Ben Wong Survives 23 Years of Turmoil
With his tough spirit and perseverance, Ben Wong (黃智賢) finally found success in his acting career after many years of struggle and hard work. Ben entered TVB in 1989 as a host for a children’s variety program, and later played Ah Hoi in the popular long running drama series, A Kindred Spirit <真情>. His career came to a standstill afterwards and TVB suddenly reduced his salary. It was not until winning the Best Supporting Actor award last year that rejuvenated Ben’s career.
Due to his dissatisfaction with the salary cut earlier, Ben had decided to leave TVB to try his luck elsewhere in 1999. He was cast in a supporting role alongside Sean Lau (劉青雲) and Adam Cheng (鄭少秋) in ATV drama series, Divine Retribution < 世紀之戰>, created by the reputable Wai Ka Fai (韋家輝). Ben was very happy to work with the veteran actors and producers.
However, Ben needed more money to support his family, therefore he went to film some TV series in mainland China for a few years. Ben earned enough money to get by, but he floated in the entertainment industry by playing mostly supporting roles. Without achieving any major success, Ben did not want to be low-balled to get more prominent roles. He felt that it was not worth his time away from his family. In addition, many mainland TV series were not aired in Hong Kong, so the audience may believe that he had disappeared for good.
Ben returned to Hong Kong and started all over again with TVB hoping to find better luck in 2004. However, Ben found himself struggling again and played mostly minor characters in many TV series. He felt the producers did not have enough faith in his acting capabilities for more important roles.
“The producers told me that the role is a good fit for me and I should play it. Sometimes I was only in a couple episodes of the series. How can they believe in my capabilities, but not trust me enough to play a more prominent role? I have to give up other opportunities for minor roles in a 20 episode series.”
Ben said that he does not come from a wealthy family, and he needs the money to support his family. The most difficult time of his career was when he waited around 6 to 7 years after signing with TVB for a big break to come. Ben was still optimistic and stayed loyal to his company. He encouraged himself to continue to work hard to prove himself and believed that one day someone would finally appreciate his acting skills.
Ben told himself, “Just accept it, and keep going!” Ben said he could not just tell TVB that it is their loss if they did not cast him in the series. He remembered telling TVB executive, Virginia Lok (樂易玲), “If you cast me, I will do my best to prove to you. If you don’t even give me a chance to prove myself, it’s very unfair to me.”
Ben’s perseverance finally paid off; he got a big break when he was cast to play Spicy Ginger in Lives of Omission <潛行狙擊>, and won the Best Supporting Actor award last year. His popularity is on the rise, and his acting skills are finally recognized by the audience and TVB.
Ben has been casted in quite a few important roles, including Brian Poon in the popular police drama, Highs and Lows < 雷霆掃毒> and Chai Yat Fai in the Anniversary drama, Silver Spoon, Sterling Shackles <名媛望族>. With his well-received performances in both series, he has a good opportunity to win another Best Supporting Actor award this year.
Ben is grateful to his two buddies, Raymond Cho (曹永廉) and Kevin Cheng (鄭嘉穎) who have supported him all these years and have never given up on him during the most difficult times of his career. Both Kevin and Raymond were very happy that Ben finally received a deserving award and they both wish that he can win it again this year.
Source: Oriental Daily via ihktv.com
This article is written by Lance for JayneStars.com.
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