It’s been quite a year for newcomer Henry Golding.
After landing the coveted role of ultra-wealthy and handsome Nick Young opposite Constance Wu, 36, in Crazy Rich Asians, the actor, 31, says his life has done a complete 180.
“There are words to describe how life-changing this past year-and-a-half has been,” the Malaysian-English actor who previously worked as a hairdresser and hosted BBC’s The Travel Show told PEOPLE.
RELATED VIDEO: Cast of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Hit the Carpet at LA Premiere in Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Fashion
“I was sleeping in the jungle and doing really weird things,” he says of his past hosting duties. “[Being in a film] is so different. Much more pampered. I’m not going to lie. It’s pretty nice.”
For more on Golding, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.
Golding, who also stars with Blake Lively in the upcoming film A Simple Favor, lives in Singapore with his wife, TV host Liv Lo. The couple just celebrated their two year wedding anniversary.
Golding says being part of the romantic comedy that is based on Kevin Kwan’s best-selling novel was a dream come true and he is so thankful director Jon Chu found him.
“Jon always says that they searched the entire world for their Nick Young,” says Golding. “And he was exactly where the book told him he was going to be, in Singapore.”
When not working, Golding has a surprising guilty pleasure — scrolling through Instagram cat videos. “It’s the stupidest thing, but it just relaxes me.”
He adds that to really unwind his ideal getaway is a villa in Bali.
“Just a beach, a pool, my wife. We do that to get away from everything. We have a case of cigars and a nice bottle of whiskey,” he says. “It’s perfect.”
Crazy Rich Asians is now in theaters.
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