Star Search's Hong Kong judges on plans for the future

Carina Lau (left) caused a minor flurry online with a photo of her husband, actor Tony Leung (right), learning how to surf.
Carina Lau (left) caused a minor flurry online with a photo of her husband, actor Tony Leung (right), learning how to surf. PHOTOS: CMG, CARINA LAU/ INSTAGRAM
Stephen Fung was executive producer of Netflix’s martial arts series Wu Assassins, which premiered in August, and he also directed its first two episodes.
Stephen Fung was executive producer of Netflix’s martial arts series Wu Assassins, which premiered in August, and he also directed its first two episodes. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Hong Kong stars Carina Lau and Stephen Fung sat down with local media when they were in Singapore to judge the Mediacorp talent competition. Jan Lee speaks to them about the next steps in their careers

Carina Lau on staying active and her affinity for S’pore

Hong Kong film star Carina Lau was the envy of her husband - acclaimed actor Tony Leung - when she was in town recently as a judge for the talent competition Star Search.

Speaking to local media, the 53-year-old mimicked her husband in Cantonese: "Every time I come to Singapore, Mr Leung tells me, 'You're so lucky, you get to eat chicken rice'."

Lau, who looked radiant in a black floor-length dress adorned with flowers, frequently visits Singapore on her own time as she feels a connection with the city, which stems from her month-long trips here in the 1980s for performances.

She also likes how clean and green the city is and the island's famous dishes. "(Tony) loves it too - he likes local dishes like laksa and bak kut teh," she says.

Lau recently caused a minor flurry on social media when, in a rare move, she shared a picture on her social media channels of Leung, 57, learning how to surf, and wrote in English: "You can do it".

They have been a couple for some 30 years and tied the knot in 2008. She says of their relationship's longevity: "The important thing is to give each other space, as well as respect and appreciation.

"Everyone makes mistakes, but we must value each other and the relationship we have built together."

While Lau is unlikely to join Leung in picking up surfing - she finds it "a bit scary" - she is into sports such as snowboarding and table tennis, and often goes on hikes.

Ageing will happen, but exercising is not only good for your skin and metabolism, but it also keeps your mental state healthy.

CARINA LAU

She says: "Ageing will happen, but exercising is not only good for your skin and metabolism, but it also keeps your mental state healthy. That's very important for actors."

Lau recently starred in and sang the theme song for the television series Half A Lifelong Romance, based on writer Eileen Chang's novel of the same name, which is set to air next year.

The Hong Kong Film Award winning actress currently has no new projects, though she is reading scripts.

"I want to play a next-door auntie - someone who is dealing with the effects of ageing, maybe even dementia, and feeling detached from her surroundings and unsure of herself. Like (American actress) Julianne Moore in Still Alice (2014)."

Stephen Fung looks forward to a Gen-X Cops sequel

Fans of the 1999 Hong Kong crime flick Gen-X Cops may be in luck.

 
 

While in town as a judge for Mediacorp's talent competition Star Search, one of the film's stars, Stephen Fung, reveals that the series - there was a 2000 sequel titled Gen-Y Cops - will soon add a third movie.

The cast - which also included Hong Kong stars Nicholas Tse, Sam Lee and California-born Daniel Wu - reunited at the Hong Kong Film Awards in April this year.

Speaking to local media in fluent English, Fung, a University of Michigan graduate, says: "Appearing together at the awards show was our way of testing the waters and what we've seen is that people are pretty positive about it.

"The next step would be to get a script because I'm quite positive that investors are interested."

The 45-year-old adds: "I think it's the nostalgia. When the film was made, it was with a lot of prominent young actors of that time."

Most of the cast, including Fung, have gone on to successful careers.

Fung, who is married to Taiwanese actress Shu Qi, has moved from acting to working behind the scenes as a writer, director and producer.

He has even found work in Hollywood. Along with his Gen-X Cops co-star Wu, he executive produced the three-season American action series Into The Badlands (2015 to 2019), in which Wu also starred.

Fung also executive produced Netflix's martial arts series Wu Assassins, which premiered in August, and directed its first two episodes.

"Asian representation depends on where you are. In Hollywood, that's clearly important for the Asian-Americans, but that's not really an issue in Hong Kong or Singapore," says Fung, who adds that he has seen more Asians in Hollywood after the success of the romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians (2018).

While he is a minority in Hollywood, he says his experience so far has been smooth and that he gets to sink his teeth into the action genres he enjoys.

Still, there are new things the multi-hyphenate hopes to try.

He says: "Perhaps a horror movie - that's something I'm interested in now."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2019, with the headline 'Star Search's HK judges on plans for the future'. Print Edition | Subscribe