Too expensive? Hong Kong actress Carina Lau would star in a Malaysian movie — for free even if...

Joe Lee
Carina Lau insists she will never stop acting, and is always looking forward to new challenges. — Picture via Instagram/carinalau1208

MACAU, Dec 13 — As Hong Kong actress Carina Lau glided into the room for an interview, the Talent Ambassador of the 4th International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM) is all smiles.

Unlike many interviews at the event, especially involving big names in the business — there were no demands of submission of specific questions beforehand to be vetted, nor were there any restrictions placed as to what could be asked.

And Lau gracefully tried to answer every question — even an attempt to get a comment on the situation in Hong Kong.

While she initially took a second before declining to answer, with her reason of “it’s too serious”, Lau appeared in thought as she dealt with another question before voicing out that she wanted to answer the question after all.

“I don’t understand exactly what has been happening in Hong Kong over these past few months but I totally respect everyone’s freedom of speech”.

Her confidence speaks of her illustrious career spanning television, film, music and fashion over the decades with the poised manner in how she handles every question.

After all, this was a celebrity whose nude photos were published in a 2002 edition of East Week magazine, which led to protests and petitions held by Hong Kong entertainers that raised the question of media ethics.

Not to mention the constant rumours surrounding her marriage to actor Tony Leung and his supposed ‘affair’ with actress Maggie Cheung. 

Screen legends of East and West — Lau with French actress Juliette Binoche backstage at IFFAM. — Picture via Instagram/carinalau1208

Has it gotten worse in the age of social media?

“Each era has a different way in how it operates,” she said.

“In the past, actors or celebrities protected themselves well, they would polish themselves well before presenting themselves to the audience. 

“With social media and many live interviews (online), actors are expected to present themselves honestly at all times, which is also good because the audience would like to see the genuine side of the actors.”

And that, she said was a reminder, “to be cautious because we need to, as celebrities.”

Privacy concerns aside, Lau speaks of the film industry with much passion.

The actress, who has yet to be seduced by Hollywood and wonders aloud, “I’ve been trying to figure out why,” is awaiting an opportunity to show her best in Hollywood or Europe.

In the meantime, she is just happy to speak of the advancements of Chinese cinema and the rise of Asian actors, which includes husband Tony Leung cast as The Mandarin in the upcoming Marvel universe feature, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

On the red carpet for the IFFAM awards night and closing ceremony last Tuesday night. — Picture via Instagram/carinalau1208

Meanwhile, Lau noted the rise of Chinese cinema, especially in South-east Asia, specifically Malaysia and Singapore.

While there have been many collaborations between East and West, she said Asia itself needed more projects to embrace the similarities and unique differences amongst its own.

While that sounds fine, the price tag of a seasoned actress like herself is hardly within consideration for smaller markets.

Lau however begs to differ, telling Malay Mail, “Actually, I am not that expensive.

“I don’t even charge fees for some productions I’ve worked on before because I wanted to support new directors, new actors,,, so I worked with some small studios before.”

So would she consider a Malaysian production?

The answer is yes, “as long as it’s a good project”.

A tip for Malaysian filmmakers who are keen to secure Lau though, while she has played a diverse array of roles — there is one she looks forward to, namely a “normal housewife”.

Some may, however, beg to differ on her definition of ‘normal’ as she points out Julianne Moore’s role in 2014’s Still Alice.

Lau meanwhile has her sights set on becoming a producer aiming to helm a movie like Ocean’s Eleven, though she says she is open to any opportunities including a reality show or theatre work.

“I am reading scripts right now.

“My acting career will never stop and I am always expecting more challenges.”

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