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     Most of Wong's film work is through his agent in Beverly Hills. He also has a press agent in New York, Denise Leong. Leong says Wong doesn't open up to a lot of people but is a very warm sensitive man. He gets a lot of requests for talks and interviews but normally doesn't agree to them. Wong says he agreed to the TRANSPACIFIC interview because he had liked the article on the Japanese American actor Mako that had appeared in the magazine.
     Women "flock to him at parties but he downplays it", says Leong. When questioned about this Wong shrugged and said "just a few". Wong prefers smaller parties and goes to "about three a year".
     One easily gathers that Russell Wong is an intensely private man. Even the reading on his answering machine in New York is just a hint of music followed by the beep. According to his mother, Wong is "very loyal to his friends. Once he makes a friend it's for a lifetime. Wong says he keeps his innermost feelings even from his handful of friends. According to his mother, Wong "doesn't ask for advice and doesn't give advice". vest
     Wong enjoys talking to people who have had similar life experiences, especially those resulting from a bad parental marriage. What about people he meets on the set? He decribes his memory on each set a "nice memory". "I like hearing about other peoples' lives because they are intriguing," is how he puts it.
     Time and again Wong shows a strong interest in the metaphysical. His mother believes that people are "born with destiny and fate" and Wong seems to share that view. He doesn't read many novels but has a insatiable appetite for zen-related books. He can never get enough of the "forces beyond what we see". Occasionally, for fun, he visits fortune tellers to find out where he "stands in the universe at this moment". With some warmth Wong recalls a Hong Kong fortune teller's reading that he had been a Chinese general in a previous life. Wong also enjoys art books. Not surprisingly, Van Gogh is his favorite.


     To become a "well-respected actor" (with a heavy emphasis on "respected") is Wong's overriding ambition. Toward this end, he leads a diciplined life. Normally he awakes at 7:30 am, usually cooks breakfast for himself, and leads a healthy, active life, mostly alone. He's always attending acting and dancing classes, weight trains three or four times a week, runs, practices boxing, and rents five or six videos a week to study acting. He loves to take long walks through Manhattan and eats dinner out at neighborhood restaurants. He goes to sleep around eleven most nights.
     He funtions best in the afternoons and nights, but has no problem working 14 hour days on the set. His one vice is cigarettes which he smokes at the rate of a half pack a day. It's a habit he picked up at 22 while bored on the set of Tai Pan (in which he plays the illegitimate son of Tai Pan). He used to drink until he found it made him hyper and depressed.
     In his constant search for perfect balance, Wong was once a devout vegetarian. Then he noticed that a meatless diet heightened his already acute sensitivity to other people's psychic energy. It proved to be a distraction he would rather not deal with.
     Wong considers himself a good cook. His favorite dish to cook is stir-fried chicken with hot sauce. Among Chinese foods he prefers Shanghainese, mostly fish. Liver, veal and lamb don't touch his lips. PAGE 5

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"Being a father really changed me."