Andy Lau plays a special agent in action-adventure Switch, which releases later this month . Loong Wai Ting looks at some of his top films
As Tears Go By (1988)
1 - Six-time Best Actor winner Lau played a small-time gangster trying to keep his friends out of trouble. The film grossed HK$11.5million in Hong Kong and remains one of director Wong Kar Wai’s highest-grossing movies to date.
Future Cops (1993)
2 - This action-comedy was loosely based on the Street Fighter video game franchise. The fight scenes featured special attacks and fighting styles similar to the game. Although the characters bore a resemblance to those in Street Fighter, the production team did not get the rights to use their names for the film. The following year, Street Fighter the movie was released, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme as Colonel William Guile. Lau is second from left in the picture.
Running Out of Time (1999)
3 - Lau won his first Best Actor award at the 19th Hong Kong Film Awards for his role as cancer-stricken Cheung, who had only four weeks to live. Besides being nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Editing, the film was also the Recommended Film Of The Year at the 6th Annual Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards.
A Fighter’s Blues (2000)
4 - To prepare for this role, Lau trained extensively in muay thai, Thailand’s oldest martial arts form. He also sang the theme songs Smile and When I Met You. His performance won him a nomination for the Best Actor award at the 2001 Hong Kong Film Awards.
Love On A Diet (2001)
5 - Lau(right) and Sammi Cheng(centre) reunited on the big screen after they were last paired in the previous year’s romantic movie, Needing You. In Love On A Diet, Lau played an obese man and had to wear a fatsuit with prosthetic make-up. Most of the scenes were shot in Japan.
Running On Karma (2003)
6 - If Lau wore a fatsuit in Love On A Diet, here he put on a musclesuit in his role as Big, who had the ability to see one’s past life.
7 - Based on material provided by retired undercover agents with the Hong Kong Police Force, the film was a realistic story of undercover agents who struggled to get information on drug dealing and who constantly walked the fine line between justice and crime.
Detective Dee And The Mystery Of The Phantom Flame (2010)
8 - Director Tsui Hark originally had Tony Leung Ka-fai, Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Jet Li in mind for the lead role, Di Renjie. Li pulled out for undisclosed reasons. In the end, Lau played the detective from the Tang Dynasty along with Carina Lau, Li Bingbing and Tony Leung Ka-fai.
9 - Filming started in 2009 after the crew built a replica of the Shaolin Temple in Zhejiang to avoid damaging the actual temple. It was also reported that Lau hurt his left hand in a fight scene.
A Simple Life (2011)
10 - Lau once again won the Best Actor awards (Hong Kong Film Award and Taipei’s Golden Horse Film Awards) for his excellent portrayal of Roger Leung. The film also marked his reuniting with actress Deanie Ip (they last starred together in the 1999’s Prince Charming). The film was picked for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards but did not make it to the final shortlist.