Andy Lau was interviewed by GQ magazine in Hong Kong’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Andy Lau and showbiz
GQ: What’s the difference between your current character when compared to when you just entered showbiz?
Andy (A): My temper improves. I tempt to lose my temper easily in the past, but it’s more direct, more of like revolutionary, I will say out whatever I’m not happy, it’s better now. I became a boss in 1991, then I found out its useless losing your temper for many things in this world.
GQ: Does your EQ improves with the experience in life?
A: Correct. I’m one of the luckier artist, when I go record program in Taiwan, actually they does not treat artists from Hong Kong well, all their program make a fool of us. Everyone should have a microphone when the recording starts, before the recording start, the compere will sit beside you and ask you random questions like about women, pointing at a woman and ask if you would call her at night, some questions can answer, some low standard question would you like? Actually they had already started recording but we knew nothing and being made a fool of ourselves, but that period is short, I’m more lucky.
GQ: More than 20 years in showbiz, when you started to have confidence and could control your own life?
A: I always feel that in this world, you can live with a million and also with a dollar, I feel that I can live with only a dollar, to have this mentality, everything would be back to normal, start all over again is possible. I said this in 1985, the Hong Kong papers publish it. Then I was put into cold storage and have no work, because I bought a house for my father and need to pay monthly installaments, my bank account only have $2000, that time I told myself, I’m a hair stylist previously, I feel that cutting hair could have a future too.
GQ: Is there an landmark that you feel that you’re successful?
In front of right and wrong, there were many times when you’re young feel matters of right and wrong, you could not say that it’s a mistake, but now I understand to learn to let it go.
GQ: Since when you understand this?
A: I understand this in 2000. I see it very clearly in the Internet. In the past, I would find the source, I could not find the source in the Internet, say bad things of you, that’s it, for no reasons. And I could not find out who said that. On the Internet, I can see that actually in this world there are many people, many things that you cannot control, the Internet brighten me up. I feel that the damage from Internet could be more damaging when compared to newspapers. Since I entered showbiz, everyone is afraid of the media, I feel that if they can destroy me with a sum of money, that means that I’m not good enough and have no stature.
GQ: For so many years, which person or which incident affected you the most?
A: It’s Jiang chairman. When I participated in the World 100 Chinese Interview in 1996, that’s the eve of 1997, I saw him for the first time and ask him what’s the future of Hong Kong when handed over to China? He then told me: “10 years ago you said that you are a Chinese, you would be embrassed. Do you feel better now? 10 years later, you need to tell people that you’re a Chinese and you’ll feel proud.” There is one time, around the handing over in 1997, there was an activity at the Great Hall, many artists brought along their bodyguards and assistants preparing at backstage, every artist had assistants around them, when I saw chairman Jiang walked past with his assistant, he did not have any bodyguards or people pathing the way for him, everyone kept quiet as we saw him walked past. I feel that for a great person does not need any style. Therefore this now for sometime, when we go out, security will path the way for us, a large group of people by our side, I would tell them not to be like this, it’s not good.
GQ: Peter Chan said about you: “He used 20 years, to convince those people that disbelief and dislike him. He used his determination model, he accept all film offers and get better with each film. It’s not hardworking but determination,” do you agree with what he said?
A: It doesn’t matter, whatever a person need no explaintion, this is meaningless to me, because I love my own way of living, I think I should do this this way. Take for example my singing, I could not win many people, agree? But this does not means that I lost.
GQ: With regards to the newcomers, do you have any advice for them?
A: The world is different, I feel that the artists of my generation could not give them any advice, although I’m experience, if I were to start again, I think I would lose. I feel that it’s difficult for current artists. In this current world, half of the news is heard, asked me for what advice, no choice I also don’t know how to handle it, I’m still learning.
GQ: Your method of success: work hard, hardworking, determined, correct?
A: This is a requirement, but it does not represent success.
Andy and friends
GQ: How do you look at loyalty?
A: I said it a long time ago, the friendship between friends is the same as love, it’s blind. Let say that today you are my best friend, I saw you got beaten up on the streets, I would help you beat the other person up, maybe you are in the wrong.
GQ: Are you still the same now?
A: Yes, for my friends. After beaten up the person and know that it’s your mistake, hide one corner and scold you? Therefore when you see me being beaten up by someone on the street, would you stop by to see who is in the wrong, I would not need you, I need the judge. I feel that being a friend, even I’m in the wrong, you still need to help me. This is called loyalty.
GQ: What have you learn after getting into business?
A: I learn how to lie, thus it’s not suitable for me, thus I always lose out when I’m in business.
GQ: So will you still get into business?
A: Currently it’s interest not considered as business. When you see Crazy Stone making money is not me making money, the distributor earned money. when I shoot a film I wanted to make it better and willing to spend money, but businessman will use business mentality to handle you, thus an artiste cannot become a boss.
GQ: In the world of adult, is it common to cheat each other?
A: Whom to cheat? Who you need to cheat? When you ask me something, I rather not talk about it then gave you an answer that cheat you.
Andy and media
GQ: After communicating with the media for so many years, what gave you the deepest impression?
A: First, in 200o I was nominated for Best Actor in the Hong Kong Film Awards, I was nominated 5-6 times but did not win. Before the award presentation ceremony, the reporters gave me a Best Actor award as they afraid that I won’t win again. I really won the award that time. I still kept the real and fake Best Actor award.
Second, a Taiwanese reporter asked me, he entered the trade around 30 years old, I just entered showbiz that time, he told me that he would retire and get married after seeing me become Golden Horse Film award Best Actor. After I won the Best Actor award, I release a new album, a TV station invited several reporters that had interviewed me before, he was invited, he was no longer a reporter, he gave me a present, it was the Golden Horse Film Award Best Actor winner card of that year. After the presenting guest read my name, they throw it at the backstage, he went to pick it up.
Third, I hold a concert in Hong Kong, the crew members got into a quarrel because of something, it’s just 3-4 weeks before the concert kicked off, many people decided to quit. I find each of them to settle the issue and tell them it’s tough for me. The media are my friends and know of this matter, but did not report it to let outsiders know. Until the concert, the 30 reporters came to watch my concert and it was very successful. I cried for the first time on the stage, I could not stop crying, during that time I was also very thin, the fans though I had cancer. Nobody know so many things happened in between, I really lost control when I cried and sang ‘Ying Di Wu Yong’, I sang as I cry, during break time I also did not went to change my costume, I immediately cry when I’m in the makeup room, the filming crew was worried as I told them I will go back onto the stage after I cry for a while.
Andy and fans
GQ: Do you need reasoning during shooting?
A: My principle: A villain must die. This would someway affect my success, but I can forgo these. In my world, the real life is more important than movies, I does not wish that my movies would affect the lives of children. Today, many children will feel that Andy Lau is right, thus when I’m a villain, I would not kill anyone without reason.
GQ: Did the Yang Lijuan incident bring any inner trouble to you?
A: I really have that time ….. actually it’s not because of her, it because of that incident, several things happened after that. that’s the only time I went to see a shrink. That time I had hundreds of phone call per day, all said that he’s (she’s) dying, I can received up to 3000 text messages saying that he(she) would die if I don’t meet them. I would tremble when phone calls came in, could not sleep. I’m afraid, I do not know when there will be another one (Yang’s father), he really passed away, at the beginning I supporting myself, I could not handle after 2 weeks. Until one night, the shrink took my phone away, told me that any problems would be his responsibility, I did not care about it, he accompany me to work every day, the people at company also chat with me, my feelings stable after 10 days.
GQ: You always does not want to talk about your marriage, is this also a problem of your heart?
A: Every person has his own attitude on life, very hard to explain why it is this way, I will say when the time is right.
GQ: Some people guess that you afraid that the fans would be unhappy, lose your audience, or…..
A: (cut short the question) If it’s this way, you have belittle Andy Lau. It’s because of other reasons, but when I feel that this reason is not the right time to tell, I would not tell. Those whom like me would know my lifestyle, other people would only interested in understand my lifestyle, it’s curious rather than concern, thus I need not explain to them.
GQ: After working hard for so many years, how you wish people would rate you when they talked about Andy Lau?
A: I need no rating.
news from: GQ first issue, October 2009, www.mtime.com