Crazy Rich Asians: Henry Golding’s newfound fame lands him more film roles
- British-Malaysian actor plays a gay British-Vietnamese in Monsoon, and appears in Guy Ritchie’s Toff Guys with Matthew McConaughey and Kate Beckinsale
- Golding, who made his film debut in this summer’s romantic comedy hit, is taking acting classes to hone his skills
Even though Henry Golding garnered instant fame from starring in the smash hit Crazy Rich Asians, the British-Malaysian actor isn’t sure if he’ll ever eclipse his meteoric success in the box-office hit.
But he’s determined to put in the work to continue his amazing year.
The 31-year-old actor starred in his first-ever film role as the suave, Oxford-educated heir Nick Young in Crazy Rich Asians. The romantic comedy spent three weeks at the top of the North American box office and grossed more than US$173 million in North America alone.
It was the first Hollywood film to have a predominantly Asian-American cast since The Joy Luck Club, which debuted 25 years ago.
Golding had a sense the film would resonate with audiences when filming it because it “was an amazing work of art”. But it wasn’t until after the film’s release that he was able to measure its impact on viewers.
“That’s when I started getting messages. People were coming up to me saying the film is amazing. You guys did such a fantastic job. It means so much to me to see our faces portrayed on the big screen,” he says. “For me, it was wild.”
For Golding, his rise has been wild since director Jon Chu chose him to star in Crazy Rich Asians without any previous film appearances. Golding had primarily worked as a television host for shows on BBC, Discovery Channel Asia and ESPN Asia networks.
Now, Golding is on the fast track as others see the potential in him. After Crazy Rich Asians, he took on a much darker role in Paul Feig’s thriller A Simple Favor, starring Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick.
Next, Golding will be playing a gay British-Vietnamese man who travels to his birth country in Vietnam to scatter the ashes of his parents in the film Monsoon, expected to be released in 2019. He’ll also star in Guy Ritchie’s Toff Guys with Matthew McConaughey and Kate Beckinsale.
Golding says his recent projects have given him more confidence. He’s been putting in extra work through acting classes to hone his skills.
“If you’re looking for longevity, you have to be a hard worker,” he says. “You have to put in the due diligence. You’ve got to be that people person. Essentially you become a commodity. You need to be that showman. … It’s a long road, but I’m getting to that point.”