TORONTO – Andy Lau was presented with the Special Tribute Award at the 48th Toronto International Film Festival last Friday.
The Hong Kong superstar, 61, was the first Chinese actor to receive the award that honoured his years of contribution to the film industry.
“Receiving this award means a lot to me... it has made me understand that everyone is capable of more than you think,” said a beaming Lau after accepting the trophy from festival chief executive Cameron Bailey. “Choose your path, work hard and do your best,” he added.
The celebrated performer, who began his showbiz career in the 1980s, was in the Canadian city for the gala presentation of Chinese director Ning Hao’s The Movie Emperor (2023), a satire that stars Lau as a washed-up actor who heads to the countryside to reinvent himself.
Lau also participated in the In Conversations With... event on Saturday where he reflected on his four-decade career, from his big-screen debut in Hong Kong director Ann Hui’s Boat People in 1982, to various crime thrillers such as Johnnie To’s police drama Running Out Of Time (1999) and Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s Infernal Affairs (2002).
During the conversation, Lau was asked if he was ready to head to Hollywood after long being a box-office king in Asia, to which he said: “I’m ready for Hollywood, as long as Hollywood is ready for me.”
He also opened up about how he maintained career longevity under the glare of constant media scrutiny. “After a long period, it’s difficult to hide something,” he said. “Sincerity is something that makes you able to carry yourself for a long time.”