Valerie Chow

Valerie Chow, born on December 16, 1970, is a former actress, fashion publicist, and entrepreneur from Canada. Known as Rachel Shane in her English language film and television appearances.

Life and Career

1970-93: Early Life and Miss Hong Kong Pageant

Valerie Chow, born on December 16, 1970, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, grew up in an upper-middle-class family as the only child. With a father who was a property developer, Chow’s upbringing was marked by discipline and ambition. After a challenging teenage period in Hong Kong at Marymount Secondary School, she returned to Vancouver, only to move back to Hong Kong in 1991. This move led to her participation in the 1991 Miss Hong Kong Pageant, where she secured the position of first runner-up, catapulting her into the entertainment industry. She briefly studied law at the University of Hong Kong before venturing into television, making her debut in the lifestyle programme Eye on Hong Kong on TVB Pearl. Her film debut came with a cameo in Peter Chan’s He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Father in December 1993.

1994-97: Hong Kong Films

Chow’s entry into the Hong Kong film industry was marked by controversy and acclaim. Her role in the Category-III film Twenty Something was bold, especially for a former Miss Hong Kong contestant. However, it was her performance in Wong Kar-Wai’s Chungking Express that truly established her as a talented actress, earning her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the 14th Hong Kong Film Awards. Despite her success, Chow struggled with the seductress image, further fueled by rumors of an affair with Tony Leung Chiu Wai. Between 1995 and 1997, she appeared in several B-movies, including High Risk and a guest role in Tsui Hark’s The Blade.

1997–99: Hollywood and Revlon

In a bold career move, Chow ventured to Hollywood in 1996, adopting the screen name Rachel Shane. She signed with the William Morris Agency and landed a part in the film Phantoms. 1998 marked a significant milestone as she became the first Chinese model for Revlon US, joining the ranks of renowned celebrities in their advertising campaigns.

2000–02: Career Transition, Part-Time Actor

Returning to Hong Kong in 2000, Chow joined the media communications department at Lane Crawford while continuing her acting career. Her role in the ATV series Healing Hearts in 2001 revived her popularity, leading to magazine covers and a Neutrogena ad campaign. She co-starred with Leslie Cheung in Inner Senses (2002), Cheung’s last film.

2003–present: Fashion Publicist, Entrepreneur

Chow shifted her focus from acting to fashion publicity, working for the Pedder Group, part of Lane Crawford. Her talent for marketing and visual creativity was evident in her work, especially in producing engaging store window displays in Hong Kong. In 2010, she embarked on an entrepreneurial venture, opening Mama Kid, a successful children’s clothing boutique in Hong Kong’s Central District, later relocated to Stanley.

Personal Life

Valerie Chow married Darryl Goveas, a Belgian-Indian interior designer based in Hong Kong, in 2005. The couple welcomed their daughter, Carla Goveas, in 2008.

2018: Return to Acting

In a surprising return to acting, Chow starred in Prison Architect, a film by Chinese visual artist Cao Fei. Commissioned by Tai Kwun, the Centre for Heritage and Arts in Hong Kong, the film was featured at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival. The film received widespread acclaim, with many describing it as “heartfelt and beautiful.”

Poster for the movie "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Father"

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Father

Yuen scorns his father, who he thinks is too generous and forgiving. Through a flashback/time travel gimmick, Yuen meets his parents during their joyous courtship. Yuen comes to understand and admire his dad, and reflect on his own moral defects. *** Yuen despises his father, believing him to be overly generous and forgiving. Yuen meets his parents during their happy courtship thanks to a flashback/time travel gimmick. Yuen begins to appreciate and admire his father, … Read more

Poster for the movie "High Risk"

High Risk

After failing to save his wife from ‘The Doctor’, Kit Li is working as a bodyguard and secret stunt double for the cowardly martial arts film star Frankie Lane. Frankie attends an exhibition of the crown jewels of Russia at a Hong Kong hotel, and when the Doctor’s gang take over the building in attempt to steal them, Kit is the only thing standing in their way. Will Frankie regain his courage? Will romance blossom … Read more

Poster for the movie "The Blade"

The Blade

A young man adopted by a renowned swordsmith, discovers that his real father was killed by a powerful bandit called Lung. Leaving to seek revenge, he runs foul of a group of vicious desert scum, losing his right arm in the process. After being nursed back to health, he eventually learns to compensate for his loss and returns to confront the man who murdered his father.

Poster for the movie "Sausalito"

Sausalito

Ella is a divorced Chinese American taxi driver who spends her days ferrying people around the roads of Sausalito, San Francisco. After work, she spends time with her 8-year old son, Scott. Ella meets Mike at Sky House, an infamous pick-up joint. Awkward strangers at first, they nonetheless find passion and what they want in each other.

Poster for the movie "Healing Hearts"

Healing Hearts

Intended as the pilot for a an E.R.-style medical drama set in Hong Kong, Healing Hearts features Tony Leung as Lawrence, a doctor whose personal life has been left in shambles after the tragic hit-and-run death of his wife. As Lawrence sets off to find the driver and bring him to justice, one of his colleagues finds himself distracted by a beautiful coma patient. Healing Hearts was directed by Gary Tang and features Leung Chiu-Wai, … Read more

Poster for the movie "Meltdown"

Meltdown

After failing to save his wife from ‘The Doctor’, Kit Li is working as a bodyguard and secret stunt double for the cowardly martial arts film star Frankie Lane. Frankie attends an exhibition of the crown jewels of Russia at a Hong Kong hotel, and when the Doctor’s gang take over the building in attempt to steal them, Kit is the only thing standing in their way. Will Frankie regain his courage? Will romance blossom … Read more

Poster for the movie "Chungking Express"

Chungking Express

Every day, Cop 223 (Takeshi Kaneshiro) buys a can of pineapple with an expiration date of May 1, symbolizing the day he’ll get over his lost love. He’s also got his eye on a mysterious woman in a blond wig (Brigitte Lin), oblivious of the fact she’s a drug dealer. Cop 663 (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) is distraught with heartbreak over a breakup. But when his ex drops a spare set of his keys at … Read more

Poster for the movie "Hero"

Hero

Ma Wing Jing and his older brother Ma Tai Chueng arrive in Shanghai to make their fortune at the end of the Qin Dynasty. Be-friending a powerful mobster Wing Jing is given his nightclub in return for saving Tam Sei’s life. Unfortunately, another Gangster wants the territory a well. Corruption and violence rule the streets as Wing Jing and Tam Sei must battle not only the rival gangs but the corrupt police officials as well.