An influential Hong Kong comedian, actor and film director, best known in the west for Shaolin Soccer
and Kung Fu Hustle
, Stephen Chow Sing-Chi is famous for his slap stick martial arts movies. He also has something of a reputation for taking unknowns as his romantic lead, collectively called "Sing girls", all of whom go on to have successful careers in their own right.
As an actor he has been known to be the lead actor in all of his movies as well as some lead roles in films such as the God of Gamblers
sequels and A Chinese Odyssey
He was also a producer for Dragonball Evolution
, but beyond that he had not given any sort of creative influence to the film, even if it needed it.
His take on Journey to the West
has him changing things up a bit by sticking to the directorship.
When not making a film, Stephen Chow is reported to be a taciturn and serious individual who is unenergetic and rarely if ever smiles. Some speculate that this stems from his boyhood spent in abject poverty in Kowloon, and/or the fact that just because he's good at making people laugh doesn't mean he likes doing it.
Or the mob connections
that got him banned from Canada as of 1995.note
Directed, Written and/or Starred In:Co-Directed:
- Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
- Affectionate Parody: Much of his earlier stuff, but A Chinese Odyssey comes dangerously close to Pragmatic Adaptation.
- Author Tract:
- The Royal Tramp ends with Wei Xiaobao (played by Chow) pointing out that Manchurian rule has not exactly scourged China and the La Résistance may not even be necessary, deliberately paralleling the impending handover of the Hongkong colony from UK to China rule in '97.
- King of Beggars has the newly-crowned king of beggars Soh (played by Chow) lampshading the fact that the poor have become the majority, and the problem of poverty can only be solved by those with the power, all to the Emperor's face. And all this was WAY before the #Occupy movement.
- The one in Forbidden City Cop has stirred up controversy due to being a Flip Flop of God in comparison to the Royal Tramp one above, but the real point is the same as the King of Beggars one - real power belongs to the people.
- Classically Trained Extra: This sums up his start in showbiz in a nutshell, having practiced Jeet Kune Do before starting out as an actual extra.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Stephen Chow had it hard as a kid growing up in Kowloon's ghettoes, which rarely had running water and barely any electricity or sanitation. He had to learn Jeet Kune Do from television (when he could watch it) because he could not afford the lessons as a boy, and was lucky to even be educated. The resultant bitterness towards life is evident in the extremely cynical and sardonic sense of humor that is prevalent in all his film, wherein almost nothing ever goes right for honest and hard working people.
- Genre Shift: From shlocky B-movies thanks to director Wong Ching to full-blown blockbuster material from A Chinese Odyssey onwards. The knee-slapper moments have remained intact, though.
- Rule of Funny: Widely considered the Trope Codifier for Hongkong cinema.
- Sad Clown: Chow is best known for his comedic roles and films, but behind the scenes he doesn't seem to be very happy.