We caught more than one audience member tearing up during Chew Chor Meng’s speech, after he was announced as the recipient of the Special Achievement Award. The winner of this award was a closely guarded secret, not publicized ahead of the show, though no one would think Chor Meng unworthy of the honour. A standing ovation greeted the announcement as a special montage chronicling his three decades in the business played on screen.
He choked up as he made his acceptance speech.
“I’ve spent half my life doing what I love but I don’t feel that my achievements have been outstanding. When they told me that they wanted to give me the special achievement award, I thought about (whether I should accept it) for a very long time,” the actor said.
Chor Meng continued, “My health hasn’t been the best for the past 10 years but I’m thankful that I’m still able to act. Even though there are times when my physical condition has stopped me from doing what I want to do, I’m grateful that I have colleagues who understand and support me.”
He added that despite his constant battle with spinal muscular atrophy, which he was diagnosed with in 2008, he would continue working hard in all his future acting projects.
“I’m afraid that there will be a day when I can’t walk,” he confessed. “But even if the only thing I can do is sit there, I’ll make sure that I’ll still do my best where I am, because I am an actor. An actor’s job is to be responsible for his acting.”
Another celebrated veteran was Chen Shu Cheng, who quipped that his Best Supporting Actor award for his role in A Million Dollar Dream came one year shy of his 50th year in showbiz.
He shared, “I want to tell myself that I should work hard for one more year and see if I’ll be able to cross the half-century mark with pride. That’s the goal that I’m working towards right now. I still enjoy my job. The past 50 years haven’t been easy.”
Shu Cheng confessed that he has been so busy filming that he “hasn’t even had time to dream of winning the award”, and that he felt he didn’t stand a high chance of winning as this wasn’t the first time he played a character with dementia.
“My fellow nominees are all very young, but their acting chops are very good (…) and I was worried that the judges would find that my performance isn’t fresh because this isn’t the first time I’ve acted in a similar role.”
Likewise, Best Supporting Actress Lin Meijiao chuckled that her win came as a complete surprise.
“I told Aileen that the both of us should just show up with the mentality of attendees,” she laughed. “My role (in Fifty and Fabulous) had a lot of emotional scenes and I really want to thank my director. It was he who created such a good environment for me to deliver the emotions that I needed for my scenes.”
Noticeably absent last night was her daughter, Chantalle Ng, who has always been by her side at the annual awards show.
“She mentioned that I don’t seem to win any awards whenever she’s present, so I said that I’ll give it a try. In the end, this happened. I want to tell her, ‘Chantalle, mummy won an award!’,” Meijiao beamed. “She’s watching Star Awards at her friend’s house so I expect that she should be jumping up and down there.”
As for her future plans, Meijiao shared that the first thing on her mind is getting some rest.
“I’ve been working hard for more than 30 years. I hope to be able to quietly spend some time to consider what I want to do in the future. It’s not that I won’t act any longer, but I’ll let myself have a good rest first.”
What you didn’t see on TV at Star Awards 2019
Old-timers take over the SA2019 Top 20
Chen Hanwei’s record-breaking Best Actor win at SA2019
Hot or Not: Star Awards 2019 Fashion
Star Awards 2019 in pictures
Star Awards 2019: Walk of Fame
Exclusive access to Star Awards 2019 behind the scenes interview part 1!
Exclusive access to Star Awards 2019 behind the scenes interview part 2!
Best Newcomer Jasmine Sim: “These three years have been difficult”
Kym Ng: The All-Time Favourite Award will encourage me to work harder
Chen Shu Cheng: I didn’t expect to win Best Supporting Actor
Lin Mei Jiao hopes to give herself a good break after Best Supporting Actress win
Jesseca Liu: “I can’t wait to have a proper meal”
Hong Hui Fang: “I never thought that I would win the Top 10”
Rebecca Lim: I kind of wish that I can still be in ‘school’ forever
Pan Ling Ling: I received my very first award from Chow Yun Fat
Lina Ng: Being congratulated by my peers is the best acknowledgement
Pierre Png, Romeo Tan, Zhu Hou Ren, Dasmond Koh, Desmond Tan and Chen Shu Cheng share their thoughts on getting a Top 10!
Felicia Chin: There’s no given for the Top 10
Zoe Tay, Chen Han Wei: We achieved our Best Actor award with our effort and hard work over the years
Dasmond Koh reveals that Aloysius Pang's voice was included in tribute performance
Pierre Png: This is what it feels like to be on top of the world!
Chen Shu Cheng wins first Top 10 award after 49 years in showbiz
Hong Hui Fang: I didn’t hear my name when they announced it!
Xiang Yun: I once wondered if I should even stay on in this industry