I prefer drama. Action is too much for me at this age - you need to be very well prepared. But even for a drama like this, I feel very exhausted. I dare not think about action films with Wong Kar-wai, but we are supposed to do one next year.
on whether he prefers drama or action movies
I think I was influenced by a lot of American actors. I'm a great fan of Martin Scorsese and I saw a lot of Gene Hackman, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Jack Nicholson. I watch a lot of them; I might be influenced by them in some ways, but when I was acting I did not intend to imitate them."
on his influences
Acting has always been a way for me to express the emotions I had buried. If I hadn't acted, I would have gone insane. In my acting class, I could let out my real tears and everyone thought it was the character. But no, it was me.
on why began acting
Maybe it's because I came from a broken home. I wasn't so happy in my childhood. My parents broke up when I was six. Before, I was a very active, naughty child, but after my father left me I stopped talking. I became very good at hiding my emotions. I felt so ashamed of telling others that I didn't have a father, because that was not common in the 1960s. People didn't break up - even if they didn't love each other - in traditional Chinese families. Not like today.
on the origins of his hallmark mournfulness in acting personality
Once I'm committed to a role, I will go very deep into it, even when I'm not at work. I'll keep on studying the script, maybe 40 or 50 times. I might call a scriptwriter at three in the morning to say I've thought of something new.
about his work ethic
I like not knowing from one day to the next. It keeps me from thinking and allows me to just be in my character. Too much information restricts your creativity.
Kar-wai's unique motivational tactic