Photos: Lee Lay Na, Toggle
After winning 10 Star Awards Top 10 Most Popular Male and Female Artistes awards over the years, Qi Yuwu and Rui En finally went home with their All-Time Favourite Artiste trophies at last night’s Star Awards 2016 Part 1.
Yuwu was originally unable to attend the show and had pre-recorded a thank you speech, but he managed to fly back – at the very last minute – to attend the awards ceremony. At his backstage interview with the media, he shared that he originally wanted to enlist the help of his wife, Joanne Peh, to help send his pre-recorded video to the production team.
“She has actually gone through my speech because I was unable to send the clip to the production team from where I was at and wanted to ask her to help,” shared Yuwu, during his backstage interview. “I wanted to ask for her help me do the speech too, but I think it’s more sincere to do it personally instead.”
During his thank you speech onstage, the Guangzhou-native likened himself to a sapling that has taken root and blossomed in Singapore under the care and help of many friends, fans, family, and colleagues. He also said that “this tree will always be based in Singapore and will continue to film good shows for the audience here.”
Yuwu also brought up his Star Search days in 1999 where he played a tree in one of the skits, and joked, “I didn’t know what I was doing then but I thought I did a pretty good job because I was as ‘woody’ as a tree (laughs).”
“I think that I’m quite a humourous person whose talents have yet to be discovered,” he wisecracked.
Currently filming a movie in China, Yuwu shared that he has no local projects lined up for 2016 yet.
The actor also added that he is now at a stage of his career where he needs to be “selective” of what he does, and explained: “When I first came to Singapore, I hoped for people to get to know me and did a lot of shows.
“But when you’re at a certain stage [of your career], you’d start having certain standards. And when you film too much shows, you don’t have time to live and if you don’t have time to live, that’s quite sad,” he shared.
When asked if he had checked in with his fellow All-Time Favourite Artiste award winner Rui En, who was recently embroiled in an accident involving a stationary motorbike, before they made their appearance together on stage, Yuwu said, “I did ask her if she’s OK and she said she is OK.”
Unlike Yuwu, Rui En did not appear backstage for an interview on her All-Time Favourite Award. In an official statement to the media, her manager from Hype Records explained, “The Star Awards is a once-a-year affair and we do not wish to shift the focus away from it, and the other award winners deserve their moment and recognition too. Thus, Rui En is unable to do any media interviews on the matter (incident).”
On stage, after she received her trophy from presenters and local singers Kit Chan and Liang Wern Fook, Rui En choked back on tears a few times, especially in her thank you speech towards her fans.
“This year marks an important career milestone and it is also one of the hardest tests in my life. It takes more than good acting to be a competent artiste, it is equally important to present the best side to the audience too,” said Rui En in her speech on stage.
“Because I am a straightforward person, my emotions are often written all over my face and it is often the point of contention,” she added. “I often think that a person like me is not suitable to be in show business.”
“As the incident is still undergoing investigations and has yet to be concluded, please forgive me if I’m unable to make any comments on the incident,” said Rui En, before she took a long pause and continued saying, “Thank you everyone for your care and concern, I’d like to offer my deepest apologies for all the inconveniences created from the incident.”
Rui En gave a 90-degree bow (right) at the end of her speech.
After addressing the matter and expressing her thanks to the company and production team for their support over the years, she looked up to where her fanclub members, RBKD, was sitting at and said, “I’m very lucky to have you by my side and to have your support and encouragement throughout this journey."
Prior to her appearance on stage, a special video clip celebrating Rui En’s graduation was aired on TV. The fanclub, whose presence was strongly felt on the red carpet with their pink balloons, banners and raucous cheers, made the clip which involved more than 80 fans in 17 cities in 10 countries, from as far as California and Connecticut in USA and Vancouver and Oakville in Canada to neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and Taiwan.
One of the fans featured is Celine Yeap from Penang, who is currently doing her first year undergraduate studies at Yale University.
Rui En received a bouquet of 99 roses from RBKD at the red carpet
In the email, Celine shared that she had written about Rui En in her application essay to Yale, “Rui En’s devotion and dedication towards acting has inspired me to push myself even harder in my studies and squash. She has high expectations of herself and her pursuit to keep improving her acting has also spurred me to challenge my limits and redefine my personal best in what I do.”
Her support for Rui En has not wavered since the incident either, said Celine. “She has come forth to acknowledge and apologise for her mistake, which is a very brave and responsible act. I see no reason why my support for her should drop.”
Watch Rui En and Qi Yuwu's acceptance speeches below:
PHOTOS: Best of Star Awards Part 1
Star Awards Part 1: The Walk of Fame
Star Awards 2016 Part 1 Winners List
Rocket Award winner Julie Tan tells doubters: "I've made it"
Lee Teng marks 10th year in showbiz with Best Host award
Chen Shu Cheng bags first evergreen award
SA2016 Top 10 Female: The firsts, lasts, and unexpected
What you didn’t see on TV at #SA2016SG
WATCH Toggle Interviews:
Julie Tan: Winning the Rocket Award was very unexpected
Lee Teng thought Quan Yifong would win Best Programme Host
Chen Shu Cheng on winning Best Evergreen Artiste
Liu Ling Ling’s costume totally blocks Alfred Sim’s view
Carrie Wong reveals she almost fell on the red carpet
More SA2016 interviews here