Leung's next great leap

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 December, 2006, 12:00am

Award-winning actor Tony Leung Chiu-wai is looking for another great leap in Infernal Affairs duo Alan Mak Siu-fai and Andrew Lau Wai-keung's psychological thriller, Confession of Pain.

The film, which opened on Thursday, is Leung's first in more than a year and the first collaboration between Leung and the directorial duo after the Infernal Affairs trilogy. Co-starring Takeshi Kaneshiro, Shu Qi and mainland star Xu Jinglei, the movie is about a seasoned cop (Leung) investigating the murder of his father-in-law with help from his former colleague turned private detective.

Leung (right) said he suggested playing the cop character to the directors and scriptwriter Felix Chong Man-keung. 'I seldom play this kind of bad and dark character. It should be refreshing for the audience, and me as well,' he said.

'For the past 10 years I've been playing similar roles. I think that it's destiny offering me the chance to play this role. It's something new.'

To help get into character, Leung spent a lot of time with the directors and playwright. 'I kept playing out the role in my mind.'

Time constraints also prevented Leung from dubbing the Putonghua version. 'I really wanted to do it myself. But it would take more time to finish the film as I'd need to hire a teacher to teach me Putonghua for at least half a month,' said Leung, who watched the film for the first time at the premiere in Hong Kong earlier this week.

'I didn't watch it at the Shanghai premiere because I want to watch the original Cantonese version and listen to my own voice.'

When promotional duties for Confession of Pain are over, Leung will continue filming Ang Lee's latest movie, Lust, Caution, in Beijing. The film - an adaptation of Chinese author Eileen Chang's short story of the same name and featuring Taiwanese heart-throb Wang Lee-hom and mainland actress Tang Wei - is scheduled to finish shooting before Lunar New Year. Leung said he had to keep his skin pale for his role. He plays Mr Yee, a powerful political figure manipulated by the Japanese government during the second world war in Shanghai.

'Lee is very Chinese but he does things in a western way,' said Leung, who's working with the Brokeback Mountain director for the first time. 'He follows the actors' emotions. It's so unique. I've never worked with a director who's so into the characters.'