Pierre Png: Some actors told me to go back to Channel 5 when they heard my Mandarin

14 May 2014 / 2 years 5 months ago

By Yip Wai Yee
Wednesday, May 7 2014, 
The Strait Times

After 16 years in showbusiness, Pierre Png has finally won his first acting award and he is not afraid to say that he deserves it.

At the Star Awards on April 27, given by MediaCorp to recognise the best and most popular stars in local television, he won the Best Actor award.

It was for his role as villainous tin mine supervisor Heilong in the period drama series The Journey: A Voyage, who stops at nothing - including murder - to get ahead.

Days after his win, the 40-year-old star happily tells Life! that he feels extra pleased with the award, especially since it was for a role that he feels "really proud" of.

"This is the one role that will stay with me till I die. What I did for the role - the amount of time and work I put in for the character - it certainly made this the most satisfying role for me.

"I really put myself in the character and thought up his entire background story, to get into his head.

"And if I didn't get an award for that, then I really cannot think of any other role in the last 16 years of my career that could possibly have gotten it.

"So yes, I think I deserve some credit for my effort. I cannot think of a better person for them to give the award to."

He has been nominated for Best Actor at the Star Awards three times before, for the dramas The Shining Star (2006), The Little Nyonya (2008) and Pillow Talk (2012), but lost to Li Nanxing, Chen Hanwei and Christopher Lee.

Png says: "I think I needed to wait those 16 years, and to go through so many roles and missed opportunities, in order to really appreciate what I have today. You go through difficulties and let-downs but they only make you stronger."

His career has certainly not been a bed of roses, especially in the initial years, when his employer made him switch from filming English programmes for Channel 5 to acting in Mandarin drama series for Channel 8 in 2001.

As the actor of Peranakan descent puts it: "Now I can hold a conversation in Mandarin with a taxi driver, but back then, I could barely string a sentence together."

The actor, who attended St Gabriel's Primary and Holy Innocents High, was scolded and badmouthed by many who worked with him.

Without naming names, he says: "Some actors would tell me, 'Just go back to Channel 5, you're clearly not cut out for this'.

"I've even had a cameraman tell me that he's just going to leave the camera rolling and wait until I was ready to finally piece my sentences together - that's how badly they thought of me."

Read the full article at Her World Plus.

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