The nominations for this year’s Asian Television Awards have been announced, and a number of our very own local thespians have done us proud by bagging mentions in the acting categories.
The Best Actor in a Supporting Role category in particular is dominated by Singapore talent, with five out of the six individual hopefuls representing local productions: Zhu Hou Ren (for Channel U’s Served H.O.T), Rayson Tan (for Channel 8’s Entangled), Alaric Tay and Michael Dorman (both for HBO’s Serangoon Road), and Jeffrey Xu.
Yes, the same Jeffrey Xu who took home the same award last year for his role in Channel U’s Marry Me. This time though, he’s received a double dose of good fortune, scoring not one but two nods in the category – for Channel 8’s Gonna Make It and Channel U’s Scrum!.
Interestingly enough, his characters in the two dramas are polar opposites: he is an effeminate hairstylist with a penchant for flowery clothes in Gonna Make It, and a beefed up rugby captain in Scrum!.
“When I first heard about being nominated last year, I thought, ‘Oh, okay, that’s great’ but I never expected to win,” the actor told xinmsn in a phone interview from Japan, where he is currently filming Find the Wasabi. “And this time, I’m like, ‘Two nominations!? It’s not possible!’ I was shocked!”
When asked which show he hopes will win him the award, Jeffrey picked Gonna Make It. “I didn’t feel a lot of pressure portraying this character, but even so, I still managed to deliver, which I found quite strange,” he said. “I would like to thank all the people that I observed to get into character!”
Saying that he probably clinched the award last year because of his natural acting in Marry Me, Jeffrey said that this time around, he hopes the judges will be impressed with him showing different sides of him in both dramas.
Now that he’s one step closer to conquering the regional scene again, does he still long for a Star Awards trophy? “Of course I do!” he admitted. However, it’s not for a reason most people might think. “It’s just touching to have all your hard work acknowledged, and although I know some may think my acting isn’t very good, I still hope for them to recognise my skills.”
Another double contender, this time for Best Actor in a Leading Role, is Pierre Png, whose roles in Channel 8’s The Journey: A Voyage and Channel 5’s Zero Calling are both recognised. He was Highly Commended in last year’s Best Actor in a Supporting Role category for C.L.I.F. 2, but ultimately lost to Jeffrey.
Pierre was at an audible loss for words when we spoke to him on the phone after he’d heard the good news. “To be nominated twice in the same category is something quite unheard of as far as I’m concerned! Maybe I think too lowly of myself,” he chuckled.
But the real shocker, he said, was being nominated again for the role of the villainous Heilong in The Journey: A Voyage, which won him Best Actor at this year’s Star Awards. “[If I win], hopefully this time I’ll come up with a better thank you speech!”
And since he has already triumphed in an acting category for The Journey: A Voyage, he hopes that this time, it will be Zero Calling that gets him up on stage – or at least, that was the “easiest answer” he gave when we asked. “Heilong already won for Channel 8, and now it’s time to win for Channel 5,” he said, confessing his shock for the umpteenth time.
Taking his nominations – and previous wins – as an affirmation of his hard work and perseverance (“You know how proficient I am in Chinese right,” quipped Pierre, who’s more comfortable with speaking in English), he said a win would a “stamp of approval”, and a loss would just be another form of motivation to work harder (although, he joked that it would be difficult to go back after not even winning one of his two nominations).
The ladies are certainly not left out of the honour – Rebecca Lim, Xiang Yun, Priscelia Chan and Sora Ma all scored nominations for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Xiang Yun is being recognised for The Caregivers, Sora is nominated for C.L.I.F. 3, SA2014 Rocket Award recipient Priscelia has her vicious part in The Journey: A Voyage to thank for her mention, and Rebecca’s SA2014 Best Supporting Actress-winning role in The Dream Maker impresses once again.
“I’m feeling awesome and I’m happy for Rebecca as well, but awards are elusive and I’m just grateful to be nominated,” shared Priscelia via a text message.
The Red Dot pride doesn’t end there: it’s an onscreen family affair for the stars of Channel 5’s Spouse For House Desmond Tan, Richard Low, Selena Li and Irene Ag, who all garnered nods in the Best Comedy Performance by an Actor/Actress category. Quan Yi Fong and Guo Liang are also nominated for Channel 8’s Black Rose II.
“I’m surprised to hear this because this is my first comedic role, but at the same time I’m honoured to be nominated alongside such good and experienced comedians,” Desmond shared via text message.
Fans of Rui En will be happy to hear that she has been nominated alongside the likes of Hong Kong’s Kristal Tin and Taiwan’s Tien Hsin for Best Actress in a Leading Role, for Channel 8’s Sudden. She previously took home the trophy in 2012 for Unriddle 2.
Channel 5’s Spouse for House and The Noose garnered mentions for Best Comedy Program, and xinmsn’s very own web series Who Killed the Lead is nominated for Best Digital Fiction & Non-Fiction Programme/Series.
For the full list of nominations, please visit this link.