Who would dream that the delectable Tony Leung could be seen out at sea on his own? Here's another reason for you to swoon over him, girls
IF TONY LEUNG CHIU WAI is in the mood for love, he sets out for sea on his boat, lights some candles and spends the night rocking on the waves.
"It's possible to be romantic alone, you know," said the dashing 38-year-old who was in town to promote In The Mood For Love -- the Wong Kar Wai period romance that won him the coveted Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.
"Going out to sea is one of the things I do when I'm not working. It's very
therapeutic for me."
It is hard to talk shop with Chinese cinema's most slippery bachelor. The moment he walked into the Shangri-La ballroom for a press conference yesterday, female reporters start lobbing him questions about his love life.
No, he has not married Carina Lau, his voluptuous girlfriend of 12 years.
Yes, he is a romantic guy.
No, he does not face temptations in the Hongkong movie industry. And even if he does, he does not act on them.
"I go jogging," he quipped, flashing the cameras that charmingly-meek smile of his.
Cloaked in a futuristic nylon jacket and his boyish charisma, Leung was unfailingly polite even when the questions turned nasty.
Questioned about rumours that Lau lost HK$3 million (S$660,000) on the stock market recently, the actor laughed and dismissed the notion.
"I don't know where people got that idea from. Carina does not invest in stocks. She just plays mahjong," he replied, his eyes twinkling.
"Maybe because she has started to work on more films this year, the Hongkong
press thinks that she needs money. The truth is -- I've been pushing her to do
Switching between Mandarin and English with ease, Leung spent the half-hour event fielding questions about his love life and the mysterious director-auteur of his latest movie.
On the former, he revealed that he likes hardworking women.
"That's why I'm telling Carina to play less mahjong and do more movies."
On the latter, he said that Wong is such a complex character that it would "take
many, many years to explain what he is really like".
Known for portraying intense, sensitive types, Leung has worked with the cream of the Chinese cinema -- directors like Wong and Hou Hsiao-hsien as well as thespians like Leslie Cheung.
It has been 18 years since he enrolled in a television acting class in Hongkong and more than a decade since he played Wei Xiaobao in the popular television serial, The Duke Of Mount Deer. But Leung is still going strong.
His Cannes win is just one feather in his cap. He has also garnered enduring success in both mainstream movies like last year's Tokyo Raiders and art films like Wong's cult gay flick, Happy Together.
Despite that, he is not resting on his laurels. Next year, he will be trying his hand at producing a yet-to-be-titled project. He has also returned to the recording studio and a four-song EP titled In The Mood For Love will hit Taiwan record shops on Oct 20.
"The last two years has been really busy for me. That's why I keep telling
Carina to get busy herself too."
Co-starring Maggie Cheung, In The Mood For Love sees Leung playing a newspaperman who finds his wife cheating on him. The romance, set in the 1960s,
smoulders with Wong's trademark moodiness.
"So what if I won at Cannes? My pay cheque has not increased. Very sad," he joked.
Throughout the half-hour press conference, the actor was lobbed a myriad of questions ranging from what are his phobias (dust and spiders) to which actress stirs his blood (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon's Zhang Ziyi).
Perspiring after an intense bout of back-to-back queries, he unbuttoned his beige jacket, revealing a white V-neck T-shirt underneath.
At that precise moment, every female in the room must have been in the mood for love.