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Mark Lee makes career breakthrough as drag queen

Singaporean actor calls for respect for LBGTQ individuals after performing in 'Number 1'

Singaporean actor, Mark Lee (left), calls for kindness toward LGBTQ people. (MM2 Entertainment Taiwan photo)

Singaporean actor, Mark Lee (left), calls for kindness toward LGBTQ people. (MM2 Entertainment Taiwan photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Singaporean actor Mark Lee (李國煌) is calling for people to show respect to LBGTQ individuals after performing in the comedy movie "Number 1."

Lee was nominated for best actor at the 2020 Golden Horse Awards for his performance as a hotshot drag queen in "Number 1." After quarantining, Lee appeared at the event, held at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, in Taipei, on Saturday (Nov. 21).

Even though Lee did not win best actor this year, his hard work and humor won him more fans in Taiwan, the film company “MM2 Entertainment Taiwan” said. Moreover, to Lee’s surprise and pleasure, Ang Lee (李安) attended the film’s after-party and was very complimentary.

Lee’s role in “Number 1” is a worker who gets fired, out of the blue, and secretly, accidentally, becomes a drag queen. He becomes friends with the other drag queens and leads the audience to gain a better understanding of the group.

Mark Lee makes career breakthrough as drag queen
Mark Lee (left) attends the Golden Horse Awards. (Golden Horse Award, Facebook, photo)

Lee told Taiwan News this was the most challenging character in his acting career. Usually, he plays ordinary or chauvinistic men who yell at others.

“When I first read the script, I knew the character underwent a lot of struggles and transformation inside, and that was the difficult part to figure out,” said Lee. “Imagine this, if you found out your husband or father was a drag queen, how shocking would that be?”

Mark Lee makes career breakthrough as drag queen
Mark Lee in "Number 1." (MM2 Entertainment Taiwan, photo)

Lee pointed out that parents may talk about topics related to LGBTQ with their children, but on the other hand, some would prefer their children to stay away from drag queens or transgender people. “They did not break any law, why do you discriminate against them?” Lee said.

“I saw drag queen shows at a year-end party in Singapore and their lip-syncing was amazing! Sometimes they make fun of themselves just to make the audience laugh and sometimes they just need the money to survive,” Lee shared. This is mirrored in the film, when one of the drag queens shouts, "I want to make them laugh, instead of laughing at me."

Lee emphasized, “I respect their hard work. If you dare to laugh at them, would you dare to do what they do on stage?”

Lee added, “I hope people do not laugh at transgender people, drag queens, and those who are different from us. Their appearance will not affect you, why can't you accept them?”

Lee revealed that the sequel to “Number 1” is on its way. “If you watched the film, you will regret watching it because you will crave for more!” Lee joked.

Also, Lee's new comedy film, "The Diam Diam Era," which tells a sarcastic story of a family dealing with the Singapore government, will be released in January, in Singapore.

“Number 1” won Best Make-up and Costume Design at the 57th edition of the Golden Horse Awards. It has been screened at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival.

The Taiwan release date for the film has not been confirmed yet. For more information, visit the film company’s Facebook page.

"Number 1" trailer (Youtube video)