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Power Chan Finally Earns his Gift

By on November 16, 2012

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Power Chan (陳國邦) has seen everything and been everything. Since his graduation at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 1989, the 44-year-old actor has starred in over 70 television dramas, 40 films, and 10 theater shows. Avid fans of Hong Kong film and television media will be able to recognize Power Chan’s name and face within a split second. Although Power’s acting career started off with a smash hit, the actor was quickly brought back to the sidelines, performing in roles that were neither too leading nor too supporting. So who is Power Chan exactly? A leading actor or a ‘green leaf’?

Early Success in Film 

While Power was completing his graduation requirements at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 1989, he was cast in Thank You, Sir <壯志雄心>, a film centering on a group of boys enrolled in the last class offered at the Royal Police Cadet School before its retirement in 1990. Power was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film at the Golden Horse Film Awards in Taiwan, but lost to Banana Paradise’s <香蕉天堂> Chang Shih (張世).

“It was the Golden Film judges themselves who took the initiative to contact the film’s production company in nominating me. In Taiwan, they called me the dark horse,” said Power.

As Power chose to partake in the television industry after his graduation from the academy, getting nominated at a prestigious film festival soon after graduation was the last thing to ever come to Power’s mind. “I was only 21 years old at the time. I had a small frame with a very young face. If I joined the film industry, I know my chances for development would be extremely limited. But in television, I was sure there would be at least some young teenager and student roles for me to do!” Power explained.

Power Wants a Child’s Gift

Power joined TVB in 1989 and debuted in The Justice of Life <他來自江湖>. After four years of portraying supporting roles in TVB dramas, he left the station to attempt a career in the film industry once again. Power earned another Supporting Actor nomination, this time from the Hong Kong Film Awards, for his role in 1994’s cop film, The Final Option<飛虎雄心>.

Power exclaimed, “I thought I was going to win! The film did really well, the character was very popular, and I was sure I was able to win it this time! Then came Twenty Something’s <晚九朝五> Jordan Chan (陳小春) !”

Although Power was unable to receive honorary recognition from his own acting sphere, the audience loved him, and he was a popular casting choice for many producers.

“To have the audience recognize me for my acting is the reason why I am still in this industry! But there is a downside to it. After receiving so much praise right after debuting, you would expect to get something in return. It is like an adult talking to a child: ‘You did really well! You deserve a gift!’ But where is the gift? I don’t see it! ‘It’s coming, it’s coming!’ After several more years of waiting, the adult gives the same response. The gift is nowhere to be seen.

“I have been praised my entire life. Ten to twenty years of my life. But I still don’t have my gift. Sometimes, I really would go on a tantrum and say I don’t want it anymore!”

So what exactly is the gift that Power wants?

“In this circle, I cannot name one artist who is able to earn enough money and maintain a successful acting career without getting popular. I think, and I am sure that many others do as well, will get jealous of other people’s successes. Why did so-and-so make it big and I can’t? If he can do it, why can’t I? Yes, I have received many praises for my work in the past twenty years, but in the end, I still lacked something of this, and other things of that. I really felt as if life was very, very unfair to me!

“Do I want to win awards? Of course! It’s just like asking if you want to win the lottery. Of course you would want to! Do I want to be a leading actor? Absolutely! When I am with my close producer friends, I always ask them to make me the lead character of their new dramas, but they would just laugh it off and say, ‘You? But you’re a green leaf king!’”

“Tuesdays with King Sir”

Power was at his lowest point seven years ago. He considered leaving the industry, but a small chat with his mentor, Chung King Fai (鍾景輝), brought Power back on track.

“I met King Sir when I was still in the academy. He was a great teacher. I also had many chances to work with him a lot after graduation. But that one simple chat with King Sir in the makeup room seven years ago really changed me. Our small chat was very similar to a scene in Tuesdays with Morrie. Just like in the novel, a student encounters his teacher by chance, and the teacher gives the student lessons on life.”

Coincidentally, King Sir was preparing for the 2005 Hong Kong stage adaptation of Tuesdays with Morrie at the time, in which King Sir was to portray teacher ‘Morrie’ in the novel. Power immediately suggested himself to the play’s director, Ko Tin Lung(古天農), for the role of the student, but he was rejected.

“I was not expecting the rejection. I thought I would be cast for sure. Chung King Fai is a very well-respected veteran in the industry. If I were also in the play, it would add more star power and talent to the show. I thought the Chung Ying Theater Company would be more than happy to accept me, but in the end, I was given the big no. I was very unhappy, but I understood it. King Sir did not belong to the Chung Ying Theater Company, nor did I. It would not make sense to cast two actors who do not belong to the production company.”

But Power got his wish in the end. Tuesdays with Morrie’s 2005 run was a popular and critical success, and the company plans to stage a 2012 rerun, which will premiere on November 30, 2012. The original actor for the student role ‘Mitch’, Edmond Lo (盧智燊), was forced to back out due to scheduling conflicts, and Power has now stepped in to replace his spot.

Mimi Declares Love for Power 

Power first met his wife, Mimi Lo (羅敏莊), on the set of Lofty Waters, Verdant Bow <雲海玉弓緣> in 2002, and the two quickly developed a close friendship. One day, Mimi walked up to Power and cried loudly, “I like you! I really like you! I like you that way!”

Embarrassed, his face burning red, Power replied quietly, “Stop it! It’s very easy for me to fall for someone!”

And that was how it began. At first, Power was nervous to hold Mimi’s hand, but on their next meeting, it was Power who grabbed Mimi’s hand first, and he kept her hand in his ever since.

Power and Mimi married in 2009, and on October 30, 2012, their daughter, Jan Chan (陳禛), was born.

“Jan was never part of the plan,” said Power. “Many years ago, Mimi and I agreed on not having children. A few years later, our mentality changed, and we reconsidered. And then Jan came! It was unplanned and unexpected, but we were ready, and it was perfect timing. In the last few years, our job offers have increased. We were able to afford nice cars and live in a nice home in a nice neighborhood.”

Power also humorously added with a large smile, “And it was also just in time for me to catch The Confidant’s <大太監> broadcast run!”

Pang Sam Shun… a Breakthrough?

Power’s new period drama, The Confidant, premiered to over 2 million viewers in Hong Kong. In its first week of release, The Confidant raked in an average of 31 points (with 1.96 million viewers) and the numbers are continuing to increase. No doubt, The Confidant will eventually become the year’s highest-rated drama, and most likely snatch the 2012 TVB Best Drama award.

In The Confidant, Power portrays the eunuch Pang Sam Shun, an enemy-turned-friend of the drama’s central character, Li Lianying (Wayne Lai 黎耀祥). Power’s performance was a huge hit, and many viewers are supporting him to win this year’s Best Supporting Actor award for the TVB Anniversary Awards.

“Would ‘Pang Sam Shun’ be my biggest and most popular role in recent years? With the number of interviews I’m doing now, it definitely answered the question! But could it just be my imagination? A reporter once told me, ‘Hey, Power. This role is a success!’ In my opinion, I still have a very far way to go for success. Regardless, this is still a great start!”

Power never expected Pang Sam Shun to be such a big hit. In fact, Power had expected his role as Emperor Kangxi in 2011’s The Life and Times of a Sentinel <紫禁驚雷> to be the talk of the town, whether the talk was in a positive or negative light.

“Kangxi is an extremely popular character in fiction and drama, and many actors have portrayed him before. I wanted to try a different approach in portraying him, so I could get the audience to see and admire Kangxi in a different light. I thought I would get a lot of feedback for this performance, but there were barely any. ‘Pang Sam Shun’ was definitely a pleasant surprise for me! My daughter has brought me so much luck!”

Source: East Week #481 via ihktv.com

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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  • Readers' Comments (59)

    1. ita says:

      Love him in confidant, he is quite funny and adorable to watch.

      • pocupine88 says:

        I am an ardent fan of Power from Singapore! I have watched countless TVB serials where Power generally played a supporting role. I am sure many of you would agree with me that Power is definitely “Born to act”! Power I wish you would win the best supporting role this year! Last but not least, heartiest congratulations to you and Mimi on the birth of your God’s gift – Princess Jan. Best wishes, pocupine88

    2. Ivy says:

      Finally, someone that works hard and people start to notice him. I like him better when he’s not evil. I hope everyone get a chance to shine, just like Wayne.

    3. Funn Lim says:

      He was slammed as Kang Xi. Now he is applauded for the role of the eunuch.

      I have always felt Power Chan as a very good actor. Whatever awards, he should have won for that Dayo Wong-Charmaine Sheh series where he was at his comedic best. That scene how he twists and turns his words was the funniest and he should have gotten his award recognition for that. Pang Sham Shum is a role he probably could do whilst sleep walking but that comedic role was difficult and he nailed it.

      Now let’s wait for Oscar’s turn as tong Zhi and then we may have a full list of supporting actors in the nomination list all from The Confidant.

      • Funn Lim says:

        ” I thought I would get a lot of feedback for this performance, but there were barely any.”

        Errr I thought he did got the feedback? Mostly negative?

      • Veejay says:

        I dont think I’ll have high hopes on oscar’s performances in TC since he will potrait Tongzhi’s younger version and mostly will be a tool/puppet by his mom Ci’xi. I doubt he will have any breakthrough like power or wayne.. I could only think of the rebelious and spoiled attitude that Oscar will show later when he grows up in the series.

        • Funn Lim says:

          Since the series is changing the real story they might as well just show him rebellious going against his mom and all that.

    4. Teece says:

      His performance in that series as an emperor was pretty much ignored due to the series wasn’t much of a hit but it was really good compared to other imperial dramas.

      My favorite role of his so far is def in Lethal Weapons of Love and Passion. He was really funny in there and he paired with Mimi as well. I enjoyed his chemistry with Bosco too.

      I was wondering when will he get nominated…it seems like his role in TC is very well received, only watched the first episode so far looks like I’m going to watch further for his performance.

      Congrats to Power for finally receiving recognition he’s one of the better actors in TVB.

    5. Fox says:

      I always like him as an actor and finally, he is recognized. If he wins Best supporting this year, I have nothing but clap clap loudly.

    6. ping0 says:

      Power and Mimi are both really good artist, I am rooting for him, I hope he will win the Best supporting actor.

    7. sandcherry says:

      Power Chan acted really well as Pang Sam Shun. There were so many good veterans in “The Confidant”. It was very hard to stand out in his character. He outshone Wayne Lai in Episodes # 8 and 9. Wayne’s acting was too mature for a 16-year-old eunuch. When he talked to the emperor after saving him from the fire accident (Ep. # 9, he “lectured” like a big uncle. Power was able to show us the characteristics of a young eunuch – high-pitched voice, young, and silly, especially in Ep. # 9.

      • deeg says:

        They aren’t portraying 16 year old eunuchs. They are closing on 30. It was Raymond Cho’s character who mentioned that in the early episodes.

        • Josie says:

          Maybe around 25? Because maids can leave the palace after 25 and Nancy’s “sin yung” looked bigger than Wayne in the flashback of them as kids.

        • Funn Lim says:

          PSS is 30. He said so. I assume LLY is also 30. Sin Yung is 25 that we know. They’re not 16. They have been in the palace for many many years. Even An De Hai may be mid 20s. Edwin maybe is late teens like maybe Raymond Wong in early 20s.

        • ita says:

          agree with josie, from the flash back wayne was much more shorter than Nancy. She leave the palace after 25 , so it mean wayne character is around 20-23?. Unless he was extremely scrawny when he was young.

        • Funn Lim says:

          He was extremely scrawny as a kid and TVB did not pay attention to the casting of the younger versions.

        • sandcherry says:

          According to actual history, when the king was 9 years old, Empress Dowager Cixi should be 30 years old because she gave birth to the emperor at the age of 21. Lee Lin Ying should be 16, NOT 20 – 23. I could not see Wayne acting as a 16-year old eunuch in the first 11 episodes.

        • sandcherry says:

          Funn:
          I think TVB should have cast a young actor to act the young Lee Lin Ying and let Wayne act the middle-aged Lee Lin Ying. It would be more convincing then.

        • sandcherry says:

          Lee Lin Ying was born in 1848, and
          Empress Dowager Cix was born in 1835. She was 13 years older than Lee Lin Ying.

          When she was 30, Lee Lin Ying should be 16 to 17 years old, as per actual history.

        • Funn Lim says:

          A good suggestion but since TVB lacks young actors, it won’t work. And since they screw up so many facts, age itself is a minor issue. I would believe LLY as 30 and a small fry.

        • Funn Lim says:

          And An De Hai should be older. He was the original Big Eunuch before LLY came about.

        • Funn Lim says:

          And it was really his house I went to!!

          http://www.bbgh.com.cn/index.html

          Right now my favourite eunuch is An De Hai. He has got guts even if right now he is turning bad.

        • sandcherry says:

          If Power Chan could show his young age and silly personality to reflect Pang Sam Shun as a young eunuch, why couldn’t Wayne Lai do same? He should be able to do it with his super good acting skills. Sorry, Wayne acted like a 30-year old eunuch in the first 11 episodes.

      • sandcherry says:

        Power Chan is 44 years old while Wayne Lai is 48 years old …… not much difference in age. If Power Chan could do it, Wayne should be able to do same.

    8. sandcherry says:

      Power Chan could attend to all the little details of being a young eunuch. He deserved the Best Support Actor Award in 2012.

      • Veejay says:

        Another deserving actor who should deserve something..he’s Evergreen. He can play a villain and a goodie convincily too.

        • VFC says:

          Evergreen already won an award and recognition for his role in No Regrets

        • Josie says:

          Veejay,

          Where’s your memory? :P
          Evergreen already won best supporting actor for his evil “fei fan gor” 2 yrs ago.

        • Veejay says:

          hahaha I really dont pay much attention to these 2nd line artists u know :P.. In fact, I will forget about them tomorrow after watching them grabbing the award that night itself hahah. I will only remember those artists I like only haha.

        • sandcherry says:

          Veejay:
          Those 2nd line artists are the ones who can act, not top siu sangs or fadans. Siu sangs and fadans are idols only, they are not artistes with solid acting skills.

    9. sandcherry says:

      Almost all support artistes act well vs. top fadans and siu sangs. Therefore, it is harder for them to win the Best Support Actor/Actress awards. There are just too many good veteran support artistes and so few fadans and siu sangs with good acting skills.

      If a support artiste gets nominated, he or she is already an award winner. Too much competitions among them.

      • Cm says:

        Very true!. The level of talent among the supporting actor ranks is much greater than the siu sangs and fadans.

        Other supporting actors that should be recognised or be promoted more are Derek Kwok, Eric Li, Johnson Lee, Florence Kwok and Akina Hong. At least they have more acting ability than questionably talented idols like Ron Ng, Him Law and basically all of the new pageant winners, Miss HK or otherwise.

        Sadly I doubt tvb will ever prioritise talent above looks or connections. And they wonder why most of their dramas these days are poor in comparison to the 80s and 90s. Too many mediocre ‘stars’ and too many talented people who aren’t given a chance and jump ship!

        • Cm says:

          Add Kevin Cheng to the list too. If ever there was an actor who has benefited from looks v acting skills, its him!

          Totally overrated and bores me to tears even when he has a half decent script and character

        • ping0 says:

          Akina hong is now doing Mainland series, she has bigger and better roles there.

        • Cm says:

          Thanks for that info on Akina. Real shame that she won’t be seen in HK series. Proves my point though that HK TV will continue to suffer if all we get to see on screen are 3rd rate beauty queens and teen idols. Such a shame

        • ping0 says:

          Indeed a real shame, I was pretty happy for Akina to see her in the lead role in one of the story in STANGe tales. Power and Wayne are so much alike, he is walking on the same path! In the confident it looks like they did some thing right this time, all their 5 Enuch can act! Wayne, Power, Edwin , Raymond and Raymond!

    10. exoidus says:

      He is great as an eunuch in TC, while he was lame as an emperor.

      Green leaf king :) Nah coz TVB treats their green leaves worse than dirt.

      • Veejay says:

        Maybe Power doesn’t have that Emperor Aura when he potraited Tongzhi.. he always give ppl some “sissy’ feel in him haha.

      • deeg says:

        hi, what does it mean Green Leaf King?

      • exoidus says:

        @Veejay,

        Tongzhi? So he will be the emperor in the future in TC, haha.
        He portrayed Hong-Hei in Sentinel. Yay gives off the weak scholar feel, LOL

        Deeg, green leaf = supporting

        • Veejay says:

          haha Exoidus..

          Dont take drugs and chat online at the same time!! i’m not feeling myself tonite hahahaa…the drugs i took is working for me..

          Josie and others aldy questioned my memory for giving wrong facts.. haha..

        • exoidus says:

          It’s cool I just thought you were thinking abt some time travel stuff, LOL.

          Get well soon!

        • Veejay says:

          haha thanks but how you know I wasn’t taking any bad drugs? haha I could have been “smokin” but i wont do this shyt :DD hehehe

      • sandcherry says:

        Agree. Power Chan did not impress me as the emperor, but he surely impressed me as Pang Sam Shun.

        He attended to all the details and characteristics of a silly, coward and YOUNG eunuch. In the first 10 episodes, I think he was the best actor. He outshone every eunuch, including Wayne Lai whose acting was too mature for a 16-year-old youngster.

    11. Ric says:

      It’s definitely time for Power Chan to get best supporting actor. I felt he has been deserving of the award for quite a long time. I hope he finally gets the recognition. Every year I look forward to the best supporting actor award the most. It’s the only award that consistently awards veteran actors. If only the support actress category would do the same. Seems like it always awards younger actresses as a promotion tool.

    12. lychii04 says:

      Seems like its a trend for audiences to actually notice and vocalise their appreciation and acknowledgement of these supporting or lesser known actors, especially those who’ve been around for so long! I hope this continues, so they are motivated enough and TVB will give them more opportunities and higher salaries.

    13. happybi says:

      He’s such a good actor! Always a fan of him so really happy to see him succeeding! May their daughter bring them more luck!

    14. Gar says:

      Power’s great at portraying Pang Sam Shun and he fits the role perfectly. He definitely deserves the award as it’s been long overdue. I remember I first noticed him in Golden Faith playing the autistic friend of Myolie’s. He did a great job then as well.

      • Funn Lim says:

        I could think of another actor nailing this role. But he won’t come back to TVB. Dayo Wong. Maybe a bit too old looking but he would have fitted the “chin jing” type that PSS is until he reveals he has a conscience. But Power was funny.

    15. aptos says:

      Power is definitely a versatile actor. In “Gloves Come Off”, he could play both the good guy and the bad guy without flinching. He does deserve recognition with more roles. Power, please take this piece of consolation… whther you win a movie or TV award or not is not as important as that you are now in good health with a loving and caring wife who bore a healthy child. That should be the best award possible. Anything else you get is “gravy” and don’t get too mired and depressed if you do not. Let nature takes it course.

    16. JP says:

      Power’s role as Pang Sham Shung is so brillantly acted, the best I have seen this year. He so deserve to win the supporting actor’s award this year! Supporting u all the way..best of luck..add oil!!!

    17. klnlyy says:

      Me posted a supporting comment of power chan lastnite at the article abt The Confidant of 4/11 without realising tis article came out..thn also lastnite, rthk radio 2 mentioned abt under-rated actors/actresses & i supported power again on facebook….n tis morning saw tis article was published yesterday.. coincident or what?haha…but so happy for him.. ^.^

    18. HeTieShou says:

      Power and Mimi were funny and adorable in Lofty Waters!! They are another onscreen and real life couple.

    19. munkimui says:

      i wish you lots of luck power!!! i remembered you from my childhood. you’re a great actor. wayne got the recognition and you should too. yes i think oscar should as well. all those hard working people that is commited into acting should win something. if not an honorary is great too. i worked hard in school and i hoped for trophies year after year. it was a great feeling. people should get awarded for their hard work.

    20. blurjen says:

      way to go, Power

    21. Theresa says:

      Good….he deserves the recognition. Now I finally know his name…what a POWERFUL name!

      Salute for his passion and determination in acting. His acting skill is so much rich and better than a lot of the leading actors.

      Well done.

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