American-born Taiwan superstar Vanness Wu was recently in Singapore, and City News grabbed him for a quick heart to heart about God.
Interview by Sally Ng
Even today, fans still adore him for his 2001 turn as Mei Zuo in Taiwanese serial Meteor Garden (I and II). The four leads from the show, known in the original comic book as F4, became the hot Taiwanese boy band that took Asia by storm. (F4 is now known as JVKV after the author of Meteor Garden took back the rights to the name F4).
Wu is also an accomplished movie actor — he was nominated for Best New Artist for his first film role as Bond Cheung in Star Runner. He’s been in a number of high-profile martial arts action movies including Kung Fu Master and Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon. Most recently, he starred in Kung Fu Chef, an action comedy with Samo Hung.
“Samo always has the best food on the set,” says Wu, in an interview with City News.
In Singapore for a holiday recently, Wu found himself inundated with requests for press interviews, including this one with City News.
“I asked God, ‘What am I doing in Singapore?!’ Then I started meeting people who are Christian as well. I prayed for someone this morning at a TV interview. And I had a great revelation this morning about where my Christian walk is headed — I can’t wait to get my spiritual muscles even stronger this year.”
To listen to Wu talk passionately about God, it’s hard to imagine the 31-year-old who has long been loved for his pretty boy face and chiseled body has been anything other than the radical Christian he has become.
But “it wasn’t till beginning of last year that I decided to give everything to God. You just gotta give Him that little bit of faith you got, and He will turn it into a superhero faith,” says Wu.
“But you gotta take that first step – once I took that first step, it all came. I saw miracles – small miracles everywhere, things that make me tear.
“I can’t stop talking about God.”
Wu was born in 1978 in Los Angeles, California, the youngest of three children. His parents divorced when he was very young, and Wu spent his days between Taipei and LA. As a teenager he learned to breakdance, and competed in numerous dance competitions. In 2001 he left LA for Taipei, where he was to get his big break in Meteor Garden.
“God was introduced to me when I came to Taiwan. Before that I was actually Buddhist – I did the whole praying beads thing. But God came and just zapped me. But at that time, the enemy literally came and took me away again, and took me on this whole rollercoaster ride for the next seven years.”
In a recent interview with The New Paper, Wu admitted that the thing that stood between him and God was sex. It wasn’t until he made up his mind to give that part of himself to the Lord that his life was changed.
“It wasn’t easy. I’ve been through this whole rollercoaster of entertainment BS. The dark side is pretty dark. I don’t want to be a part of that anymore.
“I’m sure [the people] who have supported me for so long, knew where I was at a certain stage in my life. It’s no lie – God is real, God is good. My life has flipped 180 degrees because of God.”
Wu shares that he prays daily, and he is passionate about prayer.
“I am Christian first before I am an entertainer. All this entertainment stuff might be gone tomorrow, I don’t even know, but God’s always going to be there. No matter how busy my day is, I have to make time for prayer. It’s when you say ‘I don’t have time to pray’ — that’s when the enemy’s going to come at you and you need to be on guard.
“I pray every morning for 40 minutes, on a good day, an hour. Even then I feel like that’s not enough time, I need more. It’s good to be greedy with God,” he laughs.
“My pastor Jaeson Ma, he said, ‘Ya gotta do it man, you make sure you go to bed early and you get up the next morning and you pray, and you get God in, and you get the Spirit in!’
“When he told me he prays for 4 hours every day, I said, ‘I’m gonna try’.
“So I prayed for one hour. And the whole day just became so clear. Everything was brighter, everything was just good. Sometimes things are bad, you get attacked, but God would never put anything in front of you that you can’t handle with Him. So you just gotta have that faith, and just make time for prayer.
“Even if you don’t have time in the morning, pray at night. If you don’t have time at night, pray in the day, five minutes here and there. If you pray in tongues, pray in tongues about everything! Just make sure you’re covered in prayer.”
Being an entertainer in the world opens one up to many temptations, something Wu is more than conscious of. “I need things to constantly remind myself of God – because it’s so easy to just turn, to just flip without even knowing it. So you have to be very careful. As sure of yourself that you’re being righteous with God, you might be being self-righteous and not know. I try to no matter what, stay grounded, keep focused, it’s God, God, God. Everything is Him. Once I have established that fact, everything comes easily.”
Wu has a new jewelry line, 3VOL (“If you turn it upside down, it’s ‘LOVE’”).
Among his designs are funky crosses, Bible verses, even a chastity belt ring!
“All the jewelry I have reminds me of God. I have this bracelet that has 1 Corinthians 13 engraved on it.”
He shows the City News crew a colorful handmade bracelet on his wrist. “My niece made this bracelet for me, it says ‘MOGLOM’: ‘More of God, Less of Me’.” It’s a mantra that has appeared on Wu’s blog, www.alivenotdead.com/vannesswu.
“All these things, God will just show it to you. And you think ‘Oh, that’s kinda cool’, and you just write it out.
“Everything I get, it’s from God.”