Back in December 2010, a 'historic' moment occurred -- Tony Leung's ‘first love’ Margie Tsang sat down with his current wife Carina Lau and spoke candidly about life, career, and, yes, Tony! Why is this considered 'historic'? Well, of course, one reason is because of the 'ex' factor -- namely, Margie being Tony's former girlfriend throughout most of the 1980s (they famously broke up and got back together 3 times throughout that period) plus the fact that the two of them were a popular and endearing couple both on and off-screen at the time. But in my opinion, the reason why this interview is so significant is because of the fact that all these years (more than 20 years now), Margie has rarely talked about Tony in public (except for a radio show interview she did with Carina in the 90s – more on that below) – of course, other people always try to mention his name in interviews with her and such since they were such a famous couple, but the 'mention' is almost always very brief (it's almost as though Margie just 'glosses' over it) and almost every time, Margie usually changes the subject to steer away from having to talk about him. So for Margie to be willing to sit down with Carina and talk so candidly about Tony -- in a public forum no less – is definitely a rare and significant event!
This interview is actually a television interview that Margie had face to face with Carina -- it was a special program that aired on TVB’s Entertainment News Channel on January 2, 2011 (the actual interview took place in December but the program aired in January). The interview was arranged by Carina’s management company and the purpose was to promote her latest film – they invited Margie to be the ‘special guest host’ for the program.
I actually have the DVD version of the program, but to be honest, I have not had a chance to watch it yet (unfortunately, I'm a bit behind on my DVD watching) -- however, I was able to track down the 'written' version of the interview that was printed in Mingpao Weekly Magazine back in January (Issue # 2199, dated 01/01/2011). Of course, until I watch the 'real thing', there's no way for me to know how closely the 'written' version mirrors the original -- but from a translation standpoint, it's much easier (and quicker) for me to translate the written interview than it is for me to translate the actual television one. Plus who knows when I'll have time to watch the TV interview -- I didn't want to hold off on this post any longer, so I figured I'd go ahead and post the translation for the written interview first, then when I actually get around to watching the original TV interview, I will definitely do a follow up post at that time to clear up any discrepancies (to be honest, the written interview seems way too short to me, so I can’t help but think it might not be the complete interview).
One clarification that I do have to make though – this is NOT the first time that Margie has interviewed Carina and talked about Tony. Back in the mid-90s, when Margie was host of a radio show, Carina was a guest on her show then as well – at that time, they had also talked candidly about Tony (of course, Carina was his ‘girlfriend’ back then and not yet his wife) and they also refuted reports in the Media that they didn’t get along by clarifying that they are still good friends.
So here is the ‘written’ version of the TV interview....hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Source: Mingpao Weekly
Translated by: llwy12
**Note: Only the actual interview part was translated – in the magazine, there are additional pages of commentary by Mingpao that I will not be translating here. **
MT = Margie Tsang
CL = Carina Lau
MT: We’ve known each other for 28 years and were classmates in the same Acting Class, yet very seldom have we talked candidly in front of a camera about our ‘grudges’….
CL (couldn’t help interrupting): What ‘grudges’?
MT: Just kidding! Anyway, even though your main purpose this time is to promote your movie, I still should ‘formally’ welcome you. Welcome, Carina!
CL: Wah! What’s with the formalities!?
(The two ladies embrace cheek to cheek and excitedly greet each other)
MT: If you were to film another movie, who would you want to collaborate with the most? Tony Leung?
CL: No, no!
MT: Haha! Either Tony Leung or Margie Tsang (points to herself) is fine! Hahahaha!
CL: Ha! Hey, with these types of things, never say never! No one knows what may happen in the future, but for now, it’s not a good idea for me to shoot a movie with him [Tony] because I prefer that my personal life be separate from my work, otherwise, it can get quite awkward.
MT: Plus if you guys had just gotten into an argument that day, then to have to shoot scenes together, it’s a bit…..
CL: Hahaha! Actually, we rarely argue nowadays! Not like back when you two were together, arguing all the time – we hardly argue now.
MT: You know, back then when we [Tony and I] were together, it definitely wasn’t the same. At the time, we were truly very young and both of us had fiery tempers!
CL: Well, did you ever do some self-reflecting?
MT: I did not.
CL: You never reflected on it inwardly?
MT: What is there to reflect upon? Everyone was like that in their youth! At the time you were…..(quickly changes the subject). Hey, I gave you a ‘good card’! [referring to Tony]
(The two women laugh loudly together).
MT: The issues that we [Tony and I] had, I’m sure he wouldn’t repeat them with you.
CL: No, but I still feel there is a need to reflect and understand what happened in the relationship. Perhaps changing a little bit will help a relationship.
MT: No, I’ve always felt that different things will happen at different stages in life. You say that there may be self-reflection or regret….true, self-reflection may occur, but not regret – I feel that once a situation has passed, let it be.
MT: In terms of male artists, who do you want to collaborate with the most?
CL: Male artists, it doesn’t matter, as long as their acting is good.
MT: How about female artists?
CL: Actually, doesn’t matter either. Of course, I would prefer to collaborate with someone who acts well.
MT: Then would you mind if, let’s say, someone were to ask you and Maggie Cheung [Man Yuk] to collaborate on a movie together? [TN:Throughout the years, there have been many 'rumors' of Tony and Maggie being an 'item' due to their many collaborations and on-screen chemistry]
CL: Of course yes! A movie with her and me – don’t know if there would be an appropriate script or such an opportunity. I feel that if the 2 of us were to collaborate in a movie, just the poster itself would be very pretty!
MT (laughs): How would you arrange the standing positions in the poster?
CL: Have you seen Tony and Andy’s poster for “Infernal Affairs”? Nothing needed to be said and already, you felt like you wanted to go into the theater and watch that movie. If one day, there’s a good director, a good script, and Maggie and I are invited to collaborate, I feel that the movie will be a very good one!
MT: If you and Maggie were to collaborate in a movie, what do you think the theme should be?
CL: I was just thinking about that.
MT: How about adding Tony Leung to the movie? Hahahaha!
CL: Haha! Of course! I feel that he is a great candidate for the male lead role!
MT (playfully): Maybe I’ll do a cameo and be the one…. (laughs heartily)….I mean the flashback....(at this moment, Carina can’t help laughing as well) of Tony Leung’s ‘puppy love’ [first love].
CL: Let us think about it more….definitely continue to think about it more! Haha!
MT: Based on the Tony that I know, he gets jealous sometimes – for instance if you were to have overly intimate scenes in a movie, are you afraid that he may feel jealous?
CL: Oh, I don’t know! Haha!
MT: So that means ‘No’?
CL: Actually, no, he wouldn’t be jealous. It’s possible that if he were to watch those scenes, he may feel uncomfortable, but that’s very normal. In reality, the ‘discomfort’ will pass very quickly because at the end of the day, we both understand that it is only a scene in a movie.
MT: When he [Tony] filmed “Lust, Caution” (can’t help laughing again), did he let you know ahead of time that there would be such a ‘daring’ scene and get your permission first?
CL: Yes, he did.
MT: Did he really?
CL: Yes, he really did. I also felt that he absolutely should have filmed that sequence….
MT (interrupting): …So is this the way he would say it – ‘Carina, honey! I have an intimate scene with Tang Wei that may involve skin to skin contact’?
CL: Actually, what we audiences end up seeing is very ‘basic’ stuff on the surface. I understand that when director Ang Lee wanted to film this scene at first, there was a lot of thought that went into it. What Tony needed the most was my support – it’s actually not that big of a deal – we should look at it ‘professionally’ rather than apply a ‘gossip’ attitude toward it.
MT: I’m sure he [Tony] probably struggled with it though.
CL: Sure! For an actor to have to do those types of scenes with a ‘stranger’ pretty much, no matter what, there will be some pressure. It’s the same as when he filmed that intimate scene with Leslie Cheung in the movie “Happy Together” back in the day – he was so scared, he called me from the set…he was definitely scared….(when recalling the moment, she smiles tenderly and sweetly).
MT: So it was more like ‘Carina, you film it! I don’t want to film it with Leslie!’
CL: It’s because he ‘couldn’t’ film it – he had to calm himself for a long time.
MT: How about you? If you were to come across such a role, would you ‘go all out’ like that? If it was necessary to further the plot, that is?
CL: At my age now, I wouldn’t think about this type of thing. A sexual relationship is a normal part of life, there is no way to avoid it. A movie is just a way to express what happens in real life. I feel that we should take a mature and professional approach to the matter.
MT: Carina, in all seriousness, we honestly have known each other for 28 years already.
CL: Yes, with the blink of an eye, 28 years have passed already.
MT: We’ve known each other for so long – at one time, honestly, you, me, and Sandra [Ng] used to be known as the ‘Three Musketeers’.
MT: There was a period of time when we were very close, yet to sit down together and chat in front of the camera like this, it was very rare.
CL: Very rare.
MT: While chatting with you today, the feeling that I get is that both of us have matured greatly.
CL: Of course! It should be that way!
MT: I feel that, it seems, I used to know you really well, then later on not so well, but now after seeing each other again…
MT and CL (in unison): …feels like we know each other really well again!
MT: The feeling is very interesting….when the names ‘Margie Tsang’ and ‘Carina Lau’ are placed side by side, many people tend to ‘add’ a lot of ‘things’ in between. I want to take this opportunity to clarify once and for all – a lot of people feel that there is a certain ‘subtleness’ to our relationship, all because of one Tony Leung – some of them think that back then, something must have happened….actually, I’m telling you guys [the audience] right now – it is not the truth! Nothing happened!
MT: I really….you understand, right? To this day, there are still people who think that way.
MT: That’s why I truly want to clarify at this point in time….it truly had NOTHING to do with Carina Lau! (laughs loudly) [TN: Margie is referring to her breakup with Tony Leung – some people believe that Carina was the ‘third wheel’ in the relationship and that she ‘stole’ Tony from Margie]
CL: With this matter, when the time comes, the truth will come out.
(The two ladies laugh together heartily).
MT: Really though, it has always been a mystery to me why people would think that. Plus I feel that the Media divided us a little and caused our relationship [referring to her relationship with Carina] to be a bit distant.
CL: Hm…I didn’t!
MT: It’s true, because there was always the feeling that something was between us….but in reality, there is nothing between us! Sometimes, friends may not see each other all the time, but the friendship is still there.
MT: That’s why I’m very happy today, to truly be able to chat with you like this!
CL: Thank you, thank you to you!