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| Friday, September 02, 2005

"When I didn't release an album, everyone will comment that I sing well, however when I release an album, everyone will comment that that I don't sing well."

"When I'm a villian, I don't kill!"

Reporter (R): "When you graduate from the artise training classes, you soon become the male lead, did anyone gave you chances or depended on your hardwork?"

Andy (A): "During the period of drama serials, no matter what roles I was given, I'll do a lot of reserach. Even just a small and unimportant character in Circus Kids (literally translated) in 1982, I also seek advice from my teacher. Remember when I was shooting Duke of the Mount Deer in 1984, as I was being put in cold storage, I can only be the second male lead as Kang Xi, I also don't mind, being Kang Xi also gave me a huge space to perform, actually Duke of the Mount Deer had many versions, from what I remembered, nobody presented him well. Hence, I gave myself a target, must let people remember Andy Lau's version of Kang Xi, thus I did many researchs, read history books to find out about how the morning sessions were carried out, how an emperor sit from the drawings in the book. Even the scriptwriter was amazed of the preparation work I've done as he feel that I gave a new dimension to the character."

R: "You once said in your acting career, 3 directors which includes Wong Jing, Johnnie To and Andrew Lau create the most sparks in your collaboration with them, how's your relationship with them?"

A: "Why it's easy to creat sparks with them during our collaboration? The main point is responsibility. Before Running Out Of Time, nobody remember that I collaborate with Johnnie before, thus we don't have confidence with each other, even though we collaborated in A Moment of Romance, it's still the same, I remembered I told him, I'm also considered a singer, I should have sing at least one of the 5 theme songs. He answered, Andy, if you concentrate only on one matter, I think you'll get your result. There was once we discussed for a long time, I told him I don't know how to befriend with him, I felt that, being friends, we trusted each other before we can have a good production together. I try my best to trust him, let him know my confidence, then our trust between each other grown stronger, our collaborated productions shine more. It's the same situation with Wong Jing and Andrew Lau."

R: "You feel that what are the best stuffs that the 3 directors could make find in you, or rather, what's difference of Andy Lau they find in you?"

A: "Johnnie once told me that my acting is exciting, don't try to give way to others and make changes. But I feel, when several actors are together, if I don't give way to others, how to have a good production? He always said, you're one style with Sammi Cheng, another style with Tony Leung, thus there's no style of Andy Lau. In the past. I still have style of my own, but best not to have, isn't it very good now? For these past years, Johnnie changes alot, I told him, it would be better if I know him now, thus I won't have the stage of hating him.

Wong Jing makes me feel that I'm important in my movies, he digged out my worth, he made me believe that in Hong Kong movies, there must be Andy Lau. As during that time, no other actor filmed so many movies in a year, I supported the whole Hong Kong movies. (smile) He's one of my leg, without him, I'll fall, he filmed commercial movies but with his own philosophy, maybe his philosophy is too shallow, nobody followed him.

When Andrew Lau shoot the first Young and Dangerous movie, he asked me to join the cast, but I feel that I can't film any more traid movies, thus I reject his offer. Then, he kept approaching me. Andrew required a complete script while Johnnie need not as he need the characters' character, if without a complete script, Andrew's abilities of creating the character on the spot is weaker than Johnnie, from the business point of view, Andrew's level is higher, when comes to controlling finance, he's more well verse than Johnnie, but on the artistic point of view, Johnnie score higher than Andrew, nobody is prefect, if they combine together, that is prefect."

R: "So many evil characters that you've played, it seems there's a bottom line?"

A: "Yes, I've a bottom line. My principle is when I'm a villian, I must die. In my world, my realistic life is more important than the movies, I don't wish that my movies will affect the lives of children, thus I think I've a society responsibility, this didn't affect my success in arts or my works, as I can forgo them. Today, many children will feel that what Andy Lau did is correct, therefore when I'm a villian, I wouldn't kill. But In Running Out Of Time, just one third of the movie had passed, I begin to kill people, Andrew's son asked:" Why Andy Lau is like that?" Of course we can differentiate Andy Lau from Andy Lau's character in the movie, but children can't, till now, when I accept villian characters, they're not classic cold-blooded characters."

R: "Talked about personal history, you always talked about being put in cold storage by TVB, is this a turning point?"

A: "After Return of the Condor Heroes, TVB started on Duke Of the Mount Deer, I'm one of the choices to be Wei Xiao Bao. TVB gave me a 5-years contract and asked me if I've any problem, a big problem! 5 years is not a short time, I doesn't want to make any agreement for my unforseen future, I request to the company to shorten my contract and I'll consider. But the company was very serious and never consider about it. Both parties didn't give way, maybe should say I've a temper of an artist, doesn't like to be bonded and do things just for fame. I won't do things that I don't like because of money, of course this comes with a price."

R: "Many people compare you with Tony Leung, how you compared yourself? Is he your opponent?"

A: "Every artiste is different, on acting and behaviour is different, there's only one thing that we're similiar, that's focusing on our own job. For every artistes, no matter which direction you took to develop your career, most important is to be focus and serious attitude.

Tony is artistic, while I like to collaborate with directors that I idolise, like Tony never approached Zhang Yimou, 12 years ago, I once told Zhang if there's chance should approach me for collaboration, waited for 12 years for House Of The Flying Daggers. He like to consider while I like to take actions."

R: "Talk about Rosamund Kwan, everyone said that both of you are a golden pair."

A: "Rosamund is a very good woman. I feel that having a relationship with her or marry her is a blessing matter as she's gentle, true and do things slowly. She's short sighted in the past, she's okay after an operation. Remember before she went for the operation, the way she swims, as her google had degree, one round one round, I feel that it's cute, never expected she swim so well, how she swims is not the sexy image she gave in the movies, she was wearing a swimming hat, a black swimming costume which is no different to sports wear, she kept swimming, so cute, just like a kid. I like her looks then, I feel that she's beautiful as she has nothing and need not makeup, she's very beautiful, just like a wife."

R: "Some said that Zhang select you for HOFD is because you could cry for 5 times straight?"

A: "He found out about this after selecting me. It's not because of this that he select me. I love to cry since young, when I think I'm the character, I can cry. I met a friend whom father passed away, I don't know and and I asked me about my father when I visit him , he immediately cried. If you're that person, you'll surely cry. When I'm in my movies, I live the life of the character, you say I love Zhang Ziyi, you're correct, I really love her during filming, I'll feel sad when I see her get hurt. I feel that only concentrated actor can do this, Ziyi also could. Of course, Zhang Yimou told me that and I'm glad. Today's praise is also today's disappointment, as after 12 years, Zhang Yimou then found out that Andy Lau could act, this is my disappointment, of course I'm happy that a person know that Andy Lau could act. If you're watched The Unwritten Law, Eagle Hunter, Return of the Condor Heroes, you would have know what's the acting of Andy Lau is like. Wang Kar Wai took more than 80 days to complete a movie, the actors can't make it? Maggie Cheung can't make it? Tony Leung can't make it? In one angle of mine in Days of Being Wild, everyone thinks that it's beautiful, but he don't like it, he said I acted it too beautifully. I'm not sure what's prefect to him, I think it should be like that after acting it, at this time, I'll act this way, I think it's not prefect but prefect to him, we feel differently, thus I kept on acting until I reach his requirement. Nowadays, sitting for half hour before shooting starts, some went in and can cry immediately. Now, if didn't allow me to get into the character, then I use my acting skills, if a script is very good, I can get into the character anytime. 20 years ago, my acting is like that, I think it'll be the same 20 years later."

R: "Do you have any changes in your acting for these 20 years?"

A: "I remembered when I was shooting Fulltime Killer, one day Johnnie asked me to act out Andy Lau, but I don't know how to act out Andy Lau as I've forgotten how. The old Andy Lau was slowly changes, take A True Mob Story for example, my expression and walk of walking had changed, Infernal Affairs also don't have images of Andy Lau. Out of a sudden, one day Johnnie said that I acted very well in Running Out Of Time, but I don't want you to act that way, I would like you to return to the Andy Lau of 10 years ago, I can't find the Andy Lau of 10 years ago. A person have a new ways of doing things without knowing it, like I like to eat sweet stuff in the past, but I don't eat sweet stuffs nowadays, I forget when and why I didn't eat sweet stuffs. Able to understand is more important, I can accept more space than others."

R: "Zhang Yimou and Feng Xiaogang is not problem to you?"

A: "It's more difficult for Wang Kar Wai and Johnnie To's movies, as they don't have scripts, just a draft of the story. When I meet Zhang and Feng, they have a complete script, I feel that it's not difficult, because I'm clear what am I doing from start to end, the biggest problem is communication as I understand Mandarin but the way of presentation is different which I don't understand. Feng then explains to me different presentation of the phrase have different meaning."

R: "Wong Kar Wai once said that a newcomer must go through a period to grow up, it takes 20 years to create a Andy Lau."

A: "I knew Wong earlier than anybody as he was a scriptwriter in TVB, do you know that? I was the lead in his first movie, everyone should know that. I feel that he's great by just writing a short part of a story on jeans then he wrote As Tears Goes By, nobody willing to invest, then an actor boss whom like me as I always played traid boss and he himself is a traid boss, he like me and asked me to play the character, if I'm not playing the character, he won't invest, Wong had no problems thus we collaborated, not much money is needed as then he was a new director."

R: "So you helped him to make a name of himself?"

A: "I feel that he's a great director, he's good in his thoughts, when he was shooting As Tears Goes By, I've played many characters, after the movie, he help me improved alot."

R: "Why you didn't venture into Hollywood?"

A: "No good scripts moved me yet, if I venture there, I won't stay there to develop as there's no space for us, they like our market and not our actors, must wait till they like our actors, waited till they have a movie for a very suitable actor and look for him, wait for 3-5 years. Several directors approached me before, they have rather good scripts and told me to start within these 2 months, I told them to wait for 6 more months for me to make some arrangements, but they can't even wait for 1 month. Take Mo Zi Gong Yue, Jacob Chang waited 5 years for me, he feel that Andy Lau will do well in that character, so he waited for me, I need a director that will film me with his true heart."

R: "You're nicknamed - liu tie ren, in 1990, you accepted 12 movies, why so many movies?"

A: "I also don't know why I accepted so many, I feel that I must stayed on in showbiz in order for all to know my acting. Because then I was an idol, nobody noticed my acting, only concentrated on my looks, looked handsome will do. Then I know, in order to stay in showbiz, I must accept more movies and leave an impression to others, I want people to remember me."

R: "For the movies you've filmed in 20 years, which one you wanted to re-watched?"

A: "I didn't feel that my movies are bad, those movies are part of my life, I don't think they're bad. I did my best, I can't make it better, there's nothing I can do, I did mentioned in the past, for so many years, I can't forgive myself for one movie, that is Fascination Amour, that's a disappointment all my life, I film that movie solely for money."

R: "In 1995's Full Throttle, 1998's Island of Greed and 1999's Fascination Amour, it should be the most difficult part of your acting career as you're looking for your own direction?"

A: "Very bad, I was lost, I'm not sure what am I acting. In the past, I'm a traid member all the time, everyone feel that I'm suitable to be a traid member, I'm telling everybody that I'm not just good being a traid member, I hope to film some movies with depth, not to sell well but I don't think that I'm just suitable to develop in traid movies but I return to film such movies."

R: "You've being in comedy, romantic and traid movies, but audience remember your triad movies, what genre of movies you like?"

A: "Every genre had its difficulties, audiences had impression of me in traid movies, I'm left with no choice. You think I don't want to be involved in wong Kar Wai's movies, his script won't reach my hand! Till today, I've the chance to be in a Zhang Yimou movie, even Johnnie To also don't approach me in the past, they feel that Andy is filming on triad action movies. Knowledge of Andy's acting is not high."

R: "Compared to the past, you've less movies, would it be lesser in future?"

A: "I wanted to cut down, if you've 10 movies in a year, every movie earns HK$8 million, there should not be any problem, the production rate of Hong Kong movies had cut down, I agree, but shouldn't be like the past as one year has 150 movies among them was completed within 1 week. This is no good for the market, with good movies, the market will revive."

R: "You mind people calling you an idol?"

A: "I don't mind at all, I'll continue to be an idol, idol is not bad. There's many type of idols, some are forever idol no matter how old or ugly or tired he is as people will continue to love him."

R: "So that's your aim?"

A: "Yes!"

R: "When you started to sing, many commented that you can't sing."

A: "When I was in TVB artiste training classes, my singing scores are tops, after Return of the Condor Heroes, TVB promote me and asked me to perform in the Miss Hong Kong, when everyone watch me sing on TV, many record companies approached me as they say I sing very well, when I release an album, people say I can't sing. A boss of a radio station in Hong Kong dislike my music, I invited him to my concerts every year, he only came in 2001, after watching, he told the concert's producer that Andy really can sing, he knew that I've being singing for more than 10 years, but he never listen to my songs."
R: "Between the success in singing and acting, which one you're proud of?"

A: "Without movies, albums won't sell, without albums, movies won't sell. I'm a complete artiste, if you asked me if my movies runs to the number 1 spot, it didn't, likwise with my albums. I can only be number 2 for both. My standard on the whole is normal, I'm that kind of artiste, I do well in all my work to secure my results in showbiz."

R: "What's your hope on arts?"

A: "I've no pursuit on arts."

R: "To the chinese audience, Andy Lau symbolise a role model in hardworking, without born talent, always hardworking and create a future. How you looked at it?"

A: "What's a role model? A hardworking role model of Hong Kong? I'm sure a hardworking person, I happy people said that I'm hardworking, actually whether I acted or sing well or handome, each had their own views, to other hardworking is a common standard."

R: "You're like that since young?"

A: "You can say that. I'm always busy since young, when I'm around 6-years-old, I begin to wake up 4am in the morning and do breaksfast for my family. I went to collect water for my family and worked until the afternoon before going to school. Our family has a provision shop, I started doing homework only after 10pm and finished in 30 minutes and sleep at 12am, sleep for 4 hours."

R: "People said that your life is worthwhile, you're adore by many people, you gave people support, how you would recap your 20 years showbiz career?"

A: "I'm rather happy these 20 years, from 17 years old, I've gone through a lot, I see ups and downs, I experience the most when I'm down. I've seem more than other artistes. These 20 years, I learnt and seen a lot of things, to me, this is very important. I'm not sure how long can I stayed on, but I've enjoyed till today, to be able to act for one more day, is more than I like to have. Life is like that, many things is unexpected. Heaven is a bad scriptwriter, he anything for no reasons, he writes what he likes. I think I make use of what he gives me."

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