Golden Horse Awards: Hong Kong's Anthony Wong wins best leading actor

11/20/2022 12:32 AM
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Anthony Wong (right) concludes his award acceptance speech by looking up and simply saying "Thank..." with his young co-star Sahal Zaman behind him at the Golden Horse Awards ceremony in Taipei Saturday CNA photo Nov. 21, 2022
Anthony Wong (right) concludes his award acceptance speech by looking up and simply saying "Thank..." with his young co-star Sahal Zaman behind him at the Golden Horse Awards ceremony in Taipei Saturday CNA photo Nov. 21, 2022

Taipei, Nov. 19 (CNA) Anthony Wong (黃秋生) of Hong Kong won best leading actor honors at the Golden Horse Awards on Saturday for his performance as a taxi driver in "The Sunny Side of the Street (白日青春)."

Wong's character in the movie is a seasoned driver who helps a Hong Kong-born Pakistani boy on the run achieve his dream of going to Canada after the death of the boy's father.

"I can't believe this. I really didn't think this was possible because I have been pretty accurate in guessing the wins throughout the night. I made a wrong prediction just now," Wong said in accepting the award.

The 61-year-old honored his late mother by recounting an experience years ago when he came to Taiwan to attend a Golden Horse Awards ceremony in which he was nominated under the same category.

Wong said his mother made fun of him for bringing an empty suitcase from Hong Kong to buy books, as he had anticipated not winning his nomination. Wong said his late mother joked that purchasing books was homophonous in Chinese with "purchasing a loss," which was why he did not win.

Anthony Wong (left) and his young co-star Sahal Zaman hold each other on the stage after the Hong Kong actor received the best leading actor award at Saturday
Anthony Wong (left) and his young co-star Sahal Zaman hold each other on the stage after the Hong Kong actor received the best leading actor award at Saturday's Golden Horse Awards ceremony in Taipei Saturday. CNA file photo Nov. 19, 2022

"Today, I brought with me a full suitcase, which I think still has some room for this award, and I want to tell my mother I finally did it. Unfortunately, she is no longer with us."

Wong brought his young co-star Sahal Zaman on stage with him, and Zaman cried before introducing himself in Mandarin at Wong's encouragement.

On the red carpet, Zaman, who himself was nominated for best new performer, was asked by the hosts if it was intimidating to act alongside Wong, who is infamously scary.

Responding in fluent Cantonese, Zaman said Wong was never terrifying during their time working together.

In keeping with Golden Horse custom, Wong was presented with the best leading actor award by last year's best leading actress winner, Alyssa Chia (賈靜雯).

A trailer of "The Sunny Side of the Street." Source: Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival

The other best leading actor nominees were Wong's compatriots Louis Cheung (張繼聰) and Gordon Lam (林家棟) who starred in "The Narrow Road (窄路微塵)" and "Limbo (智齒)," respectively, as well as Taiwan's Joseph Chang (張孝全) and Yu An-shun (游安順), who played the lead roles in "The Post-Truth World (罪後真相)" and "Coo-Coo 043" (一家子兒咕咕叫), respectively.

It was the first Golden Horse win in the category for Wong, who had been nominated twice before, in 1998 and 1999, for best leading actor. He won the Golden Horse award for best supporting male actor in 2002, 2003 and 2005.

The star-studded ceremony was the first major international award ceremony in Taiwan since it eased its COVID-19 protocols and fully opened its borders on Oct. 13, which meant that the attendees from overseas did not have to go into quarantine on arrival.

The awards are considered the Chinese-language Oscars and are one of the most prestigious film events in the Chinese-speaking world.

(By James Lo)

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