Chow Yun-Fat

Chow Yun-fat (周潤發), SBS (born 18 May 1955), previously known as Donald Chow, is a Hong Kong actor.

When Chow appeared in the 1980 TV series The Bund on TVB, it did not take long for him to become a household name in Hong Kong. The series, about the rise and fall of a gangster in 1930s Shanghai, was a hit throughout Asia and made Chow a star.

Although Chow continued his TV success, his goal was to become a big-screen actor. However, his occasional ventures into low-budget films were disastrous. Success finally came when he teamed up with director John Woo in the 1986 gangster action-melodrama A Better Tomorrow, which swept the box offices in Asia and established Chow and Woo as megastars. A Better Tomorrow won him his first Best Actor award at the Hong Kong Film Awards. It was the highest-grossing film in Hong Kong history at the time, and set a new standard for Hong Kong gangster films. Taking the opportunity, Chow quit TV entirely. With his new image from A Better Tomorrow, he made many more ‘gun fu’ or ‘heroic bloodshed’ films, such as A Better Tomorrow 2 (1987), Prison on Fire, Prison on Fire II, The Killer (1989), A Better Tomorrow 3 (1990), Hard Boiled (1992) and City on Fire, an inspiration for Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.

Chow may be best known for playing honorable tough guys, whether cops or criminals, but he has also starred in comedies like Diary of a Big Man (1988) and Now You See Love, Now You Don’t (1992) and romantic blockbusters such as Love in a Fallen City (1984) and An Autumn’s Tale (1987), for which he was named best actor at the Golden Horse Awards. He brought together his disparate personae in the 1989 film God of Gamblers (Du Shen), directed by the prolific Wong Jing, in which he was by turns suave charmer, a broad comedian and an action hero. The film surprised many, became immensely popular, broke Hong Kong’s all-time box office record, and spawned a series of gambling films as well as several comic sequels starring Andy Lau and Stephen Chow. The often tough demeanor and youthful appearance of Chow Yun-Fat’s characters has earned him the nickname “Babyface Killer”. Chow Yun-fat at the premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End in 2007 The Los Angeles Times proclaimed Chow Yun-Fat “the coolest actor in the world”. In the mid ’90s, Chow moved to Hollywood in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to duplicate his success in Asia. His first two films, The Replacement Killers (1998) and The Corruptor (1999), were box office disappointments. In his next film Anna and the King (1999), Chow teamed up with Jodie Foster, but the film suffered at the box office. Chow accepted the role of Li Mu-Bai in the (2000) film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It became a winner at both the international box office and the Oscars. In 2003, Chow came back to Hollywood and starred in Bulletproof Monk. In 2006, he teamed up with Gong Li in the film Curse of the Golden Flower, directed by Zhang Yimou.

In 2007, Chow played the pirate captain Sao Feng in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. However, his part was omitted when the movie was shown in mainland China, where government censors felt that Chow’s character “vilified and humiliated” Chinese people.

In the poorly received film Dragonball Evolution, Chow Yun-fat played Master Roshi. In 2014, Chow returned to Hong Kong cinema in From Vegas to Macau. For the part, he lost 13 kg within 10 months. In October 2014, Chow supported the Umbrella Movement, a civil rights movement for universal suffrage in Hong Kong. His political stance eventually resulted in censorship by the Chinese government. In February 2015, Chow reprised his role as Ken in the sequel From Vegas to Macau II. He was paid 5 million USD (39 million HKD) for the film. [wikipedia]

Chow Yun-Fat filmography

Poster for the movie "The Last Tycoon"

The Last Tycoon

Set in Shanghais Gangster era of the early 1900s, THE LAST TYCOON tells the tale of CHENG (Chow Yun-Fat), a young man who is set up by the chief of police (Sammo Hung) and must leave the life he knows and QIU (Monica Mok), the woman he loves, to start again. After escaping prison CHENG quickly and violently moves his way up the ladder of Shanghais criminal underworld to become on the most powerful mob … Read more

Poster for the movie "The Assassins"

The Assassins

In the year 198 BC, Cao Cao (Chow Yun Fat), Prime Minister of the Han Dynasty, ventured to the east and defeated China’s greatest warrior Lu Bu, terrifying every ambitious warlord across the country. Several years later, after taking the Han Emperor under his wing, Cao crowns himself King of Wei. He built a magnificent Bronze Sparrow Island to symbolize his power and rumors spread that he would replace the Emperor. Meanwhile, young lovers Mu … Read more

Poster for the movie "Confucius"

Confucius

In 500 B.C., during Chinas famed ‘Spring and Autumn Period’, Kong Ze (Confucius), a commoner reverred for his outstanding wisdom, is made Minister of Law in the ancient Kingdom of Lu. Under his inspired leadership, Lu ascends to new heights but becomes a target of conquest for the warlike nation of Qi. Threatened with annihilation by their powerful neighbour, a desperate people turn to their greatest teacher to lead their most powerful army. When Confucius … Read more

Poster for the movie "Let the Bullets Fly"

Let the Bullets Fly

Set in China during the Warlords Period of the1920s, notorious bandit chief Zhang descends upon a remote provincial town posing as its new mayor, an identity that he had hijacked from Old Tang, himself a small-time imposter. Hell-bent on making a fast buck, Zhang soon meets his match in the tyrannical local gentry Huang as a deadly battle of wit and brutality ensues.

Poster for the movie "The Children of Huang Shi"

The Children of Huang Shi

About young British journalist, George Hogg, who with the assistance of a courageous Australian nurse, saves a group of orphaned children during the Japanese occupation of China in 1937.

Poster for the movie "The Postmodern Life of My Aunt"

The Postmodern Life of My Aunt

Ye Rutang (Siqin Gaowa), a single-living woman in her late fifties, struggles to maintain a dignified life amid the dangers of Shanghai.

Poster for the movie "Curse of the Golden Flower"

Curse of the Golden Flower

During China’s Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.

Poster for the movie "Waiting Alone"

Waiting Alone

Set in modern day Bejing, Waiting Alone is a coming-of-age story of Wen (Xia Yu), an antique shop owner and aspiring author who has just met the girl of his dreams. Waiting Alone shows us a China rarely seen in cinema, a China that is contemporary, hip and vibrant.

Poster for the movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically-skilled, teenage nobleman’s daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life.