HK Cinema - 1981

Chow Yun Fat had been trying to break into the film business for a few years, but with little success until he appeared in the critically acclaimed The Story of Woo Viet directed by Ann Hui. CYF stars as a Vietnamese refugee who escapes to HK, but gets stuck in the refugee camps. It is a fairly bleak drama. It is also his first teaming up with Cherie Chung. The two of them were to star together in eight films – the best being An Autumns Tale, Wild Search and Once a Thief.

Chow was born on the rural island of Lamma off of HK to a poor family. They moved to HK Island when he was twelve and in 1973 Chow responded to an advertisement from TVB for aspiring actors. He began getting many roles in TV. Chow says “I did over 1,000 TV series, mostly soap operas and dramas”.

Though The Story of Woo Viet was a critical success, it did not make Chow a star. For the next few years he alternated between TV – The Bund which was very popular – and some interesting but unsuccessful films – Love in a Fallen City, The Occupant (with Sally Yeh) and Hong Kong 1941. Then in 1986 a director by the name of John Woo came calling with a proposition for a gun riddled triad story of honor and loyalty. Would Chow be willing to take the secondary role in this film?