Joined: 27 Jan 2003
|Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2004 6:05 pm Post subject: Tony Leung is reigniting the sparks
TONY Leung Chiu Wai is nothing like the heartless flirtatious character he portrays in 2046. On the contrary, he is a gentleman when it comes to talking about the actresses who play his lovers in the movie.
Faye Wong “has very expressive body language. The sparks we generate are always very unusual.”
The two also starred in two other films – Chungking Express (1994), also directed by Wong Kar Wai, and Chinese Odyssey 2002 (2002), directed by Jeffrey Lau.
Zhang Ziyi is “very hardworking” and working with Gong Li was “very comfortable, not pressurising, even though I’m a big fan of hers.”
Of long-time girlfriend Carina Lau, he says: “I actually don’t like working with her on films. It feels very strange, very fake. Maybe we know each other too well.”
Over the phone from Shanghai where the film was released last month, Leung, 42, sounds slightly tired. Perhaps it is the publicity requirements, or maybe the fact that making 2046 was a convoluted process.
In it, he plays the same character from 2000’s In the Mood for Love.
“Previously, the character was gentler, more thoughtful, and serious. But he has changed a lot. It wasn’t easy to grasp his rhythm and body language so I asked Wong Kar Wai to give the character a moustache to help me differentiate the two phases,’ he says.
“I took on other projects when we were not shooting during those five years, and when I had to get back into the role, I had forgotten a lot of things, like the character’s gestures.”
Still, he is accepting of Wong’s methods, to which he believes he owes his current status as an acclaimed actor. They first worked together in 1991’s Days of Being Wild, at a time when Leung was feeling bottlenecked as an actor.
“I couldn’t find any way to improve, and I was bored with the business. So that was actually a very important film in my career. He discovered a lot of potential in me.”
Today, he has arrived at an acting epiphany of his own.
“Actually, the more I act, the more I feel I’m playing myself. It’s my views and emotions filtered through my own experiences.”
Still, Leung professes not to take his job too seriously. “I’ve no noble aims. I just think acting is fun. I just want to make people happy and provide some entertainment.”
So there are no directorial ambitions? “Directing needs talent and a point of view, and I’m much too lazy,” he says. “I might go into producing films. I like to control things.” – The Straits Times, Singapore / Asia News Network