CineAsia honors Tony Leung Chiu Wai as ‘Actor Extraordinaire’

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Tony Leung Chiu Wai will be honored as “Actor Extraordinaire” for 2013 at the CineAsia awards ceremony on Dec. 12 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center.

“It is a great honor to be able to single out Tony Leung for his excellence in performance, most notably in The Grandmaster,” stated Robert H. Sunshine, co-managing director of the annual convention. “His combination of continued critical acclaim and success at the box office makes him one of the most extraordinary actors of his time. He is considered to be the finest actor of his generation in Hong Kong.”

With a career that has spanned nearly three decades, Leung has reunited for the seventh time with acclaimed director Wong Kar-Wai on The Grandmaster, Hong Kong’s designee for the Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar. Asked about working with the director, Leung said, “Kar-Wai is very demanding. He challenges me. He is always pushing me to go deeper, to become that person. The Grandmaster took me in directions I never thought I was capable of. I like it.”

Leung first made his name in television and eventually transitioned to feature films. He was named best supporting actor for People's Hero (1987) and My Heart Is That Eternal Rose (1989) at the Hong Kong Film Awards.

Leung then began appearing in films by internationally renowned directors, including Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s A City of Sadness (1989) Tran Anh Hung’s Cyclo (1995), Zhang Yimou’s Hero (2002) and Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution (2007). He has received three nominations for Best Actor at the Venice International Film Festival, and both Cyclo and Lust, Caution received Golden Lion Awards there.

In the early ’90s, Leung starred in the box-office success Tom, Dick and Hairy, followed by He Ain't Heavy, He's My Father, Dr. Mack and Heaven Can't Wait. He moved on to lead roles in Wong Kar-Wai’s Chungking Express and Happy Together, both of which landed him Best Actor awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards. In addition, his work in Chungking Express earned him the best actor award from the Taiwan Golden Horse Awards. Wong Kar-Wai's international hit In the Mood for Love (2000) brought him another Best Actor award at the Hong Kong Film Awards and the Best Actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Leung had huge commercial and critical success with his roles in Infernal Affairs and Hero, two of the biggest Hong Kong movies ever. He received another Best Actor Award at the Hong Kong Film Awards for Infernal Affairs, a record fourth win in that category and his sixth statuette overall.

More recently, Leung has been seen in films such as The Wind Seeker, John Woo’s Red Cliff I and II, Confession of Pain, 2046 and Soul Raiders.