Tony Leung Chiu-wai

Tony Leung Chiu-wai is a Hong Kong actor and singer. He is considered one of Asia's most successful and internationally recognised actors and was named as "Small Tiger" among Five Tiger Generals of TVB. He has won 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 widely considered the best native Hong Kong actor of his generation. He was named by CNN as one of "Asia's 25 Greatest Actors of All Time".
Leung is known for his collaborations with director Wong Kar-wai, with whom he has worked in seven films including Chungking Express, Happy Together, In the Mood for Love, and The Grandmaster. He also appeared in three Venice Film Festival Golden Lion-winning films, including A City of Sadness, Cyclo and Lust, Caution, directed by Ang Lee. Leung also stars in the Academy Award-nominated film Hero, and the box office hits Hard Boiled and Infernal Affairs. Leung was cast as the Mandarin in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and will appear in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
For In the Mood for Love, Leung earned the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival. He is also a seven-time winner at the Hong Kong Film Awards and three-time winner at the Golden Horse Film Awards, holding the record for most awards in the Best Actor category. The 2002 book East Asian Film Stars describes Leung as "undoubtedly one of the most successful and widely-acclaimed Hong Kong actors of his generation, with a broad and diverse filmography."

Early life

Leung was born in Hong Kong. Leung's early childhood was punctuated with parents' quarrels and arguments about money. A mischievous boy in his early years, Leung's personality changed when his father, a chronic gambler, left the family when he was eight; he and his younger sister were brought up by their mother.
Leung was a reticent, quiet child. He has said that his childhood experiences paved the way for his acting career, which allows him to openly express his feelings:
Leung went to private school, but he quit at the age of 15 due to financial difficulties. He was a well-behaved teenager who was very close to his mother. During an interview on the making of Hero, he says that he sees his mother as his definition of a "hero" for having brought up two children alone.

Television career

After quitting his studies, Leung 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 centre. Around the age of 16 he met future actor and comedian Stephen Chow who influenced his decision to become an actor and remains a good friend.
In 1982, he passed the training courses of television channel TVB. Due to his boyish looks, TVB cast him as host of a children's programme, 430 Space Shuttle. Leung enjoyed comedies during his television years; it was for these he became well known. So, in the 1980s, he was named as one of "TVB's Five Tigers" along with Andy Lau, Felix Wong, Michael Miu and Kent Tong. Leung starred in the highly successful Police Cadet TV serial in 1984.
He played an outgoing young man who decides to become a police officer; Maggie Cheung, who also started her career at the same time, played a shy bookworm, Leung's upstairs neighbour and love interest. Since then they have worked together on The Yang's Saga, Days of Being Wild, The Eagle Shooting Heroes, Ashes of Time, In the Mood for Love, Hero, and 2046.
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".

Film career

Many consider Leung's role in director John Woo's 1992 action film Hard Boiled, in which he co-starred with Chow Yun-fat, to be his breakthrough role. However, Leung first received international attention in Hou Hsiao-hsien's 1989 film A City of Sadness, which won the Venice Golden Lion.
Leung often collaborates with director Wong Kar-wai and has appeared in many of his films. His most notable roles include the lonely policeman in Chungking Express, a gay Chinese expatriate living in Argentina in Happy Together, and a self-controlled victim of adultery in In the Mood for Love for which he won the Best Actor award at Cannes. He trained in wing chun for five years to prepare for his role as Ip Man in Wong's The Grandmaster. He is considered by many to be one of the finest actors of his generation in Hong Kong. Robert De Niro and Brad Pitt are admirers of his work, and Leung has been labeled by The Times as Asia's answer to Clark Gable.
Leung also has an on-and-off Cantopop and Mandarin pop singing career and sang the theme song of Infernal Affairs with Andy Lau.
In addition to Cantonese, English, and Spanish, Leung speaks Mandarin and some Japanese. Lust Caution is the first film where he has a Mandarin-speaking role in which he used his own voice.
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.
In 2014 he was selected as a member of the jury for the 64th Berlin International Film Festival.
During the late 1990s, Leung found it difficult to break into Hollywood since he would not take any roles that would degrade his character and image in Hong Kong. Eventually in 2005, he signed with an American agent with the intention to finally appear in a Hollywood film. On July 20, 2019, it was announced that Leung was cast to play The Mandarin in the Marvel Studios film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, marking his Hollywood debut.

Personal life

Relationship and marriage with Carina Lau

Tony Leung and Carina Lau are one of Hong Kong's biggest celebrity couples. They dated for 19 years before marrying in Bhutan in 2008. They had known each other since The Replica in 1984, and worked on-screen together in Replica, Duke of Mount Deer, Police Cadet, The Yangs' Saga, Days of Being Wild, He ain't heavy, he's my father, Ashes of Time, and 2046.
In 1990, during the filming of Days of Being Wild, Lau was abducted for several hours. Wong Kar-wai said, "Originally, there were plans for Days of Being Wild I and II, and the sequence featuring Leung was meant to be the opening scene of the second movie. But two things happened, one of which was that Days of Being Wild didn't do well in Hong Kong, so the producers said, "No Part 2." The other reason was Carina Lau's kidnapping.
On 21 July 2008, the couple got married in Bhutan in royal fashion. The wedding created a media frenzy in Hong Kong, with companies spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to pursue the wedding party.
According to Ming Pao Daily News, Faye Wong and her husband actor Li Yapeng had taken them to India in 2007 to visit the 17th Karmapa. The Karmapa's counsel helped them to resolve a crisis in their relationship, and he also suggested Bhutan as a wedding venue.


Tony Leung is a Buddhist. He has donated to constructions of Buddhist institutions, performing a marriage in a Buddhist ceremony, attending Buddhist gatherings and doing the Buddhist palm greetings.



1983Mad, Mad 83
1985Young CopsLeung Siu-bo
1985Fascinating Affairs
1986The LunaticsDoggie
1986Love Unto WasteTony CheungNominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
1986You Will I Will
1987People's HeroSaiHong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
1987Happy Go Lucky
1988I Love MariaChong Chi-keung
1989My Heart is that Eternal RoseCheungHong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
1989A City of SadnessWen Ching
1989Seven Warriors
1989Two Painters
1990Bullet in the HeadBen / Ah B
1990The Royal Scoundrelbeach boy
1991The BanquetWai Jai
1991A Chinese Ghost Story IIILittle Monk Sap-fong
1991Days of Being WildPat-cheung
1991Don't Fool MeChiang Ho-chie
1991Fantasy RomanceStupid Shing
1991Great PretendersSnake Wai
1991The TigersTau-pi
1992Come Fly the DragonMiu Wai-man
1992The Days of Being DumbFei
1992Hard BoiledAlan Kong LeungNominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
1992Lucky EncounterWai
1993Butterfly and SwordMang Sing-wan
1993He Ain't Heavy, He's My FatherChor Yuen
1993The Eagle Shooting HeroesAu-yeung Fung
1993End of the RoadFan Lung
1993Hero – Beyond the Boundary of TimeWai Siu-bo
1993The Magic CraneMa Kwan-mo
1993Three SummersWai
1993Tom, Dick and HairyChan Dai-man
1993Two of a KindLam Dai-chi
1994Always Be the WinnersThird Master Sha
1994Ashes of TimeBlind Swordsman
1994Chungking ExpressCop 633Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
Golden Horse Award for Best Actor
1994The ReturningChung
1995Mack the KnifeDoctor Mack Lau
1995Heaven Can't WaitWong Dai-fung
1996Blind RomanceWing
1996War of the UnderworldHung Fei
199797 Aces Go PlacesCui Qiang
1997Chinese Midnight ExpressChing On
1997Happy TogetherLai Yiu-faiHong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
Golden Bauhinia Award for Best Actor
1998Flowers of ShanghaiWang Lianshang
1998The Longest NiteInspector SamNominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
1998Timeless RomanceLau Yat-lo
1998Your Place or MineCheung Suk-wai
2000Healing HeartsLawrence
2000In the Mood for LoveChow Mo-wanNominated—Golden Horse Award for Best Actor
Cannes Film Festival for Best Actor
Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
2000Tokyo RaidersLin
2001Fighting for LoveTung Choi
2001Love Me, Love My MoneyRichard "Bastard" Ma
2002Chinese Odyssey 2002Li Yilong
2002Infernal AffairsChan Wing-yanHong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
Golden Horse Award for Best Actor
Golden Bauhinia Award for Best Actor
2002HeroBroken Sword
2003Infernal Affairs IIIChan Wing-yan
2003My Lucky StarLai liu po
2003Sound of ColorsHo Yuk-ming
2004Super ModelCameo
20042046Chow Mo-wanHong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
Golden Bauhinia Award for Best Actor
Hong Kong Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Golden Horse Award for Best Actor
2005Seoul RaidersAgent Lam
2006Confession of PainDetective Lau Ching-heiNominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
2007Lust, CautionMr. YeeGolden Horse Award for Best Actor
Asian Film Awards for Best Actor
2008Red Cliff: Part 1Zhou YuNominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
2009Red Cliff: Part 2Zhou Yu
2009Ashes of Time ReduxBlind Swordsman
2011The Great MagicianChang Hsien
2012The Silent WarHe BingNominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
2013The GrandmasterIp ManNominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Golden Horse Award for Best Actor
20131905Yan YunlongProduction cancelled February 2013
2016Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I WaitDeer / Serene Mask
2016See You TomorrowChen Mo
2018Monster Hunt 2Tu Sigu
2018Europe RaidersMr Lin
2019Theory of AmbitionsNam Kong
2021Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten RingsMandarinFilming