25 February 2020
Co-star Carina Lau asked Chow Yun-fat (left) to teach her the negotiation skills required to get a fat bonus. Photo: HKEJ
Co-star Carina Lau asked Chow Yun-fat (left) to teach her the negotiation skills required to get a fat bonus. Photo: HKEJ

A movie superstar with only a few hundred bucks in his wallet

Actor Chow Yun-fat, famous for his roles in Hong Kong gangster movies and comedies, came in 24th on the Forbes list of “The World’s Highest-Paid Actors 2015″, released this week.

The US financial magazine estimated that Chow earned US$18 million in the past year.

“What an honor! But I really don’t know how much I earn each year,” Chow told Apple Daily.

“My wife is the one who manages my wealth, and she only puts a few hundred dollars in my wallet every day.

“Basically I don’t use cash that much.”

Chow performed in only one movie, From Vegas to Macau II, between June 1 last year and June 1 this year, which is period Forbes uses for its ranking.

He was reportedly paid about 30 million yuan (US$4.83 million) to play the master gambler Ko Chun in that movie.

Chow is also entitled to 8-10 percent of the net profit as a bonus.

The movie was well received in mainland China last year, and the producer is planning to make another sequel, to be shown during the next Lunar New Year.

At the sequel’s first news conference earlier this week, one of the lead actresses, Carina Lau Kar-ling, asked Chow whether he will receive a fat bonus again.

Chow reacted by giving her a death stare.

“I am just envious,” Lau said.

“I want to learn your negotiation skills.” 

“Let’s talk when you come and hike with me again,” Chow replied with a laugh.

Although Chow is a famous actor, with the leading role in the Oscar-winning movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon among his many credits, he is very down to earth most of the time.

Instead of having a driver of his own, like other superstars, he takes the MTR from time to time, to the delight of his fans.

The social media meme “Capture Brother Fat” started at the beginning of this year.

Chow’s many fans and other actors take selfies with him when they bump into him — at bus stops, on MTR trains or on a hike — and post the pictures on social media networks.

Other local actors that appeared on the Forbes list include Jacky Chan and Andy Lau Tak-wah.

Chan earned US$50 million and placed second, after US star Robert Downey Jr.

Lau earned US$13 million, which earned him the No. 33 spot.

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EJ Insight writer