Most men in their 50s would be looking forward to retirement. But Aaron Kwok isn’t most men. At 53, the showbiz legend is as industrious and prolific as he was in his 20s and 30s – perhaps even more so. Currently in the midst of a 100-show world tour spanning two years, Kwok also has four movies in the works, plus numerous endorsement gigs for brands like Longines.
The latter is what brought the Heavenly King to Singapore on Mon (Feb 18), where he lent his star power to the opening of a new Longines boutique in Marina Bay Sands. “I arrived [from Hong Kong] at midnight but I didn’t go out,” Kwok told CNA Lifestyle at an interview in The Fullerton Hotel. “I just stayed in the hotel and rehearsed my script".
It’s a partnership that has lasted a remarkable 14 years, though even Kwok himself never imagined that he’d play a recurring role in the brand’s universe. “I never thought I’d be working with Longines for so long, but I appreciate [the goodwill] and I’m very happy. Whether we will have a future, I don’t know. Maybe one day, they will let me go … but this is fate.”
“All I know is that I will work very hard … for my audience to love me. I will do my best in the entertainment field – [whether it’s a] new product, a new film, or a new concert – everything must be better than before. I’m very aggressive [when it comes to my work], no matter if it’s on stage or in front of the camera. Maybe that’s what Longines likes about me!”
Serendipity also played a part in how Kwok came to work with the Swiss watchmaker. In 2005, presented with endorsement deals from several other watch brands, Kwok picked Longines because his dad once owned a timepiece from the brand.
“I don’t have that watch anymore, but it’s still on my mind. I remember when I was young, my father kept his watch in the wardrobe. Before he went to work, I would take the watch, bring it to him, and hold his hand. I remember the logo was Longines.”
But for all this talk of elbow grease, work comes second to Kwok’s main priority – his young (and growing) family. Wife Moka Fang, 31, is expecting their second child, though Kwok remains coy about its gender and the due date. “It’s coming,” he said with a smile. His daughter Chantelle is one-and-a-half.
“Family is very important. As a single man, you go to work, come home and the next day, it’s the same thing. Now, you get up in the morning, you have a family. You have to take care of your wife, your daughter. This is [what it means to be] a man. That’s why I need to work very hard now. I have a family to support.”
Being a father a second time round, Kwok has his newborn's priorities sorted. “Most important is good health. When [he or she has] good health, [he or she] can grow up step by step. And then, [it’s] education. The basics. I hope my baby will [grow up and] do something good for society, helping people. Like me,” he said, referring to the charity pledge he made last year.
Kwok made it public late last year that he was taking a break from filming any new movies until after the baby is born. As for how the childbirth might disrupt his concert schedule, Kwok replied: “Don’t worry about that. My manager is ‘diamond class’. She will arrange everything so that I have time to take care of my family."
His next performance is in Shenzhen on March 16, followed by Shanghai in May and Beijing in June. His longtime manager, Leung May May, told CNA Lifestyle that Kwok may also come to Singapore and Malaysia at the end of the year.