If you’re into Hongkong dramas, chances are you’ll be familiar with 61-year-old thespian Ai Wai. The actor, who has been in showbiz for 41 years, recently shared in an interview that the one piece of advice he always gives younger actors is this: “You tend to become a selfish person after becoming an actor, because the only person you pay attention to is yourself."
"You pay attention to your hair, make-up, outfit and overall appearance, and you only look at yourself while watching playbacks. All of this make you very self-absorbed, so it’s important to do good deeds (…) You need to constantly remind yourself not to become a person that others hate.”
His way of staying grounded is donating regularly to charity. Ai Wai revealed that he donates about HK$4,000 (S$720) a month to sponsor 28 children. “[The charity] charges the donations to my card on a monthly basis,” he explained.
“You don’t feel the pinch because you don’t pay in cash. [Since many people] use their cards to pay for their meals, why not use your cards to donate to charity too? It’s the same concept as paying for your monthly electricity bill.”
He also receives regular updates and pics of the children that he sponsors. “Looking at these photos, I can see how I’ve helped them grow over the years. I feel like I’ve accomplished something with my life," he said.
Ai Wai tied the knot in 2002 with Lisa Chan, who works in the clothing industry. The couple has no children. He is best known for playing supporting roles on hit Hongkong dramas such as TVB's The Family Link and HKTV's Hidden Faces. He left TVB in 2012 after 33 years with the station, and joined HKTV in the same year. However, he left the station after two short years, and has been signed to DreamSaga Media Entertainment since 2014. He is currently filming ViuTV reality programme Midlife Crisis with fellow veteran actor Evergreen Mak.