Tony Leung (1962)

Tony Leung (1962)

Other Name: 梁朝偉 梁朝伟 양조위 Leung Chiu Wai Leung Tony Тони Люн เหลียง เฉาเหว่ย์

Age: 62

Birthday: June, 27, 1962

Nationality: British Hong Kong

Height: 171 CM

Tony Leung Chiu Wai is a Hong Kong actor, and singer. He is considered one of Asia's most successful and internationally recognized actors. Leung has won the Hong Kong Film Awards five times, the Golden Horse Best Actor awards three times (in 1994, 2003, and 2007), and 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.

Leung is considered by many to be the finest actor of his generation in Hong Kong. Robert De Niro is an admirer of his work, he has been called Asia's answer to Clark Gable and was named by CNN as one of "Asia's 25 Greatest Actors of All Time".

Leung was a mischievous child and became very quiet and shy at the age of 8 after his father left the family. Due to financial difficulties, he quit his studies at 15 years old and worked in a variety of jobs, first as a grocer's runner at his uncle's shop, then a showroom salesman in a Hong Kong shopping center. Then, he met actor and comedian Stephen Chow who influenced his decision to become an actor and they remain good friends.

In 1982 he passed the training courses on television channel TVB. Due to his boyish looks, TVB cast him as host of a children's program, 430 Space Shuttle. Leung excelled and became popular for his comedic talents. In the 1980s, he was named as "Small Tiger" in TVB’s “Five Tigers”, a group of the five most popular actors along with Andy Lau, Felix Wong, Michael Miu, and Kent Tong.

Many consider Leung's role in director John Woo's 1992 action film Hard Boiled in which he co-starred with Chow Yun Fat, as his breakthrough role in the film. However, Leung first gained international exposure through Hou Hsiao Hsien's 1989 film A City of Sadness, which won the Venice Golden Lion.

Leung’s premier leading lady is the formidable Maggie Cheung, who started her career in TVB, around the same time as Leung, and played his love interest in his highly successful 1984 TV serial “Police Cadet”, (later named Police Cadet 84 to distinguish it from subsequent sequels). Since then, they have worked together on The Yang's Saga (1985), Days of Being Wild (1991), Ashes of Time (1994), In the Mood for Love (2000), Hero (2002), and 2046 (2004).

Interviewed by Wong Kar Wai, Leung said that he considered Maggie to be his alter ego. "Maggie is a truly formidable partner - one to waltz with. We do not spend a lot of time with each other, as we like to keep some mystery between us. Whenever I see her, I discover something new about her".

Leung often collaborates with renowned director Wong Kar Wai and has appeared in many of his film, notably Chungking Express (1994), Happy Together (1997), In the Mood for Love (2000),

Leung also has an on-and-off Cantopop and Mandarin pop singing career and sang the theme song of Infernal Affairs with Andy Lau.

Leung speaks flawless English and is well-read and well-versed in historical issues. During the late 1990s, some predicted that it would be difficult for him to break into Hollywood since he would not take on degrading roles because of his pride and character. He made his Hollywood debut in 2021 in the movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

In addition to Cantonese, English, and Spanish, Leung is also able to speak Mandarin (accented) and some Japanese (as heard in Tokyo Raiders). Lust Caution is the first film where he has a Mandarin-speaking role in which he used his own voice. (The first one was actually Hero, but his voice was dubbed over by someone else).

During the promotion of the film Hero, some politicians and commentators in Hong Kong attacked Leung for expressing the view that the Tiananmen Square demonstration crackdown was necessary to maintain stability. Under constant political pressure and boycott threats, Leung made a single statement that he may have been quoted out of context but refused to retract his statement in the magazine. However, the movie magazine editor maintained that the original statement was not out of context and challenged people to read the complete interview.

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