Tony Leung

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Tony Leung Chiu-wai in 2007

Tony Leung Chiu-wai (born June 27, 1962) is a Hong Kong actor and singer. He is considered one of Asia's most successful and internationally recognised actors. He has won many international acting prizes, including the Cannes Film Festival award for Best Actor for his performance in Wong Kar-wai's film In the Mood for Love (2000). Leung is widely considered the best native Hong Kong actor of his generation. He was named by CNN as one of "Asia's 25 Greatest Actors of All Time.


  • I have many more choices on the character I can play (in Hong Kong). The role for Asian actors and actresses is very restrictive in Hollywood movies. They already have a lot of great actors and actresses, I have no idea why they need to write scripts for Chinese actors. I will have more space in Asia and I know my culture very well. I know everybody might have his reason for going to Hollywood; you want to be more famous, you want to make more money. You might have your reason, but I can’t find a reason for myself to go to Hollywood.
  • I don’t want to become more famous because I don’t have any privacy anymore and I hate that very much. Outside of work I just want to be an ordinary person, not to be recognised, not a monkey on the street when everybody is looking at you.
  • I think moviemakers in every country are looking for ideas. It’s interactive. And sometimes we remake a lot of Hollywood films but we don’t buy the rights, we just try to imitate those films.
  • For me, when I was a kid, I came from a broken family. I don't know how to express my feelings. I don't want to express my feelings in front of others, so I became very isolated. I don't talk too much, and I'm very good at hiding my emotions. And somehow when I get into the training class, when I learn how to act, then I find a way to express my feelings in front of others without being shy. Because you can hide behind someone, and express you feelings. You can do whatever you want, you can cry, but you won't feel shy. And that's the reason why I enjoy acting very much. That's the reason why I've been acting for twenty-something years. I don't do it for fame or for money. That's not important to me. For myself it's a kind of relief that you have to suppress for 13 years in your childhood.
  • I wasn't so happy in my childhood. My parents broke up when I was six. Before, I was a very active, naughty child, but after my father left me I stopped talking. I became very good at hiding my emotions. I felt so ashamed of telling others that I didn't have a father, because that was not common in the 1960s. People didn't break up - even if they didn't love each other - in traditional Chinese families. Not like today.
  • I found a way to express myself. The others thought I was playing a character, but actually I was living behind the character. I could release my emotions, and the others didn't know that was me. That's the reason I love acting so much. I wasn't asking for fame or money - it was the natural high I got addicted to.

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