He’s a man of few words, and fewer still public displays of emotion. So what moves Lawrence Wong, local treasure-turned Chinese heartthrob? We managed to photograph and speak to the busy man about his life and the ups and downs of his career for the Autumn 2019 issue.
Here's an except from the cover story:
There’s a secret to Lawrence Wong’s success, one that’s been imperceptible to some, though really it’s not very difficult to discern. It’s not his obvious, almost celestial good looks—those same good looks that have been discussed by much more famous people than you or I, much more publicly. It’s not his recent star turn in Story of Yanxi Palace, the most Googled show in the world last year—that was merely an indicator of his success, not a cause. It’s not just his talent, though he has that in abundance, and the world is only now waking up it. It’s one, essential, not very glamorous thing: it’s hard work. Because Lawrence Wong is not new to this game, even if he is new to the legions of fans he now commands across China. (Of course, his Malaysian fans loved him before he was cool.) He’s been plying his trade for over a decade now, this Johor Bahru homeboy who hopped across the Causeway, won hearts there, and then moved on to China. Wong started with bit roles and hosting gigs, climbing the ladder with nothing but determination and sheer hard graft. You’ll know him from Singaporean Mediacorp television staples, supporting roles in rom-coms across the Causeway, maybe even from his 2017 debut album. But did he always know it would lead him here—ranked as one of China’s most influential artistes, a handful of awards, recognition on the streets and a clutch of prestigious fashion endorsements?
“To be honest, I don’t really set an ultimate goal in my acting career,” Wong tells us. “I’m more of a process person, I don’t emphasise much on the destination. It’s the journey that counts.” This wasn’t a calculated chess game in which the final move was to break the Chinese market and win the girl. It was work. “For me, it is one job at a time, then move on to the next, to perform the best I can in every task assigned. It’s as simple as that!” Then again, as calm and candid as Wong may seem, it’s no easy task to get inside the actor’s head. He doesn’t give much—if anything—away.
Download the digital edition featuring Lawrence Wong here.
Or lookout for the print versions at your nearest newsstand.
Photography by Chee Wei
Styling & Art Direction by Ian Loh
On the digital cover: Lawrence wears coat, shirt and trousers all by Gucci; Watch: Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition.
On the print covers: Lawrence wears coat and knitwear both by Bottega Veneta; Watch: Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition.