Fifteen years ago Charlie Young Choi-nei, the star of the recently remade Bangkok Dangerous, was just another bubblegum pop singer. Now she's a star, and the face of the Biography Channel's debut in Hong Kong - and the channel is screening an interview with her in which she discusses her life and achievements. Young's career was transformed by just one film. In 1993, she made her cinema debut in Ashes of Time, a martial arts picture directed by Wong Kar-wai with a cast of A-listers such as the late Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Jacky Cheung Hok-yau, Brigitte Lin Ching-hsia, Maggie Cheung Man-yuk and Carina Lau Ka-ling. When Young (right) was brought onto the project, she was a student. But she recalls every detail of her first meeting with the director. 'I received a call from the film company one morning asking if I'd be interested in having a chat with Wong Kar-wai about a film project. My reaction was, like, 'He's a big-name director - yeah, of course'. 'My home was just a few blocks away from his office, so I walked over there, casually dressed, and met Wong for the first time. My impression of him was that he was very nice person. We chatted about all sort of things. Then he asked me to join the cast. That was how a four-month shoot in the desert began,' she says. Young, 34, still feels lucky to have taken part in the project. She starred in 15 films after Ashes of Time, and was one of director Tsui Hark's favourite actresses, but quit showbiz in 1997 to set up an image consultancy in Malaysia in 1997. It folded several years ago and she returned to acting in 2004. When she watched Ashes of Time Redux, Wong's new edit of the film, which screened at the Cannes Film Festival this year, it brought back a flood of memories. 'If Wong was my springboard into acting, then Gor Gor [as Leslie Cheung was affectionately known to his friends] was my mentor,' she says. Last month would have been Cheung's 52nd birthday. He leapt to his death from the 24th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Central on April 1, 2003. Young recalls the care and attention Cheung paid her. 'I was a newcomer. I didn't know anything about acting, but Gor Gor was so down to earth. He looked after me literally like a nanny. Off camera we played badminton, and on the set I would sit next to him when he was playing mahjong with the other cast members. I think I have come to understand now that he was worried I would get bored or something. 'One day, very early in the morning, he turned up on set in his pyjamas. I asked him, 'What are you doing here? You don't need to shoot any scenes today'. He looked at me with a smile and said, 'My dear, I'm here to help you to practice your lines'. I broke down in tears when he said that. He inspired me to think that when I became famous one day, I would help newcomers just as he helped me.' The Biography Channel, which Young is promoting, profiles personalities from fashion designers such as Vera Wang to oddballs and bogeymen like North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. Young's interview for the Biography Channel is on Now TV.