Text: Toggle team
Photos: Lee Lay Na & Toggle team
Video: Toggle team
If there’s one thing we learned from two of last night’s biggest Star Awards 2015 victories, it’s that hard work and perseverance pays off in the end.
Bagging Best Actor and Best Actress, undoubtedly the crème de la crème of all the award categories, was Shaun Chen and Rebecca Lim, two artistes who have been in the industry for a while (Shaun for 13 years and Rebecca for 9) but only gained a refreshed surge of recognition in recent years.
In fact, it was only last week when Shaun picked up the very first trophy of his entire career, while Rebecca was named Best Supporting Actress in 2014.
“It does feel like I’m finally experiencing sweetness after years of bitterness,” Shaun, who also scored a Top 10 Most Popular Male Artiste spot, shared with reporters at the media area after his win. “I feel very encouraged and will continue blazing forward.”
When asked if he left out anyone in his acceptance speech, the Malaysian-born actor lamented that he didn’t even get to finish thanking his colleagues. And what about a certain special someone whom he shyly admitted he was getting to know? “When the time is right I will reveal more, okay?” (We’re holding you to that promise, Shaun.)
Before Shaun was crowned, his good friend and co-star Chen Han Wei made quite a daring statement when he picked up Best Supporting Actor: if Shaun does not win Best Actor, the veteran thespian will resign.
“I was shocked when he said that! But I’m grateful for the close bond we share,” said Shaun.
The chumminess was palpable during Han Wei’s acceptance speech, when he invited Shaun on stage for an impromptu duet and to let him kiss his famous black rose lucky charm. “I really believe some of good luck rubbed off on me – that black rose is no joke!”
With more acting projects coming up (both here and in Taiwan), is Shaun aiming to add more trophies to his fast-growing collection, for instance, a Golden Bell Award like Christopher Lee?
“Of course I hope for one, and not just that, but also many other kinds of awards.”
Making a stellar recovery after her unfortunate tumble on the red carpet (we blame those sky-high heels she was teetering on), a visibly emotional Rebecca looked close to tears when her name was called for Best Actress.
The triumph came as a (nice) surprise not only to herself, but probably to her own family members as well, whom she revealed were not expecting her to win.
On stage, she shared a quote, “Don’t be afraid of slowing down; be afraid of stopping”, which she later disclosed was something that her mother has been telling her for years, but brought up again recently to try and console her in case she left the show empty-handed.
Clearly, that isn’t the case now (she was also included in the Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes for the fourth year running), and Becks is going to celebrate with a nice, big supper, especially after days of cutting down on food in order to fit into her dress.
Although she didn’t think she’d win (she didn’t even predict a nomination in the first place), Rebecca was able to list out a possible reason why she found favour with the judges. “This is my first time portraying such a lively and cutesy character, which is different from everything else I’ve done before and from the other nominated roles, so perhaps it provided a refreshing change.”
When we reached out to Pierre Png and Desmond Tan for their thoughts on her success, they both said the exact same thing without hesitation: “I’m very happy for her.”
Pierre said he knew “exactly what Rebecca is going through”, and he should: last year, he won Best Actor despite a rocky start on his command of the Mandarin language – a situation that’s extremely similar to Rebecca’s. “She can’t believe this is happening but she knows she put in 101%, and I want to tell her that she totally deserves it and I’m so glad we proved that hard work never let anybody down.”
Desmond, who was surprisingly left out of the Top 10, was still able to beam when we brought up his BFF. “I was very proud to see her go up on stage to clinch Best Actress, because to me, it’s one of the most important ones, and to see her get that and Best Supporting Actress last year makes me very happy.”
More related articles:
Double triumphs for Quan Yi Fong and Pornsak
Chen Han Wei, Joanne Peh bag wins for ‘Tumultuous Times’
Five new faces grace the SA2015 Top 20
PHOTOS: Best of Star Awards Show 2
PHOTOS: 10 best moments on Instagram
WATCH Toggle interviews and highlights:
Shaun Chen: Getting three awards feels so good!
Rebecca Lim: There are many others whom I thought would win
Click for more videos from Star Awards 2015