When thinking of Chow Yun Fat (周潤發), many would inevitably think about his successful film career and down-to-earth personality. In a recent interview, the megastar opened up about his perspectives on acting and the difficulties at the start of his career. He also explained why his most unforgettable co-star is Carol Cheng (鄭裕玲).
Admits 90% of His Films Were Poor Quality
Chow Yun Fat has starred in many classic movies, including A Better Tomorrow <英雄本色>, City on Fire <龍虎風雲>, and An Autumn’s Tale <秋天的童話>. The 63-year-old actor stars opposite Aaron Kwok in Project Gutenberg <無雙>, which arrives in theaters on October 4.
Despite his current successes, he was deemed as box office poison at the start of his career. But each film had its distinct soul. He recalled, “Ninety percent of the movies I filmed were of poor quality. There are only about one or two good ones. Even though a movie might be low-budget and filmed poorly, I still need to do my best as an actor. A lot of times, we have to follow the director’s guidance and film to his standards. You have to work in order to get paid.”
Despite his current wealth, Chow Yun Fat admitted that he would never film a movie for free due to a matter of principle, “I still have the desire to earn money. Acting is my passion and I enjoy filming movies, but earning money is an expected way of life. In the end, the purpose of filming is to live my life and put food on the table. It is not to get awards.”
On Losing Daughter
In 1991, Chow Yun Fat’s wife, Jasmine Tan (陳薈蓮) lost their baby daughter through stillbirth. Jasmine was eight months pregnant when the couple found out that the baby’s umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. The doctor suggested that they perform a Caesarean section to get the stillbirth baby girl out, but Jasmine was determined to go through with natural birth nonetheless.
Because it took Jasmine seven years to overcome the pain, Chow Yun Fat was always there to support his wife. Recalling the painful years, Chow Yun Fat shared, “There is no benefit to both of us hurting. The only thing I could do is continue to support my wife through it.” To deal with the stress, Chow Yun Fat said he would exercise and go hiking. “Sweating it out is a good way [to deal with stress]. The most important thing is attitude. One of my strong points is that I am very optimistic.”
Since he has no children, Chow Yun Fat vowed to donate his entire fortune to charity upon his death.
Most Unforgettable Co-star is Carol Cheng
Although he is a dedicated husband, Chow Yun Fat said that he admires all of his leading ladies. He fell in love many times through his movies, “Although the movie is fake, but the feelings I put into them were real.”
Collaborating with Carol Cheng the most, Chow Yun Fat recalls the time when he spent nearly two years filming with her almost every day at TVB. Starring in The Brothers <親情>, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly <網中人>, and The Fate <火鳳凰>, Chow Yun Fat said, “Every day when I opened my eyes, I would see Carol. She was my friend, girlfriend, and wife,” he joked.
This article is written by Huynh for JayneStars.com.