Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai once considered retiring at 36

Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai with TV host Carol Cheng.
Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai with TV host Carol Cheng.PHOTO: WHEN I WAS YOUNG I LISTEN TO THE RADIO/FACEBOOK

HONG KONG - Had Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai followed through on a promise he made many years ago, he might never have appeared in the latest Marvel movie, Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings.

On Monday (Sept 6), Leung, 59, appeared on the radio show When I Was Young I Listen To The Radio to promote the movie, in which he plays the villain Wenwu.

While recording the radio show, actress-turned-host Carol Cheng, 63, mentioned an interview she did with Leung almost 30 years ago, when he was a leading star at Hong Kong television station TVB.

At the time, he had vowed to retire at the age of 36. Leung said he had forgotten about his declaration, but admitted that he had previously contemplated retiring before 30, due to his busy workload.  

"I wouldn't be where I am today without the tough work in the past," he said. "A person's values will change when he grows older, and he will learn to relax and not have such extreme ideas."

Leung, who has won Best Actor at Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards and the Hong Kong Film Awards, said he has no plans to retire now and will take a break from acting if he is tired.

He added that he will accept acting jobs again if he has had sufficient rest and there are good roles to be had.

He also described working 10 hours a day while filming Shang-Chi, with little time for rest or meals. The intensity, he said, reminded him of the days when he was filming TV serials.

However, he added, filming for Shang-Chi had gone smoothly.

He had even tried to do some of the action scenes himself, but was not allowed to attempt the more dangerous stunts due to fears that any injuries would affect filming.

After Shang-Chi, he returned to Hong Kong to film the crime thriller Once Upon A Time In Hong Kong, and will head to Shanghai soon to film another movie.

He disclosed that he will be going to Vancouver, Canada, next year to film a TV serial, his first since the period drama Ode To Gallantry in 1989.