Viet Nam News
Phạm Hồng Phước won the Best Actor award for his very first role in Đảo Của Dân Ngụ Cư (The Way Station) at the ASEAN International Films Festival & Awards 2017. He is also a singer with several hits to his credit including Khi Người Lớn Cô Đơn (When an Adult is Lonely) and Anh Sẽ Tốt Mà (You Will Be Fine). He was a top eight contestant at Việt Nam Idol 2012.
Phước and The Way Station film crew will attend the 13th European - Asian Film Festival that will be held from July 22- 28 at Astana, Kazakhastan. The movie beat many competitors from the other countries to be entered for the main competition at the festival.
Phước spoke to Culture Vulture about his acting experience and upcoming acting and singing plans.
The Way Station is an art-house movie. What were your thoughts about taking on the leading role the very first time you acted in a movie? Did you treat it as an adventure?
No, I’ve never thought it was adventurous. I was a bit worried because it was the first time I was acting in a movie.
But I’m an independent artist and an impulsive person. I’m trying to become a real artist, not a star. I think I don’t have the airs of a star. I took part in the movie without hesitation although I knew it was not a money-spinner.
I am proud of taking on a main role in an art-house movie. The movie’s director is Hồng Ánh, an actress who has won many domestic and international awards. After the first movie, I wish to work and co-operate with directors like Hồng Ánh. She is very professional and respects young artists.
Were you happy when your name was announced at the ASEAN International Films Festival & Awards 2017 in Malaysia?
Honestly, when my name was announced I was kidding with other artists. I didn’t think I would be a winner because I thought a Malaysian actor deserved the award. Sol it was certainly a shock when my name was announced. I lost my self-control and didn’t know what I should say on the stage. I remember that at the press conference after the award ceremony I spoke about my first casting, my first role, first international nomination and first award
I think I’m very lucky. The movie won the Best Film, Best Actor and Best Director of Photography awards and also set a record by winning nominations in eight key categories. These awards belong to the entire film crew.
Can tell us about how you got the rule?
I was both joyful and nervous when I knew I’d qualified to do the main role. There was joy in entering a new field, and nervousness because it was something I’d never done before. I told the director that I was afraid my acting wouldn’t meet her requirements and it would affect the movie. But the director encouraged me a lot. She said that I should act what I felt about the character.
It was by chance that I got the main role. I went for the audition at a time the casting had been taking place for more than half a month, and a leading actor had not been found.
What do you remember most about the shooting?
Acting in front of the camera is an unforgettable moment. Also, as a newcomer, it was very difficult for me to act in the awkward sexual scenes. The movie was shot in an old house in Hoi An (ancient town in the central province of Quang Nam). The humid weather and light made me and my partner, the leading actress, feel uncomfortable. I had to take off all my clothes. It was very embarrassing and took a long time to finish the scenes. I just had to try my best. The crying scenes were also challenging, because it is not easy for me to show off my feelings.
Now that you have tasted success, what is your next plan?
In August, I will continue attending film festivals in the Phillippines and Australia. I have received two more leading roles. One is a remake of a South Korean television series and the other a feature film. The leading role in the motion picture will take audiences back to the first love of high school students in the 1990s. I like the role very much and the script is really interesting.
I’m also going to release a new song called My Mother’s Old Story. I want to convey a message to young people who are usually busy earning a living that they should pay more attention and cherish their mother.
Last year, I was in the final round at the Sing My Song television show. I’m satisfied with it. Like people say, we have to be happy with what we have. I always try to do my best in my work and don’t target any thing. — VNS