Richard Low, or Liu Qianyi as he is known to the Chinese audience, is a veteran Singaporean actor and household name. He started his career theater actor before joining MediaCorp.
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Versatile as a veteran actor
I know him best for his image as the 'honest but aloof man'. He starred in numerous comedies (most often those of director Neo), and his repeatedly playing of this role seems to have fixed his public image as such too.
I enjoy watching his shows because I feel that he portrays perfectly the image of a typical Singaporean in terms of the way we speak, the thought we think and the acts we commit to. His veteran acting skills absorbs the character he plays well, bringing the enjoyment by the audience to a higher level. As such, it is easy to relate to the character he plays and his acting enhances the plot development of the story as well.
While his image may seem fixed, he's actually rather versatile in the character he plays and it's certainly commendable to see how he is fluid with different persona types and can easily switch roles in different films.
This man is one that seems to be capable of playing different roles - from a strict, unyielding parent to a concerned, warm fatherly figure, this man seems to have done it all. With the vast amount of sitcoms that he has been asked to act in and his seemingly older age (telling from his aging hair), he seems to be the epitome of a Singaporean father.
His accent is slightly tinged with a hint of Singlish when he speaks in Chinese, revealing a possible familiarity with the chinese language in his experiences. His acting skills are also superb in the way that he manages to present the character that he is assigned. He is fervent in the way that he acts, in some way, capitvating.
That's him. Memorable veteran. He doesn't appear much on screen lately. I wonder why. However, I do recall his applaudable acting skills displayed in numerous TV shows that he were featured in several years ago on channel 8.
Noticeably, Richard Low is frequently seen acting as a doting father. There was even a show in which he had to unleash his fury. He did that brilliantly. I remembered seeing him sporting an unflattering piece of plain white t-shirt that hung loose over him. He was like Singapore's Simon Cowell. Minus the personality. No, Richard Low does not berate anyone with snide remarks like Simon. Their wardrobe, on the other hand, speaks similarity to a wide extent. The grey flannels. The famous white tees that apeks commonly use. Both of them seems to own a large supply of these plain attires.
Richard Low is definitely a father figure in the local media industry. Not simply due to his gazillion roles as a daddy onscreen but also because of the professionally experienced aura in which he exuded, coupled with a humble sense of modesty.
A top class actor
I am not much of a watcher of Channel 8 dramas but have seen Richard Low mostly playing stern father or traditional businessman roles. He certainly fits the role well, playing the old school, traditional Chinese man with conviction in his roles. I got a shock seeing him dressed so hip-ly in Ah Boys to Men gala premier. If his age had not been a factor, his dressing would have let him blend in completely with his younger cast members.
All that aside, Richard Low is probably one of Singapore's top acting talents. I always felt that the acting of Singaporean artistes often looks forced and substandard. Richard Low, however, has never given me that impression in any of the shows I have seen him. He plays his roles with conviction, panache, and brilliant acting.
I was most touched by Richard Low's acting in Ah Boys to Men II, where he had suffered a stroke yet kept valiantly fighting on and wanting to be independent. Not only is acting as a paralyzed patient difficult, but he nailed it and even touched the hearts of many viewers. His strong will and determination brought much tears to my eyes as I watched the movie.
I am not a frequent audience of chinese shows, but I may just start watching even more shows starring Richard Low, thanks to his wonderful acting in Ah Boys to Men II. A great veteran actor indeed.