It's the role all young Singaporean actors between the ages of 20 and 40 would have killed for. (We could totally imagine Desmond Tan or Benjamin Kheng or Nathan Hartono taking a stab at it.) But it was dashing Malaysian-British host Henry Golding who ultimately won the role. It was reported today that the Singapore-based TV presenter will play the male lead in Crazy Rich Asians, the Jon M. Chu-directed film adaptation of Kevin Kwan's best-selling book about wealthy families in Singapore.
Henry, who married Taiwanese-Italian TV host Liv Lo in 2016, grew up in the UK, and relocated from London to Asia back in 2008. His father is from England and his mother hails from Sarawak, Malaysia. News of Henry's casting comes two months after the director of the movie conducted an international casting call on social media in January. At least hundreds of actors of Asian descent from around the world (we saw you, Nat Ho!) had uploaded their audition videos on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube with the hashtag #CrazyRichAsiansCasting, hoping for a chance to be in the highly-anticipated movie.
The film follows American-born Chinese professor Rachel Chu (played by Fresh of the Boat actress and Twitter queen Constance Wu) who travels with her Singaporean boyfriend, Nick Young, back to his Singapore home, only to discover that he’s not only the heir to his family’s massive fortune but also Asia's most eligible bachelor. Rachel juggles coming to grips with his world of excess while facing obstacles from Nick’s family, including his domineering mother (played by Michelle Yeoh) and a bevy of socialites who want a piece of him too.
We had texted Henry about the good news and the actor replied, politely saying that he's "strictly restricted for comments". We also contacted Henry's Fly Entertainment boss, Irene Ang, who, while sounding elated, told us that she is unable to provide us with any details too.
PHOTO: HENRY GOLDING’S INSTAGRAM