Hong Kong movie star Tony Leung Chiu Wai up for starring in K-drama


Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai poses for a photo during a press conference of the Asian Filmmaker of the Year for the 27th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) at KNN theatre in Busan on Oct 6, 2022. Photo: AFP

Hong Kong movie star Tony Leung Chiu Wai, attending the 27th Busan International Film Festival, said he is willing to perform in Korean drama series.

“If there are roles for which I can overcome the language barrier, I would like to star in Korean drama,” the Hong Kong actor said in Cantonese during a press conference held at the KNN theatre in Busan on Thursday.

“I recently watched the film CODA. If there is a role that does not require me to speak like the characters in that film, maybe I can also be in Korean dramas.”

Leung said he would love to work with his two favourite Korean actors – Song Kang-ho and Jeon Do-yeon.

The Hong Kong actor also talked about Korean content’s growing global popularity.

“I am happy to see Korean content doing well," he said. "I have a long history with Korea. I first came to Korea around 20 years ago for a movie promotion. Also, I first took part in the 2nd BIFF and this is my fourth time being invited to this fest."

Recalling the BIFF back in 1997, Leung said he is impressed by how much the festival has grown since then.

“When I first took part in BIFF, I walked on a narrow red carpet and the opening ceremony was also held on a small stage, but yesterday it held a grand opening ceremony,” the actor said.

Six of his films that the Hong Kong actor selected himself, including Happy Together (1997), The Longest Nite (1998), In The Mood For Love (2000) and 2046 (2004), will be screened at this year's BIFF.

“I tried to select diverse films of my favourite directors like Wong Kar-Wai and Jeffrey Lau,” he said.

He added that one of his early projects City Of Sadness (1989) could not make the list but that it is the film that he really adores.

Besides Korean dramas, the actor said he also wants to take up the challenge of playing a villain, something that he has not done before.

“After watching The House That Jack Built I want to play a serial killer character in the future. But I am also a little afraid.”

Leung noted that he talked with Theory Of Ambitions (2022) director Philip Yung, with whom he recently worked, about doing a serial killer movie together next time.

The Hong Kong actor emphasised that he is now more open and ready to play diverse roles that he could not play as a young actor.

“The first 20 years of my acting career was a time of learning, I think I can show off what I have learned during my next 20 years. I can now enjoy working without being under pressure and this means I am ready to perform more diverse roles from now on,” he said.

This is also why he took the father role in his recent Hollywood project Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton.

“Also, as an actor, I always want to show my performance to as many audiences as possible. So I thought that by doing a Hollywood movie I could show my work to a global audience. It was a great opportunity,” the actor added.

Leung is the recipient of this year's Asian Filmmaker Of The Year award, which is presented to an Asian filmmaker or organisation that has made the most significant contributions to the advancement of the Asian film industry. – The Korea Herald/Asia News Network

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