Louis Koo Tin-lok (古天樂; born 21 October 1970) is a Hong Kong actor and film producer. He began his professional career as an actor in local television series, winning TVB's Best Actor award in 1999 and 2001. After 2001, he fully focused on his film career. In 2018, Koo was awarded both the Asian Film Award for Best Actor and the Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild Award for Best Actor for his performance in the 2017 film, Paradox. Now, Koo is one of the stalwarts of the Hong Kong film industry. Koo founded "One Cool Film Production Limited" in 2013. As of 2017, One Cool Film has produced 14 films.
Koo in August 2017
|Chinese name||古天樂 (traditional)|
|Chinese name||古天乐 (simplified)|
|Pinyin||Gǔ Tiānlè (Mandarin)|
|Jyutping||Gu2 Tin1-Lok6 (Cantonese)|
21 October 1970 |
|Occupation||Actor, film producer|
|Ancestry||Zhongshan, Guangdong, China|
During 1991 to 1993, Koo was a modelling agent, sometimes he himself worked as a model for advertisements and karaoke videos.
In 1993, Koo signed as a contract artist with TVB (Television Broadcasts Limited).
Koo started gaining wide recognition in 1995 with his leading role in a costume drama The Condor Heroes 95, a popular series based on a classic wuxia novel. In 1997, Koo began sporting an extreme tan (for which he is well known for), which apparently enabled him to take on more contemporary roles. In 1999, Koo received TVB's Most Popular Actor Award for Detective Investigation Files IV. In 2000, Koo received TVB's Most Favorite Character Award for At the Threshold of an Era ll. Koo took a different approach to his role in A Step Into the Past. This deviation from his usual cool aloof on-screen persona to a funnier, carefree and down-to-earth one resonated with the audience and widened his acting range. In 2001, Koo was given TVB's Most Popular Actor Award and Favorite Character Award Award once again for A Step into the Past. He then went on an indefinite hiatus from television and has since focused on his film career.
Due to the popularity of TVB dramas in the late 1990s, Koo amassed a sizeable fan base in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and South-east Asia.
Since 1994, Koo began taking on roles in films, such as the paranormal Troublesome Night series and many action films including Wilson Yip's Bullets Over Summer(1999). Koo acted as a mute boy living on rural island in romantic literary film Sealed with a Kiss (1998).
In 2004, Koo took on the role of Sze-to Bo, a perpetually drunk and despondent former judo champion with hereditary eye disease, in Johnnie To’s Throw Down which was premiered at the 61st Venice International Film Festival. The movie was a marked departure from his usual commercial genres, and he also began his long-term collaboration with To and Milkyway Image.
Koo later received international acclaim for his chilling performance in Johnnie To's Election 2 (a.k.a. Triad Election), which was screened at the "Out of Competition" section at the 59th Cannes Film Festival (Election was competitive film at the 58th Cannes Film Festival). He won the award for Most Beloved Actor in the Hong Kong UA Film Awards 2006 through public voting for his role in Election 2.
His character as an unscrupulous drug addict in Derek Yee's Protégé (2007) differed from his previous performances, as he forwent his suave image for an emaciated look. The supporting role earned him positive critical feedback and Best Supporting Actor nominations at the Hong Kong Film Awards and the Golden Horse Awards.
In Sylvia Chang's female perspective gangster film Run Papa Run (2008), Koo played a reckless triad leader who tried to shield his daughter from his past misdemeanours. Koo earned Best Actor nominations in the Hong Kong Film Awards and Golden Horse Award for this role, which required him to portray a character from his late teens to his fifties. Since then Koo took more chanllegings on father roles and middle-aged roles.
In Soi Cheang's Accident(2009) which was a competitive film at the 66th Venice International Film Festival, Koo acted as a high-strung killer-group leader who was good at disguising murder as accidents.
In Overheard(2009) directed by Alan Mak and Felix Chong, he put on 30 pounds weight to take the role of a middle-aged cop and four kids' father more convincingly, and earned Best Actor nominations in Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards. This film was successful and then made into series with the same cast and directors but different stories.
In 2010 Koo signed pre-paid contracts with Pegasus Motion Pictures, then appeared in its All's well, ends well comedy series, and anti-corruption film series (Z Storm, S Storm).
In costume A Chinese Ghost Story (2011), Koo acted as a Chinese "Van Helsing" fell in love with a fox-fairy and sacrificed himself in the end. Koo made a return to his romantic comedy roots in Don't Go Breaking My Heart and sequel Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2 (2014) directed by Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Hui, acted as a dissolute stock broker.
In Drug War (2012) directed by Johnnie To, Koo took the role of a ruthless and deliberate Hongkong drug lord who dared to do anything to get away from mainland China's death penalty.
In Out of Inferno (2013), Koo acted as a resigned firefighter who encountered high building fire.
In Overheard 3 (2014), he acted as a revenge with artificial limb.
In Soi Cheang's SPL II: A Time for Consequences (2015), Koo took the role of an ill and evil mastermind of a criminal organization. In Johnnie To's Three (2016), Koo acted as a cop leader at the edge of crime.
In Shed Skin Papa (2017), a competitive film at the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival, Koo acted as a frustrated director understood his farther after mother's funeral and a series of fantastic incidents.
In Paradox (2017), Koo play a cop who is determined to avenge his daughter and performed most of the film's action sequences without the use of a stunt double. For his performance in the film, Koo won Asian Film Award for Best Actor at the 12th Asian Film Awards as well the Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild Award for Best Actor at the 12th Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild Award in 2018. Koo's performance also won him a nomination for Best Actor at the upcoming 37th Hong Kong Film Awards to be held on 15 April 2018.
Koo has been the ambassador of Hong Kong International Film Festival from 2014 to 2018.
Koo was captivated by Star Wars film series when he was a child. After decades of actor careers in film industry, he expects the arise of Chinese own Sci-fi films, so he purchased several Visual effects and Prosthetic make-up companies. In 2013, Koo founded "One Cool Film Production Limited". As of 2017, One Cool Film has produced 14 films. The Sci-fi film Warriors of Future is on filming.
Koo has published several books over the years including his photo albums Present (1999) and Cool (2001), as well as his autobiography Find Happiness (2002). He also released Toys Battle (2008), a book chronicling his love for comic book characters and movie superheroes, and donated all proceeds to UNICEF. Koo has been writing blogs everyday on his own website since December 2006.
Koo recorded several theme songs for the TVB dramas he had starred in and several TV advertisement songs he had endorsed. He had also cut four albums: Boyfriend and Popular Louis in 2000, optimism in 2001, Mr.Cool in 2003.
With a career spanning two decades, Koo has endorsed a large number of brands in Hong Kong and Mainland China. Some of the major brand endorsements include, Pepsi, Tag Heuer, Gillette, Epson printer, Hugo Boss Perfume, Clinique, Bally, Matisse, Johnnie Walker, Lipton, Lotte chewing gum, Lay's, Tropicana, Pentax camera, OSIM, Yokohama Tire, Toyota Corolla, Samsung Galaxy, Xbox 360 Kinect, DBS Black World MasterCard.
On July 2012, Chinese microblogs caught on to the news of Koo's low profile philanthropy in China, which became a trending topic, more and more people born in different remote rural areas found that local elementary schools were built with donation of Koo, and upload photos to the microblogs. Major Chinese dailies further reported that he had helped build 49 schools to help the underprivileged in remote areas in rural China for the past three years without any publicity. Koo was reluctant to comment on the issue but it was learnt that Koo set up his charity foundation after witnessing the devastation from the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. According to "Grace charity" website, Koo has helped build 97 elementary school buildings, 18 clinics and 751 small water supply projects in remote undeveloped areas of rural China through "Grace Charity Foundation Limited" and local government by 2017.
|1994||Let's Go Slam Dunk||basketball player|
|Organized Crime & Triad Bureau||subordinate police|
|Man Wanted 2||Rung|
|Street of Fury||Lung|
|1997||Troublesome Night||Ken Ng Chi-keung|
|Troublesome Night 2||Sam|
|1998||Troublesome Night 3||Cheng Lik|
|T.H.E professional||Officer Jiang|
|The Suspect||Don Lee|
|Troublesome Night 4||Wing|
|1999||Troublesome Night 5||Lam Chung-fat|
|Troublesome Night 6||Inspector Wong|
|Rules of the Game||David Chow|
|Super Car Criminals|
|Bullets Over Summer||Brian|
|Century of the Dragon||Wong Chi-shing|
|Sealed with a Kiss||Kam Sui|
|The Masked Prosecutor||Tong Hiu-tai|
|The Young Ones||Cameo|
|2000||For Bad Boys Only||Jack Shum|
|Troublesome Night 7||Lok|
|Conman in Tokyo||Cool|
|2001||Born Wild||Tan Ho|
|The Legend of Zu||Red|
|2002||The Lion Roars||Seasonal Chan|
|Fat Choi Spirit||Louis|
|Dry Wood, Fierce Fire||Ryan Li|
|Women From Mars||Servant of Hell||Cameo|
|2003||Love for All Seasons||Tiger Hung|
|Why Me, Sweetie?!||Dong|
|Good Times, Bed Times||Paul Ko Chi-keung|
|Naked Ambition||Andy||actor and producer|
|Lost in Time||Ah Man||Special appearance|
|Love on the Rocks||Wong Kai-ming|
|Throw Down||Sze-to Bo||premiered at 61st Venice International Film Festival|
|2005||Election||Jimmy Lee||competitive film at 58th Cannes Film Festival|
|2006||Election 2||Jimmy Lee||"Films out of Competition" at 59th Cannes Film Festival|
|Rob-B-Hood||Octopus||premiered at 62nd Venice International Film Festival|
|2007||Protégé||Jane's Husband||Nominated - 27th Hong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated - 44th Golden Horse Award For Best Supporting Actor
|Triangle||Fai||"Films out of Competition" at 60th Cannes Film Festival|
|2008||Run Papa Run||Tiger Lee Tin-yun||Nominated - 28th Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated - 45th Golden Horse Award For Best Actor
|2009||Accident||Brain||competitive film at 66th Venice International Film Festival|
|All's Well, Ends Well 2009||Dick Cho|
|On His Majesty's Secret Service||Royal Dog|
|Poker King||Jack Chang|
|Overheard||Gene Yeung||Nominated- 6th Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards for Best Actor|
|2010||All's Well, Ends Well 2010||Emperor|
|Triple Tap||Ken Kwan|
|2011||The Road Less Traveled||Hui Shing-leung|
|All's Well, Ends Well 2011||Sammy Shum|
|Mr. and Mrs. Incredible||Gazer Warrior|
|Don't Go Breaking My Heart||Sean Cheung|
|A Chinese Ghost Story||Yin Chek-ha|
|Overheard 2||Jack Ho Chi-keung|
|Magic to Win||Wood Magician||Cameo|
|2012||All's Well, Ends Well 2012||Peng Kin|
|Romancing in Thin Air||Michael Lau|
|2013||Drug War||Timmy Choi Tim-ming|
|Out of Inferno||Keung|
|The White Storm||So Kin-chow||Nominated - 33rd Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
premiered at 10th International Rome Film Festival
|Golden Chickensss||Jiangmen Louis Koo||Cameo|
|Naked Ambition 2||Naoki Nagasaki||Cameo|
|Overheard 3||Lau Wing-jau|
|Z Storm||William Luk|
|Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2||Sean Cheung|
|2015||An Inspector Calls||Inspector Karl|
|12 Golden Ducks||Rocky||Cameo|
|Triumph in the Skies||Branson Cheung|
|Little Big Master||Tse Wing-tung|
|SPL II: A Time for Consequences||Mr. Hung||Special appearance|
|Paris Holiday||Lam Chun-kit|
|League of Gods||Shen Gongbao|
|Line Walker||Shiu Chi-long|
|Call of Heroes||Cho Siu-lun|
|S Storm||William Luk|
|Paradox||Lee Chung-chi||Won - 12th Asian Film Award for Best Actor
Won - 12th Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild Award for Best Actor
Nominated: 37th Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor (Pending)
|Shed Skin Papa||Tin Lik-hang||competitive film at 29th Tokyo International Film Festival, awaiting release|
|Always Be With You||Sam|
|TBD||Warriors of Future||Tan Bing||Post-production|
|When Robbers Meet the Monsters||Post-production|
|Sons of the Neon Night||Post-production|
|Dynasty Warriors||Lü Bu||Post-production|
|L Storm||William Luk||Post-production|
|A Home with a View||Post-production|
|Back to the Past||Hong Siu-lung||Pre-production|
|The White Storm 2: Drug Lords||Pre-production|
|Master of Ransom||Pre-production|
|The Strangled Truth||Pre-production|
|P Storm||William Luk||Pre-production|
|When It All Begins||Pre-production|
|A Witness Out of the Blue||Pre-production|
|Line Walker 2||Shiu Chi-long||Pre-production|
|1994||Knot to Treasure|
|Class of Distinction|
|The Condor Heroes 95||Yeung Kuo|
|1996||Cold Blood Warm Heart||Yip Sing-hong|
|1997||The Hit Man Chronicles||Yan Hua|
|War & Remembrance||4th Prince|
|Against the Blade of Honour||Ding Pang|
|I Can't Accept Corruption|
|A Recipe for the Heart||Kiu Pak-ko||Nominated - 2nd TVB Anniversary Award for Best Actor|
|1998||Burning Flame||Lau Hoi-pak|
|1999||Man's Best Friend||Tai Jin Sek|
|Detective Investigation Files IV||Tsui Fei||Won - 3rd TVB Anniversary Award for Best Actor|
|At the Threshold of an Era||Nick Cheung|
|2000||At the Threshold of an Era II||Nick Cheung||Won - 4th TVB Anniversary Award for Top Favourite Television Characters|
|2001||A Step into the Past||Hong Siu-lung||Won - 5th TVB Anniversary Award for Best Actor
Won - 5th TVB Anniversary Award for Top Favourite Television Characters
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- "News". Archived from the original on 21 February 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
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- "默默扶貧3年 古仔內地建49學校". Apple Daily Hong Kong. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- "Hong Kong UNICEF Ambassadors". Archived from the original on 5 July 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
- "Asian Film Awards: 'Youth' Wins Top Prize From 'Demon Cat'". Variety. March 17, 2018.
- "Louis Koo wins another Best Actor award".