Born in Hong Kong in 1969, Lau Ching-Wan (sometimes credited as Sean Lau) got his start -- like many Hong Kong actors -- by enrolling in the TVB (Shaw Bros. television studio) training school. Lau impressed directors and producers with his talent and work ethic (he would regularly work over twelve hours a day shooting various shows), but he failed to catch on with the Hong Kong audience, who felt he was too dark-skinned and ugly. For ten years, he worked on dozens of television shows without any success until he appeared in a drama about the stock market, The Greed of Man.
The show allowed Lau the opportunity to work in films, but major roles still eluded him and so he headed to Taiwan to try his fortunes there. Lau continued to only find television work and contemplated leaving the industry altogether until he was contacted by fellow TVB alumni Derek Yee to star in the romantic drama C'est La Vie Mon Cheri. The film was a huge hit and Lau finally achieved film stardom.
Since then, Lau has proven himself one of Hong Kong's most versatile actors, appearing in almost every genre of film, from action (Big Bullet) to comedy (Bomb Disposal Officer: Baby Bomb) to drama (Too Many Ways to Be Number One) and has become one of the region's most popular actors. His recent work with Milkyway Productions (such as Johnnie To's A Hero Never Dies) has garnered him international attention and helped to revitalize the crime movie genre.
Off-screen, Lau leads a fairly normal life with his wife (former Miss Hong Kong Amy Kwok) and is, by all accounts, one of the nicest and most down-to-earth persons you would ever meet. In a time when many of the top Hong Kong actors are moving overseas, retiring or raising their paychecks to a sky-high level, Lau seems determined to keep working in Hong Kong and keep his asking price low in order to help keep the industry thriving.