Joel Chan Finally Wins First TVB Best Actor Award After 2 Decades
It's been a long time coming for the actor who made his showbiz debut as a singer in 1995, before switching to acting amid a financial crisis.
TVB Actor Joel Chan, 46, was the big winner last night at the TVB Anniversary Awards. The actor was leading the pack from the start, with a whopping 15 nominations across four categories, and three nominations in the Best Actor category for his roles in The Beauty Of War, Barrack O'Karma 1986, and My Pride.
Eventually, it was his performance in Barrack O’ Karma 1986 that netted him his win.
The actor received a standing ovation from a number of his colleagues as he gave his award acceptance speech.
During said speech, Joel thanked many people, including TVB executives Virginia Lok, Catherina Tsang, and Eric Tsang.
He shared that he was thankful to TVB for giving him multiple opportunities throughout his 23 years with the broadcaster, and mentioned Eric, whom he referred to as “Dad”, again for rendering help when Joel was at his most helpless.
He also thanked his wife, Apple, who was at home with their son.
“I want to thank her for giving me such a happy family so I can work hard without worries. I am very grateful and I hope I can use this award in the future to encourage myself to work harder,” he said.
Joel, who’s the youngest son in his family, got his start in showbiz at the age of 14, when he entered a singing competition where contestants had to imitate the Four Heavenly Kings.
He did so well that he managed to impress Andy Lau, who went on to offer Joel a contract as a singer under Andy’s record label.
However, his singing career did not take off.
Joel shared that the record label shuttered in 1997 due to the Asian financial crisis. Left jobless, Joel started taking up odd jobs, even selling second-hand clothes at one point.
After half a year, Joel, whose mother was a tailor, managed to find a job as an assistant to designer Rib Yeung, though he still harboured dreams of making it big in showbiz.
Finally, in 2000, he signed a contract with TVB and was paid about HK$6,000 (S$1023) a month.
Joel then went on to shoot a litany of dramas for TVB from 2000 to 2008, including Just Love, Forensic Heroes, A Herbalist Affair, Life Made Simple, though he was always relegated to supporting roles.
Only in 2008 did he grab the attention of TVB executives, who went on to give him meatier roles.
His turn as Fai Wing Lun in the 2009 drama E.U won him praise, and he went on to land bigger roles in subsequent years.
In 2017, he won his first Best Supporting Actor award for his role in The Unholy Alliance.
From then on, he started getting more high-profile roles, and landed his first lead role two years later in 2019, for Barrack O’Karma. And of course, he won Best Actor for his performance in the drama’s 2022 sequel, Barrack O’Karma 1968.
Guess it’s only fitting that Joel’s first Best Actor win is an extension of his first lead role, right?
Photos: Joel Chan/Instagram, TVB/Instagram
Catch Joel in Barrack O’Karma on meWATCH here.