Alec Su International Fans

Men's UNO (China edition)
December 2007

Su You Peng: My Freedom

Men's Uno coverHe appears to be so docile that it is impossible to weave a negative tale about him. But if you are observant, patient and curious, you will notice that underlying his pleasing appearance, as well as his smile, lies his personality and his rebellion. Personality is not a downfall, nor a shortcoming. Top-quality idols in the entertainment circle are hard to come by. In fact, you can count them on one hand. At the very most, the total will not exceed both your hands. After all, God will not give many people a good appearance coupled with a high IQ. However, Su You Peng has the advantage of having a good place in life and is balancing right in the middle of it.

If you put him amongst the commoners, he will still stand out. As a child, he was a student who was reputable for his good study habits. Even if the great majority of his time was snatched away by the performing arts, he still managed to enter National Taiwan University. An artiste said this of him: "To my surprise, despite being heavily surrounded by cameras, he scored good marks. May I please know how he accomplished this feat of 'changing attitudes'?!" (Note: the word in inverted commas in the original article is a pun. Hence, it can be interpreted as both "nerdy" and "changing attitudes".) In truth, if he is told that there is a job which requires completion, no matter how hard it is, he will produce a miracle.

He is a person whose gentle appearance hides his temper. As a result, he has an especially close relationship with life, from which all his experiences evolve. People too engrossed in becoming famous cannot experience this form of happiness.

Interpersonal Relationship

On a sunny afternoon, Su You Peng wore a khaki-coloured cap as he walked into the photo shoot venue. I have often seen this cap (in photos) on his blog and in the special interview section of a newspaper. Now that I have met the real thing in person, I have created a special relationship with it. He is not obstinate like some stars. How he dresses, or whether his dressing does not appeal to others, does not bother him. On the contrary, he likes this old cap. Hence, it follows him everywhere. If a person is neither cold-hearted nor picky towards items, then I think he would treat other people similarly.

He gives the impression of importance and of humbleness, the kind which melts its way into peoples' hearts. Yet, there are other stars who are like your friends, with whom you will not have an awkward silence and with whom you will not have the struggle to think of something to ask. Of course, you will not be perturbed on how to spend your time. You only need to chat with him, as though you are at a social gathering, where time is precious.

Even if he was born in the entertainment circle and his privacy was publicized, we would consider him to be "one of us." Take his relationship with his fans, for example. Those fans who shout, "Before and after, we love You Peng best!" Those supporters who are unwilling to leave. His fans love him off-screen. For instance, they write this, "Even if Su You Peng leaves the entertainment circle in the future, we will continue to chase our love. Ages ago, we treated him not as a star, but as a family member, a friend, an elder brother and even a teacher!"

He is not like Takeshi Kaneshiro, not the type to be limitless and cruel. He (You Peng) is a person who has relations with others. That's right - we're talking about "relations", not "popularity." (Note: The word "relations" is yet another pun, which could also mean "popularity.") Popularity is comparable to the mirror image of you - within sight but beyond reach. But your relations with people are affected by how you treat them.

"In your opinion, what is your style like?"

"I think I am considered a yuppie because I am not muscular or sexy. Neither do I possess extreme cruelty or coldness. But I have something they do not."

"You are the interpersonal type," I laughed.

"Really? (laughs) Since you are clearer about it than me, why bother asking me?"

Concealed in his laughter is his self-confidence and self-recognition.


If you were born between the late seventies to early eighties, you were most probably a fan of the Little Tigers. After that, you grew up, threw away their tapes and posters, and gradually forgot the times you were fascinated by them. However, Su You Peng still has to continue his journey.

When an idol grows up, he has to endure setbacks. During the period of time after the Little Tigers disbanded, he had undergone immediate reformatory while suffering the deepest form of perplexity ever possible. "At that time, I didn't know what I was doing, how to endure the pain and where my future lay. During that period of time, if anyone mentioned 'obedient tiger', I may turn hostile suddenly. Although I was no longer the 'obedient tiger', people insisted on associating me with it. I wanted to make a breakthrough independent of my past fame."

In his autobiography Youth Never Dies, he described that period of time. He went to the extent of dropping out of National Taiwan University to go to England, where he could banish himself, clear his thoughts and start his life anew.

Someone once said that if you are a boy, you must be kept on the run. Since heaven bestowed this boy with a mission, he had to complete it through effort, persistence and willpower. Su You Peng sits in front of me with self-confidence evident in his smile and expression. I know that he walked out of the period of depression long ago, so I joked with him, "We always enjoyed calling you 'obedient tiger' because you were extremely kind. Upon hearing this, I hope you won't turn hostile." Shrugging his shoulder and with a smile, he said, "Of course, I don't mind."

Having walked away from his period of depression, Su You Peng no longer needs to reject the past confusion. Looking back today, You Peng has a special feeling towards that splendid experience. "No doubt that it was an honour, I gained and lost a lot. No matter what, it was still a gift from God. Nowadays, when I go to different places to work, many strangers are friendly towards me. Perhaps they grew up with Little Tiger songs, so I call this a blessing."

Male Model

Unlike other stars, Su You Peng does not pretend to be innocent. In fact, he is very candid, almost as though there is nothing he cannot say. If you know him well, he is not an "obedient tiger."

If you meet Su You Peng in the workplace, you will notice that he has a certain charm. He likes to complete his job happily and get along with everyone without hesitation and tension. He gained this philosophy through the process of growing up.

"Actually, I have the genes for being rebellious. People who inherit the rebellious gene go against tradition, pressure and domination. I have (the gene). However, I have learnt to control it. I use different ways to express myself, but I cannot say that this gene has completely disappeared."

He loves Madonna the way his fans love him, through mutual understanding. "I love Madonna because she opposes tradition. She has always been on the verge of morality. To a certain extent, this fulfils my rebellious side. In life, we are often brainwashed by morality. With Madonna around, mother fears nothing. Hence, it feels good to watch her do things. After that, I changed from a young student-singer to a celebrity. From a celebrity's point of view, I understand this woman better. She is a good actress with many movies under her belt."

Another reason Su You Peng loves his idol is because of old time memories. It has been 20 years, yet Madonna's songs have always accompanied him. At times, when he listens to Jacky Cheung's music albums, he feels touched. Indeed, these songs have accompanied many people through life. "Actually, being a celebrity is like doing charity work since they entertain people. In my opinion, this (doing charity work) is their true job."

Nowadays, Su You Peng brings his iPod with him wherever he goes. "I will die without music," he said.


Three years ago, Su You Peng stated in an interview that 95% of his time is spent working. He is like an ox that ploughs continually. All along, his mind was instilled with the concept - working is the most sacred thing in life.

What an incredible concept! At the age of 15, he entered the industry. It was as though his entire life was spent filming movies. How did that feel? "Yes, I spent more than half my life being a celebrity. In my opinion, other people cannot understand this type of lifestyle. Although it is wonderful, it lacks some things," he said, laughing.

"When people reach a certain phase, they need to adjust themselves. In the past, working was everything to me. But now, I can assure you, 'life is not all about fame and working.' Now, I am enjoying life by finding back my long lost friends and my relationship with family members."

"In that case, you are not concentrating on your job?" "Yes, I am not concentrating as much (laughs). At the moment, I feel great. I only accept interesting jobs instead of filming shows for money. That is the reason why I have not filmed anything for more than a year. However, this does not mean I am sloppy. I still try hard in life."

His attitude towards fame has matured a lot, "Of course, having it is good, but it is not everything. It is not that I have not experienced fame before, but rather, I know what it feel likes. It may not necessarily be as happy as outsiders imagine. Therefore, I tell many friends that life does not revolve only around popularity. Life is comprised of many parts. Perhaps it is made up of intuition, morality as well as family, friends, lover, marriage and children. When you add them up, you get your personal score. You cannot sacrifice everything for fame."

He knows he once lacked some things, so he strives to fill in those gaps such as by enrolling himself into a web-designer course. Like any student would, he completed a Dreamweaver course by following the teacher's instructions conscientiously.

He loves travelling, which bring him happiness. Also, he goes to the market to seek for freedom by wandering around. Let go of some, pick some up - this is Su You Peng's attitude today. When a seedling grows into a huge tree, when the leaves flourish, he has found total freedom.

Author: Ji Wenxi

translated by belle and Sweet Lotus

(All rights reserved. Please do not repost or reuse without permission)

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