First-Time Top 40 Nominee Brandon Wong Says He Feels Like A “Mature Woman Finally Pregnant After Trying For Years”
The elated 50-year-old actor adds that he hopes Star Awards voters will support him so a win is, er, “birthed”.
8days.sg spoke to the 50-year-old actor shortly after the Top 40 Most Popular Artistes press conference, where he had likened his nomination to a “high-risk pregnancy” and this curious analogy was still on his mind when we chatted on the phone.
1 of 2Brandon was understandably over the moon
8 DAYS: Congratulations on your first Top 20 Most Popular Male Artiste nomination! How do you feel?
BRANDON WONG: I feel like a woman who’s at a mature age and finally got pregnant after trying for years. Whether I can “give birth” depends on the viewers who continue to support me [by voting for me]. (Laughs)
Of course, I was quite taken aback when I first heard about my nomination. I also feel that this is an affirmation that I’m recognised [in showbiz]. Getting nominated might not be a big deal to a lot of people, like ‘Oh it’s just a Top 20 nom’, but I consider it a small achievement after 27 years.
What was your first reaction when you were told?
When my manager called to tell me the news, my first response was, ‘Okay. I’m driving now’. I was on the way to pick up my kids so I had to calm myself down and focus on the road. It was only after we got home that I told them the good news.
Every year, my boys ask me, ‘Daddy, why aren’t you taking part [in Star Awards]?’ because they don’t see me nominated. To be honest, I did feel a bit frustrated because of this, and it felt like my job every year was just to sit in the audience and celebrate my colleagues’ achievements. This year, finally, I could finally tell them, ‘Daddy got nominated for the first time this year’ and they were even happier than I was. I could feel how innocent they were based on their thinking and I was so glad to see them happy.
You’re also nominated for the Most Hated Villain award.
I’ve been playing the bad guy for so many years, so I’m very glad that the roles I’ve been offered recently have more depth than just that. I’m not a bad guy in real life so I hope that people understand playing such roles requires acting chops. (Laughs)
2 of 2Fellow Top 40 nominees Chantalle Ng & Rebecca Lim are among those who have congratulated Brandon
What do you think your chances of winning either or both prizes are?
I’m not trying to be humble when I’m saying this but… Okay, let’s start from the Top 10. Being nominated for the first time is already a blessing in itself. If, somehow, I make it to the Top 10, I’ll feel that viewers have finally acknowledged that I’m a nice guy playing bad roles. But I’m quite low-key on social media, so I don’t think my chances of winning are high ‘cos the other contestants have a lot of followers, which I think would be helpful when it comes to voting. I’m more traditional in the sense that I hope that people who watch me on TV are impressed enough by my performance to vote for me.
As for the Most Hated Villain award… I think I have a 20 per cent chance of winning. There are five of us nominated and each of our characters are all worthy of the title. (Chuckles)
Do you think that playing the villain contributed to your delayed entry to the Top 20?
Hmm… Truthfully, audiences in the past were more “traditional” in the sense that they rooted for the actors who played good guys on screen and disliked the ones who played the bad guys. Social media wasn’t as well-developed back then so people wouldn’t know what the real Brandon Wong is like, save for the rare occasions when I went on variety shows.
I think that would have affected the impression people have of me.
In recent years, I’ve taken on different roles so I think this helped soften that. People these days are also more accepting of actors who play villains.
More veteran actors are getting their first nominations or wins in recent Star Awards.
It’s related to what I said before about audiences becoming more accepting of diversity. I think they focus more on talent and depth these days – you don’t have to be incredibly young or good-looking to catch the attention of viewers these days.
That’s exactly why Korean dramas are exciting – you don’t just focus on the young main couple; people across generations can have exciting backstories as well.
Photos: Brandon Wong/Instagram, Mediacorp
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