Carina Lau was in the running for Best Actress, at last week's Taiwan Golden Horse Awards. The prize was ultimately snatched by Zhou Xun. But Carina has put in so many excellent performances in her twenty year career, that tops today's The List
Lau was nominated at this year's Golden Horse Awards for her role in Curiosity Kills the Cat. Her rivals included Angelica Lee in Recycle Bin, Si Qin Gao Wa in The Postmodern Life of My Aunt, and Zhou Xun in Perhaps Love.
Lau plays Qian Yu, whose wealthy family has helped her husband rise from poverty. But what she doesn't know is that he has begun an affair with their beautiful new neighbor. She won the nod and great admiration for mature acting with a sense of propriety.
Carina has failed to win a Golden Horse in six nominations, but she takes it in stride. Before this year's results were revealed, Lau said winning or not winning will not affect her life. It's more a pity for her fans, friends, and long-time lover Tony Leung.
Carina Lau is no underachiever. She has earned her place in acting through consistent work over two decades.
In 1984, the twenty-year-old Carina Lau graduated from acting class and began her career. After several TV shows, Lau found herself famous for both beauty and talent. Mainland audiences learned of her in the hit series Look Back in Anger, followed by another television smash, Feud of Two Brothers.
Back in 1980, Lau's family left their hometown Suzhou to settle in Hong Kong. So the mainland audience has a natural affinity with their native daughter.
Since the late 80s Carina has moved to the big screen.Working with top directors and actors like Wong Kar-Wai, Tsui Hark and Leslie Cheung, she had success from the start. Lau has played in such blockbusters as I Am Sorry, Days of Being Wild, Ashes of Time, Infernal Affairs and 2046. Along with the Golden Horse near misses, she has been nominated for several Hong Kong Film Awards.
Carina's most unforgettable moment came at 1991's Hong Kong Film Awards. She was nominated for Days of Being Wild, which had won her Best Actress at the Nantes Film Awards. As former winner Brigitte Lin was opening the envelope, her eyes threw a hint to Carina. And Carina nearly stood up to collect her prize. But the winner was Carol Cheng.
And there's another competitor hindering Carina Lau's success - Maggie Cheung. Maggie has done many films with Carina's lover Tony Leung. Their relationship has remained professional. But when talking film awards, Carina's luck turned for the worse when she met Maggie. In both 1989 and 1997, it was Maggie at the Hong Kong podium, with nothing to do for Carina but listen to the acceptance speech.
Such unhappy memories made Carina doubt whether she was really a qualified actress. For some time, she faded from the screen and did only advertisements. But when she came back, directors saw a smarter, more natural actress.
(CCTV December 4, 2006)