Performing is second nature to Lawrence Wong. Besides numerous roles in local and international series, the multifaceted artist fronts many campaigns and magazine covers.
Since we last spoke with Lawrence in September, he has quite a few updates: new roles and a new range for Grail Skin on the entrepreneurial front. Additionally, the Malaysia-born heartthrob opens up to Augustman with sentimental and evocative anecdotes that have emboldened him to strive harder and fortified his resilience. More than a handsome face, Lawrence Wong is a true incarnation of the contemporary man.
We last spoke in September. What’s new for you in the past few months?
Besides participating in brand activities, I’ve been busy shooting a couple of new TV series. In one of the series, I will play an innocent bimbotic gym trainer with a heart of gold. It’s a relatively new character for me and I enjoy tapping onto my comedic talents. As for the other projects, I will play a stereotypical CEO who will go the extra mile for love.
“Which is more important. The journey or the destination?” This question is featured in one of your recent Instagram posts. As you didn’t answer it in your caption, perhaps you could share your response with us?
If you asked me this when I was younger, I would say the destination is of utmost importance. However, as we grow, our perception changes. Currently, I find joy in the journey, the process is always more fulfilling and valuable as that’s where we learn the most and better ourselves. And Iʼve realised that life has no endpoint. There’s no true final destination.
In the following (Instagram) slide, it says, “Time doing nothing is never wasted”. That contradicts the proverb “Time is money”. Which do you agree with the most and why?
I agree with both. You just need to be smart enough to know when’s the right moment to apply these proverbs. While time is money, considering we work for money, time doing nothing is never wasted as it is the time needed to reclaim our sanity.
As a multi-hyphenate, adept at acting, singing and entrepreneurship, what keeps you going and motivated to hone your craft continuously?
The world is constantly evolving; every minute is precious. Especially so in a fast-paced industry like show business, everyone is finding new avenues for improvement, wanting to be better versions of themselves. I refuse to let myself fall back and be obsolete; I have an innate competitiveness, this constantly pushes me to hone my craft. Also, I’m passionate about my job. It’s only natural for me to want to develop my skillsets.
Do you find it laborious to manage these businesses while juggling your schedule?
Absolutely. I am constantly tired; I diagnosed myself with chronic fatigue (laughs). Though laborious, it has never stopped me from grabbing an opportunity. After all, opportunities don’t come easy. Anyway, I believe that you’ll never always be busy, just as much as you’ll never always be free. It’s a cycle. There’s always a free period amidst and after a busy schedule. This mantra keeps me going.
What do you miss the most when you’re travelling for work?
I miss my bed, garden, cats and Singapore’s cuisine. Essentially, my home. No place on Earth can feel as cosy and comfortable as your own home; hotels are incomparable despite the lavish facilities.
Can you share some of your most fulfilling moments at work?
Whenever I finish a scene and get praised by the director, I get a sense of gratification. Similarly, when fans drop me heartfelt messages, it lifts my morale and reminds me of why I stepped into the industry in the first place. I once had a European fan who sent me a photo of herself in a wheelchair, accompanied by a message telling me how I’ve made a difference in her life. My emotions went straight to sheer jubilation, knowing she probably went through a lot of trouble just to express gratitude. I had no idea I could influence people from different parts of the world.
Hard work and sacrifice are integral to success. Do you agree with this statement?
Yes, for sure. Sacrifice is a must. It’s the law of nature. You have to make sacrifices for the things you want. And if you think about it, sacrifice is sort of synonymous with hard work; you have to give up certain things in life that intercept or stop you from working harder. They go hand-in-hand.
What have you sacrificed, and do you have any regrets about giving up these things in your life?
I have zero regrets. I believe that if I did things differently in the past, more regrets are bound to arise. I am where I am at today because of the choices I’ve made.
Do you think passion and happiness should take precedence over material and money?
Personally, all of these carry the same weight. It’s imperative to find the right balance. It’s unrealistic for me to sacrifice happiness for money and otherwise.
What makes you uniquely you?
My trajectory, upbringing, and experiences have moulded the Lawrence Wong you see today. I have yet to meet someone who is as fluid and versatile as I am.
Are there any methods you use to relax and reduce stress? Do you have a favourite hobby?
Honestly, I find joy in the littlest things, like lying on the couch. I’ve recently also picked up vinyl collecting. There’s something therapeutic about touching the records and playing songs from the turntables. It is truly an amazing tactile and sensory experience.
How do you reward yourself after a project?
I don’t usually reward myself due to my tight schedule; I’m always on the go. Personally, taking the time to breathe and doing stuff that makes me happy during my free time is more than enough.
What are your plans for the near future?
I don’t make plans. As an actor, I have to be passive. Not to mention, my schedule doesn’t permit me to get tied down to a specific plan.
Can you share with us your plans with Grail as well? With your recent launch being a toothpaste, can we look forward to other lifestyle product launches?
We’ve recently launched a facial cleanser that I’m extremely proud of. I use it daily and stand by its prowess. I had plans to release lifestyle products, but I don’t have the time and capacity to discuss further with my team. Can you imagine going through the development process and the potential logistic nightmare while I’m in the midst of filming?
Are there any other industries you would like to venture into? Or perhaps a new skill you’d like to pick up?
There are many things I would like to pursue. But I’ll leave it up to fate for now. I’ve considered opening a pet shop and pet cafés. There are other crazy ideas that keep me up at night, contributing to my insomnia (laughs). My mind is always running, thinking of ways to tap on the other facets of my ability.
Photos: Joel Low; Styling: Daryll Alexius Yeo; Hair: Gary Low/Passion Hair Salon; Makeup: Peter Khor using Nars Cosmetics; Photography Assistance: Eddie Teo; Fashion Assistance: Phua Yue En; BTS Videographer: Adrian Han/Arche Studi