Anthony Wong aka Mr Perry in first English-speaking role

Hong Kong actor Anthony Wong is one of the biggest names in the business, but he may be known as something else entirely in the next few months.

The 57-year-old tells The Straits Times he will likely go by his father’s surname of Perry very soon.

“There’ve been some changes in my life recently that made me think it’s time I do this,” he says in Mandarin.

“The next time you talk to me, you’ll have to call me Mr Perry.”

One reason is that he reunited with his half-brothers from his father’s side earlier this year – a heartwarming story that made headlines around the world.

Wong, who was only four when his British father abandoned him and his Hong Kong Chinese mother, had felt lost as a child not knowing much about his paternal side, according to reports.

Extensive research led him to the discovery that he has a pair of older twin brothers named David and John Perry. The three siblings met for the first time in Hong Kong in March.

“I’m still in touch with them regularly and we’re bonding. They suggested I get a British passport and change my family name. I think it’s a good idea. Technically, Wong was never my real name,” he says.

Wong is his mother’s surname. She died late last month of kidney failure.

He says: “I might even move away from Hong Kong soon. I had to live and work in Hong Kong because I wanted to take care of my mother.

“But now that she has died, I don’t have to. It depends on what opportunities I get.”

Perhaps, more opportunities to work abroad will come up now that he has, for the first time, a starring role in a British television drama.

In White Dragon, which is airing on Fox (Singtel TV Channel 330, StarHub TV Channel 505), he plays David Chen, a Hong Kong-based cop who finds out that his British wife has a secret second marriage in England.

This is Wong’s first English-speaking role. “I was very surprised when I heard I got the role. My English is not the best. I felt a little pressured to get the pronunciation right.

“The language was definitely the biggest challenge for me. But doing this show was quite relaxing because there is a lot of time in between filming, not like in a Hong Kong drama,” he says.

The fact that his co-stars speak pretty terrible Cantonese does not bother him. “Many of the Chinese faces on the show are not from Hong Kong – they are British. Even for the parts where I speak Cantonese, I could have made up the lines and no one would have known,” he adds.

“I don’t really mind. The show was made primarily for the British market anyway. I just try to do my own part well.”

•White Dragon airs on Fox (Singtel TV Channel 330, StarHub TV Channel 505) on Thursdays at 9pm. It is also available on streaming service Fox+.

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