Shaun Tam Shares Difficulty of Being a Second-Generation Celebrity

When Shaun Tam (譚俊彥) was studying in Canada, he had intended to pursue a career in advertising, but he found himself entering the entertainment industry upon his return to Hong Kong. As a second-generation celebrity, Shaun admits that doors opened more easily for him, especially at the start of his career.

His father, Ti Lung (狄龍), who was a famous Hong Kong actor in the 1970s and 1980s, helped Shaun land his first role in Midnight Fly <慌心假期> alongside Anita Mui (梅艷芳). Shaun’s good boy image impressed veteran actors, and Anita offered advice that he still finds to be useful today. He shared, “Anita taught me to choose my friends wisely, and advised which places I should and should not go to.”

Ti Lung’s expectations on him were simple, as Shaun recalled, “He told me three things I can never do: enter a homosexual relationship, do drugs, or join the triads. I don’t have interests in any of these things, so my dad was relieved.”

Carrying the name of Ti Lung’s son, or second-generation celebrity, can sometimes be a big pressure. While he received certain opportunities because of his father, Shaun said that was not always the case, “My dad would never tell people directly to cast me. My dad doesn’t own a filming company nor is he the president of the Hong Kong Performing Artistes Guild, so why would people just randomly give me a chance? [The gossip] used to bother me to the point where I didn’t even want to take a picture with my dad. But now, I’ve matured and I’m no longer as stubborn. I think it is fate that both of us have played Justice Pao and allow the viewers to enjoy [the dramas].”

Aside from his dad’s support,  Shaun is also grateful towards his wife Yann‘s (任祉妍) sacrifices for their family. He still remembers the night he confessed to her, in which they were under a starry night. At first, Yann rejected him because he felt their relationship would not be secure due to different directions in their lives. Now with two children, their family bond has grown stronger. He said, “My wife is my biggest support. She gave up her career to support our family. I am very lucky.”


This article is written by Hailey for

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  1. I love Ti Lung ! I dun see any big sacrifice from the wife regarding “sacrificing career`… all women would rather take care of kids. I think she knew she wasn`t going to be popular since there are so many mainland chinese actresses in mainland china. Her chance to move to HK too.

    1. @jujuxoxo I read a more detailed article before, I think his wife was a theater actor (as opposed to movie actor?) and seemed like her career was better than his then.

      They also supposedly got married because she got pregnant. So maybe she did sacrifice her career.

      Btw, in that pic above, they got the ‘husband wife look’.

    2. @jujuxoxo
      This ‘all woman would rather take care of kids’ is incorrect. While I spend 90% of my day with the kids during this lockdown, my wife would rather be on her phone chatting to friends, relatives, watch ‘tik tok’ or play on Animal crossing on handheld device. She would rather go back to work where she would take care of the kids even less. Obviously we all wish kids take priority but this isn’t the case for every mother…

      1. @jimmyszeto
        Very true and your wife sounds like my sister in laws. They would do anything rather than take care of their kids. I find it sad as once the kids grow up, they will not have a bond with them and the kids will resent them. That was how my late aunt was and she paid the price for not taking care of her kids. They all had no bond with her and many resented her. In fact, in her old age, none of them wanted to take care of her. Her oldest son was forced to as none of the other kids were willing to, but her son was not happy about it. However, he had no choice since he is not working so had no excuse to say no. Basically, as a parent we need to be there for our children or they will resent us and grow distant from us as they grow up. What goes around comes around…

      2. @hetieshou
        Yes. I tell her all the time about the future ramifications but there are many people who won’t change until it hits them in the face and by then it’s far too late. It is evident when the children are favouring one parent by a landslide already. It would only get worse when they grow older and it would be even more awkward to connect with the parent they remember as not involved in their daily activities. I believe there is only a small period of time from around Age 5-13 or so where can enjoy this glorious period time time with them. Once you miss it then that is it. Considering I work away from home and only come back 2-3 days a week max and still hold a much relationship with the kids speaks volumes….

      3. @jimmyszeto
        You are soooo correct as I see that with one of my sister in laws now as my brother and I do most of the work while my sister in law just works and even on her off days, she just either goes shopping or watches dramas on the iPad. Sadly people refuse to change until it is too late then they regret it. Some mothers naively think that just because they gave birth to the kids that the kids must love and will take care of them in old age no matter what. That is sooo untrue as I have seen with my late aunt and other cases. I have another aunt who was a great mother who took great care of her kids and now they love her so much. Everyone told that aunt of mine that she planted good seeds so is now enjoying the good fruits of her labor.

        Yes, the time that the kids are young is very limited and they grow up fast…. once they grow up that is it. If as a parent, we do not do our part, the kids remember it all will just continue to grow distant from you that it will be harder to form a bond. That was exactly what happened to my late aunt.

        It is great that you are spending as much time with your kids as you can. They will remember and treasure you more. I can see with my brother and my nephews. They clearly favor their dad over their mom and even me who is only their aunt since we are there for them and take care of them. Their mom thinks that their kids will love her if she throws money at them in the future. How sad is that?

        I hope your wife will realize how important it is to be there for your kids or else she will regret it in the long run.

      4. @hetieshou
        Haha. Yeh that’s what they think. Giving birth so it’s automatic bond back in the future. Does not matter not doing much. She also states just like what you described. She has our money so will give them nothing if they ignore her in future. As if they care about the money. If they do then they it would be all fake anyway. We aren’t exactly rich anyway…

      5. @jimmyszeto
        I am so sorry that your wife is like that. Giving birth to a child means nothing if you are not willing to be there for them and care for them. My sister in laws are the same way. They just care about working and making money but that is it. I wonder why is your wife holding and controlling all of the money? I can understand if it is her own money that she worked hard for, but is she controlling your money too? One of my sister in laws controls the money too but she is a decent mom compared to my other sister in laws. My other brothers keep their money but they have a joint account with their wife too. I find it sad if your wife is using money to manipulate your kids like that. You should control at least some of the money in case your kids need it in the future. I truly hope your kids will not have to act all fake just to get some money from your wife. Money cannot buy love and affection.

    3. @jujuxoxo
      That is not true as many women these days would rather go make money and put it all in their pockets while leaving their kids to others. Many just want to have kids but not take care of them. I have 3 sister in laws so far and none of them wanted to take care of their kids. They all would rather work and make money.

  2. Oh..I didn’t realise he is Ti Lung’s son!!!! I remember Ti Lung was super star when I was young featuring in lots of action movies.

  3. Lol, one of those three rules is absurd. Unlike, the triad or drugs, being gay isn’t a choice. That’s like saying he can only go out with certain races of women, which, knowing how his dad is so old school, I bet he had his preference too.

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