Chow Yun-fat SBS (born 18 May 1955), previously known as Donald Chow, is a Hong Kong actor known for his collaborations with filmmaker John Woo in the action heroic bloodshed films A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, and Hard Boiled, and in the West for his roles as Li Mu-bai in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Sao Feng in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.
Despite being a multi-millionaire, Hong Kong action star Chow Yun Fat has kept an extremely frugal lifestyle over the years, reportedly spending only about $800 Hong Kong dollars ($102) a month.
His wife Jasmine Tan divulged the 63-year-old actor’s modest ways in a recent interview.
She revealed that Chow now has a net worth of $5.6 billion Hong Kong dollars (more than $714 million) but still enjoys eating cheap street food. Chow has also been using his wife’s old mobile phone for 17 years but only changed to a new smartphone recently after the old phone stopped working.
Tan noted that while Chow is a celebrity recognized around the world, he sees himself as an average man who finds joy in living a simple life.
Chow is often seen commuting on public transport and shopping at thrift shops.
“I don’t wear clothes for other people. As long as I think it’s comfortable, then it’s good enough for me,” he said.
From a 2018 article:
The movie legend, 63, visited Dayo backstage where they jokingly compared weights. Dayo, 57, who also lost a lot of weight recently, joked: “I guess you are about 5kg heavier than me now. We both weigh 50-something [kilos]!”
Chow Yun Fat’s weight loss journey reportedly started in 2014 when he was filming crime-comedy flick From Vegas to Macau. It was rumoured that the actor, who had tipped the scales at 81kg then, had felt the pressure to become slimmer because of his younger co-stars, like Nicholas Tse, and he eventually lost a whopping 13 kilos, thanks to a strict diet. His drastic weight loss so alarmed his Singaporean wife, Jasmine Tan, that she reportedly said: “It’s enough. He needs to stop!”
He also became an avid hiker, frequently trekking Hongkong’s mountains. He was apparently inspired by super fit Heavenly King Aaron Kwok, who jogs for an hour every day regardless of his schedule.
Yun Fat has responded to questions about his weight loss by explaining: “Actually I really like to eat, I can really eat a lot of rice, fish, meat and other typical food. Normally I don’t eat at night; only twice during the day. In the afternoon I eat fruits and potatoes. Now that I’m 13kg lighter, I feel very comfortable. I walk faster too. Every week I go hiking, and occasionally I get a back massage.”