HONG KONG: As Hong Kong cleaned up after the trail of wreckage left behind by Typhoon Hato on Wednesday, one unlikely resident was spotted lending a helping hand and clearing fallen tree branches by the side of a road – movie star Chow Yun-fat.

A passer-by in Kowloon Tong saw the beloved actor, who was alone and dressed in a black jacket and shorts.

Chow obliged a request for a selfie with the fan, and the picture was posted on Instagram, together with another shot of the star in clean-up action.

The energetic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon actor later told local media Apple Daily that he helped voluntarily after the signal 10 typhoon, the biggest storm Hong Kong had seen in five years, battered the city.

Movie star Chow Yun-fat was spotted lending a helping hand and clearing fallen tree branches by the side of a road in Kowloon Tong after Typhoon Hato hit Hong Kong on Wednesday. Pix source: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

Chow said he was driving home and found the streets in Kowloon Tong to be blocked by fallen branches. He then decided to get out of his car and remove the obstructions “so that other drivers could drive home safely”.

In the Instagram post, the passer-by wrote: “I met Chow Yun-fat helping to remove fallen tree branches blocking the road after the typhoon. Please be careful!”

The 62-year-old Chow, who also starred in the third instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, is well known for his humble and affable nature, and fans have snapped pictures of him hiking, travelling on public transport and buying fresh chicken in wet markets.

In 2014, Chow, who is married with no children, announced he would donate his entire HK$1 billion fortune to charity after his death.