From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Stephen Chow Sing-chi (Chinese: 周星馳, born 22 June 1962) is a Chinese film director, actor, producer, political adviser of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and martial artist.
Eva Huang, also known as Huang Shengyi, plays a mute girl whom Sing tries to help when they were both children.
1 Film career
Chow began his career as a temporary actor on television. He graduated from TVB’s acting classes in 1982. Chow began to find some success with the children’s programme 430 Space Shuttle. In 1987, Chow entered the movie industry through the film Final Justice, which won him the Taiwan Golden Horse Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Chow shot to stardom in The Final Combat (1989) and All for the Winner (1990). Fight Back to School (1991) became Hong Kong’s top-grossing film of all time. In 1994, he began directing films, starting with From Beijing with Love. In the later half of the 1990s, China began to warm to Chow’s films and he became a pop-culture phenomenon.
In 2001, his film Shaolin Soccer grossed over US$50 million worldwide. Chow won Best Director and Best Actor at the 2002 Hong Kong Film Awards, and the film went on to garner additional awards including a Blue Ribbon Awards for Best Foreign Language Film and the Golden Bauhinia Award for Best Picture and Best Director.
In 2004, his film Kung Fu Hustle grossed over US$106 million worldwide. Chow also won Best Director at the Taiwan Golden Horse Awards and Best Picture of Imagine Film Festival as well as twenty international awards.
Chow’s film CJ7 began filming in July 2006 in the eastern Chinese port of Ningbo. In August 2007 the film was given the title CJ7, a play on China’s successful Shenzhou manned space missions—Shenzhou 5 and Shenzhou 6. CJ7 became the highest-grossing film of all time in Malaysia.
In 2013, Chow’s film Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons became the highest-grossing Chinese film of all time.
In 2016, his new film The Mermaid broke numerous box office records: Biggest opening day, biggest single day gross after its seventh day of release, biggest opening week of all time in China. On February 19th, it became the highest grossing film of all time in China.
The Mermaid was released in Vietnam on February 10th, 2016. On March 14th, it became the 3rd highest grossing film of all time in Vietnam. It has now grossed over US$555 million worldwide and is the highest grossing movie of all time in Asia.
Stephen Chow became the ninth top-grossing Hollywood Director of 2016.
Unknown Facts About Kung Fu Hustle
While casting Sing’s love interest Fong, Chow stated that he wanted an innocent-looking girl for the role. Eva Huang was chosen from a pool of 8,000 girls.
Eva Huang, also known as Huang Shengyi, plays a mute girl whom Sing tries to help when they were both children. Huang was a TV actress until then and Kung Fu Hustle was her film debut. When Chow was asked why he cast her, he replied that he enjoyed working with new actors and he “just had a feeling about her.” Huang chose not to have any dialogue so that her character could stand out through her gestures and body language.
The name “Pig Sty Alley” is a play on the name of the Walled City of Kowloon in Chinese. The city was a Chinese enclave in Hong Kong and well-known as a breeding ground of crime, slums, and disorder through most of the 20th century.
The Walled City was originally a Chinese military fort and became an enclave when China leased the New Territories to Britain in 1898. During World War II following the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, the city’s population dramatically rose, becoming 50,000 residents within 2.6 hectares (6.4 acres) by 1990. From the 1950s to 1970s, the Walled City had high rates of prostitution, drug abuse, and gambling and was controlled by local triads. The Hong Kong government announced plans to demolish it in January 1987. Following a laborious eviction process, demolition began in March 1993 and ended in April 1994. It was turned into Kowloon Walled City Park which opened in December 1995.
Kung Fu Hustle surpassed Chow’s previous film, Shaolin Soccer, becoming the highest-grossing movie made in Hong Kong in 2005. It was also the highest-grossing foreign language film in North America, even gaining a cult following.
After opening in Hong Kong on December 23, 2004, Kung Fu Hustle earned HK$ 4,990,000 on its opening day. It stayed on top until early 2005 grossing a total of HK$ 61.27 million. In the US, it initially released as a two-week theatrical run in New York City and Los Angeles. After its success, it was soon released in 2,503 cinemas, the highest number of cinemas ever for a foreign language movie. Though not a blockbuster, Kung Fu Hustle became the highest-grossing foreign language movie in North America in 2005.
“Pig Sty Alley” was inspired by Chow’s own childhood memory of crowded apartment complexes in a Hong Kong slum neighborhood where he lived.
In the movie, the “Pig Sty Alley” is an impoverished place where you find all kinds of characters including retired Kung Fu masters who took up humble jobs to get on with life. Designing the alley was Stephen Chow’s first priority as it was the main location in the film. In an interview with the Observer, he stated that he was inspired by his own childhood memories of crowded, Hong Kong, slum neighborhoods.
Stephen Chow is a self-trained Kung Fu practitioner. He is a great fan of Bruce Lee and learned martial arts by imitating what he saw in the movies.
Stephen Chow credits Bruce Lee for inspiring him to become a martial arts practitioner and an actor. Though he did attend Kung Fu classes in school for a short time, he couldn’t continue it because of his financial situation. So, instead, he would watch Bruce Lee’s movies and imitate the moves and exercises. Like Bruce Lee, he picked Wing Chun style.