Since Chinese BL wuxia drama Word of Honor <山河令> aired, actor Simon Gong Jun (龚俊) who plays anti-hero Wen Kexing, has been riding high in popularity. The 28-year-old actor, who grew up in a modest family, shared snippets of his tough childhood days and how they shaped him as a person to always look for light even in darkness.
Parents Were Too Trusting
The Chengdu native did not aspire to be an actor in his childhood, but dreamed of becoming a scientist as described in an old essay titled “The Future Me” which he kept from his school days. This dream later changed to more practical aspirations and he wanted to become an entrepreneur, as his family managed their own businesses.
His parents had dabbled in selling shoes, alcohol and cigarettes, as well as refurbishing leather shoes. Gong Jun wanted to either start his own hotpot shop, skewered foods shop, or an Internet café business. However, he felt his parents’ kindness had caused them to get cheated more than a few times. He recalled, “Those people who claimed to be ‘brothers’ with my dad…after our initial investments, we never got any money back.”
How He Learned to Cook
When Gong Jun was in middle school, his father fell sick and went to another city to seek treatment. Though it was a tough period in his life, Gong Jun managed to find small joys despite the difficult circumstances. His mother started a small shop while looking after him.
Next to their shop was a chef who would habitually come over for a mahjong game or two. After they became more friendly, Gong Jun would hop over into the neighbor’s pantry to observe the big-batch cooking – as he recalls – “a humongous pot of food.”
Through observing what went on, Gong Jun gradually became rather skilled at cooking. Also, his grandfather had set a rule that the men in the family ought to take care of cooking rather than the women, as was the tradition in the Chuan Yu (Sichuan and Chongqing) region where they lived.
Never Resting Until Everything is Done
Gong Jun’s mother would also teach him how to be observant and get a good bargain. It was also then that she assigned him household duties such as dishwashing, sweeping and mopping the floor. These chores cultivated his habit of keeping his living spaces tidy and clean. Carrying this attitude over to work, the actor would always choose to complete every pending task on his mind before allowing himself a rest, despite his assistants’ reminders about break time in his work studio.
Like many people growing up in the 1990s, Gong Jun gained an interest in online gaming in high school. Admitting his guilty pleasures, he and his friends would sneak out together in the middle of the night to meet up at the Internet bars. As the anti-theft doors were not particularly well-built in those years, they produced a loud sound whenever he tried to sneak out at night, thus Gong Jun had to be as stealthy as he could, carrying his shoes to avoid waking his sleeping family.
Once, his father caught him at the Internet bar, but Gong Jun slipped away, earning a beating once he returned home. Asked if he continued his habit of visiting the Internet bars after the incident, Gong Jun sheepishly admitted to his rebellious phase, “Yes, I continued doing it.” When he finally realized the lost time spent on unproductive gaming, Gong Jun had to put in more effort to recompense and work even harder.
This article is written by JoyceK for JayneStars.com.