Born, raised and educated in London, he was that quiet kid in school sitting at the back of class avoiding the teacher’s questions. Then a gym membership, a physical transformation and a one-way ticket to Hong Kong changed his life. Soon James Wong the model-turned-television-actor-hyphen-influencer became a centre of attention on the social circuit.
One of the handful of male KOLs (key opinion leaders) in Hong Kong, Wong has more than 45,000 followers eyeing his gym regimen, diet, fashion choices and accessories selections, and stalking his rather active personal life.
None of this could have been foreseen. “When I was a kid, I never thought about being an actor or social-media influencer. I always thought I’d have an office job and sit through years of a nine-to-five routine. But as I grew up, I knew I should take some chances in life while I was still young.”
It all started when he was scouted as one of the few Asian faces chosen by Abercrombie & Fitch, which ignited his modelling and then acting career. One acting job led to another and he’s been on several local television shows and series. “The best part of being an actor is that there are no limitations on what you can be. There’s so much out there to explore. My next step would be comedy, as I really love funny flicks.”
Most of the comedy at the moment is restricted to his Instagram Stories feed, where he posts about waiting endlessly on set, the punishing schedules that begin early in the morning and end late at night and the salacious comments his “fans” leave on his often shirtless pics — he is rather prone to disrobed selfies. “But to me, I don’t see it as that big a deal. Social media is still just a platform to share your lifestyle, rather than a business-building platform,” he says with a laugh. “It’s surprising how once you know there’s quite a few people seeing what you post during your day, you feel a bit conscious of what you post ... a bit more aware.”