The first series that I saw of Chan Wing Chun’s was The New Adventures of Chor Lau Heung (the Michael Miu / Barbara Yung version from 1984). That was one of my favorite ancient series from back in the day and definitely a ‘classic’ MUST WATCH series for those who haven’t seen it (personally, I’ve watched this series so many times, I’ve lost count already…LOL!). The entire cast did excellent jobs with their roles, but Michael Miu and Chan Wing Chun were especially memorable in their roles as ‘Chor Lau Heung’ and ‘Wu Tiet Fa’ respectively – in fact, to this day, no matter how many times the Chor Lau Heung story is re-made, the 2 of them will always be the only ones I remember for those 2 roles!
I remember reading about the death of Chan Wing Chun’s wife on his Weibo awhile back ago and how devastated he was over it. I actually got teary-eyed when I read the post he wrote about his wife – it was obvious that he loved his wife dearly and so took her passing especially hard…..I didn’t know though that he had considered taking his own life because of it! I’m glad that everything worked out in the end and that he has some true friends in the industry who helped him through the difficult time.
Oh, and I’m glad he clarified that piece about the reason why Felix Wong decided to join CTI – my respect for Felix just went up a few more notches after reading this interview (if that’s even possible, considering how much I already loved and respect Felix prior to this…haha!). I remember awhile back ago, when I saw Felix having a conversation with Ricky Wong on Weibo about joining his company, I thought it was kind of random at the time, especially since right before that, Felix was posting about a gathering with the Celebrity Soccer Team….now, those posts finally make sense for me….
Ok, so now that the ‘real reason’ behind why Felix Wong decided to join CTI has finally been revealed, can all those Ricky Wong / CTI haters FINALLY stop bashing Felix for supposedly ‘betraying’ his mother home [TVB] and joining a rival station? THANK YOU!!!
Veteran TVB actor Chan Wing Chun reveals that Felix Wong signed with CTI because of him
Source: HK Channel
If you were to search the name ‘Chan Wing Chun’ (陳榮峻) on the internet, the description of him likely to come up is that he specializes in playing sinister, ‘small potato’ type characters – however, in real life, he is the exact opposite: just like his good friend Felix Wong (黃日華), he is honest, straightforward, and very easy to talk to. Having worked at TVB for 28 years, Chan Wing Chun candidly states that in recent years, TVB has lost its ‘human interest’ element – everything has become more ‘institutionalized’ and as a result, they continue to lose more and more talent. Asked about Felix Wong signing with CTI, Chan Wing Chun took the opportunity to clear his good friend’s name: he indicated that Felix agreed to sign with CTI not because he wanted to ‘pave the way’ for his daughter to enter the industry, as had been widely rumored – in reality, Felix signed with CTI entirely because of Chan Wing Chun.
In his 28 year career at TVB, Chan Wing Chun has taken on so many ‘green leaf’ roles, most of us have lost count already -- even though he never got the chance to get to ‘first line siu sang’ level in his long career, Chan Wing Chun indicates that he does not regret the path he took. When he was young, Chan Wing Chun was actually quite good-looking, so he often got the opportunity to play young, handsome martial arts heroes in ancient series. Later on, he got typecasted into playing sinister, ‘small potato’ villain characters and as he got older, he got roles ranging from old timid men to impulsive tough guys. Asked why he decided to go into acting, he expressed that it was purely because of interest: “Before I entered the industry, I was an air conditioner mechanic – I made 2000 HKD a month with a 16 month salary…it was a pretty steady job. But I also had an interest in acting and since I didn’t have children yet at the time, I decided to give it try – it has been my career ever since.”
Laments TVB’s loss of ‘human interest’ element
Chan Wing Chun started in the industry working for [the now defunct] Commercial Television (CTV 佳藝電視) and joined TVB in 1984 when he entered their Acting Class that year. Asked how TVB has changed over the past 28 years, Chan Wing Chun stated that in the past, TVB had much more concern for human interest: “In the past, the company truly had a genuine concern for human interest – whether it was the cast working in front of the camera or the behind-the-scenes crew, everyone was very united and worked together as a team. Also, the seniors were very willing to teach their juniors and give them advice. Back then, I constantly collaborated with actors such as Michael Miu (苗僑偉), Austin Wai (惠天賜), etc. –they were never concerned that other actors might overshadow them or get in their way and were always very willing to give advice to others.” [TN: Sadly, this is very true – Chan Wing Chun isn’t the first veteran artist to talk about this kind of thing….seems that artists nowadays don’t care for advice from seniors anymore.]
Throughout the interview, Chan Wing Chun constantly talked about how good things were back in the day, so the reporter bluntly asked whether the TVB of today is ‘not good’ – towards this, he lamented: “There was more human concern back then – nowadays everything is more institutionalized. For instance, in the past, there was never the policy of requiring artists to pay a fine if they did not participate in enough ‘shows’. I could be at TVB City waiting for work, but sometimes the company doesn’t give me any work to do and then later they tell me that I didn’t have enough ‘shows’ and end up having to pay a fine!” [TN: Chan Wing Chun also isn’t the first one to complain about this ‘policy’ – it’s actually one of the reasons why many of the veteran artists left TVB…]
Chan Wing Chun expressed that he is the type of person who will fight for things that he feels are just and within reason. For instance, whenever he needs to travel outside of HK for work, the company [TVB] gives him a $10 USD per day allowance – this is something that he had to fight for: “Before, when I used to travel outside of HK for work, we never had that benefit – I had to fight for it, as I felt it was unreasonable that we would do work for the company outside and have to pay out of our own pocket. That’s why I say the company had more concern for human interest back then – they were willing to sit down and discuss these types of things with us! Compared to now [with current management], I don’t even bother bringing things like this up anymore!”
Asked about his friends in the entertainment industry, Chan Wing Chun unhesitatingly counted Felix Wong as a good friend who has helped him out a lot, both in his career and personal life: “Wah Gor [Felix] is someone I respect greatly! He constantly looks out for me and my family and always buys things for my children. I want to take this opportunity to clarify that he signed with CTI not because he wanted to pave the way for his daughter to enter the industry as people believe – in reality, he signed with CTI because of me!”
Chan Wing Chun indicated that he was part of the first batch of artists poached by CTI – when he received the phone call from them to discuss the details, he was actually in Mainland China with the Celebrity Soccer Team for a soccer tournament. Since there were a bunch of artists present at the time, he responded vaguely to the person over the phone, but Felix Wong was able to tell from his facial expression that something was going on, so Felix grabbed the phone and started negotiating the details for him with the CTI representative: “Of course, CTI grabbed the chance to invite Wah Gor to join as well – to my surprise, Wah Gor told the person: ‘Sure, but we have to finish discussing about Chan Wing Chun first!’”
He also revealed that a few days after the phone call, Felix went straight to CTI headquarters and sought out their chairman Ricky Wong to personally discuss the details: “He told Mr. Wong that as long as Chan Wing Chun is satisfied with the terms and agrees to join CTI, then he [Felix] will also join and sign a contract to film 2 series for them! I am truly very grateful to him!”
Devastated by wife’s death
With all the details worked out, Chan Wing Chun was prepared to leave TVB and join CTI -- however, in December 2010, his beloved wife unexpectedly passed away and with that, everything changed. Thinking back to his wife’s sudden passing, Chan Wing Chun’s eyes started to tear up: “My wife’s passing was very sudden and unexpected – at the time, I was so devastated that I didn’t know what to do…I had even thought about committing suicide at one point! Luckily, at the time, I had friends such as Sunny Chan (陳錦鴻), Power Chan (陳國邦), etc. who would come over and talk to me, console me. I’m also grateful to Tsang Jeh (TVB’s head of production Catherine Tsang曾勵珍) for calling me that morning to offer her condolences and helping me re-arrange my work load so I could take care of my wife’s funeral.”
This little bit of ‘human concern’ left at TVB was what caused Chan Wing Chun to make the decision to renew his contract with them: “At the time, I had thought about retiring, since I had already finished paying all the tuition for my children’s educations and didn’t have much burden financially. But my eldest son gave me some advice and in the end, I decided to renew my contract with TVB one more time.”
Even though the circumstances had changed and Chan Wing Chun ended up staying with TVB, he praised his friend Felix for being a ‘real man’ and honoring his promise: “In the end, I didn’t join CTI, but Wah Gor still kept his promise and signed a per series contract with CTI. Currently, I have another year and a half left on my TVB contract – Wah Gor told me that once my contract is up, if I want to stay, then stay but if I want to leave, then leave…it’s up to me!”
Chan Wing Chun is 57 years old. His real name is Chan Wing Kei (陳榮基) -- he started in the industry working for Commercial Television (CTV), then in 1984, he joined TVB’s Acting Class and after graduation, started working for TVB up to the present. Throughout his 28 year career at TVB, he has played numerous supporting (‘green leaf’) roles, with majority of those roles being villains. Amongst those roles, the ones that audiences are likely most familiar with include his portrayal of ‘Wu Tiet Fa’ in 1984’s The New Adventures of Chor Lau Heung 《楚留香之蝙蝠傳奇》, ‘Chuan Guan Ching’ in 1997’s The Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils 《天龍八部》, crooked cop ‘Ng Kwok Siu’ in 1996’s The Criminal Investigator 《O記實錄》, and ‘Uncle Kan’ in 2011’s Ghetto Justice 《怒火街頭》.