Hong Kong singer and actor Andy Lau Tak-wak has been injured in Thailand and his fans all over the world are worried about his condition. (I include myself among those fans.)
Lau, 55, was filming a commercial in Khao Lak, Thailand On Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. Something spooked the horse he was riding and Lau was thrown to the ground. Some reports say that the horse stepped on his waist, which sounds very serious. Nevertheless, Lau’s PR people said that everything is under control and that there’s nothing to worry about.
Reuters quoted Lau’s blog: “There was an accident when I was shooting for a commercial in Thailand on January 17. I fell from a horse and this lacerated my pelvic bone. Right now a medical team is taking proper care of me. I am doing well. Please do not worry. Thank you for your well wishes.”
Lau was flown back to Hong Kong for surgery. Hong Kong police stopped traffic so that his ambulance could get from the airport to Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital as quickly as possible. However, the Hong Kong newspaper The Standard said that: “Lau had to wait inside the ambulance for about 10 to 20 minutes as the hospital entrance was blocked by a large group of journalists who awaited him.”
A video on the web site of the South China Morning Post shows dozens, possibly even hundreds, of those journalists and photographers surrounding the ambulance.
The Standard said that it might take three months for Lau to recover. It also mentioned another mishap with a horse during the filming of The Warlords. “In 2007, Lau jumped off a horse after failing to stop it when he was shooting The Warlords. He was nearly trampled upon by other horses from behind.”
The South China Morning Post quoted “retired broadcaster Cheung Man-sun” who said that “Lau is the pride of Hong Kong and well regarded among the Chinese communities around the world. He is one of the most hard-working personalities in the industry. . .”
Fans of Hong Kong cinema will already know Lau’s work. For others. . . Andy Lau started out on TV, then moved to films. He is versatile, being equally at home with romantic comedies or criminal capers set in the modern day. He has played crooks and cops, and plays both at the same time in Infernal Affairs (2002), the film that Martin Scorsese remade as The Departed, in 2006. He has also appeared in many historical films, playing both military men and an early philosophical peacenik.
One of his most recent films is The Great Wall, directed by Zhang Yimou. The film is controversial in some quarters because Matt Damon is in it. However, in many countries, Andy Lau will be a bigger box-office draw more than Damon will. (Contrary to expectations, Damon does not “save China” in the film.) Coincidentally, in The Departed, Damon played a crook who infiltrated the police force, which was Lau’s role in Infernal Affairs.
Lau also worked with Zhang Yimou for House of Flying Daggers (2004). Other directors Lau has worked with include Johnnie To, Tsui Hark, Wong Kar-Wai, Feng Xiaogang, Ann Hui, Gordon Chan, and Sammo Hung.
Andy Lau’s films have been shown at film festivals in Cannes, Venice, Busan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Toronto, and at Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival. Many get a general release in North America, as well. (Here in Montreal, Cineplex Forum often shows Chinese films.)
Here are the names of just a few of Andy Lau’s many films. (Visit imdb.com for a full list of Andy Lau’s films.)
My Beloved Bodyguard (2016); Saving Mr. Wu (2015); Lost and Love (2015); Blind Detective (2013); Firestorm (2013); Cold War (2012); What Women Want (2011); A Simple Life (2011); Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010); The Warlords (2007); A World Without Thieves (2004); Infernal Affairs 3 (2003); Running on Karma (2003); Infernal Affairs (2002); Saviour of the Soul (1991); Days of Being Wild (1990); As Tears Go By (1988)
The web site for Andy Lau’s fans is called Andy World Club.
Lau, or at least his Chinese given name, Tak-Wah, is even featured in the popular Korean TV drama Goblin. One character, Deok-hwa (it sounds the same as Tak-Wah) was given that name because his uncle likes Andy Lau.
Oh, I almost forgot! Andy Lau also has a local, Montreal connection. . .sort of. At the Golden Horse Awards in 2012, Montreal director Yung Chang won the Golden Horse Award for Best Documentary. In the photo below, Andy Lau greets Qi Moxiang, a retired boxer and boxing coach, who is the main focus of Chang’s film, China Heavyweight. Everyone connected to the film was thrilled to meet Lau.