Joined: 27 Jan 2003
|Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 8:04 pm Post subject: February 16, 2001 Let's talk about love
|Friday, February 16, 2001
Let's talk about love
By CLAIRE BICKLEY -- Toronto Sun
Tony Leung was in a mood for the media.
"I only enjoy making movies. I hate promotion very much," said Leung, pulling a face.
However, he and his In The Mood For Love co-star Maggie Cheung were perfectly charming during the second of some three-dozen interviews they were getting ready to do during the Toronto Film Festival last fall.
Posing for a Sun photographer, the gorgeous pair draped their arms around each other. That's more than their characters are seen touching in the entire movie, which is nonetheless hypnotically romantic.
In the film, opening in Toronto today, director Wong Kar-wai casts them as apartment neighbours in 1962 Hong Kong. Both characters are lonely because their spouses travel frequently. As a friendship grows between them, discreetly to avoid gossip, they discover they have even more in common.
Although no love scenes made the final cut, some were filmed, according to the actors.
"We did shoot some love scenes and some kissing scenes. I don't know why, but they're not in the movie," said Leung, 38.
"We must have looked stupid," joked Cheung, 36, but in fact she admires the director's decision to take another approach.
"He chose to tell the story this way, which is more beautiful, more subtle. Kar-wai knows that this subject has been shot 550 times before anyway. Two people in love, how can you tell the story in a different way?" she said.
"I think it's more intelligent than just seeing these two people, you know, get together and have an affair, can't be together and that's it. This kind of leaves room for the audience to imagine what could have happened to these two or what did happen that we didn't see."
Cheung, who married French director Olivier Assayas two years ago, and Leung, who has been with his frequent movie co-star Carina Lau for a decade, agree with the film's theory that love is both circumstantial and predetermined.
"Definitely. It's all about fate. Two people meeting and what happens after that, it's all about fate," said Cheung, who met Assayas when she starred in his 1996 movie Irma Vep. "But you can only choose from your choices that are already there."
Although their Film Festival promotional schedule was a heavy load, leaving their native country feels like a respite for the actors, who are superstars back home.
Cheung returned to Hong Kong after being raised in the English countryside. A runner-up in the Miss Hong Kong pageant, she made her film debut opposite Jackie Chan in Police Story in 1985. Her credits since include Chinese Box, Comrades, Almost A Love Story and Beijing Summer, and she first worked with director Wong Kar-wai in 1988's As Tears Go By. Leung has been in four other of his films: Days Of Being Wild (1991); Ashes Of Time (1994); Chungking Express (1994); and Happy Together (1997) and will be in his next, 2046.
One fan site celebrating Leung, who is also a pop singer, chronicles his life in such minute detail as to include his blood type. (A, if you're wondering.)
Hong Kong movie fans, said Leung, are "crazy."
"They used to follow you in the car or wait outside while you're eating. I seldom go out. I usually stay at home and am more private."