Kai Ko is filming a TV show in China, a breakthrough two years after his drug arrest

File photograph of Taiwanese actor Kai Ko when he was in Singapore in 2012.
File photograph of Taiwanese actor Kai Ko when he was in Singapore in 2012. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

TAIPEI - Taiwanese actor Kai Ko is filming a television drama in Hengdian, China, a sign that the ban on him working on the mainland may be thawing about two years after his drug arrest.

Asked if the ban had been lifted, his agent Angie Chai said the Chinese producers of the show had promised to deal with it, reported China Times. "We are the party who were called and hired, we were in contact only with the production unit, not the officials."

She said the producers approached her last year, but reached a final decision to cast Ko in the show only about two weeks ago.

Ko, 24, was detained for two weeks in Beijing in 2014 after testing positive for marijuana, then banned from working in Chinese show business. A movie he starred in, Monster Hunt, had to be reshot with Chinese actor Jing Boran before it was released last year.

Afterwards, Ko did not work for more than a year, apart from acting in a film, The Road To Mandalay, by Myanmar-born Taiwan-based director Midi Z.

The new show is Kai's first TV drama. He stars as a policeman in the show set in Republican China. He has been in Hengdian since last week for pre-production and filming began on Monday (May 16).

Speaking to China Times from Hengdian, he said he had been keeping a low profile, spending his days in the studio and the hotel, because he has to learn his lines and the script runs to more than 30 books.

He said he would do his job this time and not do anything illegal. "I was arrogant before. Now I've tasted a lot of consequences and I don't dare."