Hong Kong is a wonderful place to live. Not only is there a vast expanse of nature to enjoy, with the region’s population spread out over an archipelago in the South China Sea, but there are more skyscrapers in Hong Kong than anywhere else on Earth, area for area. The population of Hong Kong is massive, the streets are crowded, but not in a way that ever feels oppressive. Hong Kong is one of the top expat destinations in the world because it truly is a great place to live, work and meet with likeminded people.
With such a massive appeal to the international community, it’s little-to-no surprise that the expat community in Hong Kong is one which has always thrived. In fact, some of the most famous people from Hong Kong were born to expat parents living in the city. Here are 5 actors you probably know, but probably didn’t know were from Hong Kong.
Jackie Chan is one of the greatest martial arts actors of all time. Whether you like his comedic stunts from his later movies or his truly spectacular origins as a stuntman in Bruce Lee’s films, with more than 150 films under his belt there’s a Jackie Chan film for everyone.
Chan was born on Victoria Peak, home to one of the greatest views in all of Hong Kong and went to school on Hong Kong Island, appearing in films in Hong Kong from the age of 5. He’s now the highest paid Asian actor in the world, earning just over $50m last year.
Romola Garai is primarily known for her roles in Amazing Graze, Atonement and the BBC series Emma. Despite generally being referred to as British, Romola was born in Hong Kong to expat parents Adrian and Janet. She spent 5 years living in Hong Kong before moving to Singapore, and eventually Wiltshire in England.
Like Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen is a Hong Konger famous for his on-screen martial arts. Having moved to Hong Kong when he was 2, Donnie Yen spent his childhood living and studying in the region, picking up tai chi and karate along the way.
Yen is most famous for the film Ip Man, where he portrayed the titular Hong Konger who would eventually go on to train the likes of Bruce Lee and Wong Shun Leung in the art of Wing Chun. However, Yen is master of more than just Wing Chun – he has also studied boxing, Muay Thai, hapkido, Jeet Kune Do, Wing Chun and wrestling. On top of this he was once the wushu world champion, a Black Belt in judo and a 6th Degree Black Belt in taekwondo. Donnie Yen is one Hong Konger who seriously knows his martial arts.
Celina Jade is a Hong-Kong born and raised actress, singer, songwriter, model and martial artist, and daughter to an American kung fu actor, Roy Horan. Not only has Jade had a record deal with Japanese producer Tetsuya Komuro, she has a First Class with Honours from the London School of Economics and an impressive filmography, including her first movie, the Chinese film Legendary Assassin and the TV series Arrow.
Chow Yun-Fat was born on Hong Kong’s Lamma Island where he lived until he was 10. He then moved with his family to the more urban side of Hong Kong, taking up residence in the Kowloon area. At the age of 17 Chow Yun-Fat left school to support his family, taking up positions such as postman and taxi driver. He then came across a newspaper ad for a trainee actor, and the rest is history.
Having stared in several soap operas and almost 100 movies including Hard Boiled and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Chow Yun-Fat has become one of the region’s highest earning actors. He told Forbes last year that he now “has no idea how much he makes”. For the record, he made $7.2m last year alone.