Anthony Wong Chau-sang, born Anthony Perry and know professionally as Anthony Wong is a British Hong Kong actor who is perhaps best known in the West for his roles in the 1992 action film Hard Boiled, the 2002 critically acclaimed film Infernal Affairs as General Yang, and in the 2008 Hollywood film The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
Wong is also one of the few Hong Kong actors who has been openly supportive of the pro-democracy movement in the Chinese territory. As a result, his acting career has been severely affected after he was blacklisted by the Chinese authorities.
In 2019, he won the Best Actor award for the third time at the 38th Hong Kong Film Awards. Despite the strong competition, his stellar performance as a man who uses a wheelchair in the Hong Kong film Still Human earned him the award. Wong also won the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 21st Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy, for his role in the film, which also won the festival’s top prize.
Recently, Wong gave an interview during which he discussed his early childhood, the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, as well as the current situation.
When he discussed the topic of Hong Kong’s current situation, Wong’s calm demeanor changed when he recalled the bullying enforced upon him by the authorities after speaking up. He said, “I am not a politician, but an ordinary person with a conscience. The authorities suppressed me for when I said and what I should say, that is, I spoke the truth.”
During the interview, he revealed that he had earned no income for the past six years after being blacklisted. Still, he remained true to his conviction, “When you encounter injustice, if you remain silent, you are accomplices. People don’t need to be a hero of justice, but you shouldn’t be an accomplice.”
Wong also recalled a strange phenomenon around the time of the handover of Hong Kong on July 1, 1997. Two incidents took place around that time and, “Heaven told me that it is over for Hong Kong.”
He revealed that the day before the handover, as he was driving, he visualized a tripod symbolizing Hong Kong’s return to China falling to on the ground as one of the tripod’s legs was broken. In his opinion, this was a bad omen.
Also, on the day of the handover, Wong was preparing to attend the event, but as soon as he opened the door, he retreated back into the house as he witnessed another strange phenomenon. ”I saw a purple-colored sky, it was so demonic-looking; it was a sight I had never seen before. Afterward, it was raining heavily; it appeared like a bad celestial omen in the sky.”
Wong also criticized Beijing’s promise of “Ruling by Man” and that “Horse racing will continue, and dancing parties will go on in Hong Kong for at least 50 years.” He stated that when Deng Xiaoping died, what China had promised Hong Kong died with him.
Usually an optimist, Wong stated: “If I didn’t feel so demoralized, I wouldn’t leave Hong Kong, unfortunately, I don’t see Hong Kong going back to its former past in the foreseeable future.”
Wong came to Taiwan for a recent film shoot. Asked why he chose Taiwan, he said: “Because Taiwan is the best place that preserves traditional Chinese culture and has inherited moral values and simple folk customs. The Taiwanese people politely and often say ‘I’m sorry, excuse me, and pardon me.’ You will never hear an unfriendly word like ‘go away’.”
He also said that he intends to relocate to Canada where he will reunite with his sons and implied that he will not live in Hong kong after he retires.
He added that he has no intentions of retiring at 60 as there are still many things in his career that he wants to do like “create content, write a book, start an online channel, do a play, open a school and do a production”.
“Retirement means no one wants you, no one is waiting for you. Retirement means doing tai chi, playing chess at the park, talking to old friends, and asking your son for money to go traveling. I am not used to such a life,” he said.
Translated by Joseph Wu and edited by Maria Meyer