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Sunny Chan: A Patient Father Driven by Love

By on February 16, 2013

Sunny Chan: A Patient Father Driven by Love thumbnail

Nothing can be happier and more satisfying than to see his son improving day by day. During the filming of TVB period drama, Curse of the Royal Harem <萬凰之王>, in late 2010, Sunny Chan’s (陳錦鴻) then 3-year-old son, Edgar Chan (陳駕樺), was diagnosed with mild autism and language impairment. After completing his duties for Curse of the Royal Harem, Sunny took a brief hiatus from the industry to care for his son.

“People believe that taking long breaks is a sumptuous move,” said Sunny. “But I think [the break] was worth it. If I can’t even care for my own son, what is the point of earning a lot of money?”

In September 2013, 5-year-old Edgar will enter primary school. As Edgar will be preoccupied with school activities, Sunny will finally be able to afford some time to film more television dramas. Sunny’s wife, Ada To (杜雯惠), will be in charge of caring for Edgar while Sunny is busy with work.

For an entire year, Sunny would dedicate his entire day on coming up with plans to educate and cultivate his son. “My son has improved a lot,” exclaimed Sunny proudly. “I am very, very satisfied.”

Patience and Love

A Chip Off the Block <巴不得爸爸…> and Curse of the Royal Harem have impacted me greatly. In A Chip Off the Old Block, my character cared for his son wholeheartedly despite knowing that the boy was not his. I wondered to myself if I would ever be able to do the same thing.

“My son was diagnosed with autism when I was filming Curse of the Royal Harem. I portrayed an emperor, and while he had everything, the role made me realize that what I wanted the most is to have a simple and happy family. After filming completed, I decided to go on a hiatus to care for my son. This period of time was very significant for me.”

Edgar was extremely antisocial and often ignored his parents. Sunny would spend time with his son every day to let him know that his parents can be trusted.

“To deepen our relationship, I would take showers with my son and organize lesson plans for him that corresponds to his progress. I have taught him to recite the multiplication table song and write a diary. He has great memory and has already completely memorized the multiplication table. We are also highly competitive with each other. He will emulate me when I recite the table, and he will try to recite it faster than I can. It’s interesting! For kids like my son, you will have to consistently give him new targets and goals.”

Although Edgar’s social abilities have improved tremendously, the boy still has minor speech impediments. Sunny explained, “I required him to write a diary every day so he will slowly learn how to formulate correct sentences and words. He used to say very broken sentences in the past, but now he can speak in complete sentences. My son also did not trust us very much, so I would often climb trees with him. When he fell, I would catch him. After many trials, my son finally realized that his father would always be there to help him. Now that he has learned to trust me, he has stopped losing his temper. I would take him to ride the minibus, buy ice cream, and let him learn the concept of paying. Now my son is always showing off his multiplication skills and reciting his diary to our relatives!”

Thank You, Jonathan Chik

At last year’s TVB Anniversary Awards, Sunny was one of five winners for the Outstanding Artist Award, an award which salutes actors for their integrity, as well as their integral influence on the Hong Kong television industry. As none of the winners knew they would be receiving the accolade beforehand, the Outstanding Artist Award became one of the most shocking and touching moments at the Anniversary Awards.

“This award is to reward those who work hard and arrive on time. I have been working for TVB for more than ten years. I’ve tried going through three days without a voice during the filming of River of Wine <九江十二坊>, but I still insisted on filming so I would not affect the filming schedule. I am very happy that I got the chance to thank Jonathan Chik (戚其義) on stage. He was the one who enlightened and introduced me to television production. After graduating from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, I signed with ATV, and Jonathan was the first producer I worked with. He and his crew would always discuss the script, share their ideas, and it allowed me to understand more about the production process. I’ve learned to appreciate the backstage crew members a lot more. It was also him who brought me over to TVB. I am really thankful.”

Sunny returned to TVB in late 2012 to film the period-comedy drama, The Day of Days <初五啟市錄>. The Lunar New Year drama completed its 20-episode broadcast on February 15.

Sonija Kwok (郭羨妮) and I shared a Frog Prince love story, while the relationship I had with Raymond Wong(黃浩然) was kind of like the emperor and Wei Xiaobao in The Duke of Mount Deer <鹿鼎記>. The show was relaxing and funny; I had a great time filming it.”

Source: Ming Pao via ihktv.com

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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  • Readers' Comments (20)

    1. Jayne says:

      Sunny’s story is one of the most moving celebrity parenting stories I have heard. Although Sunny still deals with his son’s challenges, looking back at how far Edgar has come along has been an incredible journey.

      It’s amazing what children can be capable of, given the proper care. Only 5 years old, Sunny’s son can already read/write and even recite the multiplication table. Pretty impressive.

    2. ita says:

      Glad to hear that his son improve a lot.

    3. Lucia says:

      Sunny is not only an outstanding artist, but he is also an outstanding father. In this article, Sunny mentioned that his son doesn’t trust his parents at first. I think it is one of the traits of autism is that children don’t know how to express their emotions or feelings. There is no cure for autism in medicine, but by proper treatments (speech, behavior therapist, etc), the child can get better.

      Some autistic children have very good memory and they are good with numbers or music. My six-year-old non-severe autistic nephew learned the multiplication table by himself by watching youtube multiplication videos/songs. He also knows 11*11; 12*12; 13*13; 14*14; 15*15; etc. He also has very good memory and remembers the dates that we bought him his toys, clothes, and other events.

    4. Rachel says:

      wow this is really touching and inspirational. as someone who wants to work with children in schools in the future and have kids of my own, hearing sunny’s story is super inspirational. i really admire him and his dedication to spend time with his son and allow his son to grow at his own pace and learn that his parents will always be there for him. <3

    5. Funn Lim says:

      I finished The Day of Days. It was a filler sort of series but it was funny for the most part.

    6. blurjen says:

      yes what a touching story

    7. HeTieShou says:

      Sunny is such a great father!! Glad that his son is doing better and that all of his hard work paid off. I really miss seeing him in series and can’t wait to see him back. Go Sunny!!

    8. skinnymocha says:

      Aw, thanks for sharing this~ I wish Sunny and his family all the best!

    9. P. Tan says:

      Sunny is doing a fine job caring for his son by bonding with and teaching him as well. He’s a wonderful father, a rare one indeed and I do admire him for his dedication to the little one.

    10. clamine says:

      Not easy being a parent and more so to a an autistic child with special needs. So much admiration for Sunny for being a good father to his son.

      Btw, I find Day of Days boring to watch.

    11. Ms Tan says:

      kudos to sunny chan – no easy feat taking off totally from work to care for his son. a really inspiratinal and touching story.

    12. Crystal says:

      All the best for him and his family. Glad he accepted his son, there are rewards in life for such an outstanding father.

    13. Cara says:

      Sunny is such a kind and patient father. I wish him and his family all the best.

    14. Victoria says:

      Wow! Just amazed by both Sunny and his son. At only 5 years old and he already knows the multiplication tables? Kids in third grade, which would be about 8, learn that. Sunny is another admirable and caring dad. He deserves a lot of respect.

    15. Karbunda says:

      It does not matter what you have accomplished career wise, you are nothing if you are not a good parent. Well, easier said than done for those parents with extremely hectic schedules and workload. I totally applaud Sunny for what he has done for his son and i have always liked him as an actor. I am very glad he is still doing soaps for TVB

    16. happybi says:

      Sunny is such a good father. Wishing him and his family the best!

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