30 Most Fascinating Facts Every Fans Should Know About The Director Ang Lee


Ang Lee, considered to be one of today's greatest contemporary filmmakers, is world renowned for the emotional charge in most of movies, which the critics believe to responsible for the box office success. Here are some really interesting facts about the Taiwanese film director, screenwriter and producer:

  1. Lee was one of the first Taiwain born directors to have won commercial success on both sides of the Pacific.
  2. He was born on October 23, 1954 in Chaochou, Pingtung, Taiwain to Sheng Lee, a school headmaster and mother Se-Tsung, a homemaker. He has three siblings.
  3. He did his schooling in the Provincial Tainan First Senior High School. Later he graduated from National Arts School in 1975 after he had failed to clear the entrance exam for University education.
  4. He got a degree in theatre from ‘University of Illinois at Urbana –Champaign’ in 1980 with view of becoming an actor. He was forced to take-up direction after he found difficulty in speaking English.
  5. He completed his Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television from ‘Tisch School of the Arts of New York University’
  6. As part of his graduation study his directional venture, ‘Shades of Lake’ in 1982 won him the Best Drama Award in short film category in Taiwan. The 1984 film ‘Fine Line’ his thesis work, won him ‘NYU’s Wasserman Award’ for Outstanding Direction and the same was selected for Public Broadcasting Service.
  7. In 1983 he married Jane Lin, a microbiologist. He met her while at University of Illinois, during his graduation days. The duo have two sons Haan and Mason and are practitioners of Buddhist teaching.
  8. He signed-up to ‘William Morris Agency,’ a Hollywood based talent agency and still was jobless for about six years. He was supported by his wife who was working at pharmaceutical research lab and he took care of the housework.
  9. During this period of struggle, he contemplated taking-up job and enrolled in a computer course at community college. He was also goaded into starting a Chinese restaurant by his in-laws.
  10. In 1990, he won the first two prizes for his screenplays ‘Pushing Hand’ and ‘The Wedding Banquet’ in the competition conducted by the Taiwan’s Government Information Office.
  11. In 1992, he directed his first feature film ‘Pushing Hands’ produced by ‘Hsu Li-Kong,’ who gave him his first break. The film was nominated in eight categories at the ‘Golden Horse Film Festival,’ Taiwan’s premier film festival.
  12. In 1993, he directed his second film ‘The Wedding Banquet,’ which won him ‘Golden Bear’in the Best Foreign Film Category at the International Film Festival, Berlin.
  13. The film ‘The Wedding Banquet’ is the first of three films that features gay characters. The other two are ‘Broken Mountain’ and ‘Taking Woodstock.’
  14. He received critical accolade and box-office success with his 1994 film ‘Eat Drink Man Women,’ which was nominated for Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language category. He won the Best Director Award at Independent Spirit Award.
  15. His first three feature films starring Sihung Lung have been loosely categorized as his ‘Father Knows Best’ trilogy.
  16. Lee was one of the fifteen directors to be interviewed before he was offered the job of directing 1995 film ‘Sense and Sensibility.’ He spent six months in England to learn about English culture and sense of humor.
  17. He fell from grace after his two films ‘The Ice Storm’ and ‘Ride with the Devil’ failed at the box-office. However the author of the novel ‘The Ice Storm’ was so pleased with the film he sobbed through the end credits.
  18. In 1999, he fulfilled his childhood dream, when he got an opportunity to direct martial art film ‘Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon.’ The film became a box-office success in many countries including UK and US. The film apart from winning the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film, also became highest grossing foreign film in US with $128 million.
  19. The intensity of directing ‘Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon’ for eight month without break, took toll on his health. He took to smoking again during the period.
  20. In 2003, he directed ‘Hulk’ with commercial success. In this film, he performed the Hulk himself with motion capture technology, while his wife contributed with lot of microbiological work and his son designed the ‘Hulk Dog’ that attacks the Hulk.
  21. The ‘Brokeback Mountain’ won Lee the Academy Award for Best Director, apart from winning two more Oscar. He is the first non-white person to win the Oscar for Best Director Award. The news media of People’s Republic of China did not mention the fact that he was a Taiwanese, calling him Chinese-American when reporting his award win.
  22. In 2006, he was bestowed the ‘Order of Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon’ the second highest civilian honor, by Taiwanese government.
  23. The 2007 film ‘Lust, Caution’ an erotic espionage thriller film faced lot of hurdles world over for its explicit sex scenes. The film faced defamation case for portraying the leading lady wrongly to the fact that her gun was jammed rather than developing romantic relationship.
  24. Lee was chosen as president of the jury for the 2009 Venice Film Festival which was held from September 02, to September 12, 2009. He was also elected as the member of the jury at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
  25. His 2012 film ‘Life of Pi’ won him, the Best Director Award at the 85th Academy Award and it was also a commercial success.
  26. The film became the biggest Hollywood hit of the year in India and the ‘Time’ selected it as the third best movie of the year 2012, as well as calling it next Avatar.
  27. His 2016 film ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’ was a box-office failure but is known for being the first ever feature film using an extra high frame rate of 120 frames per second in 3D format with 4K HD resolution.
  28. Lee’s younger son Mason Lee starred in the Hollywood blockbuster movie ‘The Hangover Part II.’ He was also cast in his father’s film ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’ as soldier Foo.
  29. His forthcoming project includes ‘Thrilla in Manila’ about the boxing match between Mohammad Ali and Joe Frazier, which was put on hold twice. The next one is a scientific action film ‘Gemini Man’ with Will Smith in lead.
  30. He resides in Larchmont, New York in a luxury house and owns best cars in world including Benz, Ford and Alfa Romeo.
  31. Ang Lee Net Worth: $32 Million

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