Kent Tong Enters His Sunset Years
Kent with his oldest daughter, twin sons, and current wife.
Entering his golden years, 60-year-old Kent Tong (湯鎮業) thinks that it is more important now to enjoy life. “Now that I’m older, pains and aches are unavoidable. I should enjoy food while I can!” With six children including a pair of twin boys and girls, Kent laughs that it might be his good health and not genetics, going on to praise his wife for bringing up their 10-year-old twin daughters well. But he expresses that he is not as close to his sons.
As his wife Zou Wenjing (邹文静) is a Qingdao native, Kent has been residing in Qingdao and only stays with his twin boys on his return trips to Hong Kong. Having started filming dramas in Mainland China since 1996, the actor would only return for filming in Hong Kong during his dramatic breaks due to pay discrepancies.
Happy with Six Children
He and his ex-wife Keung Kwan (姜坤) have a daughter named Ai Jia (愛嘉) and twin sons Bruce (君慈) and Chris (君耀). He has a third son with his subsequent girlfriend, as well as a pair of twin daughters named Tiantian (甜甜) and Yuanyuan (圓圓) with his current wife.
Kent thinks that he had twins twice due to his healthy lifestyle abstaining from alcohol and smoking. “I have seven siblings. I love kids very much and (can afford) to raise them. There was a period when I dabbled in business, (people are odd) and I had the urge to go back to acting after switching tracks. Especially since being an actor is a (relatively) stable career, whereas being a businessman can be a money-losing affair. When I was in TVB my roles were well-received in China, and as a result I got requests for many show performances. Money is easy to make, and rates would rise as long as you are popular.”
Regrets Sending Children Overseas
Kent’s three older children from his previous marriage studied at American universities. He said, “My youngest kids should be studying in China as my wife has coached them well, my 10-year-old twins (studying in Qingdao) are well-versed in traditional Chinese culture and arts. I also realized Mandarin is more important than English, since my twin sons who returned from overseas ended up in entertainment. If I had known earlier I wouldn’t have sent them overseas and could have (saved) millions!”
Will Buy Homes for Sons
Kent is also supportive about his sons entering the industry, as he feels that their experiences will train up their EQ and improve their networking skills.
“Now in the sunset phase of my life, I’m happy enough to just have a healthy life, career success is nowhere on my mind! Friends are getting fewer too; this makes me appreciate every day and accompany my family more. But I spend more time with my siblings than my children. There’s a generation gap between my sons and myself. It’s hard to even enjoy a meal; I get a headache when I see their messy apartment in Hong Kong.”
Although he says this, Kent still loves them and tries his best to give his three sons an apartment each, “Daughters need only marry well, but sons need to support their families. I can’t be too obvious otherwise they wouldn’t work hard.”
Age-related Health Issues
As a senior, he has many age-related issues such as high blood pressure and bone pain, and has to start watching his diet and exercising more. ‘I don’t know how to keep fit like Michael Miu (苗僑偉), and can’t imagine going vegetarian like Andy Lau (劉德華), who can’t even enjoy good food. To look good, we must go hungry and be disciplined, but at our age if I still abstain, I won’t be able to enjoy these delicacies in my seventies. So I don’t watch my diet.”
Back in Hong Kong Productions
Since part of his family is in Hong Kong, Kent will film in local productions while there. The actor is grateful to director Wong Jing (王晶) for allowing him to showcase his acting prowess, although many of his scenes were cut in the movie Chasing the Dragon <追龍> to make way for Andy Lau and Donnie Yen’s (甄子丹) performances.
In TVB drama I Bet Your Pardon <荷里活有個大老千>, Kent plays an antagonist and also guest stars in Guardian Angel <守護神之保險調查>, both of which are airing on prime-time slots. Acting with veteran actor and longtime friend Kent Cheng (鄭則仕), the two will face off in many scenes. He plays an investigative officer who pushes Kent’s swindler character to the edge and even steals his wife, played by Angie Cheong (張慧儀). “I have known Kent for many years. As he says, chemistry develops only from good onscreen companions!”
Source: Ming Pao Weekly
This article is written by JoyceK for JayneStars.com.