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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 12:12 am    Post subject: Cannes today - May 25, 2000

The Straits Times (Singapore)

May 25, 2000

SECTION: Life; Life!; Pg. 16

LENGTH: 762 words

HEADLINE: Cannes today, next stop: LA


After receiving an award at the Cannes Film Festival, the actor has his sight set on greater things -like knocking on Hollywood's doors

TONY LEUNG CHIU WAI, the first Hongkong male to get an international award for Best Actor, is not resting on his laurels.

The actor, who returned to a triumphant welcome in Hongkong after clinching the prestigious award at the Cannes Film Festival, said on Tuesday that he intends to knock on Hollywood's doors next.

He said his plate is already full with films to act in and produce till 2002.

But once those films are out of the way, he would like to follow in the footsteps of Jackie Chan and Chow Yun Fatt, and take on Tinseltown.

He said he is trying to develop a story idea into a Hollywood production and would like to work with Western actors in films.

The 38-year-old actor won Cannes 2000's Best Actor award on Sunday for his role in Hongkong director Wong Kar Wai's In The Mood For Love (Hua Yang Nian Hua).

In the movie, a romance set in the 1960s, he plays a married newspaper editor who gets involved with his tenant, acted by Maggie Cheung.

The film also won the Technical Prize for cinematography and editing.

About 100 reporters waited for him at the airport, where he was greeted by his mother, who surprised him with a bouquet of flowers. He also got a tearful kiss from girlfriend Carina Lau who was with him.

One of the actor's upcoming film projects will mark his debut as a producer. But he will not have a part for girlfriend Lau in it as it would be "too awkward" for them, he said.

He will also start work soon on another Wong Kar Wai film, titled 2046, as well as movies by other prominent directors such as Taiwanese Hou Hsiao-Hsien.

Overjoyed with the win, he added that this has capped 18 years of hard work in his acting career.

He intends to dabble more in producing in future.

He had been waiting for the Cannes award since 1997, when the Best Actor prize for his work on Happy Together slipped by him by a vote.

He said he was in a daze when he went on stage to receive the award.

"My mind went blank. All I wanted to do was not to say anything wrong and leave the stage," he said.

At Cannes, the actor had reportedly said little, except to thank the jury, director Wong and those who saw In The Mood For Love. Returning to his seat, he gave Lau, who was with him, a hug.

At his news conference, Leung also said he would not be raising his acting fees on account of his Cannes win. And his victory is apparently not making him rush things on the personal front.

Asked whether he now has plans to marry his girlfriend, with whom he has had a long relationship, he gave an awkward laugh and said: "I have simply too much else to do."

An Oscar maybe? Said the actor: "That's too far off to think of for now."

And on rumours that he got drunk on the night of his win, he said: "I had 60 interviews in three days. I was too tired to drink."


* Tony Leung's win at Cannes might have been expected of the actor, who has been bagging regional film awards in major competitions since 1988. * In that year, he came into prominence by taking the Hongkong Film Awards' Best Supporting Actor award for My Heart Is An Eternal Rose. Two years later, he garnered another at the same festival for People's Hero. * In 1994, at the Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan, he clinched Best Actor for his role in Chungking Express. He got a similar prize for the film at the Hongkong Film Awards a year after. * In 1998, he took home the Golden Horse and Golden Bauhinia awards for Best Actor for his part in Happy Together. * Leung's victory at Cannes is one of the many Asian triumphs at Cannes this year. China, Taiwan, Hongkong and Iran swept six of the major awards in an unprecedented Asian sweep. * China's Jiang Wen took the runner-up award to the Golden Palm for Devils On The Doorstep (Guizi Lai Le) and Taiwan's Edward Yang took the Best Director award for A One And A Two (Yi Yi). * The top Cannes prize, the Golden Palm, went to Danish director Lars von Trier for his Dancer In The Dark, and Icelandic pop singer Bjork got the Best Actress award for her role in von Trier's film. * Leung's Cannes win comes at a time when Asian cinema is flourishing at prestigious international film arenas. While Leung is the first Hongkong actor to win an international festival award, actress Maggie Cheung beat him to the punch in 1992 when she picked up a Best Actress award for Centrestage (Ruan Ling Yu) at the 1992 Berlin Film Festival.
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