Wednesday, October 31, 2012


‘Tis a MATTER of LIFE imitating ART.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

The answer to that seemed to change quite often. For a long while it was professional tennis player, then one year it was surgeon, the next it was news anchor.  I became increasingly more pragmatic as I got older.


I first learnt of the name RICHIE KUL from my Thai producer in Bangkok.

That was way back in 2009 and right till now she is still his ardent fan.

RICHIE , a fine hybrid of American and Thai  Chinese parentage, is a beautiful man, she enthused then.

Won’t it be nice if you can interview him, write something about him, she cajoled, starry-eyed.

Sure, I responded, if ever our path should cross.

It is October 2012 now, time has flown!

Finally, the opportunity of a meeting is realized, to put my words on paper, to check out this beautiful man.

We’ve waited 3 years to uncover the layers of RICHIE KUL, Actor, celebrity Model, in his bare finesse.

He’s all here: up, close and personal.

Read on to find out what RICHIE KUL has been up to recently!

Why do I ever get this uncanny feeling that RICHIE KUL has the semblance of another Asian Actor called DANIEL HENNEY?

No doubt, interesting men are bona fide geniuses that let their work do the talking.

There are lots we don’t know.

We are pleasantly surprised that this sentimental dude will not hesitate to cry over sad movies.

RICHIE swears by an unwavering belief in the loyalty of friends.

Love and relationships form a large part of his life.

He has been modeling internationally all these years and a fateful encounter lured him to play one of the male leads in a VIETNAMESE film called PEARLS OF THE FAR EAST.

He has since not look back, but is selective.

He is scouring for the right script.

He loves dogs.

The list goes on …..

RICHIE KUL with the Tinseltown good looks is poised to be one of the up-and-coming ASIAN stars to take on the region.

Now will the real RICHIE KUL stand up, please!

Describe your ideal woman?

Someone compassionate, family oriented and able to handle life’s stresses with confidence and composure.  An independent thinker who gets on well with people from all walks of life but retains a strong moral code and identity.

Who are some of the actors you admire the most?

I really respect the versatility of actors like James Franco and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  They consistently challenge themselves and have such a thoughtful way of approaching each character.

Your career path has been a pretty unique one.  How did you go from investment banker to actor?

After university, I was pretty set on giving a career in finance a go.  Made sense since I studied Economics and Organizational Behavior, but I soon realized that the best-laid intentions don’t always translate into a happy and fulfilling life. I later worked for a few years as a Finance Director for the NYC Department of Health and would occasionally book modeling work here and there. As I built my book and client base and started making a good living, I switched to full-time status and began booking contracts in Europe and Asia.  I still enjoy shooting print campaigns, editorials and tv commercials but nothing beats the thrill of being part of a quality film project.  You have more time to immerse yourself in the character’s world and the complexities of their mindset, and as a result you feel that much more invested.

In your line of work, you travel quite a bit.  Is it difficult moving around so much?

Over the past five years, I’ve worked in over 40 different cities in over 20 countries, from Italy and France to Singapore and South Africa.  Oftentimes, “the call” comes with only a few days notice and then the fun begins. Recently I flew with two days notice from Miami to Las Vegas to LA to HK to Dubai to Shanghai to HK to LA to Vegas and back to Miami, all within 10 days!  Whew, exhausted just reliving that one :p  I’m quite a homebody by nature so this nomadic lifestyle took some getting used to but I’m grateful for the incredible places, experiences and lifelong friends I’ve been blessed with over the years.  Whether I’m back in Cape Town, Shanghai, London or Munich, there’s always someone I’m excited to ring up and catch up with.

The world would be a better place if….

We laughed more, argued less and were kinder to our mother.

Run us through some of your favorites …..

Movies:  Dead Poet’s Society, Avatar, Gattaca

Music:  James Blunt, The Script, Snow Patrol, The Fray

Season:  Autumn

Sport:  Tennis.  Played since I was 4 and growing up in California, I used to be pretty active on the junior tournament circuit.

Color:  Blue

Scent:  Lavender

Drink:  Tea (Rooibos, Ginseng, Oolong)

Food:  Mushroom Pizza!

We hear that you’re quite attached to your dog! Have you always been a big animal lover?

You’re right, Lily and I are pretty much joined at the hip, and sharing in her excitement as she feels, explores and absorbs the world around her is a constant source of joy for me.  She came into my life when my sister launched a personal crusade to “save the world” one rescue dog at a time, and when she saw Lily at a local shelter for abandoned dogs two years ago, she knew that we would forge a strong, unbreakable bond.  She was right. It’s funny that they call it rescuing an animal, because more often than not, they end up “saving” you too and true enough, she’s brought tremendous life and love into our home.

But for every happy outcome there are the countless stories and pictures of the dogs and cats that aren’t so lucky. Recently I’ve begun working with local organizations here in Miami that strive to eliminate euthanasia in South Florida, provide low cost spay/neutering and veterinary services and promote pet adoption as a viable and attractive option.  It’s a battle well worth fighting.

Additionally, I’ve been a vegetarian for about 17 years now so compassion for animals has long been ingrained in my life perspective. Like us, animals form family units and attachments, experience pain and feel fear when their well being is endangered.   Lily and I recently participated in a campaign shoot for a vegan clothing brand called Vaute Couture ( that produces quality garments at no harm to animals and at no sacrifice to one’s fashion sense so I love championing great causes like that.

What’s your workout regimen like?

I frame working out as a 45 minute “active meditation” so it’s actually something I look forward to each day.  In the gym I focus mainly on weights (one body part per day) and it’s a nice chance to unclutter the mind and get the good endorphins flowing.  Lily takes care of the cardio since we’re out running/walking along the beach at least 5 times a day!

What were the circumstances surrounding your decision to travel to Taiwan in 2009?

Three years ago around Thanksgiving, I received the sad news (via a college friend who happened to be honeymooning in the region) that my likeness had been misappropriated by a man in Taipei to enact a scheme that harmed many women. Though friends and agents advised me to lay low since it was clear that these awful acts were carried out without my knowledge or consent, I have never been one to take the passive route and wanted to use this as an opportunity to spotlight the growing incidence of internet crime in hopes that by doing so, I could help prevent this from happening to someone else. In flying to Taiwan, I was met with such a generous outpouring of friendship and support and the experience has reaffirmed my commitment to looking for the silver lining in everything.

How long have you been modeling?  Acting?

I started modeling in NY about 7 years ago. Shooting tv commercials and working with a moving camera soon became the most enjoyable aspect of the job for me and more and more I felt motivated to take things one step further.  I began seriously studying acting about 4 years ago and have had the privilege to work with many great teachers along the way.

Which of the campaigns/editorials that you modeled for is your favorite?

The 10-page spread I shot for GQ Taiwan was a highlight.  It was good fun spending the day on Yangming Shan on a warm sunny afternoon.  The Swatch campaigns I shot in Mallorca and the Chevrolet spots I filmed in Shanghai rank highly too.

Pearls of the Far East has garnered quite a number of accolades on the festival circuit this year.  How was your experience working on the film?

Visiting Vietnam for the first time was a special experience for me.  I arrived a few weeks before shooting to better acquaint myself with the language and culture and left with such a positive impression of the Vietnamese people and their beautiful country.  It was a true privilege working with Cuong Ngo who I feel is a gifted director with a powerful vision of what he wants to show the world.  I’m looking forward to collaborating more with him in the future and we have some cool ideas we’re mulling over at the moment.

The Vietnamese actors I had the chance to share the screen with in this film really impressed me as well.  Kieu Chinh is someone whose work I’ve admired since her powerful performance in Joy Luck Club, and her work in Pearls of the Far East was one of the most moving for me.  It is clear that she embraces each role wholeheartedly and with great sincerity.  Minh Ngoc is such a gifted writer and clearly a wonderful actress as well.  It was fascinating to see her breathe life into own work.  And of course Truong Ngoc Anh and Ngo Thanh Van are gifted artists who are as beautiful inside as they are on the surface.  After spending time with both of them, it’s obvious to me why they are considered top actresses in Vietnam.  I count them both as friends and very much hope to work with them again in the near future.

How did you approach the role of Tan and what was it like working with Truong Ngoc Anh?

Cuong and I had been in touch several months before filming began and I knew that there would be a strong mystical/ethereal element to this vignette.  The script underwent several edits but throughout it I found my character Tan to be instantly relatable as a man in search of meaning and truth.  He is understandably captivated upon meeting Sac (Truong Ngoc Anh) and I wanted to convey a subtle trance-like state he experiences while in her presence.  That part wasn’t so difficult to act out because Ngoc Anh does have a magnetic presence about her. She’s widely regarded as one of Vietnam’s most beautiful women and has a disarming and effortless charm about her and it was good fun working with someone of her considerable talent.

What are your plans for the future?

Film for me is what I endeavor to do in the future and I’m excited to embrace new roles and continue to work with talented actors, directors and producers to hone my craft and continue to grow as an actor and person.  For me, acting is a bit like therapy – you jump into another person’s skin and see their strengths and flaws and identify ways they might be able to improve their life.  For me, that experience often transfers to my own life and I try to grow from that brief glimpse into another person’s world.

What would be your dream project?

Starring in a good ol’ “tug at the heartstrings” romantic drama is at the top of my wish list.  Movies likes Message in a Bottle, the Notebook, and the Vow that feature a couple very much in love but dealing with the curve balls that life inevitably throw at all of us are ones that appeal the most to me as they are so universal in nature. I think people often want to see representations of themselves on screen and I think it’s important to inject more diversity into Hollywood and develop projects that are mindful and inclusive of a global audience.  Asians have taken great strides in being more visible in the entertainment business but I still feel more can be done and I’d love to contribute to even greater visibility.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

BYRON PANG [彭罡原] shows you that “Everybody is Kung Fu Fighting!”

K TEAM credits PATRICK LAM for capturing stunning moments of actor BYRON PANG in ACTION.



New Kid on the block.

He’s ASIA’s latest Fight Actor and Stunt Choreographer.

To start off with, let’s ROCK to the RHYTHM

and DANCE to the beat of an old familiar hit:


Yeah, that’s the inimitable BYRON PANG!



These days he’d prefer to be known for his fighting skills.

He has traveled the long road  and had worked on a gamut of action roles, ranging from an invincible SWORDSMAN to a SHAOLIN MONK.

He had received focus training in the art of WUSHU for more than 10 years and is still on the go.

He speaks impeccable MANDARIN  (a clear TAIWANESE accent), ENGLISH, and naturally, CANTONESE.

The real BYRON PANG?

“I relish a true sense of adventure.

I am hungry for danger.

I love competitive sports such as Martial Arts (Wushu), parachuting, bungee jumping, mountain climbing, mountain biking, car racing and deep sea diving. You name it, I might have tried them all.”

  1. 1.          How did you first step into the world of show business? Are there any memorable first jobs?

Well, I was a contestant in Mr. Hong Kong 2005, where I won the runner-up position. It wasn’t a job, but it was certainly a memorable experience for me.

  1. 2.          Were there any mentors who helped you along the way?

I think without a doubt, Scud has been an important influence on my film career. Not only did he give me my first big break in film, the character of Kafka in Amphetamine has been one of the most challenging and fulfilling role for me. I am very thankful and honoured to be able to continue working with such a visionary director like Scud.

  1. 3.          Actors sometimes have to tackle difficult or complex roles. Which was the first really challenging character you’ve had to portray? And which was the most satisfying?

As mentioned, Kafka in Amphetamine has been my watershed role. It was not only physically challenging, but I think that audiences will also be able to empathize deeply with the character I played, and the trials and tribulations he had to endure.

  1. 4.          How important or useful is the Director’s insight when you are playing these intricate roles?

Scud has been an incredible revelation in how I play my roles. He challenged me to push myself to the limits, to do the things I never would have dreamt of doing. If not for Scud, I would not become the actor that I am today.

  1. 5.          How do you usually go about developing or establishing a character’s traits?

The director will of course give me a deep insight into my character’s role and personality, but every actor will need to put their own thoughts and feelings into the characters we play – to make the character our own. After all, it is my face that’s going to be on film. I don’t just become my character, I feel what my character goes through in the story, then react as my own person would react. I become the character – the character becomes me.

  1. 6.          As audiences, it is vital that we sympathize or relate to film characters on some level. How important is it for an actor to empathize with the characters they are playing?

If we do not try to understand our character, then we don’t deserve to play the role. How can I possibly act out an emotion if I cannot imagine how my character expresses it?

  1. 7.          What steps do you take in order to do that?

I try to find out as much as I can about the character I’m playing. Everything from the background, history and motivations for the role. Thankfully, a good director like Scud will often help me to understand my role better, and give me suggestions for how to express myself in the role I play.

  1. 8.          Are there any roles you’ve taken that were hard or just impossible to relate to?

Not really. Maybe in my early career, when some of the roles I took on were more stereotypical. You don’t really get attached to those kind of roles – they’re more like a job to get done. In my bigger roles, I am lucky to have a good director to guide me along the way.

  1. 9.          Is there a particular direction you wish to take in terms of your acting career?

I have always had a strong background in martial arts, so I would see myself focusing on more action-oriented roles. I am also very interested in and have been doing some martial arts and stunt choreography. My first love is still acting of course.

  1. 10.          Have you ever thought about branching out? Maybe to direct, produce, or write your own projects?

I guess it’s still too early to say, but never say never. My interest in martial arts though means that I will be working on developing martial arts and stunt choreography for some future films. In fact, I have already been asked. We’ll have to see how that takes off though.

  1. 11.          Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Hopefully on the world stage as a recognized character actor and action star? Who knows? But one thing for sure is that I’ll be constantly pushing myself to achieve more in my career. I will not be afraid to take on new, and even more challenging and controversial roles if necessary.


I embrace POSITIVISM. I do it my way.

I’ll never say die.