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Writer, Director, Actor and Producer Vincent Kok
Vincent Kok is an award-winning writer, director, actor and producer and a long term collaborator of Stephen Chow Sing-chi. He talks to Jan Leung about weirdos, God, and a possible ghost.

By Jan Leung | Apr 05, 2007

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  • Writer, Director, Actor and Producer Vincent Kok

I was born in Hong Kong. I love this city.

My life changed when I was nine. I picked up one of Louis Cha’s novels. Since then, I read day and night.

Boredom makes you creative. I went to Vancouver to study when I was 16. I was so bored I came up with loads of crazy ideas.

During winter, I sprayed cold water at people’s windows so when it froze, people wouldn’t be able to open it.

My friends and I set fire to dog poop and dumped it in front of people’s doors. We’d press the bell and flee...

In Canada, everyone speaks Chinese. It never occured to me to speak English. When I misdialed a number, the stranger picking up my call was Chinese too.

My grammar was “nearly unreadable” according to my professor. I made up the bibliography when I wrote essays. I would attribute everything to Mingpao.

I like food. I despised those who just throw chicken, beef or fish into the oven and called it “dinner.”

I stayed in Canada for a while after graduation and worked as a salesman. In fear of becoming one of those people who mow lawns in the summer and shovels snow in the winter, I flew back to Hong Kong.

Westerners are very clear about their attitude. When they fake being nice, they will make sure you know it is faked.

They’ll say, “I am so happy for you!” with head slanted, hands touching their hearts and with squinting eyes as if tears are welling up. That’s too dramatic for me.

Get to the point and move on. In Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink,” the author wrote a whole book when he had only one thing to say. Knock it off.

I started off as a scriptwriter and now I have been a director for 10 years. I like my job.

I am looking for people to invest in my projects. It's hard. Taking money from someone else’s pocket is never easy.

Your track record is everything. Profit helps.

I can’t deal with numbers. I retook my math course five times, and only recently I discovered that purchasing real estate helps preserve the real value of money.

The stock market is not my arena. I don’t want to tie my well being to the Hang Seng Index.

I believe in God and ghosts. Both exist.

A strange incident happened when I was directing the movie “Armageddon.” I was in a hurry and wanted to get everything done before sunrise. I was waving at the actors, asking them to move to the other side. But one of them just stood there as if he was deaf. He kept saying, "I am very hungry." I thought he was on drugs. Later on when we were watching the film, we found something was sparkling at the location where the man stood.

I still don’t know what it was, and if you watch the DVD, you’ll notice the spark too.

Hong Kong is special. We are switching from democracy to communism. It is usually the other way around for the rest of the world.

I wanted to extend my influence to Chinese audiences of all corners. That’s an elaborate way of saying, “I want to make it big.”

The zodiac sign you are born with is as relevant as the bus that bypasses the hospital you were born at. In love, everyone wants to be treated like the planets lined up for them.

My mom is very open-minded. She drinks with my friends and offers them cigarettes. I was so proud of her.

She passed away last year. I miss her a lot but I will move on and let the good stay in my memory.

Lose your girlfriend and you will gain a lot of time and energy.

I care about my looks. Appearance is the first thing people give up when they are mentally ill and I am not.

On the subject of drugs, I have one thing to say: There is nothing worse than low-quality drugs.

Everything borrowed has to be returned. We really don’t know what these drugs can do to our body in the long run.

I enjoy going to clubs, listening to the blasting beats, having a drink and “vibrating” for a bit. But the movement is so minimal that I can’t really call it dancing.

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