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Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild - Directors - Qiu YUEN
元秋 | YUEN Qiu

Wish the Hong Kong film industry will beprosperous again, returning to the way it was morethan 20 years ago. Also wish more new directorsand scriptwriters will join the industry.


Yuen Qiu was born Cheung Cheun-nam in 1948. She started martial arts and acrobatic training at China Drama Academy, the Peking opera school ran by Yu Jim-yuen. She trained alongside future superstars Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan, later becoming one of the Seven Little Fortunes, a troupe of more than seven child actors but who usually performed in teams of seven. Yuen later entered film as a stunt person, one of a rare number of female stunt performers. She worked on many films in the 1980s, including a turn as an uncredited Bond Girl in the 007 film The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), playing Nara, the niece of Lieutenant Hip. After marrying director-actor Tommy Lu Chun-ku in the mid-1980s, she retired from film.

18 years after her retirement, Yuen was urged by superstar Stephen Chow to act in his action comedy Kung Fu Hustle (2004). She recounted later that while waiting on the audition set, she was smoking on the side with a sarcastic expression, cynical about her role. It was that very attitude that she was asked to project onto her role, playing a landlady trying to hide her true self by a perpetual sneer. To prepare for the role, Yuen went on a junk-food diet, gaining 14 Kg (over 30 lbs) in two months to play her overweight character. The film went on to become a huge international hit and Yuen was named Best Actress in the Golden Horse Awards. She also managed to endear herself to 21st Century viewers, allowing her to enjoy a stardom she never had during her heydays, materializing into an abundance of offers. She had appeared in many films since then, most notably the Kung-fu Mahjong series (2005-2007).

Yuen had directed one film, using her real name Cheung Cheunnam, the kung-fu actioner Avenging Trio (1989), produced by her husband Lu and starring Gordon Liu, Leung Kar-yan and Elaine Chow.

Year Chinese name English name Directors
1989 《火爆行動》
Avenging Trio