VENICE — Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Chiu-wai received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday, wiping away tears as he received a long standing ovation.
“It’s like a dream come true,” Leung told Reuters TV.
Leung gained international recognition for his roles in films directed by Wong Kar-wai, such as “In the Mood for Love”, released in 2000, and “2046”, which hit screens four years later.
He also appeared in a trio of films that won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival: “A City of Sadness” (1989), “Cyclo” (1995) and “Lust, Caution” (2007), made by Ang Lee, who presented him with his award on Saturday.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the ceremony, Leung, 61, said acting has helped him become less shy. “I used to suppress all inner feelings. I didn’t show all my feelings in front of others,” he said.
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He also talked about his upcoming projects, including the Hong Kong crime thriller “The Goldfinger,” which will be released at the end of the year and will reunite him with Andy Lau, his co-star of the 2002 hit “Infernal Affairs.”
On this occasion, Leung played the hero, while Lau was the villain. This time, their roles are reversed. “I think it’s very difficult for me to play the bad guy,” he told reporters.
Another major challenge, Leung said he was about to direct his first European film, “Silent Friend”, directed by Hungarian Ildikó Enyedi.
“I plan to spend about eight months (preparing for it) because I play a neuroscientist. I have no idea what neuroscience is. So I have to read a lot of books and do a lot of university trips,” he said.
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