No shower for Chinese New Year

As a tradition, actor Louis Koo does not bathe or wash his hair on the first day of Chinese New Year

Hong Kong actor Louis Koo at the opening of Italian luxe brand Tod's boutique at Marina Bay Sands.
Hong Kong actor Louis Koo at the opening of Italian luxe brand Tod's boutique at Marina Bay Sands.PHOTO: TOD'S

Hong Kong actor Louis Koo is as hardworking on a film set as he is apparently nonchalant about fielding media interviews.

The 46-year-old bachelor, who had appeared in at least five movies in each of the last two years, is known for giving generic one-liners to reporters' questions.

His movies reportedly premiering this year include sci-fi comedy Meow and action flick Paradox.

He was in Singapore recently for the opening of Italian luxe brand Tod's boutique at Marina Bay Sands and The Straits Times had 10 minutes to speak with him.

How are you going to spend Chinese New Year?

What is important about Chinese New Year is that I get to spend quality time with my family. We Chinese place much importance on this festive season.

What Chinese New Year traditions do you practise every year?

You can't bathe on the first day of Chinese New Year. But I won't wash my hair either. Neither will I clean or throw out the trash.

Do you still accept hongbao?

Yes, of course, I will accept hongbao. And I don't feel awkward doing so.

Singles dread Chinese New Year because nosy relatives tend to pry into their personal lives. Do you get questions about whether marriage is on the cards for you?

No one will ask me such awkward questions.

Do you hold back on snacking during Chinese New Year to maintain your figure?

I like all kinds of Chinese New Year snacks. It is just a few days - I will allow myself to enjoy snacks.

You've starred in a number of Chinese New Year movies such as All's Well End's Well (2009) and Fat Choi Spirit (2002). Which is your favourite?

I like all my movies and there isn't one that I especially like. It is fun to take part in the filming of Chinese New Year movies because the mood is festive.

Would you rather work or go on a holiday?

I would prefer to work because I have a lot of work lined up. If I don't work, I won't be able to finish what I have on my plate.

You are known to be a huge Star Wars fan. Hong Kong actor Donnie Yen starred in the recent Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016). Would you like to star in a Star Wars movie too?

I will leave it to fate.

Where do you see yourself after you turn 50 in a few years' time?

I don't think too much about the future. I will deal with the future when it comes. The most important thing is to do my best in the present.

What is the colour that best goes with your tanned skin?


Won't black be too dark?

That's good. Then no one would be able to see me.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2017, with the headline 'No shower for Chinese New Year'. Print Edition | Subscribe