An old promise from a legendary Oscar-winning actor has recently resurfaced among Korean netizens, with fans curious to know if the actor will eventually carry out his vow. Chow Yun Fat, the renowned Hong Kong star, made a promise to give away his entire fortune to charity back in 2018.
Famous for his roles in movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and The Pirates of the Caribbean, Chow has a net worth reported to be around $715 million USD. Despite being a multimillionaire and making it onto Forbes’ list of highest-paid actors in the world for the first time in 2015, Yun Fat is known for his simple lifestyle and generous heart.
Chow Yun Fat, affectionately known as “Brother Fat” in Hong Kong, has always been different from many of his peers. While some celebrities flaunt their wealth, Yun Fat enjoys a modest life. He’s been seen eating at street stalls and continued to use his old Nokia flip phone until it finally gave up on him. His approach to life is refreshingly humble, especially in a city like Hong Kong, where the wealth gap is significant and living costs are sky-high.
The decision to donate his wealth was shared by Yun Fat in an interview with South Korea’s Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation. He expressed a straightforward philosophy: money isn’t around forever. He also mentioned that his wife, the renowned Jasmine Tan, strongly supports his decision, highlighting the shared values between them.
This money isn’t something you possess forever. When you’re gone one day, you have to leave it to others to use it.
— Chow Yun Fat
To many fans of the actor, Yun Fat’s pledge is not just a PR statement — it’s a reflection of his life principles. Growing up in Lamma Island, a traditional fishing village, he values the simplicity of life. Many of the people around him have described how the actor loves finding joy in simple meals and the company of loved ones over material possessions. His perspective on life and death is equally pragmatic. Despite rumors of his ill health, Yun Fat remains unfazed, focusing on the present and his contributions to the world.
In 2023, at the Busan International Film Festival, Chow Yun Fat was honored as the Asian Filmmaker of the Year. His speech touched on various topics, including his view on life and death. He reiterated his commitment to donating his fortune, emphasizing that leaving the world without material possessions is not a concern for him.
It’s not that I want to donate… It’s my wife’s decision. Anyway, I believe that since I came into this world with nothing, it doesn’t really matter if I leave with nothing as well.
— Chow Yun Fat
Chow’s journey from a modest upbringing to international stardom and his decision to donate his wealth is a testament to his character and the legacy he wishes to leave behind.