact that viewers loved him is a testament to his ability to add so much nuance and subtlety into the character.

Joe calling Ariel for an overnight trip (English subbed):


Joe being grilled about his relationship with Ariel (English subbed):

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As much as Joe demurs on any possible romantic entanglement with Ariel in real life (which I tend to believe, they have such a natural rappaport I think neither wants to go there – plus they are actually both quite methodical over-thinkers and that’s not a recipe for long-term romantic bliss), the fact that he released a book on theย heels of Ariel releasing her travel pictorial of her trip to the Britain is what we Chinese call “couples fate” meaning couples tend to do the same things at the same time. I continue to blissfully live in my own happyland where ArJoe are fated to be together.


Joe Cheng Publishes New Book and Goes On Promotional Tour — 23 Comments

  1. hehe… you noticed too? joe is hotter than ever these days…
    and yes… he’s not the best actor out there but i still think he’s one heck of a good one for his generation….
    as for his singing stunts… apparently, he’s going to sing with ariel once again in japan soon… (oh my ears…) ariel can sort of sing… sorta.. but with him, unless he has vastly improved since i’ve heard him, it’s not going to be pretty… although honestly, i don’t care if i see them together again, which i guess is the whole purpose of the duet. kk.
    he’s also going to dance… um. i’ll reserve my judgement for later on that one.
    i don’t think ariel and him are a real couple BUT i’m almost certain they are in some way attracted to one another, or something along that line… i mean, you can’t have that sort of chemistry on screen and not feel anything in real life right? or maybe you’re just a really good actor. sigh…

    • i meant, i dont care about the singing as long as i get to see them again… not that i dont care about seeing them together…
      ah… the lateness of the hour is taking a toll on me.

  2. arjoe!!! i love them in ISWAK and They Kissed Again!!
    they have this unexplainable chemistry!
    count me in, in wishing that they would be together!

  3. I’ve never seen ISWAK but let me tell you that I’m loving him in That Love Comes. Which is kind of weird since the drama has only aired two episodes thus far that only comes up to be about an hour long. He just oozes with a charisma that I haven’t seen for awhile in a Taiwanese actor. (But I haven’t been watching much of ’em in these past few years.) Anyway, he really is cute. Okay, no, damn hot.

    • OMG… i was just asking ockoala about that loves come in another post…
      I’m loving him in it too… a lot of people i know didn’t like the show so i’m glad i found someone who liked it… ^^

      • Yeah, I didn’t expect to like it and I only watched it ’cause I’m helping out for that channel. I can see why some people DIDN’T enjoy it ’cause perhaps it was a bit mellow and mundane premiere; I just find the bits and pieces of the story fascinating. Maybe another reason is because I didn’t have any expectations for it coming into the first episode. So yeah. We’ll see how it goes.

      • oh? you’re helping the channel? on viikii right? awesome of you!
        i went into it without much expectations as well so maybe that’s why i enjoyed it… honestly, the premise didn’t do much to me but i watched it because of joe… i’ve encountered li fei er in period dramas before but it’s i never noticed how pretty she was until now… i’m not too sure about her acting though.
        and i think the drama does have its flawed moments but like you said, it does have bits and pieces that make up for it.
        what i love though is the soundtrack… i just LOVE it.. haha.

      • Yes I am. Shh!!!!! :runs away: jkjk. Well, v, if you have a viikii account and you wanna talk about it, I’m up for it. We can PM each other there so ockoala doesn’t get all these email notifications. ^^

      • lol…
        and i dont have a viikii account. i was debating for about the last 3 months whether or not i should have one because i could help translate in many languages but i decided against it because i’m too swamped with school (and dramas)… and if i get an account, it’s for sure i won’t be able to resist using it… that’s why these blogs where anybody can comment are so bad for me… i can’t resist commenting… -_-”
        and omo… i didn’t know ockoala gets email notifications per comment?? i never had a wordpress or blogspot, only an LJ so i didn’t know that… now i feel majorly bad for rambling on her blog… TT
        sorry ockoala.

  4. OMG the clips! While I was watching the second, I kept thinking, “OMG, Joe, shut up! You’re fueling the rumors” LOL Not that I’m complaining. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Ok, I watched both ISWAK and TKA and I did a lot of fast-forwarding which I usually tend to avoid because I don’t like to miss anything (strangely enough, TKA cured me of my phobia for the FF button) and it’s not that I didn’t like them (I did! Ariel and Joe have great chemistry together. I also liked the plot, or rather the idea behind the plot), but I thought it was repetitive. It would have been perfect if TPTB had filmed only half the eps they did; they could still have told the story they wanted to tell, making it even more effective. The Mary Sueing and VERY slow growth of Ariel’s character killed the shows for me. Pretty much. I would have loved them (seriously, LOVED them) if there were fewer storylines which were basically the same one (some guy sees Xiang Qin and how sweet/kind/adorable she is and falls in love with her and as she angsts about Zhi Shu, worries about losing him to random women and plots intricate schemes to keep him that of course, of course are bound to fail, she not only make the guy who crushed on her realize he’s not really in love with her, but she also either fixes him up with someone else or help him in some other way) The thing is, the first time that storyline happens, it packs a punch, it’s effective and you believe it that there’s a serious threat to Zhi Shu and Xian Qin’s relationship; the second time, you frown a bit, but go with the flow cos that kind of storyline CAN still work and after all you trust the drama, but when you see the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over again, you start to feel a little frustrated and maybe, just maybe you roll your eyes more than squee about the happy conclusion of the current “drama in the drama” and just want the whole thing over. At some point, I -and I kid you not- yelled at the screen, “you STILL don’t GET it, Xian Qin?” soon followed by a “please, let this be the last time” Which of course wasn’t. AHHH And even when there’s a new storyline (Zhi Shu’s rival at med school for example) and you think, more hopeful that you care to admit, that it can actually go somewhere you haven’t seen yet or that it isn’t going to revolve around Xian Qin, you get disappointed. Again. TPTB didn’t tell us that yes, Xian Qin is sweet and klutzy and jealous but in the end she’s adorable or gently showed us that Zhi Shu loves her, just as she is, with her all flaws, they HAMMERED the point home. In the loudest way possible. Multiple times. I mean, gee, there’s not!subtle and then there’s ISWAK/TKA. And I digress, sorry.

    I wanted to talk about Joe in ISWAK/TKA and hm, I’m going to say something that’ll probably have me banned from the OT circle. Or from here. I just…I liked how he acted. I mean, had any other actor played Zhi Shu, I’d probably hated him which means that Joe did something good (and yes, Ockoala he really breathed life into the character), but sometimes his acting was a little over the top?

    • lol about the rant… i enjoyed reading it and you’ve marked some points..
      as for joe’s acting… it’s not perfect for sure, but it’s effective.
      also, i think it has to do a lot with him being him… and i’ve forgotten how attractive his voice is when he speaks in the low until i’ve watched his newest drama that love comes recently… i never remembered him as the guy with the hot voice… how could i have forgotten how he sounded like when he talked with xiang qin sometimes?! especially when he was worried and gentle… melt.

      • Sorry for the rant. It kind of happened accidentally.

        I agree on Joe’s acting. As I said, if it wasn’t for him, I probably would have hated Zhi Shu

    • @ sere

      I decree: You Are Banned!!! *drag her out and throw her on the rock piles*

      On second thought, nooooo, sere can’t be banned for speaking the truth!

      Joe overacted so bad in Love and Bread I thought he had a full-brain lobotomy and thought he was suddenly Jimmy Lin.

      What I love about Joe is not necessarily his technique or finesse in action – he’s never going to be the Taiwan Lee Jung Jae, lemme tell you that – but more like he’s akin to a KimuTaku. Very talented, natural charisma smooths over the rough edges, does better in certain projects that others.

      sere – welcome back to OT-sisterhood. *hugs*

      • oh boy… love and bread.. it wasn’t TOO bad but sometimes, i just wished i never saw it… not because it was a horrible experience but because it was something i didn’t need to see from joe.
        i actually like jimmy lin (i was even a crazy fan for a short week or two), but definitely not in modern dramas… i’ve started to watch his new drama, blind dates of princesses and honestly, it’s too cheesy for words. i actually liked (and disliked) my lucky star but even in it, he was trying way too hard to be something he can’t pull off. sigh.

      • @Ockoala


        Yeah, I agree. He is charismatic and that grabs the viewers’ attention. I think he’s also very passionate about acting and that comes across so you can’t NOT like his characters. Or at least, you’re not indifferent to them? I haven’t watched Love and Bread and Thank you for the heads-up. It was actually on my to-watch list, but if his acting is that bad…

    • OT – Open Thread. The forum over at Dramabeans posted every Friday. ๐Ÿ™‚

      @ v – sorry for not answering earlier, but no, I have not watched When Love Comes yet. Too busy, and after being burned with Fall In Love With Female Anchor (WTF-$^%$^*&^%$#@#$ did they do to MY Hyukie!!!), I am on a break from C-dramas.

      • lol.. looked like we replied to endodo @ the same time…

        and don’t worry about not answering my question… you must be swamped.. and i haven’t watched fall in love with female anchor yet… it’s on my to-watcht list though…

    • i don’t know what ot you’re referring to but it could be Open Thread… on dramabeans… it can also mean over the top, or off topic or on topic (ive seen both uses.. 0_O) and also a bunch of other stuff that you just need know from the context.

  5. I absolutely love ArJoe! So thank you for posting the videos! I didn’t seen Love and Bread b/c I heard negative reviews about it, but they were the reason why I trudged through ISWAK and TKA. Hope they do another drama together in the future *fingers crossed* Oh and the host in the second video is the actor who plays the Chief of Police in B&W ๐Ÿ™‚

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