The Fall and Rise of Edwin Siu
As one of TVB’s most highly promoted artists, many tend forget that Edwin Siu (蕭正楠) actually began his career as an idol singer in 2002. At 25 years old, Edwin debuted under Music Nation, which was supported by the release of his debut EP, Born to Fly. With his good looks, charming manners, and catchy karaoke tunes, the “Unique Perspective” <眼光獨到> singer shot to fame immediately after his debut.
In less than two years, Edwin released ten music singles (three of which became number-one singles), three albums, and won seven music awards. Edwin’s success in music also bridged his career in television – less than six months after his official music debut, Edwin was cast as the lead role in TVB idol drama, Aqua Heroes <戀愛自由式>, starring opposite Bobo Chan (陳文媛), Leila Tong (唐寧), and Bosco Wong (黃宗澤). Although the drama was the second lowest-rated TVB drama of 2003, Edwin’s performance in the drama was well-received by viewers and critics.
Downfall as a Singer
A simple and unassuming “the good will always prevail” comment turned Edwin’s booming career to spiral down.
The phrase, which was overheard by a paparazzi reporter while Edwin was talking to his colleagues at the JSG Music Awards afterparty in January 2003, was meteorically overblown by the tabloids. Edwin was accused of using the phrase to mock his strongest rookie opponent, Juno Mak (麥浚龍), whose success was said to be due to his rich background and influential father. Plagued by negative rumors and press, Music Nation decided to bench Edwin’s career in Hong Kong and forced him to start anew in mainland China.
“Everything happened so fast. I actually didn’t even know what was going on. I really didn’t want to start over in mainland China, but now as I think back, I believe my company’s decision had been a correct one. Given the situation at the time, more explanations would just create more misunderstandings.”
Comeback as an Actor
Edwin left for mainland China in 2004 and achieved mild popularity through his performances in television dramas. Although his mainland career was not a big success, Edwin’s income was stable and his eminence in China was acknowledged. But the unyielding Edwin did not want to hide away in mainland China forever; in 2008, Edwin made the bold decision to return to Hong Kong.
“My family had a rough time during the years I was in mainland China. Many people kept asking them about my situation and why I had to leave. It caused great stress for my mother and sister. That’s why I came back, to be with them.
“I thought of giving up, but I realized that I still had many other opportunities ahead of me. That’s why I decided to come back to Hong Kong and start over again. I signed with TVB so I could get another chance.”
Edwin’s career as a TVB artist was the complete contrast of his singing career. His rise was slow but deliberate and steady. It took Edwin almost three years before he earned a star billing role in Forensic Heroes 3 <法證先鋒III>. It took yet another year before Edwin was offered even heavier roles in TVB dramas – last year’s The Confidant <大太監> and the currently airing A Great Way to Care 2 <仁心解碼II>, are dramas that feature Edwin in prominent supporting roles.
On speaking about his well-received role as the bucktooth Dr. Jackson in A Great Way to Care 2, Edwin laughed. “I once wore the set of fake teeth and waited to get my makeup done. No one could recognize me. I waited for a long time before someone came to do my makeup. No one knew I was Edwin Siu until I said so.”
Edwin’s slow rise to leading actor may finally be achieved this year. He is currently shooting for TVB’s latest grand production, No Reserve <巾幗梟雄之諜血長天>, the third installment of the acclaimed Rosy Business <巾幗梟雄> franchise. Starring in lead roles alongside Wayne Lai (黎耀祥) and Myolie Wu (胡杏兒), Edwin portrays the tragic anti-hero of an innocent country boy turned heartless Republican Chinese spy. Edwin spilled that his role will be one with “heavy taste and controversy; my character will eventually go psychotic. He will rape everyone in sight, including both men and women. This role will be the biggest challenge of my acting career.”
Brother’s Keeper <巨輪>, another grand TVB production, also features Edwin in a leading role. The cross-millennia epic, which will air in late 2013, also stars Ruco Chan (陳展鵬), Louise Lee (李司棋), Linda Chung(鍾嘉欣), and Kristal Tin (田蕊妮). At the annual TVB Anniversary Awards this year, maybe we will finally see the chance of Edwin competing for Best Actor.
“As an actor, our job is to do our duty and act well. Anything else other than that depends on luck. For example, Koo Ming Wah (古明華) and Wayne Lai had always been excellent actors, but with luck, every cloud will have its silver lining. They eventually made it.”
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.