Model-actor-singer Lawrence Wong on being versatile for his career

Model-actor-singer Lawrence Wong on being versatile for his career

Today's urbanites work hard and play hard. Adaptable and versatile, they wear many hats and can switch easily between roles. Model, actor, singer and host Lawrence Wong is one such individual.

Shuttling between Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand, this friend of luxury lifestyle brand Montblanc fits in perfectly with its new collection, created for the man who appreciates a good product and enjoys a functional array of accessories.

To showcase these new items, which include the Montblanc TimeWalker Extreme Chronograph DLC, StarWalker Extreme Steel ScreenWriter and the Extreme leather collection, Wong met with reporters and photographers at the brand's Pavilion KL store.

In the few hours we had with him, the amicable Johorean chatted with the styling crew, answered interview questions and posed for pictures.

Even at 32, he's had a wealth of experience in the entertainment industry. He reinvents himself when situations call for it, and rattles off an impressive but seemingly impossible to-do list with enthusiasm.

"I just finished shooting In The Room, a Singaporean movie by Eric Khoo. It was a huge challenge for me because I had to strip almost naked," Wong says, laughing.

"But what drew me to the movie was the intense emotion in the script. Everything happens in this hotel and it spans 100 years. You see this hotel both as very majestic and luxurious to something that is run-down and old.

"I play a young man who's having an affair with a Japanese housewife. A lot of things happen and I leave. The love is very intense and pure in the story."

Still on the acting front, he's just wrapped an Ntv7 drama and is currently filming a 190-episode Mandarin series, as well as an English show. This year, he'll also star in a Thai drama.

"No, I don't know how to speak Thai. I'm just going to memorise the words. but it's a great opportunity," says Wong.

"I never dreamed I would be the lead in a Thai drama. It's so surreal, so far away from my world. And the market is huge, and there's so much good talent in the Thai industry."

There are two more movies are in the pipeline, and he still has his modelling gigs, and recording on the side. In October last year, he released a new single featuring a music style very different than his first album, showing again that he loves to experiment.

"My first album was more ballads, commercial songs. This is more a southern blues-rock kind of style," explains Wong.

"It's close to my heart, a genre I listen to on a daily basis. I love quirky and alternative music. I know all the oldies, even Mandarin songs."

The song will be released in Malay as well, as Wong has a big fan base there.

"Even though I actually don't do anything in that market, I realised that I have quite a lot of Malay fans, and the media is very supportive of me, and I feel like I should give back," he says.

Again, his versatility comes in as languages and dialects are a constant challenge.

Wong tells how he has to "rewire'' his brain to speak in the correct accent. Meanwhile, despite having a popular travel show under his belt, he feels that hosting isn't really his "thing".

"I feel like I don't really have the gift of speech, I'm not really good with words," he says, laughing.

"Most of my hosting gigs are travelogues that are about relating my experiences. It's not like a talk show or anything,'' he quips.

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