SINGAPORE – He was once touted as the successor to Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai after winning Best Actor at a French film festival at the age of 22 for the movie Brave 20 (2002).

Seventeen years later, Taiwanese actor Wing Fan’s early promise seems to have gone largely unfulfilled.

The 39-year-old told the China Times newspaper on Wednesday (Sept 18) that he had returned to Taiwan in 2018 to reboot his acting career after ending his business partnership in China.

He said he did not have much savings as he had invested in the cultural media company he had helped to set up in China. He added that his mother had given him NT$200,000 (S$8,800) in the past year when he was in Taiwan.

“My mother still provides me with money for my living expenses, but it should not carry on like this,” the actor from The Best Of Times (2002) said. He was nominated for Best Actor for it at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards in 2002 and won Best Actor at the Singapore International Film Festival’s Silver Screen Awards in 2003.

Fan was criticised in 2010 after he dished out salacious details about his ex-girlfriend, singer Cyndi Wang, and posted intimate photos of them on Facebook. He later apologised for his comments.

“I have to speak up for myself or I will be treated like a rapist,” the actor told the China Times. “Only three people were unhappy during the saga, but it was manipulated into a social phenomenon where 30,000 people were unhappy with me.”

His image was further tarnished in 2011 after it was reported that he had slapped model Irene Ko several times after she declined to be his girlfriend.

Fan said that he was living in fear in Taiwan then after the spate of negative news.

The actor, who had also previously dated Malaysian actress Jesseca Liu, said he is currently single.