Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tony Leung is all fight these days as he gets ready for his role as Bruce Lee’s teacher.

HONG Kong actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai may have just gotten married, but instead of basking in newly-wedded bliss, his recent preoccupation has been with fighting.

Tony Leung Chiu Wai

At a press conference with some 300 Chinese and Asia-Pacific media members to launch Montblanc’s latest luxury chronograph watch on Nov 7, the multi-award-winning actor said he has been pulling eight-hour days working out for his role as Bruce Lee’s martial arts teacher.

Grandmaster Yip Man popularised the Wing Chun style of gongfu, and his biopic by director Wong Kar Wai will begin filming next autumn.

Leung, 46, added in Mandarin: “Making an action film requires you to have a certain physique, so I have to at least convince myself that I am a very good fighter.”

Asked why pre-production for the film has dragged on for about six years, the actor, who is Wong’s favourite leading man and firm friend, said: “Each time we wanted to start doing it, I was committed to another role. But now, I’ve stopped taking on new films, turning down some 10 projects. I want to concentrate on this.”Looking dapper in a black leather jacket-and-tie ensemble, he answered previously screened questions posed by an emcee onstage with his usual quiet serenity.

But Hong Kong’s tabloid writers perked up when the actor stated innocuously that he was planning to go on a ski holiday with friends later this year.

Scribes later interpreted this as a sign that his actress wife Carina Lau was not pregnant as previously rumoured.

The self-confessed perfectionist modestly said he does not feel he has made any masterpieces in his career.

However, he does not mind being a producer of or endorsing works by young, emerging talent.

But there is a caveat.

“Being an actor takes a lifetime. You can’t do everything at once,” he said.

Also present at the event was South Korean pop idol Rain, who was dressed in a grey suit and T-shirt, and sporting a sleek red hairdo.

In a separate chat through an interpreter, the lanky singer-actor, 26, told the emcee that he would buy a watch like Montblanc’s latest model to reward himself for working so hard, adding that he spent most of his time attending meetings.

When pressed, he admitted he would also get it for his fiancee – if he has one.

His ideal woman? “I like girls who are kawaii-style (cute in Japanese), innocent and pure.” – The Straits Times, Singapore / Asia News Network

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