Hong Kong actor Julian Cheung Chilam recently surprised audiences by sporting a rugged beard for his role as Joint Financial Intelligence Unit (JFIU) officer Lau Po Keung in action thriller L Storm.

“I did it on purpose. Because I’ve been doing a lot of cop roles these days, I felt a need for a greater difference (in terms of looks) between the characters. That way, when I look at pictures or the image styling, I will at least know which movie I am supposed to be promoting,” said the handsome actor, eliciting laughs from Malaysian media in a recent phone interview from Hong Kong.

Cheung admitted that he was getting to be a bit weary of constantly playing law enforcement officers.

“Previously, it was The Leakers. Now, it is L Storm. Next up is Death Notify. Also, there is the web series Eclipse Storm with Sunny Wang and Fiona Sit. I play cops in all of them.

“In fact, I’ve been a cop for quite a few years now, so it is about time to get me a new job,” said the actor who is expected to reprise his cop role in the upcoming sequel movie P Storm.

With so many police roles under his belt, Cheung says his most memorable was Option Zero, which he filmed 21 years ago.

Julian Cheung Chilam plays G4 unit special agent Ai in Dante Lam's Option Zero

Julian Cheung Chilam plays G4 unit special agent Ai in Dante Lam’s Option Zero (1997). Photo: Filepic

“The G4 special agent role was the one I like best. That was director Dante Lam’s first film. G4 is a different category of policeman, as it is a witness protection unit. Unlike other uniformed services, they wear suits and they perform their duties differently from regular cops. It was a good experience, so I’m glad to have done it.”

Cheung is currently taking a break from work in order spend time with his family as his kid is on his school holidays. He is married to Hong Kong actress Anita Yuen with whom he has an 11-year-old son named Morton.

“I’m trying to manage my time between my jobs, my household, family, and friends. I hope to be able to strike a good balance between my work and personal life,” said Cheung, who had to scrap his plans for a year-end concert at Hong Kong Coliseum because his schedule was too packed with big action films that did not allow time for concert preparation and rehearsals.

L Storm is now showing at Golden Screen Cinemas nationwide. Follow GSC on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

You can also catch Julian Cheung in his wildly popular non-cop role as airline pilot Captain Cool in Triumph In The Skies II on dimsum.my, a subscription ­video-on-demand service.

Hong Kong heartthrob Julian Cheung Chilam plays flamboyant airline pilot Captain Cool Jayden Koo

Hong Kong heartthrob Julian Cheung Chilam’s most popular non-cop role is the flamboyant airline pilot Captain Cool Jayden Koo. Photo: Filepic