Even if you didn't tune into the Star Awards on Apr. 9, you’d probably have heard of Das DD, the name local entertainer Dharmadasa D Dharamahsena is better known as.
The 33-year-old recently became the first Indian to win a performance-based award in the show's 28-year history.
Struggled to find his footing
Speaking to Mothership in an interview days after his historic win, Das shared that he has struggled to find his place in the industry.
"For the past few years of my life, I did ask the universe if it had forgotten about me," he said. "Every time I try something new, I get so close to something then it just snaps away from me."
He began his content creation journey in 2015, but only got his breakthrough after leaving Night Owl Cinematics (NOC) in 2021.
He recounted to Mothership:
"When I was at an event to promote my movie, I was offered to guest host an episode of the show [#JustSwipeLah].
At that point of time, I was very free so I was attending a lot of promotional events. Everyone else had their N.A. (not available) dates, but I could attend every single one of the events."
This is the series he won the Best Rising Star award for.
Although Mandarin is not his first — nor second — language, he impressed the show’s producers and was invited to host it permanently.
While Das emphasised how much he has enjoyed hosting the show, it hasn’t come without its set of challenges.
"Many people think [you] just need to crack jokes, but there’s a lot of work and thought [that goes on behind the scenes].
If a Chinese host takes one hour to read a script, I'd probably have to take about three or four hours to completely finish reading the script [as well as] understanding and remembering all the big words there.
I'm very grateful for [the show's executive producer] Charlene. It could have been anybody else but they chose me. I was given a lot of free play to ad-lib. They really allowed me to achieve my fullest potential."
Couldn't have done it alone
Das has also attributed his win to the strong support system he has within the industry.
Some of these showbiz pals sent in congratulatory messages for Das within hours of Mothership approaching them for the clips, which we played for him during the interview.
As he listened to these messages, he remarked: "The win hasn't really set in, so listening to [messages from] the people who have been with me all these years is really helping me process things."
@nova.mothership bro has no chill 💀 #fyp #sgtiktok #tiktoksg #dasdd ♬ original sound - nova.mothership
After hearing what veteran actor Zheng had to say, Das called the thespian "the kind of man who will shout your name in a room full of opportunities [when] he doesn't have to".
He recounted that the entire family — which also includes Hong Huifang, Tay Ying and Calvert Tay, — also showed up at the screening of his first movie, "Reunion Dinner".
Das also mentioned how Yong, whose popularity skyrocketed after starring in "Ah Girls Go Army", told him that he could reach out any time if he needed a hand.
"No matter what stage of your career you're at, if a friend needs help, [then] a friend needs help and you will constantly support each other.
Because these awards, to be fair, only one person can win, but our friendships [are] exclusive in a sense.
I'm very grateful for these friendships, because I would not have done half the things I've achieved today without [the] people [around me].
It'll be very easy for me to say 'Yes, I achieved it myself', but it's not possible without these people."
Top photos by Lee Wei Lin & Mediacorp