HONG KONG • Anthony Wong has not always been proud of the movies he acted in, even if they helped him clinch three Best Actor prizes in the Hong Kong Film Awards (HKFA).
He bagged his first one in 1994 for The Untold Story, in which he played a serial killer. But he dismissed the movie, saying it was "selling violence, blood and sex".
"Back then, you signed the contract first. When they wanted to make the movie, sometimes you would get the script, sometimes not," said Wong, 57, who won Best Actor again in 1999 for Beast Cops.
In recent years, he has noted the declining influence of Hong Kong cinema, with players having to abide by conditions set by Beijing if they wanted to tap the lucrative Chinese box office.
That is why Wong has extended a helping hand to nurture young blood in Hong Kong, where the authorities have also set up a film-development fund.
He worked for free in Still Human, about a disabled person who learns to embrace life again.
On Sunday, that riveting performance nailed him his third Best Actor prize.
"The character is paralysed (in plain view).
"But my paralysis is hidden. I can relate to what the character said: What dreams do I have?" Wong said, hinting at the punishment he received for his political views.
He has been absent from major Hong Kong-China ventures after he supported the pro-democracy "umbrella movement" in 2014.