Stephen Chow Sing-chi ( 周星馳, born 22 June 1962) is a Hong Kong film director, actor, writer, film producer, and political adviser of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
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 into 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, which he co-directed with Lee Lik-Chi. In the later half of the 1990s, China began to warm to Stephen Chow movies. He became pop-culture phenomenon in China. 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 all over the world. Chow won Best Director at the Taiwan Golden Horse Awards and Best Picture of Imagine Film Festival and 20 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 China film of all time. In 2016, he released a new film titled The Mermaid. It was released in China on 8 February 2016. Upon release, it broke numerous box office records such as the biggest opening day and the biggest single day gross through its seventh day of release and having the biggest opening week of all time in China.
On 19 February, it became the highest-grossing film of all time in China. The Mermaid released in Vietnam on 10 February 2016. On 14 March, it became the 3rd highest-grossing film of all time in Vietnam. On 31 March it became the 45th All Time Highest Grossing Movies International. Now it is the All Time Highest Grossing Movie Asia.
Chow often casts relatively new young actresses to play opposite him, especially as romantic leads, and many of these actresses have gone on to have successful film or music careers of their own. These actresses are collectively called the “Sing girls”.
Stephen Chow became the ninth top-grossing Hollywood Director of 2016.