Hanwei has no time to finish a fried prawn, let alone celebrate his win, but still, there’s plenty for him to celebrate. He’s the only actor to have won the Best Actor award six times, even more than actor Xie Shaoguang’s five gongs. This year, he was crowned the winner for playing retrenched adman Zhang Zicheng in the Ch 8 drama A Million Dollar Dream, who wins a million-dollar Toto prize under magical circumstances and grapples with the consequences of his windfall.
Rose to the occasion
In real life, Hanwei is also kinda blessed by a touch of magic. We point out the little black rose brooch on his suit jacket’s lapel, which has long been associated as his good luck charm ever since he won an armful of awards in the years he wore it. “I haven’t worn it for a few years to the Star Awards now, but people have been asking me to take the brooch out for a spin again. And since this is the 25th anniversary of the awards, I dug around at home for this black rose brooch that I’ve owned for a long time,” he says smilingly.
If you ask Hanwei, he’d tell you luck plays almost no part in winning awards. He explains, “I used to think awards is all about luck. But other than hard work, your attitude towards your craft is very important. Everyone wants to win an award, but before that happens, you need to ask yourself if you have put in the necessary work to earn an award. I feel very humbled [by my win]. When I was young, I wanted to get to know myself better. But as I grow older as an actor, it’s important that I know less of myself so that I can immerse myself in my characters.”
Hanwei walking the Star Awards red carpet with BFF Zoe Tay
So how’s Hanwei — who joked in his acceptance speech that his schedule’s so packed that it feels like he’s running “a million-dollar business” — going to celebrate his momentous win after tonight, when he is not so swamped? “I just plan to have dinner with some of the crew to thank them, ’cos without them I wouldn’t be able to accomplish much,” he tells us.
Oh, and spend more time with his folks, whom he also specially thanked in his speech. Hanwei’s parents, who live in Johor Bahru, are in their eighties now. “I haven’t spent much time with them in recent years ’cos I was too busy with work,” he says. “So I hope to take them on holiday more often. We went to Taipei last year, so I hope to do a trip like that with them this year too. It doesn’t matter where we go lah. I’ll take them wherever they want to go, as long as they’re happy!”
Photos: Alvin Teo, Mark Lee, Willie Yeo, Chee Yan, Wilson Pang, Lee Lay Na