The short list of Taiwanese male stars just decreased by one, at least for the next twelve months. Trailed by the hordes of paparazzi, Ethan Ruan was whisked off to Cheng Gong Ling (成功嶺 Success Peak), the training camp near Taichung where all mandatory service members start their training. The tabloids groused about Ethan’s private car being allowed through the gate and him bypassing standard check in procedures, but it’s just smoke and mirrors since he is a top star and the base wanted to avoid any media coverage of his enlistment. Folks have asked about Taiwan’s mandatory service, which had been two years for the longest time, and was gradually shorted in the last decade until now it stands at twelve months. Some stars serve before entering the industry, others get exempt for various reasons/excuses, and some like Ethan, enlist in a high profile way after they become famous.
Ethan’s longtime girlfriend Tiffany Hsu was with her man every step of the way. She hosted a farewell party for Ethan the night before the enlistment, and then accompanied him down to Taichung all the way to base camp at Cheng Gong Ling. Friends have noted that Ethan is the one afraid Tiff will find someone else while he’s away, but she put that worry to rest a bit with her late night Weibo posts. Tiffany wrote: “Some people cannot stay true until the very end, with too many choices, too much desire. But the choice to stay constant is to have a steady heart. You are my steady. No matter what distraction are around, some people are torn apart by their environment, you complete me.” Okay dude, your girl just publicly stood by you yet again, so hopefully when you get out you’ll propose properly and make a Mrs. Ruan out of her. I’ll miss Ethan dearly while he’s off chiseling his body some more, but twelve months will pass in a jiffy and he’ll be back out before we even know it. In the meantime, Ethan’s movie LOVE will be released next weekend, while his first period wuxia movie The Guillotines with Huang Xiaoming gets a Summer 2012 release date.