Ex-Drug Addict Turned Influencer Simonboy Goes Viral, Invited To Star In 3 Movies
It’s never easy turning one’s life around, but things are always smoother with the right support and effort.
36-year-old Simon Khung, who goes by Simonboy online, conquered 16 years of drug addiction and became an influencer.
His recent advertisement for a food stall involved a story that touched many. The video went viral, gaining over 1.6 million views in five days.
Three local directors have since taken notice of his creative talents, inviting him to star in their movies.
TikTok creator Simonboy formerly battled drug addictions
Simon Khung grew up in a difficult upbringing, constantly exposed to smoking and family tensions as a child.
He fell into bad company at a young age and first took drugs at the age of 16. This began a 16-year drug addiction spiral.
Simon went as far as to steal thousands of dollars from his mother to fund his addiction, but his mother never gave up on him.
He ended up in Changi Prison for three sentences. After his last release in 2019, he fell into a deep depression and attempted suicide by drinking bleach.
Thankfully, the attempt failed, and Simon woke up hours later still alive. The event spurred him on to leave the days of drugs behind and he later checked into a halfway house.
While attempting to find a stable career, he found the anti-drug TikTok videos of former addict Luke Chan. Feeling inspired, Simon entered the realm of content creation as well, and even became good friends with Luke.
As of 2022, Simon is making enough through content creation and other investments to “survive”. He is also able to give his mum some money each month to show gratitude for her love.
Herbal soup ad features touching story
Simonboy makes about five to 10 short videos a month and uploads them on his TikTok page. Numerous advertisers have also reached out to him to produce advertisements for them.
His recent ad for Heng Heng Herbal Soup caught the attention of many. In the video, Simon played a stall owner at an undisclosed Heng Heng outlet, chiding a ragged-looking customer for taking a long time to order.
The customer then surprised the owner by asking for just a bowl of white rice. He handed a S$0.50 coin to the owner and additionally requested a refill for his water bottle.
The stall owner looked annoyed but obliged anyway.
While filling the bowl of rice, the stall owner overheard his customer’s phone conversation with what was supposedly his loved one.
The customer lied and claimed to be eating well every day. He then told them to just focus on taking care of their mother.
TikTok video goes viral with over a million views
The stall owner noticed the customer was missing after finishing his order. He later found the man sitting on the ground outside the kopitiam, looking crestfallen.
The customer asked to just eat his rice there as he did not want to dirty the kopitiam with his unclean clothes.
In an unpleasant and harsh tone, the tattooed stall owner demanded he sits in the kopitiam to eat.
As the man sat down at the table, the stall owner served a bowl of herbal soup together with the bowl of rice the former ordered.
But when the customer exclaimed that he didn’t order the soup, the stall owner explained that it was on the house. He even added that the customer could get a soup refill once he’d finished it.
The famished customer dug into his rice, only to be further surprised at the braised meat underneath.
Holding a fully refilled water bottle, the customer bowed to the stall owner to show his appreciation.
The video touched many, gaining over 1.6 million views at press time. Comments praised the heartwarming story and the solid acting by those involved, especially the customer, played by veteran actor Vincent Tee.
According to Shin Min Daily News, the two share a close relationship akin to that of a father and son.
Simon also recounted that he was once too poor to eat and had to resort to begging for food at a hawker centre.
“Life has its ups and downs, never look down on anyone,” he said.
Simonboy stars in local films
Simon’s creative talents on TikTok caught the attention of three notable local directors — Jack Neo, Kelvin Sng, and Boi Kwong.
His debut appearance on the big screen was Jack Neo’s 2023 Chinese New Year (CNY) movie ‘The King of Musang King’.
Recently, he finished filming for the 2024 CNY film ‘King of Hawkers’ directed by Kelvin Sng.
Simon thanked Jack Neo and Kelvin Sng for the opportunity. He said that they were very patient despite his anxiety, being a newbie in the film industry.
Director Boi Kwong also expressed interest in casting the influencer in an upcoming movie about school bullies.
They apparently met through fellow Internet celebrity Mayiduo (马一朵), with Simon saying the director treated him like a friend and gave him much encouragement.
Simon Khung’s transformation from depressed drug addict to burgeoning movie star is as impressive as it gets.
He continues getting support from his mother and girlfriend, and it appears more movie offers will be coming his way.
We wish Simon all the best for the future and have no doubts he will continue inspiring others with his success story.
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