Mark Lee gets Golden Horse nod for Best Leading Actor

In the movie Number 1, Mark Lee plays a retrenched general manager who becomes a drag queen to make a living and support his family.
In the movie Number 1, Mark Lee plays a retrenched general manager who becomes a drag queen to make a living and support his family.CREDIT: MARK LEE KOK HUANG/FACEBOOK

Singaporean actor Mark Lee is in the running for a Golden Horse Award.

The 51-year-old funnyman, a prolific host and actor in both Singaporean films and television with works like Money No Enough (1998), got a nod for Best Leading Actor for his performance as a drag queen in the family film Number 1.

Nominations for the 57th edition of the prestigious film award, likened to Chinese-language cinema's Academy Awards, were announced on Wednesday in a live-streamed ceremony. The awards ceremony will be held in Taipei on Nov 21.

Number 1, a film by local director Ong Kuo Sin, has yet to open in cinemas.

A surprised Lee says of the nomination in an Instagram story uploaded on Wednesday evening: "Thanks everyone, I've not fully returned to my senses yet. I'm already very happy to be nominated. Thank you to the judges of the Golden Horse Awards for recognising my work."

According to prior reports in Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao, Lee plays a retrenched general manager of a multinational company who finds his talent in drag performance and turns to it to make a living and support his family.

He will be competing against Taiwanese actor Liu Kuan-ting in My Missing Valentine, a film nominated for 11 awards this year, and other actors like Austin Lin in I WeirDo, Mo Tzu-yi in Dear Tenant and Lam Ka-tung in Hand Rolled Cigarette.

A Taiwan-Singapore movie was also nominated in this year's awards.

Precious Is The Night - a thriller set in 1960s Singapore starring model-photographer Chuando Tan and Singaporean actors like Tay Ping Hui and local veteran Xiang Yun and her daughter Chen Yixin - received two nominations.

The film is directed by Wayne Peng, a Taiwanese documentary and music video maker, and produced by Singaporean Lim Sau Hoong.

The husband-and-wife team had earlier gained attention when their documentary, Burning Dreams (2003), about a dance troupe in China, was nominated for three Golden Horse Awards.

Peng received a nod for cinematography while Lim was nominated for best make-up and costume design.

The film is slated to open later this year in Singapore.

Singapore films have been receiving more attention at the Golden Horse Awards in recent years. Anthony Chen's family drama Ilo Ilo took Best Film, Best New Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Yeo Yann Yann in 2013.

Last year, Yeo won Best Leading Actress for her performance in Chen's forbidden romance film Wet Season.

Yeo Siew Hua's A Land Imagined nabbed Best Original Film Score and Best Original Screenplay.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2020, with the headline 'Mark Lee gets Golden Horse nod for Best Leading Actor'. Print Edition | Subscribe