The winner of seven acting awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards (HKFA) and named best actor at Cannes in 2000 for his performance in In the Mood for Love , Tony Leung Chiu-wai is the most celebrated Asian actor of his generation. He has won more HKFA and Golden Horse awards than any other actor and was named one of Asia’s 25 greatest actors by CNN. The star of films as varied as cop drama Infernal Affairs and Wong Kar-wai’s dreamy romance, Chungking Express , Leung is a hugely versatile actor. It’s his 58th birthday this week and if you are wondering where to start with his films, here are five of his best performances. 5 scenes that made Chow Yun-fat a screen legend People’s Hero (1987) Despite being one of TVB’s five tiger generals – the name given to a clutch of popular young actors in the early 1980s – it wasn’t until 1987 that Leung made an impact on the big screen, winning his first HKFA award. Hong Kong’s take on the 1975 Al Pacino film Dog Day Afternoon , People’s Hero is the story of a bank robbery gone wrong. Leung excels as an unfortunate young man forced to take drastic action to cover his debts. A City of Sadness (1989) The first Taiwanese film to win the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival, A City of Sadness ranks as one of the most important Taiwanese films ever made. Director Hou Hsiao-hsien’s feature tackles the thorny issue of the Kuomintang government’s suppression of political dissent after Chiang Kai-shek retreated from mainland China. Leung plays a deaf-mute photographer whose silence offers a powerful critique of the actions taken during this pivotal time in Taiwanese history. 7 beautiful Asian movies that celebrate LGBTQ+ romance Chungking Express (1994) Although Leung is excellent in serious, dramatic roles, he also excels in more lighthearted fare. Perhaps no more so than in this, Wong Kar-wai’s hugely influential art-pop film about “two cops, two girls, and a neon city”. Leung’s boyish charm pairs perfectly with Faye Wong’s manic pixie girl energy, making them one of the most memorable couples in Hong Kong cinematic history. In the Mood for Love (2000) This, one of the finest Hong Kong films ever made, is anchored by top performances from its leads, Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung. Another memorable pairing, the two offer a master class in simulating desire and restraint. Leung rightfully received the best actor award at Cannes that year – and he remains one of only three East Asian actors to have done so in the festival’s 74-year history. How In the Mood for Love became a modern masterpiece – 20 years on Lust, Caution (2007) Although Leung’s youthful looks and popularity have meant he almost always plays a good guy, a few films have allowed him to demonstrate a nasty streak. Ang Lee’s controversial Lust, Caution was one such production. Here he plays Mr Yee, a Chinese citizen collaborating with the Japanese forces occupying Shanghai during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Leung gives a performance that is perfectly polished, his taut mannerisms reflecting the frightful tightrope his character walks in willingly serving the hated Japanese. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .