Sunday, September 23, 2012
With the Japanese government single-handedly purchasing the Diaoyu Islands, hostility towards Japan have escalated in recent days in China. Many netizens have scolded Tony for his involvment in the Japanese film 1905 and have branded him as a traitor. Tony has been helplessly caught in the crossfire. Even though he has yet to sign on for the film nor has he seen the script, the Japanese film company announced the start date of the production without informing him. Jet Tone's spokesperson Miss Leung says, "Director Kurosawa contacted us back in 2009 to see if Tony was interested in filming this movie. We discussed it, but Tony hasn't seen the script yet and we haven't officially signed any contracts. (They said that filming will begin in November?) Why don't you wait and see if they actually start filming." This entire incident has made Tony very unhappy. Jet Tone and Tony share the same understanding and will postpone the project indefinitely.
However in reality, Tony is a very loyal person. For someone who rarely gives interviews on variety programs, he accepted an interview from Luisa Maria Leitão knowing it was her first time hosting her own show. When she asked him to appear on her program ‘Best Actor’, she said that “it would really help me if you accept this interview”. With that one request, Tony immediately agreed. During the interview, Tony goes in depth into his private life, not only talking about the two most important women in his life (his mother and wife Carina Lau), but also talks about growing up in a single-parent household. Tony also makes an exception and talks about what it was like to meet his father again after he abandoned the family.
During the program, Tony provides a candid look into his private life. As many already know, Tony grew up in a single-parent household. His parents divorced when he was ten. Tony and his younger sister were solely raised by his mother. "Growing up in this household, it made me stronger and gave me greater understanding on things. I was more independent than other people. In our famiy, I had to take on the 'father' role. While my mom was working I took care of my sister. I held her hand taking her to school, picked her up when she got off, bought food for her to eat, watched her do her homework. I even did all the chores around the house, like cleaning and washing the dishes. It must have been a good thing to have grown up in a single parent household. If I grew up in a normal household, perhaps I wouldn't have this kind of mentality. Similarly, if I were to have grown up in a wealthy family, I might be a spoiled rich kid."
With his tough upbringing, it turned him into the independent person he is today. "Compared to everyone around me when I first started filming, I was the one who knew how to look after myself the best. No matter where we went, I was prepared for everything. I knew how to cook, knew how to do chores, carried all sorts of medication with me. I wasn't afraid of getting sick, but I usually ended up giving my medicine to those around me. 'You don't have anything to eat? I have cookies, I have ham.' It was because I grew up in that environment it made me into the person I am today."
After his father left, Tony only saw him a few times. Each time the feeling was very distant and confusing. He never understood the relationship between his parents. "When I came back from school, suddenly it was like, 'Whoa, why is dad here?' My mom never acted differently and continued as if nothing had happened. In my memory, I believe this happened on three occasions. My feelings were often confused. What is it between you two? But they never explained anything to me or my sister. Perhaps they thought we were too small and didn't need to know all the details. When I was older I did see my father, but that was while I was still in school. I never saw him when I started working. The last time I saw him, the feelings were still very distant."
During his childhood, Tony once placed the blame on his father for leaving the family. After so many years, Tony says that he remembers the happy occasions with his father. "I've already forgiven him. Well, you can't really say that. People come to realize things when they grow up. It's not such a big thing if your parents separate. If two people don't get along then it's natural to part. But I always thought, 'Whatever your relationship is, could you just let us know?' At least we wouldn't be guessing. But I never seemed to guess right so I was often confused as a kid." When asked if his father ever saw his accomplishments? He says he father passed away almost 10 years ago. His only regret was not seeing him for the last time. "That's why I spend so much time with my mom, my sister and everyone. I've learned not to live with anymore regrets. One is already enough."
While Tony was not often with his father, what's his relationship like with his mom? "Think about it. My mom had to wake up at 6 AM each day to cook breakfast for us, then take us to school. She also had to go to work. When she got off she would cook dinner for us. By the time that was done it was time for bed, as it would be another early day the next morning. When I started filming, I also didn't have a lot of time to spend with my mom. Now I value spending time with everyone, but sometimes the feeling is very strange. Perhaps because we didn't communicate much back then, it's hard to express the feelings out loud. I care a lot for her, but I can't communicate it well. She doesn't know how to and neither do I. Since both of us aren't accustomed to this, I thought it was enough if we just had each other in our hearts. But in reality, there are some things that need to be said out loud in order to properly express yourself.
During the interview, Tony also mentions his wife Carina. He thinks she has a happy and straightforward personality. She may seem more brash at times, but there's also a mature and caring side to her. "In her family she pretty much acted like the head of the household. She started working when she was young to support her family. In that sense it's very similar to me. That's why she's so mature and knows how to take care of others. She prepares everything to the smallest details and I can just leave everything to her. (Carina says you're like that too!) I am, but I'm also very lazy. I won't make the effort. I might start something, but Carina is the one who carries things through. In that sense she really takes care of me."
From dating to marriage, Tony and Carina's relationship have lasted more than 20 years. To maintain a relationship, Tony believes you need to have mutual trust and understanding, be able to respect each other and give each other personal space. "We won't force each other to do things. For example, I like my peace and quiet, but I won't force her to spend time with me like that. We give each other space. Even though I'm more reserved, I can sometimes be outgoing and will do things that she likes. But I still have a choice. Similarly, she's not as reserved as I am. But this really comes down to mutual understanding."
Tony and Carina's relationship blossomed during their stage play Run for Your Wife. Even though they filmed together in the dramas Duke of Mount Deer and Police Cadet '84, they never interacted with each other prior to then. It was only during the stage play when they started communicating. After gaining a better understanding of each other, they began dating. "Dating for so long, have I ever proposed? Maybe I was rejected before, but I've already forgotten. These types of things are better left forgotten. I'd rather remember the happier times. Whether I was rejected I don't remember now. Later I began to realize the important of marriage. She asked whether we should get married. To women it's an important event in life. When we finally did I was also very happy. The entire wedding was planned by her and it was awesome."
Source: Ming Pao Weekly #2289
Translated by: sparkles_n15 @ AsianFanatics
Labels: Tony Leung 梁朝偉