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Oscar Leung is the Emperor of “The Confidant”

By on November 3, 2012

Oscar Leung is the Emperor of “The Confidant” thumbnail

When most people hear the name “Oscar Leung” (梁烈唯), they may immediately think of Tiger Cubs’ <飛虎> winking sniper, Chong Chuk Yuen. Next in line would probably be L’Escargot’s <缺宅男女> insufferable and idle “Kwan Yi Gor.” And maybe people would still remember Oscar’s arrogant teenager roles from 2004’s Shine On You <青出於藍> and 2008’s Your Class or Mine <尖子攻略>. But never would people connect the five-foot-nine Oscar in roles other than the young boy-next-door or the insignificant mobster.

When Oscar was sent a notice that he would be guaranteed a role in The Confidant <大太監>, Oscar was certain he would be portraying an eunuch character. “In the first one to two months after I got the notice, I would check out historical books about Qing dynasty eunuchs and would read them in my spare time,” said Oscar. “I didn’t know my role ended up being the emperor! I had to start my research all over again!” Oscar laughed.

Oscar admitted that he never found himself to have the regal air of an emperor. Whether it was his body figure, looks, or stature, Oscar could not find any reason as to why the producer cast him as the Tongzhi Emperor. “Frankly, I didn’t want to believe it at first. When I first started filming, I felt very fake and unrealistic. After a while, I realized that I didn’t look that bad as an emperor. I actually had a lot of fun.”

Freedom of Portrayal

Compared to Kangxi, Qianlong, or even Guangxu, there has been relatively less information regarding Tongzhi’s life and reign. There were even fewer fictionalized accounts of Tongzhi in the media. Oscar did not find the lack of resources to be necessarily a setback, and remarked that now he has more freedom in portraying the role. “There hasn’t been much portrayals of Tongzhi on television or film. I don’t have to be stressed about trying to meet or not meet the expectations that people would have for the character. I had much more freedom when it came to portraying the role.”

This does not mean that the role is any less challenging. “I play Tongzhi from age 14 to the end. At my current age now, I am pretty far away from being a 14-year-old. It was challenging to firmly grasp the mind of a teenager.

“Teenage angst aside, Tongzhi is actually a very complex character. The events he would encounter are also very complicated. He is a challenge to portray in general. It is the challenges that makes acting fun!”


Portraying lowly, second-tier characters his entire career, Oscar surprised the audience with the portrayal of the cool and collected SDU sniper, Chong Chuk Yuen in Tiger Cubs. Now with an emperor role added to his filmography resume, Oscar expressed that 2012 has been a very successful year for him.

Oscar debuted in the 1999 film, The Young Ones <監獄風雲之少年犯>, and with 14 years of experience under his belt, Oscar should have no problem when it comes to acting. But the 33-year-old actor believes that he still has much to learn.

“It’s hard for me to stay concentrated and focused. There are many occasions when my mind would go all over the place, and my acting would become inconsistent. I am not like Wayne Lai (黎耀祥) or Power Chan (陳國邦). They are able to completely focus on their characters. They become the characters. There are often times when an actor could not get back into the mindset of their characters after taking a short break. But [Wayne and Power] can.”

Oscar concluded, “Learning how to concentrate and focus is indeed very important. Learning how to be able to relax under any circumstance is also very important.”


Acting is not only about knowing where to stand in front of the camera or memorizing your lines. To make the audience remember your character, you also must give them a little token of remembrance. In Tiger Cubs, Yuen’s “wink” was never written into the script. Yuen was written as a very cool and serious character, but Oscar decided to give the character a softer side by having the character wink as a silent response. Yuen’s unique characterization definitely won over a lot of fans!

“I always give my characters a little distinctive habit so the audience will remember the character more,” said Oscar. “In Tiger Cubs, I had Yuen do his iconic wink. In The Confidant, Tongzhi is very attached to his court necklace. In L’Escargot, Kwan Yi Gor often fiddled with his clothes and zippers.”

As Oscar reflected on his accomplishments and setbacks in the last ten years, he let out a smile. “I am very satisfied with my career right now. I did lose a bit of my private life, but the reason why I work so hard is because I want to have a stable career. I really enjoy my work, and I hope this streak of success will continue in the future.”

Source: Astro Touch via kuangaitvb.com

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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  • Readers' Comments (23)

    1. purplepaw says:

      in gun metal grey, oscar’s character often had toilet paper in his pocket, which he would pull out to blow his nose with LOL. i wonder if he came up with that as well

      • sandcherry says:

        There was no toilet paper in Ching Dynasty!!

        • purplepaw says:

          ??? i was talking about gun metal grey?..

        • Funn Lim says:

          Who said there was no toilet paper in qing dynasty?

        • skinnymocha says:

          Ah! Didn’t they use some sort of greaseproof paper? – in dramas at least… The kind you would use to wrap cookies…

          If girls managed to come up with something for that time of the month, I’m sure people would’ve been able to come up with “toilet paper” as well.

        • HeTieShou says:

          I really wonder what girls/women used for their periods back in the days??

        • skinnymocha says:

          Ah, I remember when they did the puberty talk back in school and there was one session where they showed us examples of how tampons/pads had evolved over time. I can’t remember what they were though since it has been years… I think there was one where they used cotton materials – made it into some sort of loin cloth…? (Bearing in mind, this was in the west – I’m not sure if they did things differently in Asia back then…)

        • Funn Lim says:

          Period? I believe clothes, like diaper but on a smaller scale?

    2. mito says:

      He mentioned Power Chan, which IMO he is indeed super great actor but lack of charisma.

    3. Lol says:

      I really like Oscar, he’s a natural and he has this amazing boyish charm.

    4. P. Tan says:

      It sounds cute and effective, the way Oscar tries to identify himself while acting, but it could also be rather distracting when once he appears on the screen you start looking out for his idosybcrasy and forget about his acting.

    5. gold4canada says:

      a good actor always tries to add more to their character than what is written in the script. very much looking forward to this drama

    6. Agnes says:

      I like Oscar, he is a very good and charming actor.

    7. Funn Lim says:

      He looks like Tongzhi in the portraits although he is too old. And that is why he should be the emperor since TOngzhi never really ruled. So he lacked the emperor’s air so to speak.

    8. yoyo says:

      Is Tongzhi the weakest emperor in Qing dynasty history ,is he really died without a son ,is he childless,did he died from sex related illess as he often viisit prostitue as other movie or tvb serial feature?

      • Funn Lim says:

        No he’s not the weakest. word has it he was a very bright child but because his mom controlled everything he grew bored and hence the prostitutes. Popular theory is of course sex disease. Although official records says smallpox. You be the judge.

        Oh yeah no son I think because he was very young when he died.

    9. Daisy says:

      Oscar Leung the best winking sniper :)

    10. Dorothy says:

      wow he’s 5’9?

    11. Soggi says:

      Oscar fit the role cause he lack majestic charisma. Emperor Tongzhi was never really an emperor.

    12. Hannahh says:

      Love Oscar even more. Yes his wink is his signature in Tiger Cubs and everytime he does it , it melt my heart haha. Hope his career will go up another level.
      For those who want to follow Oscar, i found his page on FB http://www.facebook.com/Oscar.Leung.Lit.Wai

    13. Kidd says:

      “When Oscar was sent a notice that he would be guaranteed a role in The Confidant , Oscar was certain he would be portraying an eunuch character. “In the first one to two months after I got the notice, I would check out historical books about Qing dynasty eunuchs and would read them in my spare time,” said Oscar. “I didn’t know my role ended up being the emperor! I had to start my research all over again!” Oscar laughed.”

      Funny titbits. I actually find him perfect for Emperor Tongzhi. Tongzhi was a very young Emperor who ascended the throne at age 5 and died at age 19. So, Oscar looks the part as the young emperor.

      “Oscar debuted in the 1999 film, The Young Ones “

      I wonder if he and Edwin reminiscent the past when they work together in TC. Both were in ‘The Young Ones’. Oscar was lead, while Edwin was supporting. Edwin only appear in the first 1/3, and a little bit in the middle after Oscar’s and Sammul’s character went to juvenile prison.

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