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Leung and Lau to finally tie the knot
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Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai is to design a grand wedding, because his close friends and pet actors Tony Leung and Carina Lau, lovers for 19 years, are finally getting married.

William Chang, production designer of In the Mood for Love and 2046, is designing five wedding gowns for Lau.

The star couple have confirmed to reporters they are preparing for their long-awaited wedding. The wedding will take place on July 21 in Uma Paro, a hotel in Bhutan, a tiny Himalayan country, according to a sina.com report.

Lau recently said she and Leung had made the decision to finally tie the knot mainly because of her father, who suddenly passed away two years ago. "My father always wants to see us get married," she was quoted as saying.

"But he cannot see it now."

The report says 80 of the couple's close friends are invited to their wedding, including Wong Kar-wai, Lin Chienyueh, Lin Qingxia (Brigittelin), Stanley Kwan, Faye Wong and Li Yapeng.

Perhaps because she is entering a new stage in her life, 44-year-old Lau talked for the first time about being kidnapped 18 years ago.

In an interview with Hong Kong writer Eunice Lam, she said her car was stopped on her way to a friend's home. Four men covered her eyes and kidnapped her. She was terrified and kept praying. In the end, nude photos of her were taken and she was released.

The incident was later proved to be done by Triad gangsters, allegedly as retribution for reneging on a film deal.

The incident rocked Hong Kong in 2002, when Eastweek magazine displayed a picture in its Oct 30 issue of a female Hong Kong actress in an obvious state of distress and topless. Although the face was pixilated over, it soon became widely believed that the person was Lau.

Outraged celebrities like Jackie Chan staged a public protest about the photo, with Lau bravely posing in front of the group. Eventually, The magazine was shut down.

The painful memory, however, did have a positive influence on her life, she said.

Born in Suzhou, Lau moved to Hong Kong at 16 with her parents and for a long time was looked down upon as a "mainland girl." Although she strived for years to be an A-list star, she said she suffered from a lack of self-confidence until the nude photo incident won her tremendous support.

"I stood up and changed many people's idea about me, including the chief executive of Hong Kong, women's organizations, newspapers and so on." she told Lam. "I found out the world is with sympathy. I became a totally different person, a re-born one."

Leung accompanied her through the ups and downs. Lau said they want to have a "peaceful, solemn and romantic wedding."

(China Daily July 16, 2008)

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