Wednesday, November 26, 2003
[TVB Weekly - Issue 339 - 25/11/03]
Roger Kwok - Gaining Three Awards in a Row, Crying Three Times
"This year's favourite male lead role is.... Kwok Chun On", at the live Anniversary show, Roger jumps up with joy and shakes his arms as he shouts out. As he receives the award from Flora Chan, he tells himself to be happy when offering his thanks, but he cannot control his emotions and his tears flow on the stage. Thinking that he would compose himself backstage, but when it was mentioned about someone who he has partnered, he cries a man's tears once more. After the ceremony, he was congratulated by many colleagues and fans and as he sat at home, he received a phone call that made him cry again. Who made him so emotional? In this year's anniversary celebration, Roger was awarded "My Favourite Television Character", "My Favourite Partnership (in a Series)" and "My Favourite Male Lead Role" awards and this is also the first time he has gained an award in his seventeen years with TVB. In the long years, he has finally reaped the rewards of his hard work and this evening has finally brought him into the limelight.
Planning in advance reactions for winning and losing
Since the voting started for the favourite male lead award, Roger's character of 'Ah Wong' has been the hot favourite and many people said that he had the award in the bag already, but as long as the award had not yet been announced, there was still a chance of losing and at the centre of it all, Roger had told himself not to pin his hopes too high, so he had prepared two reactions for the evening. "If I won, I would receive the award happily, but if I didn't win, I would still maintain my smile and happily congratulate the winner. To be honest, the five finalists on the stage, including myself each had their own supporters to vote for them and each of us had a chance of winning, so I faced it with a simple heart as I waited for the results to be announced. The funniest thing was that even the people who were doing my hair and make up had planned to give me a pat on the back if I didn't win and not say anything. I understood that it wasn't only me who was nervous, but all the people and colleagues around me were too."
The First Tears: the Presentation Stage
When the result was announced, Roger was so excited that he jumped up with joy and this was not the reaction that he had planned. He says that at that moment, he released all the feelings and emotions is his heart in one go like a bomb exploding. "I am feeling very emotional and I have to thank everyone who has been by my side and helped me at TVB over the last 17 years as I mention every name that flashes before me. First there is my family, then Leung Hung Cheung who cast me in 'City Stories' and helped me to join TVB. Also Chun Jer (Catherine Tsang) who often spoke to me with strict tones, but she has always been a very work-orientated person. Many people say she is harsh, but if she did not speak to people so firmly, how would anyone remember the lesson to be learned? Also, there is Leung Ka Shu who is a very important person to me, he gave me the chance to try many different characters allowing people to see a very different Kwok Chun On and with 'Ah Wong', he brought me into a completely new realm. Actually there is also another producer I must thank and that is the producer for 'Rural Hero' Poon Ka Tak, because it was him who gave me an important role when I returned from trying my luck elsewhere and gave me the opportunity to start again with supporting roles. The reason I am so emotional is that I want to thank everyone who has ever helped me in the 17 years at TVB, who has taught me what an adult should do and that is to empathise, care for and be thankful to everyone who has ever helped me."
Roger tells of his feelings of the evening when he received the award: "I feel that that night was my best-looking appearance since I entered the industry. I have always felt I am not as good looking as Andy Lau or as charismatic as Tony Leung, but when I looked at myself in the mirror ready to go on stage... haha! I felt I was really handsome!"
The Second Tears: Backstage
After the award was presented and he returned backstage, Roger regained his composure, but when he was interviewed by 'Jade Starbiz', once again he couldn't hold back his tears as he thanked his TVB manager Ka Li who has worked with him for the past year and has been arranging his schedules and work for him, she has been through a lot of pressure during this time: "I wanted to use this opportunity to thank her, but I couldn't hold back the tears again..." At the time, as well as Roger who was being interviewed, Ka Li was beside him watching the filming and of course as a talent manager, she wants her artistes to become more and more famous and in order to make sure that there are no mishaps, the pressure on her is very great. Seeing Roger become so successful, her hard work has been repaid and naturally Ka Li released her emotions alongside Roger.
The Third Tears: At Home
After the celebration was over and everyone had left, Roger received many congratulations from artiste colleagues and the media before returning home and replying to all the calls from his family and fans. Among them were some words from his closest sister that moved him to tears for a third time. "She said: 'You have never thanked your family since you entered the industry, but your first thanks tonight went out to the family!" After she said this, my heart became very fragile again because I am the youngest and my family are very accommodating of me. This has made me very stubborn and mischievous, often feeling that my family has never given me enough. I have been spoiled, but after entering showbiz and coming into contact with more people, I have learned about how to deal with people and matters and found that many things cannot be taken for granted. This has made me realise that my childhood was very fortunate and I am lucky in that when I realised this, my family are all still by my side. My sister once said to me that the love of partners and friends can change, but the only love that will never change is family love, like the skin they are attached to the flesh! At the time of receiving the award, the first thing that flashed before me was to thank my family because I really miss them a lot. A united family has given me strength and have given me a happy childhood, so that I could reflect this when I was playing the character of Ah Wong." Talking of how he has been celebrating with his family, he says: "I have been busy filming for 'Gak Sai Jui Hung' but afterwards, at the beginning of December, we will all go out for a meal."
A Great Present after Seventeen Years
Roger's three awards are the first major gifts from TVB in seventeen years and as well as being happy, he feels that there is a deeper meaning to these awards. He says: "There are not many people who can work for a company for seventeen years and during this time I have had my lows, running into difficulties, when I asked the company if they could let me out to try my luck elsewhere. TVB were very accommodating and comforted me by saying two or three more years and I would be out of the rut. However I felt that there was no way out in the company and they finally agreed to let me try my luck elsewhere. This journey opened my eyes as I found out how they filmed in other companies and met my mentor and teacher - Cheng Chak Si. When I asked him why should we in the performance industry, he said: "Do you love acting at this time? If you don't then there is nothing more to say, if you do, then think back to when you first entered the industry and the curiosity and enthusiasm you showed to your scripts. Treat yourself as a newcomer facing new challenges with your work each day. The world is always changing and different situations will have different ways of dealing with them, it is all very challenging.'"
These words came as an important lesson to Roger and it finally came to him that he should face each day with the vitality and curiosity of a newcomer, this broadened his horizons and even his appearance has changed. "When my attitudes changed, I found that my appearance became different too as I saw a changed me on the screen, I was happier and more open-minded. Also I didn't mind taking on some secondary supporting roles, starting afresh from the bottom because I had promised myself to face my work positively and create good results every day."
"Rural Hero" was Roger Kwok's first TVB series after his transformation and watching his productions after this, despite many of them not starring him as lead, he continued his determination and gained more and more approval and recognition from the viewers until finally gaining the favourite male lead award when he says that this has proven his path that he has taken in recent years has not been a wrong one.
Just Thinking About Today
The award may be won for this year, but no-one knows what next year will bring and Roger holds the view that he should just do today's work well and not worry about next year. "This was affected by Joey Yung because she is always very busy: recording, filming series, making movies, ads and performing. As her work arrives in mountains, she say sto me that she will not worry today about what she has to do tomorrow, she will only work at completing today's tasks and let her staff tell her what she has to do next. So if I finish work at 3am and then I have to start work tomorrow at 6am, then I will rest immediately when I get home. This will make myself happier because if I start thinking about tomorrow's work before I have completed todays, then the extra worry will affect my work. So why don't I just concentrate on today's work and save up the successes of today to add to that of tomorrow and the day after. Just like this year's awards, if next year it is not mine, then it doesn't matter. It can't be helped because no-one knows what the future paths will bring. You just have to treasure the opportunities you have before you."
The Meaning of Being Number One
Roger has been dubbed as TVB's Number One male lead, but to him, this is just a label ad he believes that being Number One has another meaning. "The true meaning of Number One is that the company respects you because you are serious about your work, punctual for filming, know your lines and will do what you pledge to do and not just saying things without substance. If I don't do this well, then I will set a bad example and the newcomers will learn from this. The true number one has to earn people's respect."
Girlfriend Afraid of Stealing the Show
In Roger's acceptance speech, everyone was waiting for a name to appear and that was his girlfriend Cindy Au. Talking of this matter, Roger laughed: "It's not necessary! It's be so many years already! If I need to thank her, I will thank her for her soup and her understanding, putting up with my temper. Sometimes I can be quite difficult and she will take it in silence. I feel that she has really grown up and in my heart I feel she is quite intelligent." The long awaited moment of course is the girlfriend congratulating the male lead, but this was a momentary occasion that took place secretly, why didn't you share your little romantic moment with everyone? "It wasn't very comfortable and everything has its good and bad side. The good side would be that she is happy for my success, but the negative would be that people think she is stealing the limelight. She is very worried that people will see her in the negative light. She was so emotional that she was a little teary as well." This year, Roger has success in both his career and his romance and has some new experiences in life, but the luck of 'Ah Wong' has been by his side all along and that feeling of happiness and contentment is firmly planted in his heart.
For the Chinese article and some great pics of the shoot as well as snippets from the anniversary, please visit this link:
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