“Crazy Rich Asians” star Henry Golding recently admitted that he was once embarrassed about his Asian heritage when he was younger.
In an interview with the South China Morning Post, the 30-year-old British Malaysian actor explained how his heritage and upbringing would eventually become his source of pride and happiness.
Speaking about the racism he experienced in his youth in Surrey, England, Golding revealed how he felt about the Asian side of him.
“There was a stage when I was a little embarrassed about my Asian upbringing,” he was quoted as saying.
Golding, who grew up in East Malaysia in Sarawak, moved with his family to England when he was 8 years old.
“Then it got to a stage where I was like, you know what, f**k that, it’s something to be happy about,” he added.
Golding noted that leaving school and stepping out into the real world made him finally appreciate his Asian background.
“I think just growing up. Leaving school. Then going to work and realizing the world is so much bigger,” he explained.
After working as a hairdresser in London for a couple of years, he moved to Kuala Lumpur when he was 21 to pursue television roles.
In the same interview, Golding cited the backlash as another form of racism that he experienced.
“No one knows the three-dimensional story of who I am. Or anyone is. And coming from such a grounded culture as the Iban, you cannot get any more rooted in Asian culture. We’re native. But then, because I have my heritage of being British as well, it always negates that.”
Aside from the inevitable “Crazy Rich Asians” sequel, Golding is also set to star opposite “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke in the upcoming rom-com film “Last Christmas” and alongside Matthew McConaughey and Kate Beckinsale in a crime film directed by Guy Ritchie titled “Toff Guys.”