I’m not going to lie. Will Pan is one of my biases not necessarily because he makes ‘great’ music – let’s face it lyrics like “Cause you’re my baby, my baby my baby my baby, my baby my baby baby~” isn’t going to win any song writing awards (even if I love this song cos it just gets in your head!) but it’s the combination of his personality and his ability to make happy, poppy music. Better known as a singer, he got his first break as a VJ in Channel V and dabbled in acting in one of Taiwan’s longest running idol dramas Great Teacher / Ma La Xian Shi (麻辣鮮師) in the early 2000s. That drama was like a training ground for many actors including Jerry Yan, Ady An, Blue Lan… However, as his focus was in music, it wasn’t until 2008 when Will landed his first lead role opposite Rainie Yang in Miss No Good (不良笑花). Ah one of my guiltiest drama pleasures ever. The comedy was cheesy, the acting (even from Rainie) was probably way over the top, but Will and Rainie had great chemistry and his acting was fairly natural. His next project, 2010’s Endless Love (愛無限) was a bit too melodramatic for me but the judging panel at the Golden Bell Awards thought it was worthy of a Best Actor Award.
Just two years before Will’s win, there was already a huge controversy surrounding Mark Chao’s Best Actor win but at least Black & White was a critically acclaimed and popular drama. Will’s win for Endless Love though, caused a meltdown, with headlines saying “The Golden Bell Awards are shit”. Seriously. Someone actually said that. I know he’s my bias but it’s not his fault for winning, and yet he copped so much flak for it. Will was busy with other projects and didn’t even attend the awards! That just shows he did not expect to win at all. Imagine if you just experienced the highs of a Best Actor award the night before only to wake up the next morning to see headlines questioning your very existence. Will described this as the lowest point of his life.
But every cloud has a silver lining, his 2012 album, The Story of Billy (24個比利) was the result of this dark period. Just when I thought he is probably never going to return to dramaland again and just concentrate on music, it was announced he will be the lead in a Chinese drama Bu De Bu Ai (literal translation: Gotta Love You / 不得不爱) – yes it’s the same name as his famous duet with Xian Zi. Classic song that doesn’t get old, let’s refresh our memories.
Bu De Bu Ai the drama, sounds… let’s just say, not all that exciting for me. It is based on the novel by Lan Bai Se (蓝白色) called Bu Bu Cuo (步步错) which its literal translation means Every step is wrong. It is considered related to the Jerry Yan / Tong Li Ya drama Loving, Never Forgetting (恋恋不忘) as they were both based on novels by the same author.
Will’s character Hu Qian Yu (胡骞予) is the bossy, CEO type who is of course cold and aloof with dark secrets. Xu Lu plays the ‘poor princess’ type character Lin Wei Ling (林为零) who will be entangled with four men, including Denny Huang, Johnny Zhang Junn Ning and Taiwanese newcomer Zhang Xuan Rui. According to the book’s description – netizens have described it as “The cruelest conspiracy and love”. Is this supposed to be enticing? I know this type of ‘love = torture’ is quite popular right now but all I can say is – totally not my cup of tea!
Looking at the stills though, does Will look convincing enough for this type of character? Hrm… not really? And the suit doesn’t fit him! Tell me they’re paying him craploads of money to star in this.