Ringo Le, 31, is the director of the 2006 feature film Saigon Love Story, a film that explores the idea of how the new generation of Vietnameseare looking to define themselves in the country. It was the first musical filmed entirely in Vietnam. He graduated from California State University, Los Angeles and participated in Film Independent’s internship program with writer/director Bill Condon.
Who would you have most liked to be?
I would most liked to have been a film director in the 1960’s. That way I could have directed a film with my great aunt Tham Thuy Hang. She was one of Vietnam’s most luminous cinematic actresses of that era. A movie star in every sense of the word.
What is your most marked characteristic?
What is the most attractive quality in a man?
What is the most attractive quality in a woman?
Which quality do you most value in your friends?
That they are there for you through the highs, and more importantly, the lows.
What do you most dislike?
What do you most dislike about yourself?
When I forget to be mindful of the world around me. Mindful as in conscientious in the Buddhist sense.
What is your biggest indulgence?
Writing, since time seems to be so precious.
Who is your favourite musician?
Trinh Cong Son. He was a Vietnamese songwriter that has been immortalised more than any other artist in Vietnam because of the songs he wrote to sooth peoples pain during the war. What he wrote for Vietnam in the 1960s is priceless.
What is your favourite flower?
The water lily, any plant that survives in the harshest conditions.
What is your favourite bird?
The birds of paradise in Papua New Guinea.
Who is your favourite poet?
Who are your favourite painters?
That’s a hard one. I’d say Picasso because his Cubist period always brings me back to my childhood.
Who are your heroes?
My heroes are my dad, Vietnamese emperor Le Loi, Gandhi and Mother Teresa.
What is your least favourite word?
What sound or noise do you love?
Waves crashing on the beach.
What faults can you accept in others?
What bores you the most?
What does money mean to you?
I think Picasso said it best: “I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.” To me, it means mobility.
What was the last book you read?
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
What is in your fridge?
Sashimi.Smoked Salmon. Nori. Wasabi. Lettuce. Watermelon. Brown rice. A bottle of vodka.And a bottle of soju.Ha ha, that’s so Asian.
What was the best present you ever received?
The best present I ever received was my dog Koko that my brother DJ gave me.
Mozart, Wagner or Richard Clayderman?
I’ll go with Mozart since “Hell’s Vengeance Boils in My Heart” from his opera The Magic Flute is one of my favourite arias of all time.
When was the last time you said “I love you?”
In my latest screenplay, I write “I love you” a lot. Those three words can never be said enough. Everyone responds to love. That’s why I chose to say it in my writing as often as possible. It provides some light in the darkness of the world we live in.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
You’re very, very late.