Worth nearly one billion dollars, the committed Buddhist actor says he plans to donate the bulk of his wealth to various charities. When asked why, he smiled gently and said: "“I feel that the money does not really belong to me. I am just in charge of keeping it temporarily.”
Although his long career has been built on action movies and battling bad guys, the characters he plays are far removed for Chow’s own more humble and thoughtful personality. “I want to play different roles, not just the tough guy. I want to do comedies, melodramas, like Tom Hanks,” he said. “Actually, I’m a Buddhist. And in real life, I hate violence. I don't like it at all. But I'm forced to do it because it's my job.”
Born in 1955 and raised in a rural farming community, the award-winning actor has clearly not lost touch with his humble beginnings. “My dream is to be a happy and normal person,” said Chow. “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.”
Despite his high-profile status, Chow is also renowned for valuing his privacy and maintaining a low-key and modest personal life with his Singaporean wife Jasmine Tan that includes traveling on public transportation, eating at inexpensive street-side food vendors, engaging in charity work, and spending his free time hiking and jogging, when he’ll willingly stop for a selfie if recognized by his fans.
Chow used the same Nokia mobile phone for 17 years, and only upgraded to a smartphone two years ago when his Nokia finally stopped working. He also shops at discount clothing stores, reportedly stating: “I don’t wear clothes for other people. As long as I think it’s comfortable, then it’s good enough for me.”