Henry Golding Explores ASMR

In this Celebrity ASMR interview, actor Henry Golding explores autonomous sensory meridian response with whispers and sounds. The "Simple Favor" star talks about his tribal Malaysian roots, the rights of passage he experienced in Borneo in his early showbiz days as a travel host, his earlier beginnings as a hairdresser and landing his big role as Nick Young in "Crazy Rich Asians." Henry also mixes us a drink and shows us how to properly cut split ends.

Released on 5/6/2019

Credits

Starring: Henry Golding

Transcript

00:00
[clinking]
00:05
That's so satisfying.
00:09
Hey there guys, it's Henry Golding.
00:12
I'm gonna do a little bit of ASMR and tell you
00:16
a little bit about my journey of how I got here.
00:21
Malaysia.
00:22
So I was born in the state of Sarawak,
00:26
which is on the island of Borneo.
00:30
There's two states of Malaysia up north.
00:32
It's Sarawak and Sabah.
00:35
And I was born into a headhunting tribe called the Iban.
00:42
Now there's a lot of tribes in Malaysian Borneo,
00:47
but I come from one of the largest.
00:51
And I grew up predominantly on the east coast
00:54
of Malaysia in Terengganu, but moved over to the UK
00:59
when I was about, probably about eight or nine years old.
01:05
My father's British, and so grew up the rest of my life
01:09
in Surrey, just south of London.
01:13
Before all of this movie business started,
01:17
I was a travel host for about eight, nine years.
01:22
One of the shows that I did was called Surviving Borneo,
01:27
and that was me in the jungles for about two months
01:31
with different members of the tribes in Sarawak.
01:36
And I went through a lot of, kind of rites of passage
01:41
for a young male going into adulthood.
01:46
And so it was an extremely eye-opening journey.
01:53
I got a huge souvenir in the form of a tattoo
01:56
on the side of my leg, which took about 10 hours,
01:59
the old traditional way of tapping away.
02:03
But yeah, that was one of the most
02:04
memorable things that I've done.
02:06
I think for me, the decision to take part
02:09
in something like that was really to explore my roots,
02:14
understand where my family heritage came from.
02:21
And I think really sort of bring myself to a very
02:27
simple existence for a little bit.
02:29
It was just myself and, at one point it was my uncle,
02:33
or there would be like one or two people
02:35
in the middle of the jungle, no camera crew.
02:38
Just me holding the camera and hunting,
02:43
surviving, and living off the land.
02:47
Now this is the sound of Malaysian coins.
02:55
[coins sliding]
03:02
[coins scraping together]
03:07
[coins sliding]
03:14
[coins clanking and shifting]
03:30
[coins sliding]
03:39
[coins clinking]
03:54
[coins jostling] [Henry laughs quietly]
03:58
[coins clinking]
04:14
We got the 50 sen here.
04:18
There is a bunga raya, which is
04:20
the national flower for Malaysia.
04:24
Right there.
04:25
There is, actually it's on most of the coins.
04:28
Here's a 20 sen piece as well.
04:31
There is a spinning top, which is traditional, I guess.
04:39
[laughs] There is, [coins clinking]
04:41
what else have we got?
04:42
We've got a kris, which is a traditional sort of dagger
04:48
which the Malays use to adorn their traditional outfits.
04:55
And we have, what else is there?
04:59
This is called a wau, W-A-U, which is a traditional kite,
05:06
which is made in the Alta territories of Malaysia,
05:12
in the different states.
05:15
But that's very very Malaysian.
05:17
And
05:22
lots of other little things.
05:26
Thank you.
05:28
Hairstylist.
05:29
I was about 14 years old when
05:34
somebody at my school had a Saturday job
05:38
and they didn't wanna do it anymore, so I took it over.
05:43
And so I would go to school Monday to Friday
05:46
and then Saturdays I would wake up early,
05:49
I'd go cycle into town and spend the day
05:52
sweeping up hair and cleaning up around this barber shop.
05:56
And that was really the sort of beginning
05:59
of me finding a passion in hairstyling
06:03
and as soon as I finished school
06:05
I knew that I wanted to go into an apprenticeship.
06:10
Actually I read somewhere that it was, like,
06:11
the happiest job that you could ever have.
06:13
'Cause if you think about it, every 45 minutes
06:17
you start over again, you never bring
06:19
anything from the last haircut
06:22
or the last blow dry to the next project.
06:25
Every day, every morning, you start with a clean slate.
06:30
I very rarely do people's hair now.
06:35
Once in a while I do my wife's hair,
06:38
if we have an event or something
06:42
and, you know, she doesn't have a hairstylist.
06:44
I'll give her a once-over with a blow dryer
06:47
and stick some product in there, a bit of hair spray.
06:51
More often than not, I'm usually
06:53
cutting little children's hair
06:56
because all of our friends have kids now,
06:58
and I've just become the local hairdresser for their kids.
07:03
This is the sound of hairstyling.
07:10
Ooh.
07:14
[blades rubbing]
07:20
[Henry laughs]
07:27
Oh my gosh, it's really long.
07:30
I don't know what I'm, this is so awkward.
07:35
[plastic sliding]
07:48
[metal rubbing]
07:58
It's very messy.
08:02
[hair tugging]
08:11
She needs to condition her hair a little bit more.
08:14
[hair tugging]
08:36
[Henry laughs] Big knot.
08:42
Oh God.
08:50
[hair tugging]
09:05
There's a huge knot in this.
09:10
[Henry laughs quietly]
09:21
[metal rubbing]
09:30
[plastic sliding]
09:39
[metal rubbing]
09:49
[light blowing]
09:51
[metal rubbing]
09:58
[microphone distorts]
10:00
[metal rubbing]
10:15
The travel shows.
10:17
When I moved from London to Malaysia,
10:22
it was really to get into television.
10:24
And, so my first job was with a company called 8TV
10:31
and the show was called The Quickie
10:34
and it was on live every night.
10:37
It was just like a lot of daily stories
10:39
about what's happening around Kuala Lumpur.
10:43
And that led on to my first travel show,
10:48
which was called Welcome to the Railworld Malaysia.
10:51
And so we traveled around Malaysia by the railway systems,
10:57
to pretty much every state on the peninsula.
11:01
And then I got into travel shows from there on
11:04
so I did a travel show around Japan.
11:09
I did a travel show around South Island of New Zealand.
11:13
I did three or four travel shows around Southeast Asia.
11:19
Was really cool, because you got to meet
11:23
and tell so many interesting human stories.
11:28
You get to meet all these amazing people
11:30
who make these cities and these worlds
11:34
kind of complete and full of culture.
11:38
And I absolutely loved my time doing that,
11:41
and I think it really has lent itself to the acting,
11:46
which has come a lot later.
11:49
I feel definitely that I've traveled enough
11:53
and I've experienced loss and happiness and joy
11:59
from different aspects of my life
12:01
and I think it really does help build
12:05
a very, sort of dimensional character.
12:08
I don't think you have a done with traveling.
12:11
I think there's always new things to explore and experience.
12:17
I gotta do a little bit more of South America.
12:19
I haven't done much of that.
12:21
Even America, actually, I've only done the coasts.
12:24
So if anybody out there would like to invite me
12:27
to their home state, let me know.
12:29
Drop a message down below. [laughs]
12:32
This is the sounds of places that I have been.
12:40
Ooh, that.
12:43
[metal rattles]
12:45
[wood sliding against metal]
12:51
[metal sliding against fabric]
13:02
[chalk rubbing]
13:08
[chalk rubbing]
13:18
India. [chalk rubbing]
13:21
Sri Lanka. [chalk rubbing]
13:27
South Africa.
13:29
[chalk rubbing]
13:32
Middle East. [chalk rubbing]
13:39
Thailand, Vietnam. [chalk rubbing]
13:44
[chalk rubbing] Malaysia.
13:47
Indonesia. [chalk rubbing]
13:51
Most of Southeast Asia,
13:53
[chalk rubbing] actually.
14:00
Australia. [chalk rubbing]
14:04
New Zealand. [chalk rubbing]
14:12
China. [chalk rubbing]
14:17
[chalk rubbing] West coast.
14:20
[chalk rubbing] East coast.
14:24
Bit of Canada. [chalk rubbing]
14:30
Somewhere around there. [laughs]
14:31
[chalk rubbing]
14:36
[wood sliding against metal]
14:56
I'm just gonna color in some.
14:58
[chalk rubbing]
15:20
[Henry laughs quietly]
15:24
I made a mess. [laughs]
15:29
Crazy Rich Asians.
15:31
Jon Chu, the director of the film,
15:33
was looking for this one particular character, Nick Young,
15:38
and they pretty much saw every viable male in the world,
15:45
but he still couldn't believe that
15:47
he hadn't found the right guy.
15:49
And so the search was still on
15:51
like a week from having to submit
15:55
to Warner Brothers their final casting.
15:59
A lady by the name of Lisa-Kim gave my name to Jon.
16:04
She was in accounting.
16:06
He followed through by going through
16:09
all my travel videos on YouTube.
16:14
And he thought that I was this character Nick.
16:18
And so he realized we had a friend in mutual,
16:21
who was this guy Steve Jang.
16:23
Steve put us both in touch with each other.
16:26
We had a long Skype session where Jon convinced me
16:30
that I should put myself on tape.
16:33
And I recorded an audition.
16:37
I did it twice, in fact.
16:39
And then I did a chemistry test.
16:41
I flew all the way to LA from Singapore,
16:44
did a chemistry test.
16:47
Then I was on my honeymoon in South Africa
16:50
and they told me that I had to do one more screen test,
16:55
so I flew from South Africa to LA,
16:59
and that was the last hoop that I had to go through.
17:02
February 14th, on Valentine's Day,
17:05
they told me that I had the job, and life was gonna change.
17:10
And so it did. [laughs]
17:13
I always dreamt of working in movies and stuff, but
17:19
was never sort of expectant of it coming so soon.
17:25
We filmed in Malaysia and Singapore
17:29
and it was sweaty.
17:32
It's so humid down in Southeast Asia,
17:35
so we spent most of the time in front of fans
17:39
in jackets and three-piece suits and stuff,
17:44
so it was quite a challenge filming over there.
17:47
Three or four days in, it felt so natural
17:50
and I thoroughly enjoyed it and I love making movies.
17:56
I kind of acted as host a little bit.
17:58
I was the most familiar with Kuala Lumpur
18:03
than anybody else.
18:04
Actually Ronny Chieng, from The Daily Show,
18:08
who plays Eddie, he's actually from Malaysia as well.
18:12
He's from Johor, but he helped show around everybody
18:17
and yeah, it was good.
18:19
It was more taking people to eat or eating as a group
18:23
and sort of enjoying what Malaysia had to offer.
18:28
The sequel will not be in any time soon, I don't think.
18:32
I think they're writing away as we speak,
18:36
tryin' to figure out how best to,
18:40
to follow up with such a great story,
18:44
and how best to adapt those two remaining books.
18:49
When we're gonna film them, I have no idea.
18:52
My guess, it might be another year or so, I don't know.
18:57
I hope they let me know. [laughs]
19:00
Soon.
19:01
I played mahjong as a kid,
19:03
but it was Constance and Michelle
19:07
who had to sort of play for the film.
19:11
But yeah, I love the sound of mahjong.
19:14
Ooh, thank you.
19:16
Ooh, it's heavy isn't it?
19:20
Well it's, uh. [pieces clanking]
19:29
This is mahjong.
19:32
[snapping]
19:35
[Henry gasps]
19:39
[pieces clinking]
19:51
[pieces clinking and thudding]
20:17
[pieces clinking and thudding]
20:31
That's so satisfying.
20:33
[pieces clinking and thudding]
20:48
[pieces clinking]
20:59
[pieces clinking and thudding]
21:41
[pieces clinking]
22:02
A Simple Favor.
22:04
Paul Feig is one of the nicest
22:08
and most creative human beings
22:12
I have had the pleasure to work with,
22:14
so it was absolutely wonderful
22:16
to work with him on A Simple Favor.
22:19
And this was way before Crazy Rich had even come out.
22:25
And so to go up against Anna Kendrick
22:28
and Blake Lively at that point
22:30
was definitely, sort of challenging for myself.
22:36
But he had so much faith in me.
22:41
He gave me the creative freedom
22:45
and we had the most wonderful shoot
22:48
in Toronto for about three months.
22:51
So for A Simple Favor, I am going to make a martini
22:54
because that is the drink of choice.
23:02
First we gotta skewer the olives.
23:06
[intermittent sliding]
23:22
[rattling]
23:29
[metal clanking]
23:41
[ice sliding]
23:47
Ice.
23:58
[ice cubes shifting and falling]
24:41
Vodka.
24:43
Or gin.
24:44
[Assistant] Vodka.
24:46
Vodka. [laughs] [glass clinks]
24:49
Oh.
25:00
[liquid flowing and ice stressing]
25:11
[metal clanking]
25:15
[thudding]
25:22
[ice sliding rhythmically]
25:37
[ice shaking]
25:51
It's really cold. [laughs]
25:58
[ice shaking vigorously]
26:12
No vermouth.
26:17
[ice shifting]
26:19
[dripping]
26:23
[metal clangs] [Henry gasps]
26:30
[dripping]
26:47
[ice shifting]
26:54
[plopping]
27:03
[slurping]
27:07
Ahh.
27:08
[Henry laughs quietly]
27:13
[Henry laughs]
27:16
Not bad.
27:17
Pretty good.
27:20
So sadly we've come to the end of our ASMR session.
27:25
I do hope that you've enjoyed it.
27:26
This has been Henry Golding for W Magazine.
27:30
I myself have personally loved this.
27:34
It's wonderful to just have
27:36
a nice little moment to yourself,
27:38
make a nice fresh martini. [slurping]
27:43
And enjoy all its vodka-ry-ness.
27:47
[slurping]
27:49
Cheers. [laughs quietly]
27:53
[Henry smacks lips and laughs]