‘He’s going to be a clown in the future’: It took a win at Golden Horse before Jaspers Lai’s dad acknowledged his showbiz career, Entertainment News
There are parents who have high expectations, and then there is Jaspers Lai’s father.
In a recent episode of the meWATCH talk show Hear U Out, the 35-year-old local actor revealed that his father did not approve of his career in showbiz.
Jaspers recalled, “We had our reunion dinner before the Lunar New Year. He sat there and said [of me]’He’s going to be a clown in the future’.”
After that comment, Jaspers refused to speak with his father for six years.
That said, he was okay with his father’s negativity towards his career in the entertainment industry.
At 18, he joined a talent agency while still in national service and trained with them for five years. However, it closed sometime before that fateful dinner, and Jaspers was left without much direction.
“When the agency [I had trained in for five years] closed, I realized my dad was right – I was wasting my time,” Jaspers told Yi Fong.
The disapproval he received from his father was something he faced throughout his life, he shared.
In one anecdote, the Malaysian-born actor recalled an incident in elementary school where he had to beg his father to let him go to audition for a show.
“My dad would have rather died than let me audition,” Jaspers said. “But even at that age, I knew how to do a huge scene.
“I slammed the door, cried and threw stuff. I said out loud to myself, ‘Daddy don’t let me go! I’m so pitiful!”
His father eventually relented and reluctantly brought Jaspers to the audition. However, Jaspers did not pass the audition and returned home empty-handed.
And when he joined the talent agency, he was also unable to let his father know.
Jaspers instead asked his mother for help, as entering the agency to train would require a $500 fee.
Upon hearing of his intention to train as an artist, Jaspers’ mother handed him the money and said, “Don’t tell your father.”
At this agency, Jaspers met potential local celebrities Andie Chen and Romeo Tan and trained alongside them.
“He was so proud and continued to film”
In the end, he won the Golden Horse Awards for his Movie 2020 Number 1 before Jaspers could earn recognition from his father.
He said: “Due to Covid-19, I had to quarantine myself at home for seven days after returning from Taiwan. When I opened the door on the seventh day, I saw my father recording videos of the Golden Horse Awards.
“He was so proud and kept filming…I always dreamed of him saying to me, ‘You can do it, go ahead!’
“He never told me that, but his actions proved that he accepted my choice of profession.”
A Golden Horse Award is one of the highest honors obtainable in Chinese showbiz and is generally considered the “Chinese Oscars”.
Now Jaspers has said his father is trying to help him buy a house in the hope that a better environment will allow his career to flourish.
“Your father already gives you hints – he doesn’t explicitly say that, does he? He already accepts your job,” Yi Fong observed.
Jaspers replied, “But it took a Golden Horse Award to get accepted. He has such high expectations, his standards are really high!”