Yip Wai Yee, Gwendolyn Ng
The Straits Times
15 December 2014
It has been a good year for home-grown actor Pierre Png. After snagging the Star Award for Best Actor in April, he walked home with another Best Actor award on Thursday night at the Asian TV Awards held at Marina Bay Sands.
The boyishly handsome 41-year-old won the award for playing a man who is blackmailed into committing crime by an anonymous person, on the Channel 5 drama Zero Calling.
Holding the trophy in his hand, he said excitedly: "Anyone who says that it's okay to be just nominated and not win is lying. This is the best feeling ever. This is the best year ever."
He was in fact a double nominee in the category as he was also up for the prize for his villainous turn in the Channel 8 period drama The Journey: A Voyage.
On why he thinks his Zero Calling character beat his scoundrel role in The Journey, Png quips: "I love both characters. I put my heart and soul into both roles. Why Zero Calling won? Off the top of my head, maybe because I'm more fluent in the (English) language."
The annual Asian TV Awards, in its 19th edition this year, celebrates excellence in TV production and performance in programmes across Asia.
Nabbing the Best Actress award was adorable Malaysian child star Puteri Balqis Azizi, seven, who won for the Malay telemovie Balqis. She beat fellow nominees such as Taiwanese actress Tien Hsin, China-born American actress Joan Chen and Singapore's Rui En.
Acting since the age of two, Puteri said sweetly that winning was "unbelievable", which prompted everyone in the audience to coo and laugh.
When asked backstage if she would ask her mother for a reward for winning the prize, the precocious lass says: "This is a good enough present for me. I love acting. Acting is so fun."
Singapore was strong on the comedy front. Channel 5 sitcom Spouse For House scored a hat-trick - winning for Best Comedy Programme, Best Original Screenplay and Best Comedy Performance for Irene Ang.
Ang, who won the same award in 2002, said: "I'm really very shocked by the win, as shocked as I was when I won this award for Phua Chu Kang in 2002. This is just fabulous and I thank God for giving me this talent for making other people laugh.
She went on to joke: "I won the awards during the Year of the Horse (2002, 2014). Seems like I have good luck with horses. Maybe director Jack Neo will nominate me for The Golden Horse Awards for best supporting supporting supporting actress for my role in the movie Ah Boys to Men."
There was more good news for Singapore when local actor Rayson Tan picked up the award for Best Supporting Actor for Channel 8 drama Entangled.
The 49-year-old was in the midst of calling his wife, actress Chen Liping, to report the good news before he had to cut it short to take media interviews.
"Last year, I was away filming in Malaysia for 31/2 months, although I did sneak back twice to celebrate my wife's and son's birthdays. I thank my wife for looking after my son so well. He's so plump now. I'm really having a hard time getting him to slim down," says Tan. The couple's son is 12.
Best Supporting Actress went to Taiwanese star Hsieh Chiung-hsuan for Lonely River, while Japanese workplace drama Naoki Hanazawa clinched Best Drama Series.
This year's awards saw a total of 239 nominees in 38 categories, judged by a panel of 64 industry professionals from across the region.
Take a look at the gallery below to see pictures of the local heartthrob.