Saturday, August 7, 2021


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Chow Yun Fat gives an over 6 minute speech, talking about his life from age 10 to now

The 66 year old Chow Yun Fat receives the Baptist University honorary doctorate degree in humanities

Chow Yun Fat and Carol Cheng are the classic screen couple.  

After making A BETTER TOMORROW Chow Yun Fat fired tens of thousands of bullets in one day

Chow Yun Fat starred in the Ang Lee directed CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON

Chow Yun Fat after the presentation shares his experience with the BU students and even takes his trademark selfie with them.
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The Hong Kong Baptist University yesterday held a honorary doctorate presentation ceremony. Chow Yun Fat received the "honorary doctorate degree in humanities" for his outstanding professional achievement and excellent contributions to society. Chow Yun Fat gave a thank you speech. He wanted to give special thanks to this place of Hong Kong, for bestowing him with wisdom and loving him!

Chow Yun Fat was an international superstar and one of the most beloved and popular public figure in Hong Kong. His fans crossed different eras. Chow Yun Fat was born in 1955 in a low level family in Lamma Island, Hong Kong. At age 18 he was accepted into the television station's artist training class, which launched his show business career. From the 70s to the 80s, Chow Yun Fat due to his wide range brought to life characters who struggled in the lower level of society but valued loyalty and honor. He rapidly became famous in the Chinese communities around the world.

After his success on television, Chow Yun Fat in 1976 began his film career. In his over 45 years film career he has worked with many famous directors and over 100 films, won countless awards, including the 1987, 1988 and 1990 Hong Kong Film Award Best Actor, and the 1985 and 1987 Golden Horse Award Best Actor. The Hong Kong film golden age could be witnessed on his body. His performance has also been seen as the film art professional's measuring stick. Chow Yun Fat's passion for his film career and the pursuit of excellence made him go to Hollywood.

Chow Yun Fat passionately loved Hong Kong and would contribute to the community in different ways. He would promote Hong Kong industry and commerce as the Hong Kong ambassador, especially tourism. He was passionate about charity, donated hundreds of millions in asset and founded a charitable foundation to help the weak in the community.

BU headmaster Professor Wai Bing Kong at the ceremony said that Dr. Chow Yun Fat embodied Hong Kong people's risk taking spirit, shaped the Hong Kong film era of glory. At home and overseas he has been an extremely popular figure.

Professor Wai said, "Whether in the high mountains or the low canyons, Dr. Chow has been toiling away in silence. Working hard and never relaxing, he still kept learning, kept challenging himself despite fame and fortune. Even more importantly he often remained humble and grateful. His determination and attitude toward people and things made him the role model for young people."

Chow Yun Fat while receiving his honorary doctorate degree said, "Thank you very much to the Baptist University, for presenting this honorary doctorate degree! Speaking of going to the university, Mama has quite the foresight. In the 60s she brought me over the harbor to Hong Kong and enrolled in the 'Hong Kong societal university'. At the time I was 10. Hong Kong in the 60s was very rundown. My entire family lived in an old building, 30 some people lived in home. My sisters, grandmother and I slept in bunk beds in the living room, and a family of seven or eight lived in one room. The hallway had 3 bunk beds. The environment was very poor. For a country kid like me, the pressure was enormous. So everyday I went to the 5:30 PM happy hour show! At the time front seats were 20 cents and the rear seats were 40 cents. Actually I had no idea what the movie was bout, I only liked to enjoy the air conditioning."

Chow Yun Fat took his time with telling his show business development history. First was in the 70s, he joked that he enrolled in Sir Run Run Shaw's "TVB University". "A year of graduation I began to make series, everyday I kept delivering lines. At 6 AM I started on location, then rushed back to the studio. I delivered lines even when I slept. For 9 years it was like this. When you asked me what I made, I really had no idea. In the 80s, the person I saw the most wasn't my Ma, it was (Carol) Cheng Yui Ling. I saw her in make up, she was with me everyday. When we went home we said bye bye, the next morning we saw each other again. After several hours without seeing each other we saw each other again. She was the artist who was with me the most at the television station."

"In the 80s New Wave flowed back into Hong Kong, under the 84 film industry I enrolled in this 'university', wow, at the time I was very happy. This group of New Wave directors had many new ideas, which previously television station directors couldn't give me. With their influence and inspiration, I didn't need to deliver too many lines. I was very lucky! In 86 I made the Ng Yu Sum (John Woo) directed A BETTER TOMORROW (YING HUNG BOON SIK). The next 10 years I spent in a hail of bullets."

Chow Yun Fat continued in his usual humorous manner, "Then in 94, my contract with the film company ended. I have already been on television and film for 20 years, 3 units of movies a day without any rest. Others asked me how I differentiated between roles, I said I didn't care. When I went to the set and put on the costumes I knew how to act! In 94 I went to 'soak in salt water' like others and went to USC. It was tough, I had to go to night school because I didn't know English. Two years later, I was very lucky to have the chance to make my first foreign film. I didn't have too many lines, the old rules, I picked guns back up again. The entire film had less than ten lines, I still remember that the first line was what we often hear at the 'big hotels', almost like saying my condolences to the family. I was done for, for my first film it was already my condolences. As everyone could see, my Hollywood development became my condolences!"

"Luckily in 99 Director Ang Lee recommended me to attend 'Beijing University' and made CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON. Looking back at my film journey, after several decades my life has been rather successful. From Cantonese I switch to ABC (English), then to JIQIXI (Putonghua). Actually filmmaking has been rather interesting, bestowed me with abilities. Maybe when I was little I was in the country, or maybe every character has been very challenging, at the time I had to make a living. Hundreds or even thousands on the set were waiting for you, so it was all forced out. I really, really thank the people of Hong Kong, for giving me a lot of encouragement, tolerance, and love! I also thank this place of Hong Kong very much, bestowing me with wisdom and loving me. I have to thank this place of Hong Kong, people of Hong Kong, thank you everyone!"

After the ceremony, Chow Yun Fat attended a sharing segment and conversed with about 200 Baptist University students who would be inspired by his colorful life experience and knowledge.

Chow Yun Fat along with his Baptist University Communication graduate and his film PROJECT GUTENBERG (MO SEUNG)'s director Felix Chong Man Keung shared with over 200 Baptist University students. Fat Gor discussed his journey to acting success, "I would analyze every scene, like my PROJECT GUTENBERG was fictional but I had to make him real to be able to fool the audience." He pointed out that sometimes dialogues would be different delivered from written. They had to turn into the character's tone. For each scene he would write the lines anew and perform them once for the director. "The film is about my future, income, it is very important. It is more about Hong Kong film, supporting Hong Kong film requires putting in a little effort." Fat Gor also felt that actors had to leave themselves behind, with a humble attitude to assist the director to success. Actors were to service the characters, had to move the audience. Even when running into directors they could not communicate with and screenplays that were less than ideal, actors could not have too many concerns and mind too much. They only need to play the characters well. "I really admire Ng Man Tat. You feel his performance is very exaggerated, but this is exactly his character." Finally Fat Gor took a trademark selfie with the students and caused a stir.

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