4 Things You Need To Know About Actor Henry Golding
From his former life as a hair stylist to his upcoming role in the film Snake Eyes, here’s everything you need to know about actor Henry Golding
Best known for his breakout role as the male lead in Crazy Rich Asians, Henry Golding dabbled in everything from hair styling to hosting nature television shows before trying his hand at acting.
The BBC reported that it was “almost by accident that [Golding] ended up getting the film”. The filmmakers had “literally searched the globe” before finding Golding at the last moment. Now a household name, the Malaysian-British actor has gone on to star in other blockbuster films such as A Simple Favor and the upcoming Snake Eyes.
Here are four things to know about Henry Golding.
Golding’s first job as an actor was for Hollywood romcom, Crazy Rich Asians
Golding’s role as male lead Nick Young in Crazy Rich Asians skyrocketed the budding actor to global fame. Previously he was a hair stylist and TV travel host for National Geographic and the BBC, based in Malaysia.
He has been vocal on the issue of anti-Asian hate and mental health issues
Golding uses his widespread social media reach to advocate for issues close to his heart, including the importance of mental health for Malaysians as well as the issue of anti-Asian hate, which has heightened during the coronavirus pandemic.
He recently spoke out on Instagram about the ongoing lockdowns in Malaysia, saying that “one thing we take for granted is our mental state and our emotional fragility.” In his IGTV he discussed the fact that many may be thinking about suicide, given the “endless lockdowns, job losses, restrictions and so much else”, and he asked people to consider reaching out to three friends to mentally check up on them. “Have a heart to heart, send a message of love or even a quick ‘thinking of you’ note. It can make a huge difference,” he wrote. The video has been watched nearly a million times.
Alongside many of his Crazy Rich Asians castmates, Golding has also spoken about the issue of Asian hate. “[It] has been seeping into all parts of the world, not just in America… Don’t be a bystander, we are more powerful in numbers. If you see an injustice being committed, do what you can to help the victim,” he wrote on Instagram. “So many times we see these attacks and people of all races turn a blind eye… Love and support each other, that’s the only way we are going to beat this.”
He plays the lead in the much-anticipated upcoming film, Snake Eyes
Action film Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, is a GI Joe spin-off focused on the character of Snake Eyes, played by Henry Golding—a considerable change from Golding’s previous roles in romantic comedies.
The producer of the film, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, told Empire magazine that they had reservations about whether Golding could be taken seriously as an action hero due to his past roles as a “romantic heartthrob”. But he said that Golding “put the work in” for his role. “For us, that was an important thing to say to anyone who wanted to question whether Henry had it. You can’t really ask that question after that [opening] sequence.”
He is Malaysian-British and often speaks about his experiences being mixed race
"For everybody who is of mixed race... you're definitely not considered white,” Golding said to the BBC. "You need to take pride in where you're from. I'm neither half white nor half Asian. I'm full both."
Born in Malaysia, Golding and his family moved to Surrey, England at an early age, an experience he called “a slap in the face” due to the rife racism he described facing as a child. He told The Guardian that it was a reminder that he was “different” and “not British”.
When he moved back to Malaysia later in life, it also wasn't the experience he expected. “I felt like a fish out of water. I was like: ‘Whoa, I thought I was Asian… So that just makes you all confused again.” Instead he grew to feel that home and belonging is “wherever [his] loved ones are.”