October 25, 2005

Interview with Tony Leung Chiu-Wai: “I feel like the President.”

Filed under: Uncategorized — enews @ 2:19 pm

Speaking about the challenges of working on 2046, Leung said the toughest part was not the notoriously protracted shoot – he would only say his portion lasted “less than a year? – but the challenge of reprising the character of Chow Mo-Wan from IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE. “I think it’s much more difficult this time,? said Leung. “I never tried before to revisit a character and add something new. This is what the director asked for on the first day.?


Leung admitted that he thought he struggled during the first few months of the shoot as he received very little input from director Wong Kar-Wai. He was able, however, to gradually find the right characterization through trial and error. Although he described his relationship with the director as “strange?, Leung nonetheless praised Wong for giving him the freedom to find his own interpretation. “We never discussed the story or the character – we never talked,? claimed Leung. “With Kar-Wai there’s nothing to prepare, because there’s no script. With directors like Andrew Lau Wai-Keung (INFERNAL AFFAIRS) and Hou Hsiao-Hsien (FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI), I would get a lot of information in advance and we would work on the script a few months before shooting. I think both ways are very interesting, but not many people like Kar-Wai’s style. I don’t mind working in his style once in a while, but not all the time.?

When asked to talk about his leading ladies from 2046, Leung said they were all different and special, though he obviously thought Faye Wong was more special as he talked mostly about her: “Faye is very unpredictable. She always claims she doesn’t know how to act (laughs). She acts by instinct, so you don’t know what will happen next. Working with her is very challenging, but it really brings out the best in me.? Leung likened acting with Faye Wong to working opposite non-professional actors in director Hou Hsiao-Hsien‘s CITY OF SADNESS.

As for Gong Li, Leung singled out his kiss scene with her as his favorite and marveled at how well prepared she was and how quickly she was able to get into character. Leung: “I hadn’t worked with Gong Li before, and I didn’t know her very well. On our first day together in Macau we had the big kiss scene on the steps. I thought we needed to warm up but there was no time. She was prepared and made me feel very comfortable. It’s great to work with someone who’s such a professional.?

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