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The evergreen and the rocket stars

by April 19, 2016 General

Chen Shu Cheng and Julie Tan come from different ends of the celebrity spectrum. — TODAY picChen Shu Cheng and Julie Tan come from different ends of the celebrity spectrum. — TODAY picSINGAPORE, April 19 — One is officially a “Super Senior” now, and the other’s star is slowly rising.

Chen Shu Cheng and Julie Tan may come from different ends of the celebrity spectrum, but both relished the recognition bestowed upon them during Sunday’s Star Awards 2016 Part 1 show.

Chen had bagged the inaugural Evergreen Artiste Award to a standing ovation from his colleagues. The honour recognises artistes over 50 years of age and with over 25 years’ experience and with exceptional contributions to the local entertainment industry.

After receiving his trophy from Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Teo Chee Hean, Chen revealed that when he was leaving the house, his wife told him to be careful with what he said on stage (when he won Best Supporting Actor in 2012, his acceptance speech led some to think that he was taking a dig at the company and Star Awards judges).

“I told her that I didn’t think I would win anything, so I didn’t prepare a speech,” the 66-year-old confessed, likening his victory to having a child in old age and expressing his joy at finally gaining recognition.

Backstage, Chen said he felt like the Evergreen Artiste Award was the hardest one to get, and that out of all the awards, this was the one he had to wait the longest for, as it is a recognition of his acting journey, which started back in 1971.

He also took the opportunity to pay tribute to his fellow Evergreen Artiste Award contenders, especially Chen Tian Wen, who was nominated for his role in 118.

“Everyone is just as deserving to win because everyone has their own character.

“At rehearsals, I told Tian Wen that I really hope he wins something because he has worked hard for so long, and that one song (Unbelievable) has helped him a lot. Plus, he did a good job on 118.”

Meanwhile, Julie Tan became the youngest Rocket Award winner since it was introduced in 2010. The award is given in honour of an artiste who has made the most improvement over the past year. No one had a more shocked expression than the 23-year-old actress herself.

“In school, whenever I said I wanted to be an actress, I would be told not to daydream and to be more realistic, to focus on getting good results and getting into a good university,” she said.

Tan is not only a Rocket Award recipient — she also took home her second Top 10 Most Popular Female Artiste trophy and is in the running for Best Supporting Actress at this Sunday’s Part 2 event.

But she said she wasn’t letting up on the pressure to do well. “I’m quite harsh on myself, so I give myself the biggest pressure,” she said. “I’ve always worked hard, and I won’t work hard just because of this award. I believe (my acting journey) is like a marathon, and I have to continuously improve myself.” — TODAY

* Catch the live broadcast of Star Awards 2016 Part 2 on April 24, 7pm on Mediacorp TV Channel 8.

** The article first appeared here