As a three-time winner of the prestigious Hong Kong Film Awards, actor Anthony Wong has built himself a solid career in the world of Asian cinema. His unique presence on the big screen makes his roles unforgettable for many moviegoers. In the newly released film Initial D, Wong plays a retired race car driver, slowly drinking away his days off the tracks. Among the star-studded cast, Wong is definitely the oldest and most experienced actor.
Starring a string of teenage heart throbs such as Jay Chou, Edison Chen, and Daniel Wu, the action packed motor racing movie Initial D is obviously aimed at a young audience. Veteran actor Anthony Wong plays Bunta Fujiwara, the father of the main character Takumi, a race ace in his younger years but who now operates a tofu shop and has a penchant for dozing off. Seemingly laid back and reticent, Bunta secretly trains his son in the trade of racecar driving when he sends Takumi out on the road to deliver tofu.
Off the set, Wong has a similar relationship with first time actor Jay Chou who plays Takumi. The veteran actor apparently gave Chou plenty of advice and guidance. Chou said jokingly in an interview that he became a bit afraid of Wong, since the actor is such a strict mentor. Wong is indeed very serious about acting and also expects much from himself when it comes to his work. He has appeared in more than 160 movies, taking all kinds of roles, but treated each one of them seriously. Now let's take a look at some of his memorable roles.
As supporting actor of Cat and Mouse
Throughout his career, Anthony Wong has worked with many famous heavy weights in the world of Asian cinema, including Chow Yun Fat, Andy Lau, and Tony Leung. Although playing supporting roles for the most part in these collaborations, Wong brings some much-needed interest to his roles.
In the movie Cat and Mouse Wong plays Judge Bao. A legendary figure, Bao has been immortalized in many Hong Kong productions for his ability to solve crimes and dish out justice. But he doesn't really do any of that here. In Cat and Mouse, Bao is bored out of his mind because there's simply nothing going on requiring his attention. Furthermore the judge is weak, indecisive, and depends on his assistant to do much of his work. Wong was really able to bring this flavorful character to life. His role here may not be as important as those of his famous co-stars, but his acting was so clever that it seems no one else could possibly have played the part.
Playing the good guy of Infernal Affairs
Anthony Wong plays a good guy in the Hong Kong cops-and-robbers thriller Infernal Affairs as Organized Crime Bureau Inspector Wong. In the film, inspector Wong works closely as an informant to his friend Yan, a police mole working undercover in the powerful local triads. With this film, Anthony Wong's wonderful performance really shines through, earning him the award for Best Supporting Actor at the 22nd Hong Kong Film Awards in 2002.
Playing the bad guy of The Mission
In The Mission, Wong takes on another memorable role as an assassin. In the film, five different triad members are brought together for one mission: to protect Brother Lung played by actor Eddy Ko, who has unknown assassins out for his life. Here, Wong plays Curtis, a cold-blooded killer in the group of five. Here again, in this film filled with action and drama, Wong was able to bring out all sides of an otherwise one-dimensional character.
As comedic actor of Just One Look
The often times serious actor has also appeared in a number of romantic comedies. Just One Look is one of them. In the film, Wong plays an extremely unlucky local gangster called Crazy. After having the misfortune of stepping on a little boy's pet frog one day, he then becomes the boy's target for revenge. A string of unfortunate events begins plaguing Crazy's life, and he is not even spared on his weeding day.
The talented Anthony Wong has definitely brought a number of colorful characters on to the big screen. Wong's dedication and seriousness to his art has earned him a solid place in the world of Asian cinema, and we'll no doubt be seeing more of him in the future.
(CCTV July 28, 2005)