Simply (Wong)derful

A year after his breakout role as an amiable imperial guard in hit Chinese period drama Story of Yanxi Palace, local actor Lawrence Wong opens up to ‘little’ about fame, family and his plans for the future.

concept/ art direction/ styling kenneth tan
words teo rui ling
photos mattia baldi (a pixels production-haus pte ltd)
hair & make-up angel chua lk
and lawrence’s hair gary low from passion hair salon
location nanjing impressions

The past year has been nothing short of life-changing for local actor Lawrence Wong. His charming role as Hai Lan Cha in the wildly popular Chinese period drama Story of Yanxi Palace has propelled him to near-instant fame — across the region and internationally. Ranked 35th in the list of most influential artistes in China in 2018, Lawrence has over 3 million followers on Chinese microblogging site Weibo and more than 305,000 followers on social media platform Instagram. And that’s not all.

His realistic portrayal of a kind imperial guard who remains untainted by the various schemes and betrayals in the Forbidden City has bagged him multiple international awards, including Asia’s Most Promising Actor at the 2018 Asian-American Television and Film Festival Golden Oak Awards, as well as Best Supporting Actor at the 14th Chinese American TV Festival.

Despite his talent for acting and the several awards that he’s won, becoming an actor was not always part of Lawrence’s plans. In fact, as a child, the thought of being an actor had never even crossed his mind. Rather, his career aspiration then was to become an architect. “My uncle was an architect and he was the pride of the family,” reveals Lawrence. “Since young, I’ve always looked up to him, so I wanted to be an architect as well.” As he grew older, he also briefly toyed with the idea of becoming a vet someday. “I love animals, and I thought it would be great if I could be in a position to save animals every day,” he says.

Learn more about the rising star and his beliefs in Aug-Oct issue of little.