It all began as a way to show off his celebrity pics from TIFF. That is how Mr. Will Wong started his award-winning website over a decade ago, before it became the trusted film, TV and celebrity culture blog it is today.
For years, Will could be found snapping pics of and with celebrities all around the GTA with his beloved dog Billy, gaining multitudes of fans along the way. As his pictures received attention worldwide, the site grew exponentially and Will now employs a diverse stable of talented writers who assist him in covering red carpet junkets, celebrity interviews, virtual and physical film premieres and coverage from international film festivals like TIFF, Cannes, Sundance and SXSW.
Speaking of stables, Will’s other passion is horses – he is an avid fan and ambassador of the horse racing industry, attending and covering some of the world’s top racing events. He even has two racehorses named after him.
When he is not working his day job or watching the latest screener of the film or TV show you are going to be raving about next week, the pandemic has given Will a chance at honing his skills as a future professional-level cook. Above this, he acts as an online influencer for multiple prominent brands and is the proud father of his Shih Tzu, beanie.
– David Baldwin
Which ‘hood are you in?
I’m in the northeast-end of the City quarantining with my mom and dad who are elderly and at-risk, and my puppy beanie (Instagram: @beaniewong). Was a Yorkville boy prior and a Yonge & Eglinton boy before that.
What do you do?
I am an Entertainment Blogger. My friends call me Will, but professionally I go by Mr. Will Wong. My award-winning website mrwillwong.com launched almost 12 years ago and has been a mainstay in the City. We cover an array of topics including previewing new films and television series; reviewing them; interviews with the stars; and we run contests across Canada which give our readers a chance to win advance passes to premieres and screenings. We also cover Film Festivals and my team has been accredited to Cannes, Sundance, SXSW, TIFF and more. There’s also a lifestyle component and I even launched a food/cooking section at the start of the pandemic. Lots of fun stuff that come together and define me.
On weekends, I spend a good amount of time with horses, working as a digital storyteller and ambassador for the horse racing industry. I also spread awareness and raise money for theethical care of racehorses after their careers on the track. Fun fact, there are two racehorses named after me, A Pic by Mrwill and Mr Will. All this, and I have a rewarding day job for a great company, working with a great team. In another life I was an aspiring musician, signing a deal with Warner/Chappell as a singer- songwriter, with a couple releases in English and Chinese.
What are you currently working on?
Work has kept me very busy amidst the pandemic – 12+ hour days are normal – and I’m the type who always delivers above and beyond in anything I do. Being home has given me the time to do more and give more of myself. I’ll admit it’s been tough adapting from being very busy attending festivals and movie screenings/premieres every week, to now doing these things from home virtually, but I’ve made the most of it. I will look back one day appreciating this extra time I got to spend with family. I wouldn’t be surprised if post-pandemic we saw less in-person events and more virtual ones!
Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to be asked to sing the Cantonese version of Kruger Products’, maker of best-selling brands including Cashmere and Purex Bathroom Tissue, Scotties Facial Tissue and SpongeTowels Paper Towels, “Unapologetically Human” campaign. It was friends who caught wind of the opportunity and submit my name. I sang a demo into my phone, was told I got the gig and within days was recording. Not only was it a blast getting a chance to perform again in the studio (it’s been years!) and work with amazing producers Qurram ‘Q’ Hussain and Bobby Singh Brown, I’ve received so many wonderful comments from people online. People who saw the ad, heard the song and searched it out, wanting to hear more and find out about the inspiration behind it. That’s a true testament to its power. You can view the Cantonese version of Kruger Products’ raw and real multicultural marketing campaign, here.
The audio, visual and message of the campaign have connected with people viscerally, presenting a strong departure from the category’s typically clean, white, mess-free imagery. We all identify with feeling a fraction of ourselves from time to time, maybe even more so right now. Kruger’s products are there to absorb – literally and figuratively – those things that hold us back, so that we can move forward and be our best selves.
Where can we find your work?
I’m very active on Social Media, so don’t be shy! While my focus now is my career and my brand, occasionally I like to surprise my followers and readers with a piece of me whether it be a cover, an image I took or something I wrote. If all fails, there are cute puppy photos to lure you.
We also are applying the finishing touches to my track for the Unapologetically Human, which will be available to stream in full in the near future. Don’t forget to check it out! Thanks for the chat!