Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Location: Hong Kong
|Posted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:10 am Post subject: 11 Aug 2013 Tony met with fans in NY
For starters, there were 10 of us who attended. Most fans were in the NY area, a fan from Cleveland, and I flew in from Toronto. Some of the NY based fans had already met each other prior to Sunday, but for the rest of us it was the first time meeting everyone.
Info had informed us to meet in the SOHO area early afternoon on Sunday, so most of us decided to grab lunch nearby before heading to the hotel. We got to the hotel early, entered through the backdoor, and had to figure out where the lobby was. Once we found the right spot, we noticed that the lobby opened up into the restaurant - lo and behold, Tony and his colleagues were sitting in the open doorway finishing their lunch! After stealing glances inside and trying to keep our excitement in check, we all waited patiently in the lobby till they finished eating. Info came and brought us inside once Tony was ready to meet us.
Everyone filtered in and took a seat. The tables were really small and were arranged down a row. One side had chairs, while the other side backed into a sofa with cushions. (Tony sat on the sofa side.) He was dressed casually, in a polo shirt and jeans. Everyone was super quiet at the beginning, so Tony helped lighten the mood by asking us to go around in a circle to introduce ourselves.
Most of the fans were Chinese, however the conversation was a mix of Mandarin, Cantonese and English. Tony went around the table and engaged in conversation with different fans. If one side was too quiet, he would ask, "how come youíre not talking?" However, most of us were very happy listening in on the conversations.
Initially he asked if we wanted to order anything, but we explained that we went to eat at a Chinese restaurant prior to coming, so we were already full. We were probably being overly polite at declining everything he offered, but he did get bottled water for all of us. Info was saying that we were already full from seeing him. (There's a saying in Chinese called 有情飲水飽 which means When in Love, Even Plain Water Can Be a Filling Meal. FYI it's also the Chinese title to Tony's movie Love Me, Love My Money.)
So back to the Q&A portion of the talk - Tony explained that he'll finally be on vacation once he's done with the US promotion. He's been looking forward to time off for a while now. He mentioned that he enjoys being out at sea and that he bought a jet board on this trip, so he's looking forward to trying it out once he's back in HK. We asked if he's still training and he says that he hasn't kept up with it. He mentioned that while he likes strengthening and the overall mentality that comes with training, he really hates having to fight against people. Right now he's very content to be out at sea, or jogging to keep fit.
Tony also mentioned his interest to work in an action comedy film next year. He doesn't really have an ideal cast or director in mind, but heís open to possibilities, perhaps even working with a Korean director. However, he has no intentions of directing a movie because he quite enjoys acting. Another fan asked if heís seen the American version of The Grandmaster, and which version he likes better. Tony said heís seen both and prefers the HK version. At some point, he was asked who his favourite non-Chinese director is, and he says that he admires Christopher Nolan. He was very impressed with Inception and he says that he enjoyed Nolanís interpretation of the Batman movies.
Our semi highlight of the gathering occurred when WKW came inside the restaurant. Tony got up to speak with him, and everyone got excited seeing them engaged in conversation. When Tony returned back, he asked us once again if we were hungry. Since the screening was at 4pm, he reminded us we should eat before the movie. By that time it was actually pretty late to be ordering dessert, since the service was a little slow and we didn't want to make everyone late. However, Tony insisted we order something, so another fan and I caved in and got a dessert to share. (This turned out to be a bad idea, because we both sat beside Tony, one on each side, so we had to pass the plate up and down the table in front of Tony to share. I'm so sorry!)
Anyway, after a few more Q&A, Tony took time to sign autographs for us. Soon it was time to get going. Tony was like, "no, it's only 3:15", but Info corrected him that it was nearing 3:30pm and some of the fans needed to get to the movie screening. So we all filed outside to a more secluded area and took photos with him.
Right after Tony left, it sort of hit the rest of us that we needed to be at the theatre in less than 30 minutes! It was a bit of a dash towards the theatre as we piled into two taxis, but luckily we made it on time. As for the movie itself, most of us agree that there was quite a bit of re-editing to the story. Thereís clearer definitions of the characters and their relationships with each other. Some scenes were cut, some added, some used in different contexts. As a result, the multi-layered HK version changed into a straightforward narrative in the American version. Itís definitely suitable for the North American audience, but it lacks the depth from the original version.
Once the movie finished, WKW, Tony and Zhang Ziyi came for the discussion panel. Tony wore a blue striped jacket with dark pants. The panel lasted about 45 minutes, everyone filed outside once it ended. WKW and Ziyi were whisked off pretty quickly, but Tony stayed to chat and take photos with fans. After we got our photos with him, Tony pulls out his phone to show us his photo - it's the one he posted on the forum with all our cards and gifts!! Anyway, Tony was pretty late for his dinner reception, so he finally had to make his way to the exit. There was still a legion of fans waiting at the entrance, but somehow he made it to his car and waved goodbye. That was the last we saw of Tony in NY.
So, there's the short version of the events that day. HAHA. I'm sure there's lots of details I'm missing in this report, but I hope for the moment it will suffice. I didn't want to mention personal details, but if anyone else wants to share their stories, please feel free to add more. Wink
The miracle day was August 11th. I planned to visit Central Park in the morning and then try my luck in SVA for the screening ticket. Just minutes after I woke up, I was told that there would be a gathering with Tony in his hotel this afternoon. At that moment, I was like, really?! Itís so unbelievable and unexpected. A miracle I shall say. Quickly I set up a time to meet together with other fans before we went to the gathering. I also brought my friend with me to go together.
Now is the highlight part, after we arrived in the lobby, we found that Tony was having lunch with his colleagues in the restaurant just near the lobby. I was so excited to finally see him at that time! It looks like that heís in very good mood. We were all very excited at that moment. After waiting for a while, Info came out and led us into the restaurant. There were 10 of us and everybody took a seat quickly. At the very beginning, we gave Tony our cards, he read it and smiled. Then it was really quiet for some seconds. Tony looked around at everybody. I suggested that we may start from self- introduction and everybody briefly introduced themselves. When itís my turn, after talking about my name, Tony realized that we met before a year ago in China. I felt so happy that he still remembered me. Because itís in the restaurant, the environment was really noisy and so I couldnít hear very clear what heís talking about, especially when he was talking to someone on the opposite direction. But it didnít matter, to sit there looking at him already made me very satisfied. I didnít have many questions to ask. Not because I was nervous, but I did enjoy looking at him answering othersí questions patiently. And because of the noise around, itís hard for me to involve in his conversation with others. I remembered that I asked him about his trip in LA. He said that he worked there only for 2 hours and the rest time is free. He asked me how Iím doing recently and I said Iím good. He said that I was so quiet last time and I said yes, last time I was too nervous (that was my first time to meet Tony) He also asked me when I will graduate and my plan after graduation. After the Q & A, Tony started to sign autograph for us. I was so stupid that I didnít prepare anything related to Tony for autograph. I thought I had nothing in my Cleveland home but actually I had a Lust Caution DVD and a magazine but forgot to bring in. So finally I gave Tony a postcard I bought in NY and Info also provided me a 2046 poster for autograph. Another stupid thing I did was that after I get my two autographs back, I looked at the first one and saw it was in Chinese. I found the person next to me got an English autograph from Tony and so I gave back the postcard to Tony and asked him whether he can sign another English autograph for me. He didnít sign but pointed to the postcard, at first I didnít get it. Then I took a close look at the postcard and found that he already signed in English for me. I felt so embarrassed that time. Embarassed
After signing all autographs, Tony spent some time to take pictures with all of us. when itís my turn, I gave him my present, the little yellow cab, before I took picture with him. Tony had his hand slightly on my shoulder. After all of us finished with the pictures, one girl asked if she can retake one with Tony because the previous ones was kind of blur or something, Tony was very nice and said of course. He wanted to make sure everyone is satisfied with their photo. There was a short time when Tony was standing near to me, I told him that I arrived at the same airport as he did one day before and will fly back the next day. I also joked that maybe its because his coming that the airline company provide discount air ticket that weekend. He responded with a smile. He asked how long does my flight take and I said around 2 hours. He said he didnít expect to meet me here in NY. I didnít expect either. Itís like a dream. Thank you Tony for making this dream come true. Then its about the time and we wave goodbye.
The miracle continues. Although I didnít have the ticket, I decided to try my luck for the screening. When I arrived at the reception desk, I found that the theater people have a name list to check. I just talked to them that Iím a great fan of this movie and fly from other city for this movie. Luckily, they gave me a ticket and let me in! I never expected that this can be so easy. Then I walked in and minutes after the movie starts. My another dream came true: watching the Grandmaster in big screen in the U.S. Tony attended Q & A after the screening.
After the screening, Tony was surrounded by people asking for pictures. He was really nice and patient and met everybodyís demands. We got a chance to take a picture with him again in the theater. This time he wore suits. Then Tony showed us a picture in his phone, the picture of our cards and the little yellow cab. I felt so surprised and happy to see that. Then we can see that picture in his facebook and the English forum here as well.
OK, my story should end here. This is my miracle, unbelievable, legendary trip in New York City. It is really different for me to get the chance to meet Tony in person in the United States. It means a lot. Iím not sure how long will I stay in the US and when will I get back to my hometown. But this experience is for sure a great treasure for me.
Thank you Info for organizing this.
Thank you all my new friends in NYC.
And thank you Tony for sparing time with us. You are soooooooo nice and wish you enjoy your vacation from now on.
(Thanks to sparkles_n15 and amy0208's sharing)
Last edited by Info on Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:57 am; edited 6 times in total