You were very active in the entertainment industry before. Why found a learning centre?
I spent several years as an actor and director in Hong Kong, which culminated in my winning a production deal from a major foreign production firm to get a movie I had co-written on to the screen.
I was given a US$3 million (about HK$23 million) production budget and spent about two years attending festivals and working with talent agencies to cast the film. In the end, I couldn't get the stars I needed.
This experience made me think much more carefully about my values as an artist and as a person. I thought about all the scripts that I had written and realised that there was always a strong social message. Whether it was a romantic comedy or a gangster flick, the underlying message was often about the individual benefiting society in some way. Once the movie deal fell through, I realised I wanted to leave a legacy. I hope the Edge will be that.
You mention on the website of your centre that you always felt education would be significant in your life. Why was this?
I grew up poor in America. Everything I have today is a product of the opportunities I received through having had an education.
As an immigrant in America, I was eligible for a lot of free government programmes. I was on scholarships and financial aid throughout university. Without these opportunities, I wouldn't be standing where I am today.
What do you think of the education system in Hong Kong?
I think that that of Hong Kong - and Asia, generally - focuses very much on memorisation and test scores. But these skills tend to fail us when we move to tertiary education.
Running a learning centre is different from acting. Did you find it difficult at the outset?
Acting requires mi