In the afternoon on 4 October, the shooting of the magazine cover and interview was carried out in a hotel room, Andy Lau whom just celebrated his 49th birthday had just completed his press conference of his December concerts at the Hong Kong Coliseum.
Recalling his press conference when he talked about allegations that his wife Carol Zhu Liqian is pregnant, he was photographed locking his fingers and smiled to reporters asking them to give him a break. For the interview, Andy answered with his usual “hehehehehe” smiles. Since he changed his name to Lau Tak Wah and entered showbiz, he would be wearing a mask that would perform on stage instead of a normal person, this does not need to be proved by Andy. However this name had been in the limelight for 30 years, in between he is one of the Four Heavenly Kings, Most Popular Male Singer in TVB Jade Solid Gold music award ceremonies, Hong Kong Films Awards’ Best Actor moulded by director Johnnie To, invested to become boss of a company, Justice of the Peace and many others.. in addition what’s differences from other is his well recognized hardworking spirit. Lau Tak Wah had became a recognition of an Ox’s determination of working hard and never say die, even showbiz gave him “don’t want” to be perfect and no determination of being perfect.
When comparing with his glamourous first half of his showbiz career, with more than 100 films to his name, actually the media is more dramatic or rather seeking more drama. Thus, Andy whom had invested in several films had been entangled in the “stories” of the media, some of them might be recognition of perfection and worth, some dashed dreams, some “strong” till resulting misunderstanding. Facing all these, Andy whom does not have much huge news could suddenly become the male lead in a news and got bitten. Of course, he is not the only one.
Sitting right in front to answer all the questions while drinking hot coffee and eating chicken salad, close to 50 years old, he’s till handsome, answering questions with his experience and holding onto his defence. When talking about him representing a spirit of Hong Kong, he replied: “Actually I don’t think so. In the past, I misunderstood that some media loved me. After that incident, I discover that I totally misunderstood.”
As per below, there is no “news”, just Andy Lau and how this person look at the “news” that happened to him.
J: JET magazine A: Andy
J: 5:30pm, are you having your lunch or?
A: I don’t eat much for lunch, just grab a quick bite, I have meals at normal timing. (Not trying to lost weight to prepare your upcoming concerts?) Not related.
J: Now is your lowest weight recorded?
A: Nope. During my previous concert, those people thought I had cancer as my weight was just a mere 139 pounds, never had that weight again. (You do looked very thin.) Nope, now is the clothes that looked thin. Actually I rather large size now, the face cannot be said as I had been dancing for one month. My face will looked thin when I danced.
J: You prefer to be thin or fat?
A: I wanted to be thin, so people loved me to be fat.
J: Let’s talk about your childhood to start the interview.
A: I was born in to farm in Hong Kong. Before I moved to Diamond Hill to study primary school, I stayed at Tai Po Tin Hau Village. Our family had 2 peacocks. Because we are considered “outer surname” as our ancestral is not in the village’s ancestral temple. We bred animals as they around in front of our house.
J: You have quite a good living environment.
A: We’re OK. I remembered that my father was the first batch of firemen sent to Kai Tak Airport because they knew English, he wanted me to study English but my grandfather scolded him and we did not get any property divided to us.
J: What’s your experience in Lam Tin?
A: I moved to Lam Tin when I’m in secondary school. It’s interesting as I seldom go out. We are the first batch that moved to Lam Tin, during that time there was a famous Lam Tin sex mainac! That time my 2 elder sisters and younger sister were not allowed to go out. (Even male?) The sex mainac don’t strike on girls only! I can’t even go to the football field, basically said nothing happened to me when I’m at Lam Tin. (How you spend your time?) Go to school! Go to Ke Li for school, when school ended at 4pm, the sky went dark when I reached home. I don’t have money to take the metro, it’s a 45 minutes bus ride to Kwun Tong, I walked back to Lam Tin from Kwun Tong Police Station. I moved out when I joined the Artiste Training Classes. Actually I loved Lam Tin. When my father was on leave he would bring the whole family out. Then, I loved Lam Tin as looking down at Kwun Tong, it made me feel that I’m “taller”, among those living on the hill.
J: How’s your life in secondary school?
A: Wrote a script, there’s a script titled The Wind Never Stop Blowing, I wrote together with Raymond To. I seldom got the chance to act because I looked like this when I’m young, already had moustache, everybody feel that I looked old and called me “Grandpa”. In addition, I’m already this tall when I’m in secondary two, my height never increase since then! People also said that I resemble Kenny Bee. I’m responsible for writing script and in-charge of stage monitoring, the person-in-charge would asked me to arrange scenes and where to eat, like a helper. I was 14-15 years old then.
J: It was said that you had many girlfriends during secondary school.
A: I was with the female volleyball team, I’m the setter, setting up balls for the girls. Sometimes when we went to another school for games, I would get to know many girls. (When you became loyal?) It came naturally, I only had one girlfriend when I’m in form 3 and 4. As there was exams in form 5, I seldom exercise and quiet down. Without exercise, I put on weight, in form 1, everybody called me bone rids boy.
J: Do you still think of doing musical?
A: Yes, thinking of doing a musical, because there are successful musicals, the earlier one by Anthony Wong Chau-Sang is good. However, not many wanted and spend time on musical. Actually I had been preparing, I prepared one before and it was staged but everybody did not know that I played a part because it was not very successful. (Why is it so?) Because everyone had their own thinking of doing things, I see his enthusiasm and gave him money to do, we would thinking to collaborate with this and that person, but the outcome is that he had enthusiasm and I have enthusiasm. I also don’t have the time to act in musical, because it really need 2-3 months to rehearse. Then, he told me that he had already booked a slot and asked him to plan the performance and completed it, the musical was only on show for 3 days. Now I’m looking for someone to collaborate and stage a musical three years later. But the proportion must be the same as mine, normally I charge $10, but now it’s $2, but you wanted to charge $5, charge $1 would be fine. I didn’t said that I don’t wanted the person not to charge but must do according to my proportion, because need to scale down the whole thing. If everyone wanted the full sum, it’s hard to reach an agreement.
J: The last time you wanted a brand new story?
A: Yes. But it would be build on my Mandarin songs for the past 30 years. I wanted to use my favorite songs but not everyone is familiar with, but those that have a story will be used, we are still thinking of the story. The production team cannot be revealed.
J: Will it be staged at the Hong Kong Coliseum?
A: Would not be staged at the Hong Kong Coliseum, must be a theatre that can sit 2000 audience. At the Hong Kong Coliseum, you could not feel the image and enthusiasm. Take the past for example, during the generation of Andrew Lloyd Webber, I did consider Hong Kong Coliseum and approached his Madame Butterfly and staged it in a 4-sided stage which could have 8000 audience, but he don’t dare, his Jesus Christ Superstar was staged in a a 4-sided stage and could only attract at most 2000 audience. Even the godfather of musical does not dare to do, it’s impossible that we can do it. At the Hong Kong Coliseum, as entertainment is OK, but that’s not musical. In addition, the Hong Kong Coliseum does not allowed you to built the stage for one month, but theatre allowed. You can booked it for 3 months and staged the musical for one month.
J: Being in showbiz for 30 years, anything that you remember and feel?
A: Several huge incidents. SARS, the two economy crisis, hangover, films started with Bruce Lee in the 70s and doing very well in the 80s, till now the changes is huge. Still the same phrase, changes is forever. It’s impossible for Hong Kong films to be like the past, had to incorporate Hong Kong films into Chinese films, we could not put on our own label. No choice, the market is like that, since changes had happened and why not accept this change? This is not the truth that we can change. We can improve the quality. Seriously said the quality of Hong Kong films had improved a lot! Take Future X-cops as an example, when compared to Wong Jing’s old films, the production had improved a lot.
news and photos from: JET magazine