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Stuart Smith

Si nous aimons rire d'un certain cinéma déviant, nous sommes très loin de mépriser les hommes et les femmes qui s'y sont impliqués ou compromis. Il nous a ainsi paru enrichissant de faire raconter le nanar et son univers par les gens qui l'ont vécu de l'intérieur. La diversité des intervenants et de leurs réponses nous a rendu encore plus proches du cinéma que nous aimons : vous découvrirez, au fil des entretiens que ces différentes vedettes ont bien voulu nous accorder, des informations précieuses pour le cinéphile et le cinéphage, des anecdotes cocasses et, en esquisse, le portrait attachant de personnages souvent hauts en couleur.
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Stuart Smith (page 4)

According to the IMDB, the last movie you appeared in was Ringo Lam's “Undeclared War” (1990). Did you actually put an end to your brief career in HK film industry, and if yes, was it a choice of yours, or because of a lack of opportunities? Do you still work, in a way or another, in the film industry, and if no, would you work again as an extra if you were granted that opportunity?

I kept working in the voiceover and dubbing industries in Hong Kong until the mid ‘90’s. I continued to be offered roles after “Undeclared War” but in all honesty there was nothing that really interested me, or the contracts weren’t suitable. There were quite a few Hollywood movies that came through Asia at that time but didn’t pick anything up, mainly due to a lack of a solid American accent.

It just felt to me that things had run their natural course and it was either go back to Australia and work in films, or stay in Asia and do something else. I chose the latter.

There have been a few roles on offer over the past few years, but again, if the role doesn’t really interest me then there is really no reason to do it. I don’t need the money that’s for sure!

I am involved in a number of “creative” personal projects, but not in the public arena as yet.

The world will have to wait a little longer for that!

IMDB credits you as appearing in some TV series, including “Chicago Hope” and "The Practice". However, we suspect that the “Stuart Smith” in those series is actually a namesake. Is that correct?

Yes, that is correct. I guess that there would be a few Stuart Smith’s working in the film industry.

At the present time, it seems you work in Thailand as financial advisor. In a few words, and if that is not too private, could you tell us about what you did between your last film and the present time? Was this your first job to start with, or did you chose this career after quitting the film business?

I’d always played the stock market in Hong Kong since I arrived in ’86, so it seemed like a natural progression in many ways. The film industry felt like it was in decline from a Westerners point of view by the mid-90’s, dubbing work was diminishing. My good friend Louis Roth was terminally ill, and there just seemed fewer and fewer reasons to persevere

My move from Hong Kong to Thailand was due to a personal situation, however I am back in Hong Kong every month or two in my current business. I always had a love/hate relationship with the City. It could be the best place in the world in the morning, and the worst place in the world by the afternoon. However, it is a bit like a drug and hard to get out of your system. I still consider it one of my many homes.

With the hindsight, what look do you take at your career in cinema? Did you ever have a keen interest in it, or was it just one more job among many others? Has life changed for Westerners living in HK and Asia like you, from what it was in the 80’s?

I always enjoyed the film business despite spending much of my time working in less than mediocre productions. It is a privilege that very few people end up experiencing in life. I am a firm believer in the concept of living “many lives in one”, and while I am Buddhist, and acknowledge the existence of past lives and reincarnation, as a Buddhist or a non-Buddhist, we will only live this life once. That’s guaranteed. So my film life was a fun 10 years or so and while in Asia met or worked with most of the big Hong Kong stars. The only bad memories of the business that I have is of not working..

After a very painful 8 or 9 years since 1997 and the “handover”, Hong Kong is back to its heyday once again. It has definitely taken on a more mainland China flavour and there are few of the Westerners still around from the 80’s, but as you would expect, a whole new population of westerners and expats have taken their place. It still has a vibrancy and energy that exists only in that city, in my opinion.

At the very last, have you kept any photos taken from the sets, featuring you and / or other characters? We are very much in demand of any document about the films of that time.

I have included a few pictures taken on various sets over the years for you. These are for your websites use only and I would appreciate if it was confined to there.

Have you kept a full record of your film appearences?

No I haven’t. I think there’s a copy of “Undeclared War” somewhere in my DVD library.

Thank you very much for your time on behalf of the whole team.

No problems. It's been a fun walk down memory lane.

And despite what anyone, including myself has to say about what went on in the 80's in Hk, there are always 3 sides to any story ...there’s my side, their side, and the truth !

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