On The Charm Offensive

MEN 'S FOLIO Singapore|May 2020

On The Charm Offensive
A hearty chat with thespian Wang Ta Lu sheds light on the thoughts, hopes and challenges he has faced in his career thus far.
Asaph Low

25 February 2020, Taiwan

11:55am

The Men’s Folio team was on the studio rooftop, enjoying the cold and crisp air as the spring sun hung above us.

The distinct whir of a low-flying aeroplane engine punctuates the silence surrounding us. Songshan Airport was visible as the plane approached its descent. “Let’s go, he should be arriving any time soon.”

Schk, beep, schk, beep, schk, beep. The camera shutter and flashlights go off in quick succession before pausing momentarily as the subject checks the images. He hops back onto the backdrop, adjusting his pose ever so slightly, minimal to say the least but the resulting images are a stark improvement to the previous ones. Satisfaction, he thought to himself as Wang Ta Lu flashes his inimitable megawatt smile. Name another person with such a smile? No pressure there but perhaps Hollywood darling Messrs Tom Cruise?

A few shots in, Wang had warmed up to the camera, working it with poise and confidence — he is aware of his stage presence and charisma, and flaunts it to aplomb. He was pretty serious as well, keeping his playful and charming temperament in check.

We were (fortunate to be) in Taipei for a couple of days to photograph two of Taiwan’s rising actors Wang Ta Lu and Jasper Liu, the latter whom we covered in our April ‘20 issue. Two days prior, circulating rumours of countries closing their borders caused panic among many, us included. The WHO declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic two weeks earlier. “I hope everyone stays safe and the rampant coronavirus outbreak passes swiftly,” says Wang.

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May 2020