30 Thrilling Facts About Tony Leung Chiu-wai You Might Have Missed Before

Tony Leung Chiu-wai
(Photo : Siebbi)

Tony Leung Chiu-wai, one of the Asia’s most successful and internationally recognized actors, is a seven-time winner at the Hong Kong Film Awards and three-time winner at the Golden Horse Film Awards, holding the record for most awards in the Best Actor category. Considered to be one of the finest actors of his generation in Hong Kong, he has Robert De Niro and Brad Pitt as his admirers. Leung has been named by The Times as Asia's answer to Clark Gable due to their romantic leading roles. Here are some really interesting facts about the actor you probably didn’t know before:

    File:Tony Leung Chiu Wai (Berlin Film Festival 2013) 2 (cropped).jpg"File:Tony Leung Chiu Wai (Berlin Film Festival 2013) 2 (cropped).jpg" by Siebbi is licensed under CC BY 3.0

  1.  Before being cast in the role of Xu Wenwu in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” he knew nothing about the Mandarin, and did not even try to research the character.
  2.  While he did not have a problem in playing a villainous role, he wanted to give the character more depth and credibility. It was said that Marvel Studios gave him full authority to invent his own background for this iteration of the character.
  3.  He received the script to the movie, a month before the filming commenced. He tried his best to explore the reasons for his character becoming who he is, and make it clear that though he is a sociopath, a narcissist and a bigot, he is also a human and has a family.
  4.  In preparation for his role as Ip Man in director Wong Kar-wai’s “The Grandmaster,” he trained in wing chun for four hours a day for five years.
  5.  He also has a Cantopop and Mandarin pop singing career. He sang the theme song of “Infernal Affairs” with Andy Lau.
  6.  Tony Leung Chiu-wai was born on June 27, 1962 in a family of Taishan, Guangdong ancestry, in Hong Kong. He has a younger sister.
  7.  His early childhood days are said to have been punctuated with his parents’ quarrels and constant arguments, mostly related to money issues.
  8.  He was a very mischievous boy in his early childhood days, but when his father, a chronic gambler, left the family, his personality changed abruptly.
  9.  Following his father’s disappearance from the family, he and his younger sister was raised by his mother, single-handedly. He became a slightly reticent and quiet child.
  10.  Even his school, he became afraid to talk to his classmates or anyone, out of fear that they would question him about his family, and he would not have an answer.
  11.  In fact, he has often claimed in interviews that it was these childhood experiences that paved way for his acting career, giving him a chance to openly express his feelings.
  12.  He attended a private school, but had to quit studying altogether, at the young age of 15, due to his family’s financial difficulties.
  13.  Being a well-behaved teenager, who was very close to his mother, he took up a variety of jobs, in an effort to help his mother with taking care of the family.
  14.  He first started working as a grocer's runner at his uncle's shop. After this, he became a showroom salesman in a Hong Kong shopping centre.
  15.  It was at the age of 16 that he met future actor and comedian Stephen Chow, who is one of the biggest influences in his decision to take a career in acting.
  16. File:TonyLeungChiuWai07TIFF.jpg"File:TonyLeungChiuWai07TIFF.jpg" by gdcgraphics at is licensed under CC BY 2.0

  17.  He passed the TV channel TVB training courses in 1982. Following this, he played extras in various other series and then got promoted to leading role in series like “The Duke of Mount Deer” and “New Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre.”
  18.  His boyish looks led to TVB casting him as a host of the children’s program “430 Space Shuttle.” He enjoyed comedies around this time, and became well known for it.
  19.  His popularity grew to the level that he was named as one of the “TVBs Five Tigers,” as one of the five up-and-coming male TV stars.
  20.  He was cast in the highly successful TV series “Police Cadet,” in the year 1984, in which he played the role of Cheung Wai Kit, an outgoing young man who decides to become a police officer.
  21.  He played opposite Maggie Cheung for the first time, who was also starting her career at that time. He has described Maggie as his “alter ego.”
  22.  Leung and Maggie Cheung were named as the Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall of Chinese cinema by the Straits Times of Singapore on January 22, 2003.
  23.  He first received international critical acclaim in Hou Hsiao-hsien's 1989 film “A City of Sadness.” However, he was locally famous for his TV shows and TV films in Hong Kong.
  24.  Although he was not required to do any kind of training for the role of the Mandarin in the “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” as most of his action would involve the rings and computer-generated imagery, he insisted on training prior to filming.
  25.  In the year 1983, he met Margie Tsang and dated her for four years, before breaking off. This was his first public relationship, and the couple reunited for at least three times, before ending their relationship in 1989.
  26.  In an effort to get a stronger reaction from Leung, during the POW sequence in the “Bullet in the Head” movie, his co-star and close friend John Woo went to great lengths to get them.
  27.  Woo had wanted tears from Leung, and so, he, dressed up in an American soldier's costume, got his stunt man shoot him with an AK47 (loaded with blanks) when the camera started rolling.
  28.  This was the last thing Leung expected, and he first registered total shock and astonishment during the first take. But in the end, Woo got the sought after tears.
  29.  In 1989, he started dating Carina Lau, with whom he worked for the first time in the 1984 movie “The Replica”. The couple became one of Hong Kong's biggest celebrity couples. After dating for 19 years, the couple got married in Bhutan in the year 2008.
  30.  It was said that the couple were facing some kind of crisis in their relationship, who was resolved, during their visit to the 17th Karmapa, during their visit to India in 2007. Bhutan was also suggested as the wedding venue during this visit.
  31.  During the filming of “Hard Boiled” his character was not supposed to cry after killing Mr. Hui according to the original script. However, Tony felt that the character should show some sign of breaking down, after the scene. John Woo had the scene filmed in both ways, and decided to keep the crying take in the final cut.
  32.  Tony Leung Chiu-wai Net Worth: $30 Million

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