Before he started his training as an actor in 1973, Ringo Lam
rarely went to see movies. He spent one year in training and worked six months as an actor before he realized that he didn't like people telling him what to do. He shifted to work behind the camera as a production assistant until 1976, and then as a television director until 1978. Television ultimately proved unsatisfying. For the next three-and-a-half years, Lam studied filmmaking at York University in Toronto. He returned to Hong Kong without his degree but with his Canadian citizenship in 1981 and began looking for his first project. It took two years before he made his first film, Esprit D'Amour
. As Lam puts it, Since then, everything has gone smoothly
Before making his first American film, Lam directed over fifteen films in Hong Kong, including Prison on Fire H with Chow Yun-Fat, Tommy Wong and Chan Chung-Yun, as well as The Adventurers with Andy Lau, Rosamund Kwan and Wu Chien Lien.
After John Woo, Ringo Lam was the second Hong Kong director to make a film for a major American studio. The film was the highly successful Maximum Risk, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. After this Lam returned to Hong Kong to direct Full Alert, starring Lau Ching Wan and Francis Ngi.
Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.
Ringo Lam Facts