Chow Yun-fat is best known for his role in the Chinese action film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” which earned him international fame. Since then, he has achieved global stardom and through his hard work and exceptional skills in martial arts, he became a multi-millionaire.
In 2015, he made it to the list of Forbes’ highest-paid actors in the world. Chow also won two Golden Horse Awards for Best Actor and three Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Actor.
Despite the fame and fortune; however, Chow Yun-fat prefers to lead a simple life. He even vowed to donate his entire $714 million fortune to charity. “This money isn’t something you possess forever. When you’re gone one day, you have to leave it to others to use it,” says Chow when asked why he came up with such a decision.
“You can’t bring the money in your bank account with you after you die. The money’s not mine. I’m only keeping it safe for the time being,” Chow added.
Although his long career as a movie star has been built on action scenes, fighting with bad guys, the characters he played are very far from his real-life personality. According to Chow, “I want to play different roles, not just the tough guy. I want to do comedies, melodramas, like Tom Hanks. Actually, I’m a Buddhist and in real life, I have violence. I don’t like it at all but I’m forced to do it because it’s my job.”
Clearly, the successful and wealthy superstar who was born and raised in a rural community did not forget his humble beginnings. He is still living humbly and modestly nowadays, which makes people admire him more.
Chow uses public transportation, eats at cheap street-side food stalls, does a lot of charity work and buys clothes from discount shops. He said, “I don’t wear clothes for other people. As long as I think it’s comfortable, then it’s good enough for me.”
According to media reports, Chow used a Nokia mobile phone for 17 years and only replaced it in 2016 when it stopped working. Chow also hopes that the democracy movement and the government would settle their differences.
He said, “I’ve met the residents, the students—they are very brave and it’s touching to see that they’re fighting for what they want. The students are reasonable. If the government can come up with a solution that the citizens or students are satisfied with, I believe the crisis will end.”
Chow Yun-fat is apparently happy with his simple life and not focusing on material things. When asked about what happiness is to him, Chow said, “My dream is to be a happy and normal person. The hardest thing in life is not about how much money you earn, but how to keep a peaceful mindset and live the rest of your life in a simple and carefree manner.”
Chow’s generous and sincere vow inspired a lot of people all over the world. Wong Wen Hon, an online commenter wrote, “When one is very famous and very wealthy and yet one is still simple, moderate, modest, humble and very generous, these attributes are indeed the highest blessings.”
Another commenter, Zhou Kong Yin expressed his admiration to the actor, “Chow Yun Fat is one of my favorite actors. I feel tremendously inspired by his lack of attachment – he should be a model for us all.”
Chow’s wife, Jasmine Tan, is very supportive of his charity activities and agrees to his decision of donating all his wealth to charity.