Not all “green leaf” actors remain unknown. The name Hui Siu Hung (許紹雄), or Benz Hui, has been well-known since he first joined TVB in the early 1970s. A student of TVB’s first graduating acting class, the name “Benz Hui” came to play after he was photographed driving a Mercedes-Benz to work.
Benz Hui has clarified, over and over again, that his reasons for purchasing a Mercedez-Benz was not to flaunt his status, but because he truly believed that it was a durable vehicle.
Whether it is Benz Hui’s wealthy background or his prolific television and film career, the epithet “king” for Benz Hui is well-suited.
However, Benz Hui’s origins are no laughing matter. His great-grandfather, Hui Ying Kwai (許應騤) of Guangdong, was the Viceroy of Minzhe, who had jurisdiction over the provinces of Fujian, Taiwan, and Zhejiang during the Qing Dynasty. Benz Hui’s great-aunt Hui Kwong Ping (許廣平), was the wife of Lu Xun (魯迅), one of the major Chinese writers of the 20th century. His great-uncle, Hui Sung Chi (許崇智), had a key role in establishing the Republic of China Military Academy.
Fortune Favors Fools
With over forty years of experience, nothing stands as a challenge for Benz Hui. Whether or not it is the role of a stubborn wealthy businessman, or the role of a poor and aloof house servant, or the role of an honest small shop owner, Benz excels in every single one of them. It is Benz’s flexibility as an actor, and his devotion to the arts, that has maintained his ever flourishing career in both television and film. What is Benz Hung’s secret formula for a long-lasting acting career? “Oh, I don’t know,” the 65-year-old actor said. “Maybe fortune favors the fools?
“I remember the day I auditioned for TVB very well. At the time, the audition fee for their artist class was five dollars. Five dollars was a lot of money. The taxi flag drop in Kowloon was only one dollar at the time, and in Hong Kong Island, it was a dollar and fifty. The artist class seemed interesting, so I decided to try it out. I never expected myself to become an actor. In the 1970s, those who were in the entertainment industry were always very handsome. I wouldn’t stand a chance with my looks! I was surprised when I was selected!”
Benz’s first television drama with TVB, Astray <歧途>, was also TVB’s first drama to be produced in color film. “The drama was produced by both TVB and the Hong Kong Police Department. A foreign police officer called Mr. English would be there to overlook the filming. He told me that I had the looks of a CID, and he asked me how much I earned a month. I told him $500 HKD. He then asked if I was interested in being a CID instead, because their monthly salary was at least $3,000 HKD. The ICAC was not established then, so cops could be bought. I didn’t know why I told him I wasn’t interested. It took me a while to get over the regret!”
That was the only time when Benz considered changing his career. “I don’t know what to do with my life if I’m not acting. Think about it. Every time you act, you are with a lot of people. You get to try out different lives. You get to be part of something that you never expect yourself to be part of. Is there a better job than this? You get to have fun, have a wife, and have children. I have no regrets.”
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.