Oriental Daily Interview with Felix Wong [Part 4]: “Never in my dreams did I think about becoming a lead actor so quickly!”
Source: Oriental Daily
Back during his youth, Felix Wong had his heart set on becoming the Chinese version of Pele [TN: famous Brazilian soccer player], however when that dream failed, he ended up joining TVB’s Acting Class instead. After playing bit parts and many ‘ke le fe’ roles, Felix finally had the opportunity to collaborate with established actors/actresses such as Chow Yun Fat, Dodo Cheng, etc. – it was from these ‘senior’ artists that he was able to learn a lot more about acting, eventually developing a life-long interest in the craft. In addition, the right timing as well as luck were other factors that aided Felix on his path to becoming one of the most popular leading actors at TVB back in the 80s.
*** Felix speaks:
When I was young, I actually never thought about becoming a celebrity. Back when I was in school, I had my heart set on becoming a soccer player – in fact, I had even gotten to the point of participating in tryouts. I remember at the time, out of the 2000 candidates who participated, only the top 3 would be chosen to become soccer players – unfortunately, I came in at number 4.
Later on, one of my neighbors suggested I try applying for TVB’s Acting Class – she even got an application and submitted it for me. I actually was not interested in becoming an actor, but seeing all the effort that the neighbor put in to help me, I figured I’d just go to the interview session to please her. I remember one of the things we had to do during the session was read and recite some dialogue – I pretty much just made a half-hearted attempt to recite the lines and get it over with, thinking that would be the end of it. To my surprise, I received a phone call from TVB that night telling me that I had been accepted into the class without having to do a second interview!
Happy, carefree Acting Class days
I was barely 18 years old when I entered the Acting Class. Those were good times, as I basically got to study acting for free, plus I’d get to hang out with classmates such as Michael Miu (苗僑偉), Tam Yuk Ying (譚玉瑛), etc. – those days were very happy and carefree. After 6 months or so, I started getting bit parts in various series, playing roles such as a soldier, a customer at a restaurant, etc. At the time, I got the chance to work with Fat Gor (Chow Yun Fat 周潤發) a lot – even though he was already a big star at the time, he never put on airs and in fact was always very willing to help teach newcomers. He would often approach us on his own and give us acting tips or other advice – learning so much from him helped me to slowly cultivate my interest in acting.
Benefited from the 80s ‘poaching’ crises
At one point back in the 80s, TVB also encountered a ‘poaching’ crisis which resulted in a shortage of siu sangs. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I’d get the chance to play a lead role 3 months after I graduated from Acting Class – in ‘normal’ circumstances, this would have been impossible! I remember the first series I filmed where I was in the male lead role was The Lonely Hunter 《過客》 . At the time, Dodo Jeh [Dodo Cheng 鄭裕玲] and Uncle Yeung Kwun (楊群) [TN: his co-stars in the series] gave me lots of advice and support, which helped me get into my character easier. When the series aired, it was quite well-received by audiences and from that moment on, my acting career officially began.