Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Location: Hong Kong
|Posted: Fri May 06, 2005 1:33 am Post subject: 30 Apr 2005 Tony met with Sandy, News and Summertime
|Thanks News for sharing her story with us. Read her story below. News, I hope you won't mind I copied and pasted your story here.
April 30, 2005
Location: Soho Grand Hotel’s lounge/bar in NYC
Duration: A little after 5pm until 6:40ish pm
This is my account of meeting with Tony Leung, and am leaving out Summertime’s part in which she'll report to you first hand later.
On Friday, April 29, 2005, Sandy met with Tony at Soho Grand Hotel’s lobby and at this meeting she inquired him if two of his fans, whom traveled a distance, could meet up with him tomorrow, which he agreed to.
On a late April Saturday's noon, three online friends whom met for the first time in person at an overcrowded street corner of Canal St. crosses Layettes St. in New York City. It was our first live meeting and awkwardness was absent and not even a hint of it was in the air. I felt that I have known these two women for years, which sound absurd to some and even to me now. We were bond through the admiration and respect for Tony Leung’s works. Oddly enough, I had this great trust in them and fear or frightened weren’t surface at all. Or was I too animated and inundated that within few hours I would meet Tony?
We didn’t describe each other's appearance prior to the meeting, which proved how much dependent we had on cell phone for communication. We had Dim Sum at a Chinese restaurant and followed by a close to two hours chat at a nearby bubble tea store in which we talked about everything under the sky.
To be continued
While sipping bubble teas, we shared with each other photos that we brought to ask Tony signed them and gifts that we’d give to him later. I brought him a card and three 4x6 photos—each of these photos was taken at this year film awards where he won best actor prizes. I contemplate he might want to have them for memory.
The meeting with Tony was tentatively scheduled for 5:00 pm- 5:15 pm. Around 3:45 pm we walked around Chinatown and did a little DVD shopping.
I bought Seoul Raiders DVD, while Sandy got 2046 CD/DVD, and Summertime snatched up Three Summer DVD and ITMFL CD.
I informed Sandy and Summertime that I wanted to buy a marker just in case Tony didn’t have one on site. Fortunately, our issue was rescued by the Pearl Fine Art store when we spotted it on our way to the hotel. I was a happy camper after I located a fine black marker and knowing that my glossy pictures developed from the Ritz Camera store and the girls' items could be signed. Sandy also bought a card for Tony.
Per scheduled, Sandy, Summertime, and I arrived at the lobby’s hotel approximately 4:35ish pm.
Throughout the entire morning, there were few drizzles here and there so, it was only wise to have a last minute touched up and fixed prior to meet Tony. So, off Summertime and I went straight to the restroom when we reached the Soho Grand Hotel.
To be continued...
All of the anticipation and years of wishing meeting Tony was about to realize. I don’t sit around and predict how I’d feel if I see him one day. But the moment was here and this was how I felt-- I was edgy and more nervous at each passing minute! It was the exact feeling of when you were about to give a speech in the auditorium or made a presentation in front of a classroom with staring eyes.
While I was attempted to gather my calm in the comfort zone of the dim light of the hotel’s ladies room-- my blood shot up higher, not highest, few minutes later, when Sandy swung the restroom’s door open. She proudly and cheerfully delivered the good news that Tony was outside having a meeting with someone in the hotel’s lounge & bar.
Great! Can't run now.
I did have a thought of turning my back and fled the scene.
Sandy was informed that he would have a meeting with someone from 4 pm until 5 pm and then he’d hurried back to the hotel for our meeting.
Sense that his meeting’s location must have been altered.
She suggested we should go out and get a table somewhere in the lounge while waiting for Tony to be done with his meeting. Gathered our stuffs, Summertime and I followed Sandy’s footstep. Summertime said she didn't see him the minute we saw heads, heads, and more heads. Customers sitting around tables mingled with their friends. I whispered to her and said, “me too.”
”Tell me if you spot him,” I asked Summertime.
There were few groups of American customers chatting away and had no clue Tony Leung was just inches away from them. But how many actually recognize or know this multi-award winner HK actor in the land of America.
We walked, walked, and walked as my eyes scanned the room searching for his face.
Right there, he was right there!!!
My heart stopped beating for one second as I swiftly passed by his table, which was to my right located next to the door.
He looked clean. Smooth. Neat and my Gosh, young, young. A young man. A very alive one as the matter fact.
The hotel’s lounge & bar was on the second floor positioned on the left of the hotel and Tony sat at the first table talking to three other people, two Americans, a male and a female, and his PR/Mgr (Chinese).
Do you see that smaller room behind the door? Right there. He was there. That was the room we sat in.
Later we learnt from Tony the high powering man he met earlier was an author whom Tony has been reading his book for a long, long time.
We sat down at a vacant table, which happened to be the last one at a corner on the same row as his. From where we sat, if I looked straight to my left, I would see a handsome man using his right hand touching his forehead and while attentively listening to the author spoke.
Sandy’s friend, an American and a resident of NY, was present as well who tag along for fun. Four of us sat down and ordered drinks. Summertime ordered cold water and I couldn’t handle anything else other than hot drink-- I got a hot coffee. I forgot what Sandy ordered for drink. I was shivering; drinking cold beverage would only worsen my body's temperature. While waiting for Tony, I got the Seoul Raiders DVD, photos’ envelope, and jot down my name and my friend’s names on a sticky note. Pulled out a pen and a black marker placed them neatly on the table.
Roughly less than 10 minutes later, Tony walked over an approached Sandy. He requested us to move over to his table since the couple and his PR/Mgr had left.
We didn’t really want to transfer to his table because we were just started to get comfortable in our little corner.
No one had the courage to sit across from Tony. I didn’t want the hot sit. I chose the last seat and farthest seat from him. I was about to sit down, then Tony’s young assistant, it wasn’t Isabella, ushered me to take the middle one, closer to Tony. Her name is Ivy from Taipei by the way.
The hot seat, the chair across from Tony’s chair, in which Summertime had no choice but took it because no one wanted to take it. Another prime seat was the one on the same row next to Tony. Sandy was forced by her friend to sit next to him.
So, the inside row from left to right: Tony, Sandy, and then her friend.
The opposite row: Summertime, me, and then Ivy (his assistant).
Tony stood up as we picked our seats and said hello to all of us.
Immediately, my eyes made a mental note: Tony wore a white cotton T-shirt with a gray long V sleeve shirt and a blue jean. His hair was nicely styled. No mustached. He looked very young and didn’t have a lot of wrinkles. He wore a red string around his neck.
Here comes the obscurity part. A shy megastar with two nervous fans who would break the ice first? Sandy said she had her chance talking to him for a good amount of time yesterday and this afternoon’s meeting was about Summertime and I.
Pressure, pressure. Meaning we HAD to talk to him otherwise there would be many silent moments.
I forgot who actually spoke first. But my first comment for him was:
News: Wow, you look young!!! You look so young!!! (I couldn’t suppress any longer, got to laud him!)
Tony: Well, because I wake up early and go to sleep early.
N: But you are an actor aren’t your job is stressful?
T: What’s there to be stressful about? I have a healthy life style.
You guys are just reading words, but if you were there, the facial expressions and the tone of voices were relaxed and not that tense, really. Except me.
Our drinks were also brought over.
Then he turned to us and said, "drinks?” "Where are your drink?" We said," We are all set."
Then few minutes later, he signaled his assistant to order a glass of champagne for him. She asked "what kind?" He replied, "anything." "Huh, French." He laughed after he changed his mind.
And yes, when Tony opened his mouth, all eyes were on him. I’m just kidding. But we really paid really close attention to his every move.
His voice was so soft and low-- I had to lean over the table a couple of times and asked him to repeat his statements. Yeah, we didn’t really want to miss any word coming out from his mouth because most of his replies were concise. There were some one-word, one sentence, and very little few sentences answers.
His voice sounded a little different from the clips that I heard on CNN and the ITMFL’s Toronto press conference segment. People’s voices in person, on the telephone, and on camera sound slightly different.
Still one word: mesmerizing!
I’m only going to type up questions that I asked Tony and questions he asked me. It was a long conversation; and I’m really grateful for the personal attention I received, but I’m sorry I couldn’t recall every single word he said. Beat me. I can’t. We didn’t take note during our conversation nor videotape it. We didn’t take any of his picture while he was talking either.
Questions weren’t asked in this sequence; I just jot down whatever questions I could recall. Sorry!
N: Who cook for you?
T: My maid then he flashed his million dollars smile
News’ reaction: I had this big smile on my face
Sandy: Sandy laughed and so were the rest of the gang at the table
N: Do people look at you when you walk on the street?
N: Every single time?
S: Then what did you do?
T: I walked very fast.
We all busted out laughing including him of course. We were laughing at the situation not at him.
S: Do they grab you?
T: Yes, sometimes for an autograph or to take pictures with their camera phones
N: And did you take photo with them?
T: Yes, why not.
News’ reaction: I’m nodded my head in agreement.
N: Who buy clothes for you?
N: Do you actually physically go to a store and pick out a shirt and pay it at the register?
T: Yes, why are you asking me that question. I’m curious?
N: Well, because some actors have their fashion stylists handpicked their clothes for them and they just wear whatever is given to them. I really like your style --simple and nice.
T: He either smiled or grinned again. He smiled throughout the afternoon a lot. He was in a relaxing mood.
N: Do you own any of your work?
N: You should. So you can have something to look back when you’re older.
T: No need. If I want to watch, then I’ll ask my fans to send me a copy.
We all laughed.
Let’s back track a little bit. I remember now. My very first, first question for him was:
N: Did you have an interview earlier?
Oh, when I complimented his youthfulness, he jokingly said, “with or without mustache?”
N: Hmm…you still look young with or without it.
T: He smiled.
Actually, you guys give me more credit than I deserved. I wasn’t tranquil at all! I had cold feet. I was apprehensive at the beginning even when we sat at the table in the corner. Sandy’s friend, Michael, kept on laughing at me. Fear of spilling coffee on my clothes, I lowered my head and drank the coffee without using my hands. My hands failed me-they trembled and cold. We were still getting ready for the big moment, I offered Summertime a Dentyne ice peppermint and popped one into my mouth. Couldn’t help myself, I stole a couple of quick glances at him while tried not to let him know I'm looking at him.
Poor two young souls.
Past forward…now all of us are sitting at his table.
Six faces facing each other at a three small tables coupled together. I sat across from Sandy. In front of me, I have the following stacked one on top of another: NYC tourist magazine, Ritz Camera photo’s envelope, a Seoul Raider DVD, and a small sticky note pad, a blue pen, and a black marker. He looked at the DVD and picked it up and said:
T: I don’t like this movie
N: Then why did you do it?
N: Huh, his voice was so ever low and soft. I said, "huh?"
Summertime: It was the investor. The investor wanted.
N: Oh, I grinned.
Minutes into the conversation, either he sensed that we were either coy, nervous, or uptight, he said, “Ask me questions.” You guys travel from far away you guys must have questions for me.” (Something along the line I couldn’t recall the exact phrase.)
Tony knew the drill--when his fans meet him there are three things they would do:
1. Ask for his autograph
2. Take picture with him
3. Ask him questions
That’s why he tells us to ask him questions. What a man! Who won’t want to melt into his arm right at that second?
Did we melt into water? No.
If we did it would have been too embarrassing. We still have a long way to go until he leaves for his dinner plan at 7 pm. Periodically, he either asked one question which applied to both of us or only applied to only Summertime or me. For instance:
T: So, what do you do when you don’t work, looking directly at Summertime?
ST: I like watching movies ….. (Summertime fill me in the rest please. I don’t think I can remember all of your EXACT responses. )
T: After ST’s replied, then he turned to me and ask, “How about you?” “Sleep?”
Then he smiled.
N: I sort of raised my eyebrows and shrugged my shoulder and grinned. Yeah, I was about to say browse tl.org website!!!
"Hmm, it depended on the season, if it was winter, I like to go to ice skate and during summer I like to go to hiking or go to the beach. I live near the beach and just being with my friends make me happy."
T: He either smiled or grinned (forgot which one).
I had no clue why he said sleep.
T: Is today Saturday?
N: I forgot whom he asked the question to? I think either his stylist or Summertime who were sitting closer to him said, “yes.”
T: Do you guys work on Saturday? On weekend?
We said no. We have weekend off.
N: We work five days a week. We physically at our office nine hours and have one hour for lunch.
The assistant, Ivy, was with us sitting next to me for almost the entire meeting. Half way through the meeting, the female make-up/stylist walked into the room and pulled a chair at a nearby table and sat next to Tony which was to the left of Summertime. Then, about 20 minutes before we left, his PR/mgr arrived and sat next to the make-up/artist.
The meeting wasn’t a Q/A setting. There were few silent moments and questions weren’t being fired at him continuously by two of us, so I’m chopping up the questions like they had occurred.
N: Do you still hang out with Steven?
T: Huh… with a puzzled face?
N: Steven Chow
T: I have stopped hanging out with Steven. I don’t hang out with showbiz people. It’s too much. When I don’t work I don’t hang out with show biz people. (Summertime, he said something else but I forgot. Help!)
The man whom he chatted earlier was an author (Summertime what’s his name again?) who writes thriller novels. Tony appeared to admire this author very much and have been reading his novels for about 15 years (Summertime & Sandy, correct me if I’m wrong). Someone asked him something then it lead to his statement below:
T: I have my books (Thanks Sandy for correction..I wrote DVDs before) up in my room but I was too shy to ask for an autograph. Tony shook his head. He’s gone now.
N: I said, give the books to us we’ll do it.
Someone at the table explained it to him.
T: Tony grinned (I think…I forgot his reaction)
When there were awkward silent moments because no one was asking any question or said anything. Summertime looked at Sandy and smiled. Sometime I looked at Sandy and smiled too. Or I looked around the table, at the ceiling, or directly at the window and thinking to myself what a nice afternoon outside. When I’m done wandered around with my eyes, I looked at Sandy--we just smiled and we didn’t need to say a word but we sort of comprehend what was on our minds.
I asked him after there was a brief silent at the table.
N: How do you maintain your English skill?
T: I don’t maintain. My mom (sounded more like mum )when I was in kindergarten enrolled me into English class until primary school.
N: You have pretty good memory, huh?
N: Do you watch a lot of movies at home?
T: No. I hate watching movies at home. I like to watch it in the theater. Movies aren't designed to be watched at home. I like the surround sound, the big screen, the light, and the audiences.
Somehow we talked about horror movie topic:
T: I hate horror movie. I get scare.
N: So, you haven’t watched The Ring 1 & 2, The Eye 1 & 2?
T: No, no. I don’t watch it.
Summertime: Then how come you filmed The Returning?
ST: The movie with Wu Chien Lien.
N: I forgot his respond.
N: How often do you see your mom?
T: Two or three times a week.
N: Does she feel lonely?
T: No, she needs her privacy .
T: Just like me. Smiled.
There were times when we made a statement we received no reaction from him and there were times he either just grinned or smiled.
Michael was sitting next to Sandy had been keeping Ivy company by discussed about various subjects with her. I haven’t been following or paid attention to their conversations and had no clue what they were talking about. My mind was not racing, but attempted to think of questions that I have always wanted to ask him. Searching, searching, and searching…...
Then more brief (45 seconds top) silent of moment—we just looked around and at each other and EVERYONE did it. Just smiled and without saying a word to one another.
When mouths aren’t moving and no noise is making. What did we do? You looked and smiled skittishly at each other, more smiled, more grinned and when TONY LEUNG looked at you and smiled.
What did we do? We SMILED back at him.
When he grinned at us, we grinned right back at him. There were time I found myself, unconsciously, raised both of my eyebrows at him and God only knows why. Don’t ask me why I did it.
He must think it was time now. Eyeing my Seoul Raider’s DVD and said, “Do you want me to sign it?”
Did I say yes instantly?
I said, “no…… Later.” And coyly smiled at him. Some members at the table just smiled.
N: Have you met with Robert Dinero? (I was referring to their dinner in NY)
N: Have you seen his latest movie?
T: Do you mean, “Meet the Flocker?”
T: I saw it on the airplane. Smiled.
N: Did you like it?
T: No, I like his earlier works. I like Raging Bull, Godfather, Godfella, and The Taxi. I don’t like his comedy movies.
N: Have you met with Martin Scorsese?
T: No. He’s filming the remake of Infernal Affair in New York right now. He doesn’t like to be interrupting when filming. Just like Wong Kar Wai doesn’t allow reporters in when filming.
Then later on, he looked at my pile of stuff and pointed at the photo’s envelope and asked, “What’s that?”
"It’s an envelope."
All of us laughed.
We all knew that there were photos inside including him. Do you know where he's going with his question? He knew and everyone at the table knew that I wanted him to sign them and he knew that I wanted him sign them too!
I forgot how I asked him but..his replied was:
T: Each city, I only stay for a day or a few days. I hate flying.
I forgot how he asked me.
N: But I told him that it was an 8 hours bus ride round trip from Boston to NYC.
T: Tony made a bitter face.
He shared with us that the flight from HK to NYC was horrible. It was during the daytime and he couldn't sleep: 16 hours long.
He asked Summertime how long was her ride too. She can tell you more about it.
While he was listening to Summertime talked, I excused myself, and whispered to Sandy that I were going to the restroom. Yes, I left his sight. Can you actually believe it? It was Tony Leung.
About 45 minutes into the meeting, I got a little bit more relaxed.
I played around with my necklace and a couple times I unconsciously cup my chin or cheek and just stared at him for few seconds; about 1 minute top while he’s talking to Summertime or Summertime talking to him. I meant I literally glued my eyes at him and like a camera followed his moves and I only took my sight off from him for a few seconds max.
Then back to starring at him.
I didn’t really look at him into the eyes or was electrocuted by them. I looked at his whole face. Not his eyes or anything. He has a nice face.
When you looked at him; he knew. He isn’t shy looking at you in the eyes. He looked straight at you when you talk to him. He’s attentive.
I forgot how we lead to this discussion
ST: (I think) Summertime asked him, are you planning to make another movie with Zhang Zi Mou
T: I hate film ancient movie. I have to wear a wig and they glue the hairs to your skin using his hands pointing to his sideburns. Then he somehow talked about mustached. “When you put on a mustache,” he used his two index fingers to form a shape like a mustached around his upper lip and still had his fingers on his lip and said, “when you wear a mustache you don’t know how to talk.” It looked pretty cute!
We talked about something and it lead it to the following subject:
T: I hate to work
N: You said you hate working, then how come you said you love acting.
T: Acting isn’t work; it’s my hobby
N: You have a pretty good hobby. I forgot his reaction.
At one point he stood up and walked away from the table for a minute or two and it could be to use the restroom. I don’t know.
At one point it could be during his short absent from the table.
N: I asked the make-up artist/stylist, have you gotten a chance to walk around NYC?
Make-up artist/stylist : We went for a two-hours walk earlier from Soho to NYU.
Stylist: My legs hurt.
N: Did you guys go shopping?
Stylist: No, he likes window-shopping and take a walk.
She speaks very good English.
When Tony wasn’t talking to us, he turned over and spoke in Cantonese to the stylist. After Summertime translated for me during dinner, she said, Tony told the Sylist that he wanted an autograph from the author but was too shy to ask.
I recalled that when he was speaking to her earlier, he had this regretted on his face. We all feel bad for him. The stylist said, give the books to me; I’ll do it for you.
T: Just grinned, not really a reaction.
I asked the stylist:
N: Do you want to take pictures with him, then I pointed to the assistant and the PR
Stylist: No, thanks. Smiled. I see him every day.
When Tony was talking to Summertime and we just sat there and listened to him. The stylist refill Summertime’s water without Tony asked her to or no one asked her. Tony’s crew was really nice and sweet. Like Ivy, she knew and she must be used seeing fans around Tony, that's why when we arrived at the table--her gesture suggested me to sit closer to him not far away. They know the drill too: they know what Tony's fans want when we see him: obtains his autograph, photograph with him, talk to him, shake his hand or even want a hug.
They do things without having Tony open this mouth--which reminded me of Idy Chan’s character, princess Lan Lan, in Grand Canal whom has very loyal workers.
This crew, well at least from a little interaction with them, Ivy and the stylist (forgot he name), understand Tony. They know what he likes and dislikes.
Also, don’t worry if you think you lack privacy when you with Tony, they give fans plenty of space to be close to him, so you can chat with him.
Now you know why I wrote names on the sticky note. I wanted him to write my name correctly so, I wrote my friend and mine’s name earlier while we were waiting for him at the table in the corner.
I handed him the DVD, he grabbed the marker from the table, and he did it unconsciously-- pulled the movie’s cover from the DVD signed it and placed it back within a few seconds.
Signed his name in Chinese
I pulled out a 8X12 photo from the envelope and told him which one was my name and he signed it. I forgot how he knew or someone at the table told him I’m Vietnamese. Then he said, you’re Vietnamese?
T: I have been to Vietnam when I was working on Tran Anh Hung’s Cycle movie. I stayed there for two months.
N: My mind was blank, and then next all I heard was Ho Chi Minh City. It was later Summertime told me that he liked Ho Chi Minh City. I was too busy looking at him and words were blah..blah..coming out of his mouth.
He signed my friend’s photo.
Each time he finished sign a photo Ivy reached over and took it and placed it neatly in front of her. Then she explained to me that she was drying them. She’s so sweet.
PHOTOGTAPHING TIME WAS A RIOT
Someone made the call for photographing at the table.
So, he got into the position. He just sat there and posed (smiled) for us. Posed after posed right at the same chair he has been sitting.
Summertime clicking her camera away. I was STRUGGLING. I meant STRUGGLING. I took plenty of them, but all fuzzy. Why?
My hands were shaken. I was panicky and not too happy with my photos. So, I told Sandy and Summertime that that my hands were too wobbling and couldn’t capture any good shot. So, I turn to my right and asked Ivy to help me take his photos.
She took a few photos and showed them to me. When I compared to my own, they were much brighter and clearer.
He was so patient. Sat here and posed without a single complaint. We even had time to view the photos and retake them.
Ivy has the same camera as my camera (it belongs to my sister), which she told me. I had trouble operating it; she showed me how to us the camera. She’s a sweetie and nice.
Yeah, I didn’t have extra memory card in my camera. I had the internal card, which hold merely 59 or so pics!!!
Knowing that I had limited memory space, I deleted those bad quality photos. I deleted them one by one. Not that I had a choice. If I had extra memory I would have save those and deleted them when I return to Boston. But.... you do what you have to do.
And from the corner of my eyes, I saw Tony was looking at me. He didn’t say anything. We understood what was going on. He didn’t show a sign of frustration.
Then, I tried to take his pictures AGAIN on my own after Ivy returned the camera to me.
I “cried” to Sandy whom has been sitting on the same couch as him. Even she sat on the same couch as him, she was a mile away and didn’t want to be in the photo.
N: Sandy, my pictures are too fuzzy. I couldn’t take any good photos.
Michael said because you hands were unsteady. I said, " I know." Summertime was doing fine... I guess.
N: Sandy can you help me take his photo for me?
Sandy walked around the table and saved me. She had no problem taking them- her hands were fine, not trembling like me.
What did I do?
I sat there.
Tony knew that I was nervous and the pictures didn’t come out good.
“Keep going Sandy,” I advised Sandy. “Keep taking his photos.”
“Keep going?” “Ok,” said Sandy.
Then later Sandy got up again and got her camera out took photo of him for the website-she was talking out loud as she snapped his photos.
He sat and continued posing.
I let Summertime take with him first. I sat there, and then someone tapped on my shoulder. I looked over it was Ivy.
Ivy: Where’s your camera? I’ll take pictures for you.
N: I handed her my camera.
Then it was my turn.
Tony walked over and I slide over to the chair next to me. He sat in my chair. Gosh, I was so tense. My shoulder was un-relaxed.
Ivy took photo of Tony and me. She snapped one picture, then handed it over to Tony.
Tony said, “looked at it, if you don’t like it. We’ll take it again until you like it.” My heart dropped to the ground. And said to myself, did he just said what he said. How could I not love this man!?
When I viewed the photo, my body was slanted to the right (Tony was sitting to my LEFT) with a really rigid shoulder. Hands clapped together placed between my legs. There you got the picture!!!
I got three individual photos with him; Summertime and I took two pictures with Tony on my camera.
“Time to say good-bye”
It was time for Tony and his crew to leave. He had a dinner arraignment at 7pm and Ivy reminded him that it was TIME.
T: It wasn’t time yet?
N: She told him they had to do something before dinner or something along the line.
We knew the party will end and it was here. We can’t do anything.
He stood up and shook hand with everybody at the table before he left. He turned to Sandy shook her hand and said blah, blah, blah…Then shook Michael’s hand. Michael said, nice meeting you and…blah, blah… I was too busy looking him and couldn’t hear a thing they said.
In the meantime I was still sitting there. When he extended his hand out and offered me a handshake.
I said to myself, “Oh Gosh.”
My hands were moist. I stood up and simultaneously dried both of my hands onto my jean. He saw what I did and so was everybody at the table. It was a really conscious act. I didn’t want him to shake a wet hand because I loathe it myself.
N: I said out loud, my hands were sweaty. Everybody including him just busted out laughing.
He walked around the table, grabbed his black leather jacket, which had been resting at the couch’s arm. He walked ever so slowly and turned to us and wished us a save trip home and said good-bye.
He turned around, said, "I’ll see you guys on-line."
He still hadn’t really walked yet.
Waved very lightly to us and walked away with a sad face.
We, Sandy, Summertime, and I, could tell that he didn’t want to go the dinner.
We realized we hadn’t paid for our drinks. I walked up to the bartender and told him that we wanted to pay for our drinks.
Bartender: Oh, it was already paid.
Tony paid for our drinks.
I asked Summertime to take a picture of the glass champagne and his tea which were still on the table and the empty couch because even he was gone, my hands were still rickety.
I also took a photo of the hallway/elevator for memory and for my record of how the inside of the hotel looked like.
We agreed to walk to a nearby restaurant for dinner. My feet were touching the ground when I walked, but my mind was still at that table in the hotel.
Last edited by Info on Fri May 20, 2005 9:24 am; edited 2 times in total
Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Location: Hong Kong
|Posted: Mon May 09, 2005 4:45 am Post subject:
|Thanks for Summertime to share her side of the story. Summertime, I hope you won't mind I posted your story here.
It's summertime here
Firstly, I just want to say "hats off" to news and Sandy - their accounts are so eloquent. I can't write like them I'm afraid, so please bear with me.
It was a 10 hr bus ride to NYC, but I was willing to take the risk. I got on the bus the day before - the Friday - at 8 p.m., and got into NYC the next day - Saturday - at 6:15 a.m.. I must say you never fall into a complete sleep on a bus LOL
I had never done this before - just jump on a bus and cross the border - with no guarantees of anything.
For me, Tony was the exception - I respect his work as an actor; I can identify with him because he comes from the same culture as me; and I have read so many good things about him as a person, from people that have actually encountered him.
Also, Info and Sandy were encouraging so I thought it would be okay
I came to NYC with very realistic expectations.
I knew my chances of getting into the sold-out screening of "2046" were quite slim. Also, I didn't know whether I'd have the chance to meet Tony. I mean, after all, he was in NYC for work, and had a schedule to keep. I would think time would be very precious to him. I would have understood if he could not meet with us.
To me, if nothing worked out, then it was "Hey, this is NYC - there is PLENTY to do and see !!!".
news and Sandy have already set the scene and captured the essence of what went on - I'll try to add my thoughts and avoid duplication - they come in no particular order, and I also want to be discreet out of respect for Tony.
There is a certain dichotomy to my perspective. On the one hand, this was an adventure - I gave into feeling all the fun, delight, laughter, craziness, giddiness, anxiety, anticipation etc. of what was about to happen or not happen - of meeting new people with a common interest - of just being in New York City.
On the other hand, I was aware that I was going to meet a person - not an image on a screen - which was a sobering thought.
Going in, I was anxious and nervous - not about talking to Tony per se - I actually felt pretty comfortable when I was speaking to him. It stemmed more from wondering about the unknown - about how he would react - about how this would all turn out - and hoping that it would be a positive experience.
When I took the seat across from him, I was also thinking "The moment is really here . . .".
My time with him was more along-the-lines of having a chat.
I started off by saying, "How did the screening on Thursday go ?". He replied that he thought it went okay.
When the subject of horror films came up, I brought up "The Returning". He asked, "Which one is that ?", and I said, "The one with the old house, and the character of 'Siu Lau' . . . ". I had attempted to say this in Cantonese LOL - poor Tony He then realized which film I was talking about, and said "That was a long time ago".
I asked him, "Will you be working with Gong Li again ?". He said, "No, she is about to start shooting 'Miami Vice' ".
I asked him about the Andrew Lau/Alan Mak film, and he said they would start shooting this November.
"Eros" came up in the conversation, and Tony mentioned that he had only seen the WKW part.
I mentioned to him that the I was able to see the Hong Kong Film Awards in my area a few weeks after they aired in Hong Kong.
I told him a few things about where I was from, and he mentioned that Canada was cold LOL
At one point, Tony started speaking to his make-up artist in Cantonese. I understood everything they were saying. Out of respect to them, I won't reveal what they said. However, quite early on, Tony said something that made me burst out laughing. It was then that Tony clued in that I might understand what they were saying because he asked "Do you understand what we are saying ?", and I grinned at him and said "Yeah". The make-up artist then said to me "You understood 'XXX' ?" (it was not a bad word) - and I grinned again and said "Yeah.".
He also spoke a bit of Mandarin with the assistant from Taipei.
Tony also asked, "What did you do in NYC today ?". I simply said, "Shopping." - to which he laughed. I said to him, "I've been to NYC quite a few times before, so I've already seen the sights, and bought all the souvenirs".
To me, news was doing just fine - she handled herself well. I was surprised to hear/read how nervous she was because it didn't appear that way to me when I would look over at her.
For me, this day was something rare and special, so I asked Tony to take some pictures with me, and to sign a photo in Chinese and English. Even when I can't picture this day as clearly as when I was in the moment, I have these nice reminders that captured a fleeting moment in time.
When it was time for Tony to take leave of us, he shook hands with each person - when he got to me, we shook hands and smiled.
I too, perceived, that perhaps he wasn't quite ready to leave yet.
As he was leaving our little group behind, he waved at us - we waved back - he took a few steps, then turned around, and waved to us again - again we waved back - he then took a few more steps, and then waved to us a final time.
And as he walked away, that was our last glimpse of him. I did not feel sad. I felt a warm glow inside - because we had had these moments with him.
I have had some time to sit back and digest what transpired last Saturday.
In the grand scheme of things, Tony is a human being just like the rest of us. He just happens to have a more high profile job.
My perception is that he is someone who is honest and genuine - he does not pretend anything. He means what he says.
I think he is also someone who takes time to warm-up to people. I can be like that too.
When I recall moments from last Saturday, it is with a smile on my face.
I will always treasure this time.
Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Location: Hong Kong
|Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 1:41 pm Post subject:
|More report from Sandy and News.
Some random tidbits. I don't remember who asked the questions - either news or summertime - what's tony's favorite food...
He said potatoes. I was sitting next to him, and repeated "potatoes?"
He looked at me and tried to explain, "yes, potatoes, any kind of potatoes, I like potatoes and I eat any kind of potatoes." That sort of stuck in my mind. Not sure about you folks, but potatoes! It is the first time I heard anyone who likes potatoes so much!
Now everytime I see potatoes - either raw potatoes on the grocery rack, fully baked potatoes at a restaurant, or french fries at a fast food chain - guess who I am thinking of!
I asked Tony what was his favorite food? “I like Chinese.” Then he specified further, “I like Cantonese food.”
I mumbled something or repeated his answer. He looked at me, and said, “Oh, I like potatoes.” It sounded strange to me not in a bad way. I don’t know what answer I was looking. I don’t really know.
“Do you like french fries” I inquired.
He either said, “Not really or no. “
“What kind of potatoes do you like?”
“Any kind of potatoes.”
He got animated at the discussion of potatoes-- his eyes got bigger, face lit up and radiant. I was thinking to myself, he must really like potatoes!
“I like them. I like sweet potatoes, regular potatoes. I like them all. I like smashed potato, grilled potatoes, steamed potatoes, baked potatoes, etc. If it’s potato I like it.
Did I ask what was his favorite fruit? That was where I was heading to with the food question. We bought him some fruits from Chinatown earlier; and I want to know if he likes them.
We scouted Chinatown for few blocks after we finished with the DVD purchased in search of buying a gift for Tony. Sandy told us his favorite flower was lily. But there was no lily in sight on that dull afternoon. However, there were many fruits stands. We bought him red grapes and ripe baby bananas.
I forgot how it led to the fruit topic after we talked about food. He turned his attention to the make-up artist and told her that we bought him fruits. Both of them now looking down at the floor to the fruits bag.
"Wow, what are big grapes" said the make-up artist.
"Of course!" said Tony. "This is America. Everything is big even grapes are big." He said with a straight face.
People at the table laughed out loud in unison at his remark. He wasn't trying to be funny. But his comment is comical. He looked at us and laughed too.
Up until that comment, I didn't aware he has that impression of America. Things are big here.
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