TAIPEI – Local actor Christopher Lee was named Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series at the 57th Golden Bell Awards in Taipei on Saturday night.

He took home the award for his role as a police captain trying to solve a series of homicides in iQiyi’s crime thriller Danger Zone (2021).

This is his third win at the awards, regarded as Taiwan’s equivalent of the Emmy Awards.

He won Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film in 2021 for his role as a construction worker in Taiwanese drama Workers (2020) and Best Actor in 2014 for his role as a workaholic husband in the family drama A Good Wife (2013).

This year, the 51-year-old Malaysia-born star was up against Wu Kang-jen, Chen Chia-kuei, Nash Zhang, Liu Kuan-ting and Simon Hsueh, who were all in attendance.

Lee, however, had to give the ceremony a miss as he had injured his foot earlier in the week. He also was not able to attend it last year and accepted his Best Actor award virtually.

On Saturday night, a representative received Lee’s latest accolade on his behalf on stage, reading out a pre-written acceptance speech from his phone.

“Thank you to the 57th Golden Bell Awards for giving me a most miraculous night,” Lee said, adding his thanks also to his management agency Catwalk Asia, iQiyi, and the directors, cast and crew of Danger Zone.

He also acknowledged his fellow nominees as excellent actors and said it was an honour to be in the same category with them.

“In recent years, productions across all platforms have become stronger than before and have enabled me to become even more passionate about acting,” he said.

Finally, Lee gave a shout-out to his wife, Singaporean actress Fann Wong, 51, and their eight-year-old son Zed, thanking them for their support.

Speaking in Singapore to The Sunday Times shortly after his win, he said: “When I was watching (the ceremony) at home, I was calm, as I felt that it would be very difficult for me to win this year, as the contenders were very strong.

“When I heard my name, I was really shocked, never been so shocked in my life,” he said, adding that he felt chills all over his body.

In a separate online group interview with media from Singapore and Malaysia after the ceremony, Lee was all smiles as he spoke in Mandarin about his “extremely unexpected” win, which happened while he and his family were having dinner.

He said he was watching the livestream on his phone and suddenly stood up with his hands in the air in jubilation, much to everyone’s surprise.

When Fann found out that he had won, she immediately said she needed to change into cleaner clothes so that they could take a celebratory photo, which they both posted on Instagram.

He also expressed his regret on not being able to accept his award in person, adding that he had already picked out his outfits for both the award ceremony and the celebratory dinner with the cast and crew afterwards.

He revealed that after his win, Fann lamented to him: “You should have gone there on crutches.”

Lee said he had exercised too much in preparation for attending the ceremony and that led to an inflammation of the foot which he had sprained badly 20 years ago.

In fact, just the day before the awards, he had to use a wheelchair to go see a doctor as he was in such excruciating pain, but after an injection, he felt much better.

“I’ve been blaming myself for the past few days,” he said, as he had delayed going to see a doctor, thinking it would improve without medication.

He added that the euphoria of winning would probably keep him up all night.

“It will be a good time for reflection. I can think about who I should be thanking and who I should be grateful towards for my success.”

Other big Golden Bell winners of the night include actress Hsieh Ying-xuan (Heaven On The 4th Floor) for Best Leading Actress in a Television Series and actress Chen Ya-lan (Lord Jiaqing And The Journey To Taiwan) for Best Leading Actor in a Television Series. Chen played the part of a male character, an emperor.

Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series went to Sophia Li (Gold Leaf). Best Television Series went to Seqalu: Formosa 1867, Best Television Film was awarded to Do Not Go Gentle In Taipei, and Best Miniseries was won by Twisted Strings.

Danger Zone directors David Chuang and Allen Chong also won Best Directing for a Television Series.

Text: Suzanna Sng/The Straits Times