Tony Leung wins best actor at Asian Film Awards with wife Carina Lau presenting him with the award

Actor Tony Leung and his wife Carina Lau at the 16th Asian Film awards in Hong Kong on March 12, 2023. PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG – Veteran actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai took home the best actor prize at the Asian Film Awards on Sunday night, surprising even his wife, actress Carina Lau, who was presenting the award.

When she opened the envelope and saw the result, she said: “This name is so difficult to read.”

Leung appeared to be stunned at his win, as the first thing he said when he went on stage was: “I didn’t expect this.”

He won for his role in Hong Kong crime thriller Where The Wind Blows.

He added: “The thought of winning never crossed my mind and I didn’t prepare a speech. I can only say thank you very much.”

He was up against Park Hae-il (Decision To Leave), Hidetoshi Nishijima (Drive My Car), Ryohei Suzuki (Egoist), Zhang Yi (Home Coming) and Mohsen Tanabandeh (World War III). Leung also took home a special contribution prize.

The award for best actress went to Chinese star Tang Wei for South Korean romance mystery Decision To Leave. Coincidentally, Tang shot to prominence in 2007’s Lust, Caution, starring opposite Leung.

Other best actress nominees included Sylvia Chang (A Light Never Goes Out), Karena Lam (American Girl), Happy Salma (Before, Now & Then) and Chieko Baisho (Plan 75).

Japanese-American actor Hio Miyazawa (Egoist) won best supporting actor, while best supporting actress was South Korean actress Kim So-jin (Emergency Declaration).

Hot favourite Decision To Leave, which had led with 10 nominations, ended the night with three wins. Besides best actress for Tang, it also won for best screenplay and best production design.

However, its director Park Chan-wook lost out on the best director prize to Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda (Broker).

Japanese drama Drive My Car, directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, was named the best film. It also won for best editing and best original music.

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