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LATEST NEWS OF ANDY LAU

18/4 @ 1500HRS
SOUECE: SINA.COM
TITLE: ANDY QUITE INTOLERABLE WITH HEIGHTS

The alternating hot & cold weather at Xie is taking a toll on the crew. It can be scorching hot at one moment & snowy chill the next. The first 2 days after arrival Andy has been shooting in the open. On the fist day(15/4), staying at the VIP room at the 4th floor, he was high spirited, smiling & greeting all on the way. On the 2nd day(16/4), he set off at 7 am & was not back till sun set. He was speeding with Rene in a BMW on the road. He did not forget to pose for the onlookers who cheered him on.

After a whole day of shooting, he lamented, "Previously I could shoot action scenes the whole day without feeling tired, now I get a bit breathless." One witness told the reporter that the doctor on duty for the set secretly 'disappeared' into Andy's room last night (17/4) & did not leave till 1 + am .


DATE: 18 Apr 04
SOURCE: SINA.COM/WEN WEI PO/ TITLE: ANDY BLESSED IN FILMING A CAR SPEEDING SCENE

[news as reported yesterday]
….When Andy was contacted thro phone, he calmly reassured all that he is fine & needs no worry. He explained that the soil on both sides of the road was loose & he was not not aware of it, actually he was not at high speed. When he braked the car, it suddenly charged to the muddy puddle. 20 over men helped the car up & he drove it back to the starting point.

He said he get along v well with Feng Xiao Gang, this is their first cooperation. They shoot mostly outdoor scenes these days. There are onlookers every where, it is like watching a big show!

The most interesting being when the locals heard abt his arrival, they try their best to take a look of him. When they meet one another everyday, the first word will be, "Have u seen Andy Lau ?" Andy laughed, "Really ? haha, I have become their greeting words? V happy they dote on me so much. Though they are v far away, I still wave to them. They come to see me from afar, v tiring for them!"

The shooting is held under secrecy, the director declined media visit. Mainland media could only view from far, photo taken from 2 km away. Some reporters stationed at the hotel Andy stays.

Andy said he is used to the high altitude. He has taken some medication.

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[Part VI , AS NARRATED BY ANDY]

SOURCE: THE SUN
TITLE: KEEP FIT A LIFE TIME, WILL NEVER BE LAX

The people around me always ask me how I can keep myself so fit. Previously I had really employed an instructor home to teach me how to keep fit. But now I do not need them any more, The main exercise I have is bolwing. But when I am home watching TV I will lift dumbbells.

Don't think I am thin, earlier on I had high cholesterol, nowadays I watch my diet strictly, even my most fave roasted pork I hardly take. I try to control my diet, as I don't wish the cholesterol to be high again ! Nowadays I am used to eating yogurt mixed with cereals or dried fruits as a main meal. I seldom take tidbits. The most I take is a few peanuts. Usually after having taken my breakfast, I wont eat again. I must have breakfast, & eat till full. At night my meal is usually v simple due to work. I become full easily. Maybe just a soup will make me full. As for supper, I dont take, unless I have to film throughout the night. The most I take is some dumplings.

Actually keeping fit is a life long process, there shd be no lax. Once lax the whole effect is gone to waste, but also must not push ownself to the limit, so sometimes I too have a good meal. If one needs to do a thing painfully, it will be only failure.

As for my skin, actually I seldom take care & don't do facial. I feel that as long as one is cheerful, naturally the look is younger. I am also not sure if there is special predisposition, if I don't sleep I look energetic, if I sleep enough I look swollen , I don't know why, maybe I am born to be in this line !


NEWS AS @ 0825 17/4
SOURCE: SINA.COM
TITLE: ANDY SAFE & SOUND AFTER CAR ACCIDENT

After Andy had arrived @ Xia He 2 nights ago, he suggested to the director that he would like to have a praying session before shooting. The director immediately got someone to look into it. Andy went early to pray so as not to affect filming schedule.

At 7 am this morning, Andy said his prayer at a temple.

The media has been calling Andy & Rene Husband & Wife Thief but actually they are a pair of vagrant lovers in the movie with a touching story. Rene commented that Andy is a v good person, v easy to work with & unexpectedly taking v good care of others. The reporter noted from far that Andy after every take, will smile to indicate his satisfaction.

Andy's look is as in movie, a vagrant. Thia am he wears a red casual woolies, with zip open near to the navel. He wears a white inner wear, spots a pair of casual coffee-colored long pants, & a pair of big brown shoes.

The most characteristic is his hair, colored reddish yellow, loosely hang till his nape. There is an agreement that he is not to expose his hair in public. Other than shooting he has to wear a cap & at all photos take he has to be in cap.

The shooting this morning is abt the couple after successfully cheated a BMW from another couple, vrooms the car abt in openness.

The first take was within 30 m. Andy completed 4 rounds with Rene in the car cheering. After getting down the car, Rene pretended to box Andy. The director opened the car door for Andy & commented, 'Good, V good¡I" Andys speeding was praised by the set.

The 2nd take was taken from a distance, Andy drove the car from a hilly area to the camera. Both of them in the car appeared to be excited. This was done easily.

Andy took a rest after this, when the reporter who sneaked in waved to Andy, he replied with smiles & waving. It caused a stir.

In the 3rd scene, before take, the director explained to Andy abt the take by the side, Andy listened attentively & nodded all the time. Before the take, he told Rene to get down the car, & said he would like to try out first. He reversed the car rapidly 100 m away, then he accelerated forward. Unexpectedly, the car No BA 3636 veered suddenly to the side & landed onto a drain.

All people rushed frantically to the site, Andy was seen coming out from the car, looking puzzled, & told everybody he is fine. The car was pulled out of the drain soon. Andy insisted on driving the car to the camera. The car plate was smashed to half, one side of the lamp was smashed too. The mud guard was mangled.

The crew covered up the story by saying the accident was part of the movie.

Andy who had said his prayer was blessed, without any injury.


DATE: 17 APR 04
SOURCE: APPLE DAILY/SING PAO
TITLE: ANDY ARRIVED IN GANSU, FEMALE FANS CRIED

[news as reported below]
?.Though shooting lasts less than a month, it helps to boost the local economy, as the director has rented 30 motorbikes, each cost 100rmb a day, 20 vans each 250rmb a day for 4 days, as props. Renting vehicle alone is close to 10,000 rmb.

In addition, 4th Mandarin Movie Media Award online voting has so far shows Andy leads far ahead of the rest in the Most Popular HK Actor category.

SOURCE: O D

Another movie ‘Help?has taken the place of Jiang Hu to be screened during the golden slot of May 1. It is expected to reap in good box office.

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[Part V , AS NARRATED BY ANDY]

SOURCE: THE SUN DATED 15/4
TITLE: SELFLESS SUPPORT AKIN CLOSE KINS

How come I can take my fans just like my family members? This is because like my family members, they are very nice to me, for years they have been supporting me, selflessly without any condition. They do not have to be good to me, but they never calculate the returns, how can I not good to them .

My relationship with them is like a family. When I have time I invite them for tea, or bowling, I hold no secret with them, If there is anything they are unhappy with me, they will tell me directly. If there is anything I don’t wish to do, I will tell them directly. Such as I do not like them to wait for me in the middle of the night at my place, or wait for me at the place I work the most. As by doing so they may disturb my neighbors, but most importantly is safety, few girls walking abt on the road in the middle of the night is v dangerous! After talking to them they listen to me.

But sometimes I have disagreement with fans. Once in Taiwan, the fans held a Bday celebration party for me, but it rained as soon as it started. It ended early. When a friend invited me to dinner later, seeing the few fans who organised the BBQ had a tough time, I invited them along. But 10 over fans complained that I was partial. One brought along her collection of many yrs, photos, came to the restaurant & tore them up. I was embarrassed. I did not understand why did not understand me, I walked out & quarrelled with them, told them to leave right away! At that moment I was v sad. After a few yrs, she wrote to me to apologize, of course I have forgiven her.

I am impartial to fans from all the countries. It used to be fans coming from overseas to HK to see me, I do not wish to see them spending so much money, so if I go to any where to do work, I will go a day or two early, or come back later, to have time to meet them. This is killing 2 birds. All these yrs, the fans have given me too much, so I must do even better, continue to work so as to be ‘u are the pride of my life.

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[Part VI , AS NARRATED BY ANDY]

SOURCE: THE SUN DATED 16/4

Why do I like bowling so much ?I feel bowling can train ones thinking ability, it is challenging. I like to involve in activities that challenge the brain. Iin bowling one has to remain cool, absolutely cannot be quick-tempered. The moment one is in a hurry, there will be mistakes. Also one cannot rush, it will make one lose the direction, & go to the drain easily. The longer I bowl, the more I feel bowling is like our life , if u wish to be successful, you have to use the correct method, in any problems u face, u have to maintain your calm. For example when u meet a difficult game, if u play blindly, what u get is zero.

To bowl well, it is not as easy as one think, The ball is so big, the pins so small, many people think they can hit easily, but without their knowing it can go to the gutter. Bowling is not to bowl blindly, nor using force alone, & it does not mean by aiming at the center pin one will sure win. The ball may not roll in straight line ahead, it can turn left or right.

I remember when I first play, as I play I felt embarrassed, I kept asking myself, It is just impossible, such a big ball, why it hit only a few pins ? Later I realize it is not necessary to hit the center, but go from the side to get higher points.

I remember once a friend told me during bowling, When I talk to u, u listen, but after listening u don’t understand, ok lah! When u understand, u wont do, when u do u made mistake, when u made mistake u wont admit. when u admit u wont change, when u change u wont agree, when u don’t agree u wont say! Later then I realize these words are excellent, I applause, I use the lines in Jiang Hu to scorn Jacky.

Bowling is like life, no matter how talented if u use the wrong method, u will not succeed no matter how. Every time as I bowl, I think of many pilospphy of life. Bowling makes me understand, if one wishes to be successful, other than being diligent, one has to use the brain, whether in study, or looking for directions, must know your good points, set the direction correct, with a cool mind it will be a full strike. Because of this reason, I especially like bowling !

[To be continued]


16/4 @ 1600 HRS
SOURCE: ENT.SINA.COM.CN

On Apr 15 noon time, Andy arrived at Zhong Chuan airport in Gan Shu. After dodging the pursuit of media & fans, he was whisked off to shooting location of No Thief On Earth in Xia He.

The reporters had staked out at the airport last 3 days. At 11am, 2 cars were ready standing by, with 10 over staff waiting to receive him, there were also fans & some police to maintain order. At 1150 am he appeared at the VIP lounge. He coffee-color hat was hung low, collar of his short black jacket pulled high. He looked energetic, greeting all with his signature warm smile.

His presence was like fire raging in the airport. Many fans screamed his name, this made him v happy. He caught hold of a book from a fan wanting to autograph, but he was immediately pushed into the car, as the workers were worried abt safety. Before he got in, he apologetically shook the fan's hand. Though she did not get his signature, she was so touched that she cried.

The car was heavily veiled. His time at the airport was estimated to be abt 30 sec. No fans could get near him, 2 female fans cried.

To get a glimpse of Andy, the reporters chased him for 55 km, combed through Lan Zhou but failed to locate him. It was said he went straight to location, without stopping at Lan Zhou.

Rene Liu had arrived a day earlier & had completed a scene of her praying in front of a temple.

As soon as Andy arrived, the workers at the resort all went after him. He was smiling as usual & greeted everyone. "Wow, so handsome, more handsome than on TV," one waitress enthused to the others. A manager after a short hand shake with Andy was so excited that he kept calling his friends & told them he had shook his hand.

At 8 pm that night, after checking into Lima holiday resort VIP room, he was never out again. Outside the VIP room were 4 policemen keeping guard all the time. No one can get a step closer. At 830pm, a man disappeared into his room 406. This person was non other than the director Feng Xiao Gang. Of course nobody knew what was said. Feng stayed for only half an hr. The chef sent food to Andy's room. it was a simple meal of noodle & dumpling.

At 910 pm, Andy went downstairs to try out screen look.

Though the crew has been in the resort for a week, everything was quite, now it is bustling all because of arrival of Andy.

Li Bing Bing after arriving from Beijing, was not able to get use to the high altitude. The screen look testing was postponed.

Most of the shooting will begin officially after Apr 18. The situation here is unfavourable to shooting, the actors wont be staying long . Andy will have 5 to 7 days of work schedule. The set will move to Beijing at the end of the month.

The resort is strict with visitors, & forbids entry of non related persons. There are 2 delux rooms, Rene & Li Bing2 stay in 280 rmb room, the 2 VIP room of 666rmb is reserved one for Andy. The director & his wife stay in an ordinary room.


DATE: 16 APR 04
SOURCE: APPLE DAILY/THE SUN/MING PAO
TITLE: SHAWN CHOPPING ANDY ON THE STREET

In the movie Jiang Hu, Andy & Jacky were sworn brothers of the gangland. Shawn Yu was Andy's follower & a nobody. But he believed that if he killed Andy he would be famous & took over his place.

During shooting at the West district High street, Shawn held a fruit knife chopping Andy, while Jacky was trying to stop him.

Shawn said the weather was v cold that night, there was artificial rain. At first they needed only to wet their face, but the after effect was not satisfactory, so they had artificial rain to wet the whole body. There were many NGs, as the ground was wet. Though trembling with cold, they had some fun playing with water.

****************************

[Part III , AS NARRATED BY ANDY]

SOURCE: THE SUN DATED 13/4
TITLE: ANDY & HIS FEMALE SCREEN PARTNERS

I had acted with so many female actors. If u ask me with whom I had the most tacit understanding ? I would say there were 3, namely Anita Mui, Rosumund Kwun & Josephine Ng. Actually there is no special reason to this, just so because we had acted many times together. The more nos of times, the better is the understanding. This is cultivated through time, really it is not possible within a day or two to develop. Other then these 3, working with Maggie Cheung, Cherie Cheung & Ida Chen also gave me unforgettable experience.

I remember when I was shooting Mongkok Ka Man with Maggie, there was a scene when the camera trained on her back, the light was from behind her, she was wearing a white skirt. Vaguely I could see the silhouette of her slim long legs, it set my heart a flutter, I felt she was so sexy.

In shooting intimate scene with the co actress is unavoidable. My most embarrassing incidence was my first time acting opposite Chou Sai Ren. When I first saw her, I was stunned by her beauty & felt she was so sexy. The director asked me to bite her hand. I was so scared, my mouth was trembling, so scared that I was breathless. After shooting I was dazed & afraid. Director Ann Hui told me the tape was lost & needed to do a retake. I pleaded with her, "Please don't force me, I wont do again I am really scared, don't shoot again!" Later then I knew she was pulling my leg.

Recently I had an opportunity to shoot J H with Josephine, it was like a get-together of old classmates. As for Jacky, after 10 over yrs we worked together again, maybe because he is already a father, he has life experiences. He is more matured now, his acting is hot! Am I afraid that he will steal the show in this movie ? That is what I hope for , that he will steal the show. He had filmed v few movies these yrs, it is only natural to focus attention on him. So it does not really matter. I wont mind, my only concern is if this is a good movie! I know Jacky for a longer period of time, we can chat on anything, even on the Filippino maid at home. But with LL I am not too familiar, so during working we talk on the movie & script.

****************************

[Part IV , NARRATED BY ANDY]

SOURCE: THE SUN DATED 14/4
TITLE: BETRYED BY OTHERS ANDY INSISTS ON STUPID LOYALTY

The number of friends around Andy is countless. But he did not denied being betrayed by the so-called friends & lost confidence. Weary-bodied, he was even teased by other friends for being dumb, this made him to think why not he be more selfish , so he would not get hurt again. But the final answer Andy stood by is still 'I wont be doing that!'

In & out of the circle, I have many good friends. But on friends, actually I am v passive, seldom I will call them up, usually it is the friends who call me. Why ? Because I am afraid being active to others is no good, or being too passionate, as I am afraid people will think I have a motive. But by being not active does not mean I am no good to my friends. Isnt it funny this idea of mine ?But I am such a person, real friend does not need to see everyday, even if we have not met for 10 yrs, we can still be buddies. As soon as there is a call there is a need, I will be all out to help, without any hesitation.

Even a greeting or a short message, after receiving I will feel so happy, so warm. But in my line, everyone is busy with own work, to have time is not easy, so here I wish to tell all my friends, All of u are in my heart, don't blame me for not calling you, actually I am always waiting for your call. But even if u don't call me, I will still remember you.

Some one asked me, Will there be people who just curry favor & get near to you ? I am really not sure abt this. But many people have said I am one of the few stupid person in the circle, I will get cheated day in day out. For a period of time, I begin to think is it true that in this world no one can be trusted ? Why when I took him as good friend, I trusted him fully, but finally it was not so. To my friend I really give out my whole heart. But I ask myself, is there anyone who can believe Andy Lau is actually a stupid person? I ever asked myself, how can I don't trsut people? But with my tolerance, my understanding, my compromise, even forgiveness, to my friends, finally I am the one who get hurt. Even so hurt ! Actually can I be a bit more selfish ? Don't be so silly to think only for others. But my final answer to myself is I wont not be doing that! As in the path of life, there is not only me, actually I am with all the othes, I can learn how to be together with others, how to be happy with others without being hurt.

I am sharing with all these notes I read from In Conversation With God: 5 path to truths: Tell the truth abt yourself to your own self
Then tell to yourself, the truth abt the others
then tell others the truth abt youself
then tell others the truth abt the others,
then finally tell all the truth & only truth.
V difficult, but I will try! I wish all my friends happiness, & hopes all my friends are true !

[To be continued]


15/4 @ 1600HRS
SOURCE: NEXT MAGAZINE #736


DATE: 15 APR 04
SOURCE: HKCD/SING PAO/APPLE DAILY/OD

2 nights ago after shooting Johnnie's movie, Andy went to attend the premiere of the charity movie, No Regrets In Medicine. The movie helps to raise fund for Ren Ji Hosp. His god-daughter , Ellis Teng, is one of the actors. The sudden appearance of Andy delighted Teng, as she did not know he would come. She said she is satisfied with her acting, but compared to Andy she is miles apart. She takes Andy as role model , if she can achieve half of what he is, she will be satisfied.

Andy did not enter the cinema as he still has work to do. He will watch the vcd when he has the time. He quipped he is a strict teacher & a good friend, he can be playful but if he sees faults in the newbies work, he will tell them & encourage them to work hard.

SOURCE: SING TAO

In House Of Flying Daggers Zhang Ziyi acted as the daughter of Flying Dagger sect head. To take revenge of her husband, she disguised as a song stress in a tavern. In a dancing scene, she was dressed in a low cut blue costume with her shoulder exposed. She who had come from a dance school had no problem in putting up a good show.

As the script is held at top secrecy, there are many versions to the ending. In one version it was said she loved Andy initially but turned to love Takashi. This made Andy changed from love to hate & wanted to kill them both. The ending was Zhang died in the arms of Takashi.

SOURCE: HKCD

…Stephen Feng 2nd movie as director, The 5th Element, is on the way. The female role will be played by Milla & Karen Mok, while Andy will be cast as the male lead, if he agrees. Stephen is willing to comprimise the script for Andy. He said since young he is a loyal follower of Andy, even bought his photos. He entered the circle as inspired by Andy. He is ever ready to work with him.

In an interview by America media recently, Andy indicated he will not just because of entering Hollywood & act in a loose role or one that only knows how to fight. Actually he continues to receive script from Hollywood, but none can move him. He also feels that Hollywood does not respect Chinese actor enough, he even ask those Chinese who venture out in Hollywood if they respect Chinese movies.

IA was bought by Warner & will be screened in America. Andy does not harbor high hope. Shaolin Soccer & Hero face difficulties to screen in America, Andy lamented, "Why must our movies be distributed by a big co, finally it cant even be out!" He stresses what he is doing now is not second to development in Hollywood. He believes there is still discrimination in the market. Once he was invited to star in a movie (later replaced by Zhun Long) he requested a scene to be snipped, but the co tell him he was a nobody & refused to do it.

He feels that his fans can accept his role as a homosexual. On the mutli development of HK artistes, Andy said though his work is a lot, he wont compromise quality.

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[Part II , NARRATED BY ANDY]

SOURCE: THE SUN DATED 12/4
TITLE: FILMED ROK DURING SARS PEAK PERIOD

Running On Karma received many good reviews from outsiders. Fist of all I wish to thank everybody for the kind love. Many people asked me if I feel I had a big breakthrough in this movie. I feel this is not considered as a breakthrough, this is just an accumulation of marks, right from my first movie till now, they are accumulated drop by drop every day, the experiences accumulated give me the result today.

If u insist on saying that it is a breakthrough, I would say the big breakthrough was on stamina, as wearing few tens of lbs of bodysuit running about is hard, on top of having to do action scenes. There was a scene that I had to run a whole street. After shooting, my face was pale, my lips were bluish, I thought I would die. Finally after a 10-min rest to get back my breath I could continue. The muscle coat was really stuffy & hot, that type of suffering, I don't think anyone can understand or feel it. I kept telling myself I must not lose my temper. It trained up my tolerance. & endurance. Other than physical torture, the movie gave me a lot of mental stress. This was because during shooting, it was at the peak of SARS outbreak. At work everyday, everyone wore a mask. When I was home after shooting, at the door as I entered, I took off all my clothes, & bags, leaving only my underwear on, & left them there.

After entering the house I bathed immediately, then I sterilized myself thoroughly. After having done all, on the second day I wore a pair of gloves, I took the clothes left at the door to the washing machine & used sterilizing liquid to wash. The reason why I am doing it was so that I wont bring back SARS to my parents.

Sometimes when filming carried on till midnight, I was so worried that I wanted to stay in a hotel, I didn't feel like going home. Even when I went home, I wont let my parents come over to my side. When one of the foreign make-up artiste had fever suddenly, I was v worried, luckily it was a false alarm !

As to if the movie has some drawbacks, I feel that it was conservative, Haha ! Whenever I needed to shoot naked, I felt so uneasy, but it was only a fake body, not I myself who didn't wear clothes, but still I felt like it was I who was naked in front of others. Truly speaking at first I was v embarrassed, but after sometime I got used to it, Later during shooting of body building contest & walking naked on the street, I felt more at ease & natural !

[To be continued]


14/4 1815 HRS
SOURCE: TIME ASIA MAGAZINE
TITLE: THE RULE OF LAU

Hong Kong's "Heavenly King" Andy Lau is determined to show his big-league acting skills in House of Flying Daggers, A film by Famed director Zhang Yimou

BY NEIL GOUGH | TEA MOUNTAIN

Andy Lau, it turns out, is a lot like the rest of us. O.K., we don't have movie-idol looks and we don't make millions from crooning insipid love ballads to panting female audiences. But for a long time the iconic Canto-pop star saw his job in the same way most of us see ours: as a soul-deadening grind. Going back two decades, when he was starting in television, or to the mid-'80s, after he made his big leap into films, Lau was dogged by a sensation that he was sleepwalking through his performances. "In any movie," he says, "you showed your handsome face, maybe stood there in a smart pose, and that's it, that was enough. The hard part was already done."

He doesn't feel that way now. Four months into the shooting of the latest epic by mainland Chinese director and three-time Oscar nominee Zhang Yimou, the Hong Konger is finally discovering there's more to movie stardom than just showing up. "Sing more and you get better," Lau says. "Fight more and you get better ... But acting is hard."

That's an oddly belated revelation for a man who has logged more than 120 films in 22 years in the business, all the while maintaining a singing career that has kept him at the top of Hong Kong's fickle Canto-pop world. But at age 42, Lau is only just beginning to savor the challenges of his acting vocation. He is reshaping his career without the safely rounded edges of his leading-man persona, taking on riskier and more complex character roles such as the tightly wound triad spy he played in the hit Infernal Affairs trilogy. He'll even tackle subordinate parts if he thinks they are enough of a stretch. It's paying off. Last week, he won the Best Actor trophy at the 23rd Hong Kong Film Awards for his performance as a conflicted monk in a beefcake bodysuit in Running on Karma. In accepting the honor, Lau took the stage and proclaimed: "I love the film industry!" At last, he's developing a sense of his own worth. "The people who work in this business just classify me as an idol," he says. "But never mind. I am an artist."

Lau's more serious approach helps to explain why Zhang cast him for the role of an imperial guard with a serious Machiavellian streak, in his latest movie, House of Flying Daggers, which is scheduled for release this summer. Shot on a budget of about $20 million, Daggers is set in China's Tang dynasty (A.D. 618-906) and follows the loves, loyalties and betrayals between imperial rulers and members of an underground martial-arts society. Expectations are high: Zhang's 2002 film Hero earned an Oscar nomination and broke mainland box-office records for a Chinese movie by raking in some $27 million. Daggers reunites several key players in that winning team: producer Bill Kong (who was also behind Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Hong Kong-based stunt director Tony Ching, and Australian visual-effects group Animal Logic, which dazzled in The Matrix.

Daggers adds something new to Zhang's successful formula: Canto-pop star power, courtesy of Lau. For a highbrow director like Zhang—who is racing to complete the film in time for Cannes next month—casting a pinup icon seems out of character. But he and Lau had been talking for a long time about working together. "Andy's a great actor," says Zhang. "He can cry on cue five takes in a row, which isn't easy—and he's improving."

In Daggers, Lau appears alongside a number of other formidable stars, including the waifish Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and one of the region's hottest properties, Taiwanese-Japanese heartthrob Takeshi Kaneshiro (Turn Left, Turn Right). But Lau, one of four Hong Kong entertainers known as the "heavenly Kings," has been around the longest and easily commands the most attention in Asia. During shooting at Tea Mountain in Chongqing in January, scores of fans from the nearby town assembled outside the lobby of the mountainside hotel. "They're waiting for Wah-Jai," said a blushing girl behind the front desk, referring to him by his Chinese nickname. Zhang Ziyi's manager, Ling Lucas, complained that the usually jaded film crew handed her notebooks and asked for her help in getting autographs. It wasn't Zhang Ziyi's they were after, but Lau's.

Still, in Daggers Lau's character plays second fiddle to Zhang Ziyi's blind brothel singer, whose affections he competes for against Kaneshiro in a bitter love triangle riddled with Shakespearean twists and aerial spin kicks. Lau was willing to accept less-than-top billing for a chance to work in a major mainland production—it's his first—with one of Asia's most honored directors. "In Hong Kong the camera is always moving," says Lau. The cinematic trick can distract an audience, providing cover for weak or halfhearted acting. "Zhang Yimou will put the camera on you and leave it there. And if you're good, you're good. And if you're not, well ..." A virgin to Oscar-class filmmaking, Lau says the project is both daunting and enticing: "People ask why I took the part since it's not the lead—it's just such a good character."

The son of a fire fighter, Lau grew up the fourth of six kids in a public-housing estate in Hong Kong's industrial Tai Po district. Today, he commands about $1 million per movie and averages three a year; in addition, he performs several concerts annually for about $125,000 a show, and he boasts a steady stream of lucrative fees for advertisements and endorsements. This level of success "is more than enough," says Lau, whom friends describe as traditional and who lives in a house next door to his father's in Kowloon. In his spare time, Lau practices magic tricks—he once levitated a woman onstage during a concert—or goes bowling. Indeed, he's so obsessive about bowling that his manager, Lee Siu-lan, once berated him for going two years without winning an award because he wasted too much time at the bowling alley. Lau shrugs it off, explaining that he likes the game's lack of ambiguity: "The pin is there, the ball is in your hand. If you can't hit the pin, it's your fault."

But the truth is, there's not much downtime for Lau these days. Since the filming of Daggers ended in January, he's already co-starred in a Hong Kong triad movie, Jiang Hu, which is set for release in the territory at the end of this month. He's also busy running his relaunched production and management company, Focus, after previous production efforts with several partners in the '90s bombed. "For 10 years we lost a lot of money," says Lau, who admits he has lost millions of dollars on poorly vetted projects. In 1996, he staked a small fortune on What a Wonderful Life, in which he played a terminally ill cancer patient who dies photographing an erupting volcano. "I really loved that movie," he says, "but the box office... ugh." Still, his track record improved considerably when he backed the critically acclaimed 1997 film Made in Hong Kong, which was directed by Fruit Chan.

Not satisfied with being an actor, singer and producer, Lau is currently in the scripting phase of a new movie that he's tipped to star in and—for the first time—direct. But this willingness to try out different aspects of the movie business doesn't mean his newfound seriousness about acting is likely to wane anytime soon. Kicked back in a red tracksuit in a hotel suite on Tea Mountain after a long day on the Daggers set, Lau makes it clear that he is more committed to acting than ever, even if that means taking on tough challenges. "I want to have a form that fits the times," he says, "so I just keep on changing—and that makes people feel I'm a hardworking guy trying to do my best." He is like most of us, after all.


DATE: 14 APR 04
SOURCE: APPLE DAILY
TITLE: LACKING IN RESPECT ANDY REFUSES TO SHOOT WESTERN MOVIES

In an American media interview yesterday, Andy stresses he will not follow the footsteps of the local contemporaries venturing into Hollywood. Said he, "Actually the respect given by the big Hollywood movie makers to the Chinese movie industry is little." He disclosed he had received many scripts from Hollywood before, but none could move him.

SOURCE: WEN WEI PO

In an interview by Times maz in Beijing, Zhang Yimou talked on his new movie House of Flying Daggers (The Lovers) (All Round Ambush).

This is his 2nd sword fighting movie. As he respects the traditional, the movie is to be a salute to gongfu movies. He hopes to film a modern story in a traditional way.

As to why he wanted to collaborate with Andy ? He answered Andy is a very good actor. Andy can cry continuously 5 times on the spot instantaneously. This is not easy. He is also forever progressing. He told me the last time he filmed a serious movie was 10 yr ago, this is a good chance for him.

On Anita's death, he said in this type of moive, they need one with the image of a Big sister, other than Anita, he wont compromise, no one could take her place, so they forwent the role.

On Oscars, he said he attended 2 times. he feels it is purely an American game, nothing much to do with him. It is American style & taste, he understands the resentment of European directors with Hollywood. They call it a poisoned sugar coat. Looking at the argument between new & old , he belonging to the 3rd party is an outsider. He feels that as movie makers of China, he has to do good his own movie, & protect own industry.

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SOURCE: THE SUN DATED 10/4
TITLE: SHOULDERING TONS OF PRESSURE FROM FRIENDS TO WIN

[PART I OF A REPORT BY THE SUN, AS NARRATTED BY ANDY TO THE REPORTERS]

Getting the Movie King award a second time, am I excited ? Actually I am as excited both times. I am a normal person, of course I am happy! The feeling is abt the same both times. How did I celebrate that night ? Haha, everyone saw I went to 3 celebration parties, everyone thought I had eaten to the full, actually that day I was on vegetarian diet, before 11pm I cannot take meat, after the celebration dinners, I had interviews. I could not drink too much, I drank only a little. When I reached home, my parents thought I had taken my dinner ! usually I don't take supper, when I was home, they did not keep any food for me, so I had to tell my asst to go Mongkok to buy fried gong-zai mee & congee home for me to eat ! This is the Movie King big meal !

Actually I have always adopted an easy-going attitude with awards, but outsiders always think I am one who desires the award a great deal. One of my friends asked me once, "Why is everybody thinking Andy Lau likes award so much ?" Actually it is because everyone hopes Andy to get the award. They place a lot of hopes on me, this indirectly shifts to me. Since there are too many people harboring such hopes on me, they think I am like that too?

Actually truly speaking, I do not give myself much pressure, in actual fact, I am v relax with it, there is win & lose in a contest, but if I don't get the award, friends & fans around me will be v disappointed . This feeling gives me a lot of pressure. They think I will be unhappy if I don't get the award. Really sometimes I am at a loss. Maybe I have to turn around & console them. Such in that night after G Bauhinia Awards, I did not get the Best Actor award, there were people who said I left the scene in a huff. Truelly there was no such thing, I had gone up the stage to take a gp photo, & congratulated Simon. After that then I walked slowly out from the back door, to rush to Johnnie To filming location, as I took 2 hrs leave to attend the awards.

When I went back to shooting, though Johnnie To's PTU won many awards, they did not celebrate. Everyone came to pat me on my shoulder, anxiously telling me, "Hua Zai, you sure can, I think u are better than him, I look up on you in HKFA!"

2 days later I learnt from the crew that actually that night Johnnie had prepared champagne, waiting for me to come back to celebrate with them . Not knowing I did not get it, they dared not celebrate, they thought it might hurt me. I was so touched on hearing this, I feel so sorry. Actually that night shd have celebrated with Johnnie, but because of me, it made everyone lost the interest, I really wish to tell all those who shows your love for me, Many thanks for loving me so much ! In my heart I am really v thankful to all for caring me so much. Since there are so many people loving me, how can I not be happy, one more award or one less award, it is not a matter !

Actually getting award is happiness for a day, the next day is another day of work. Life is like that, there is no stopping at the happy moment forever, everyday is a new day, old record must be forgotten, we must look forward !

[To Be continued]