For most actors, the number one thing they do when they hit it big is immediately move to the city of glam and glitz that is Hollywood. But for veteran Hong Kong actor Simon Yam, he steadfastly refuses to move to Hollywood, despite starring in a number of international hit films such as "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life".
Speaking in an "In Conversation" event at the recent 27th Singapore International Film Festival, where he received the Cinema Legend award, Yam revealed that he will not be "going to Hollywood to make Hollywood movies" but would instead remain in Asia due to the wealth of stories that have yet to be told there:
“I’m staying in South East Asia. There are so many stories to be told here. Whether it is Singapore or Malaysia or China, people must tell their local stories. Build your foundation, focus on it and the world will come around.”
Having starred in numerous films ranging from critically-acclaimed Asian cinematic classics, such as "Ip Man" and "Election", to Hollywood blockbusters such as the aforementioned "Tomb Raider", Yam's stance on remaining in Asia lead to some advice for budding actors:
“Don’t isolate yourself, the film industry is a communication between different countries. I love to communicate with people, observe them and engage with them, that’s why I can play characters as diverse as gangsters or monks.”
As for what the veteran actor has planned for the future, Yam plans to look at starring in some light comedies for the next few years, mainly for the sake of his 12-year-old daughter:
“That’s only for five years until she grows up. After that I want to go back to heavy roles – police, gangsters, psychopaths.”
Regardless of whether they're Hollywood blockbusters, heavy dramas, or lighthearted comedies, we're looking forward to what Simon Yam has for us in the future!
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