Ben Wong, Good Guy Turned Villain

Ben Wong (黃智賢) is finally getting all the recognition and success he deserves. Last year’s Best Supporting Actor continued to shine as a good cop turned bad cop in Highs and Lows <雷霆掃毒>, while his passionate and romantic role in Silver Spoon, Sterling Shackles <名媛望族> has captured the attention of many female viewers. Many netizens are infuriated at his characters’ actions, but praised him for Ben’s exceptional performances.

Although Ben did not receive any nomination for his roles at the 45th TVB Anniversary Awards, he is touched by the audience’s compliments. Despite the raving review of his portrayal of villains, Ben feels his personality is nowhere close to those of the outrageous characters he played onscreen.

Throughout his career, Ben has been left in the shadow of his good guy character, Ah Hoi, in A Kindred Spirit <真情>. It was not until recently that Ben started playing villainous roles in several TVB dramas. With his award winning performance as Spicy Ginger in Lives of Omission <潛行狙擊>, Ben is now defined as the ideal actor to cast as the antagonist.

Portraying Human Selfishness

At the beginning of Ben’s career, producers complained that he was unable to scold people during the filming of A Kindred Spirit. Now, Ben understands that in order to play a villain, he has to get a deep understanding of the villain’s mindset and how human selfishness can make a good person into a despicable one. “One thought can make a person; one thought can make a devil. A person’s selfishness and jealously can already make you into a villain.”

During the filming of Highs and Lows, Ben had a good grasp of Brian Poon’s personality to portray the complex character. In reality, there are many people who share similar characteristics with Brian Poon, in which the smarter they are, the more flaws they have. Ben remembered telling the producer, “So you are telling me to incorporate all the flaws into the character of Poon Sir. Do you want the viewers to hate me? You must be joking!”  The producer told Ben not to worry as the viewers will get hooked on his intense performance. Furthermore, the producer told him to be prepared to get an earful from the viewers.

Ben’s role as Poon Sir has certainly sparked much online discussion, and a viewer posted on his Weibo asking him to stop ruining Raymond Lam (林峯) and Kate Tsui’s (徐子珊) lives. As many netizens seemingly cannot distinguish the difference between reality and fiction, they often leave nasty messages on Ben’s Weibo. A viewer even drew on Ben’s photo to make him look more evil. Ben accepted their opinions as this shows that the viewers are really taking his character seriously.

However, he will not tolerate any personal attacks on himself as a person. These kinds of vicious attacks insult their own intelligence. As an actor, Ben wants the viewers to criticize only his acting, but not himself as an individual.

Learning to Be a Better Person

Ben said his true character is not like Poon Sir who is an ambitious workaholic, but more akin to the sentimental Chai Yat Fai in Silver Spoon, Sterling Shackles. Ben revealed that his wife is still not used to watching him play a villain. “The reason is because I am not a bad guy! I have to learn and adapt to be a villain for my roles, while in real life, I am learning to be a good person. How extreme!”

Ben believes that in real life, no one wants to be a bad person.  He strongly feels that human nature is inherently kind, and being good or evil depends on the choices of the individual.


This article is written by Lance for

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  1. Agree that Ben Wong acted very well as Chai Yat Fai in SSSS. I enjoyed watching him, better than his Poon Sir (a villainous character) in “HAL”.

  2. Ben Wong is IMO has improved tremendously since A Kindred Spirts. I loved him in that old series as a kid, and I love watching him now. Glad he returned, and even though I support Koo Ming Hua for BSA this year, it wouldn’t hurt if Ben Wong won BSA a second time. Sadly he didn’t get nominated, but the future is looking bright for him. BA one day? A man can dream!

    1. TVBfadan,
      Certainly Wayne Lai’s success story inspires many veteran actors who have struggled for years to wish for the same financial success and ability to lead dramas.

      However, Ben appears to be a very blunt personality who doesn’t mince his words. He may be considered to be too “difficult” to manage…reflecting back to last year’s awards, I’m surprised TVB decided to give him the Best Supporting Actor based on his no-nonsense attitude.

      Wayne is much more politically correct than Ben since winning the Best Actor awards. Wayne’s wife and manager appears to have good communication skills and likely deserves credit for negotiating the favorable terms with TVB.

      1. It is true. Wayne’s wife is very good in public relations and getting jobs and negotiating remuneration for Wayne Lai. Wayne got a lot more jobs after getting TV King awards.

        Perhaps Ben has to find a good manager for him in liaising with TVB, and he does not have to do it himself if he has a blunt personality. He just focuses on his acting.

      2. Because Wayne knows never to bite the hand that feeds him. And he also knows he needs TVB, but TVB can find another veteran. He waited for years for the success he has today, he is not one to throw it all away over some lack of nomination which is in name only. The real remuneration is in the money.

  3. Agree that Ben Wong’s acting has improved tremendously vs. his role as Ah Hoi in “A Kindred Spirit”. He was just a handsome guy in “A Kindred Spirit”, but he is a very good actor now.

  4. Ben’s acting is so good as a villain that viewers lose perspective between professional acting and true personality traits or behavior. As a result, Ben’s receipt of constant scolding/mocking or depising him as a person is unwarranted but as a character definitely most welcome due to his top notch performance. It is the viewers problem that they are not able to differentiate and the TVB executives are banking on him to continue to utilize him as such which leads to type-casting which Ben may not welcome but have to accept to continue to get good supporting roles.

  5. It just shows how good he was in the role to have people scold him for the role he was portraying.

  6. Well done, Ben, getting all the rave reports re his acting. I certainly enjoy watching him in the various series and am sure of his facing a bright future.

  7. He got lucky not to be nominated. haha. He’s receiving more attention for not being nominated than he would have if he did.

    1. Even that I’m piss because he is not nominated then I have to agree with you on this one lol. Because when he is not nominated then people keep supporting him, and raise their voice on how unfair it is towards him, this way then it shows how much people actually likes him as an actor. I would believe he wouldn’t have got the same attention if he was nominated, because the lime light this year is on Koo ming wah and Power Chan so those two are big competitors.

  8. i think that ben wong is a good actor but it just feels that tvb has something against him.

    is it me or can others also see an evil look in him, maybe becasue of his eyes

  9. I like him as Ah Hoi. He’s cute and adorable there. Hang in there buddy.

  10. “. As many netizens seemingly cannot distinguish the difference between reality and fiction, they often leave nasty messages on Ben’s Weibo. ”

    LOL….are people that dumb?

  11. Poon Sir is ridiculous, no motive at all, no idea why the scripted like that

  12. i actually like him in that damien lau series, not a lot of likable characters there but there he seems like a genuinely nice character right now, dont know if he will change in the coming episodes. overall, his character with IDY is so good, i thought he acted better in this one that the other cop series but overall he is a GOOD actor, its no joke hahaa… so not get even a stupid nomination is a disapointment to anyone. but TVB is a joke itself w/so called winnings.

  13. I actually liked him from a long time ago in that series starring Sheren Tang, Lawrence Ng and Nancy Sit. There was a particular episode where he plays this shop owner(?) from abroad and he comes to HK looking for (more like “buying”) a wife (Sheren). I can’t recall much about it, but I remember the way Ben acted – especially with his eyes – since that character was pretty aloof and man of few words anyway.

  14. Ben shouldn’t let the fact that he didnt get nominated deter him from continuing to work hard and improve as an actor. All his fans will continue to support him!!

  15. I like him as Chai Yat Fai in SSSS! His character is really…sweet, lol. One of the better characters that I like to watch in the entire series. Actually…it’s prolly only him cuz aside from Damien Lau, I don’t like any others @_@

    I don’t want him to be casted as the villain too many times or else he’ll be stereotyped in the future.

    1. Yeah, I also liked Ben Wong’s character, Chai Yat Fai, in SSSS. He acted very well in his character, better than Poon Sir, a lot more feeling and inner emotions

  16. Somehow I think Ben should thank whoever kicked him out of the nomination list :D. He is more famous than he can be if he has a name in the list.

    1. Is there any chance TVB purposely left out some nominees to make audience sympathy for them!

  17. I’m okay with Ben. I think even if he was on the nomination list this year he wouldn’t win( my opinion) because he won last year already and I don’t think he an win two years in a row.

  18. Ben’is so so cool and handsome in his role Chai Yat Fai.. His acts so excellent especial with Idy. He should only take good roles instead. If i was his wife. I wouldnt want to watch bad guy. Ben is right, we all natually kind. I think his real personality is kind and friendly because I usually see he always smile with everyone.. Doesnt matter he will win award or not his acts win his audience’s heart means everything..Ben wins alot female’s heart in Chai Yat Fai, including me..hahha..Chai yat fai sounds like chow yun fat Idy’s ex…love to see Ben in the next good romantic, calm man..

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