Do you remember the hit romance drama “Meteor Garden (流星花園)”? If you were an avid follower, you’d probably remember your old crushes from the F4 (Flower 4). They were Jerry Yan (言承旭), Vanness Wu (吳建豪), Ken Chu (朱孝天) and Vic Chou (周渝民).
Of course, the F4 didn’t just stay in the drama. They later became larger than real life when they formed the Taiwanese boy band named F4. Although they may have faded from the minds of their fans, most of them are still going strong. However, as it turns out, not all the members managed to maintain their popularity.
F4 together won the hearts of many when they first started. Yet, their lives have diverged and led them down different paths since then. Jerry Yan’s popularity has started rising again after he joined the variety show “Call Me By Fire (披荆斩棘的哥哥)”. Vic Chou made his own comeback in iQiYi International’s drama “Danger Zone (逆局)”. Vanness Wu may not be as active as the other two, but he appeared on “Masked Dancing King (蒙面舞王) 2021” part of the judging panel. Sadly, Ken Chu seems to have nearly been swallowed by obscurity.
Ken has always focused on developing his career in the film industry. He did well when he starred in “The Legend of Chu Liuxiang (楚留香传奇)” in 2007. Ken continued acting after the group disbanded in 2009, however, by 2018, his appearances on screen were rare. Aside from being seen at parties, netizens have notably complained about his body, claiming he reminds them of a fat uncle. It’s likely due to Ken enjoying married life after tying the knot with Vivien Han (韓雯雯) in 2016.
Ken spoke about his recent situation when he was interviewed by Taiwanese media. The former F4 member stated he hadn’t gotten any work for a long time and usually spends time playing games at home. His situation was so miserable, he’d even gotten depressed once. “I am the worst in F4,” Ken said sadly. “No matter what I do, I hit a wall everywhere.” Ken’s financial situation has not helped matters much either. According to him, he had not made any money in Taiwan for the past two years. His income status was close to zero.
During the height of F4’s popularity, plenty assumed the members made a lot of money. Yet, Ken has said otherwise. He stated that the company was the one who made the money, not the members themselves. As he rarely got jobs now, Ken has admitted he cannot be picky about what he gets. “In the past I felt that accepting adverts was (beneath me), but now there is really no (choice),” he said.
The F4 members used to be close, but Ken has lost contact with them for quite a while. Their last reunion was during Ken’s wedding in Bali. Unfortunately, his wife was also separated from him due to the pandemic. The couple have not seen each other for over 9 months. Ken and Vivian both fell victim to Covid-19 in 2019, but they recovered after seeing a doctor.
Unfortunately, that is life, filled with its ups and downs. Ken’s stardom life may be in the ruts right now, but hopefully it’ll get better soon. For now, you can relieve his glory days by re-watching “Meteor Garden”. (Psst, it’s available on YouTube, if you’re curious.)