What they say

Updated: 2013-04-17 09:16

(China Daily)

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He likes ping-pong, brush calligraphy, sports and good food. In the cast, I'm the main target for his tantrums. I see it as his way of reminding me to behave because I tend to be the most mischievous.

Suet Lam, a regular in Johnnie To's cast of supporting actors.

Everyone says Johnnie To has a hot temper. I came to the set with trepidation and found out, after spending some time with him, that it's all pretending.

Denise Ho, Hong Kong actress who plays the female lead in Life Without Principle.

He is temperamental, but he is not difficult to get along with. I've known him for more than a dozen years. I like the feeling that he has eclipsed me because I don't want the spotlight and one of us happens to be good with maneuvering it.

Ka-Fai Wai, To's writing partner.

He is very yao, and the movie is yao as well, just like him. (In Chinese, "yao" can mean foxy or charming in an evil way.)

Sun Honglei, mainland actor who plays the lead in Drug War.

To's riposte: "I don't know what he (Sun Honglei) means by that."

He makes so many pictures that he has single-handedly prevented Hong Kong cinema from cooling down completely. And he has given people in the industry job opportunities they would otherwise not have. He used to strut around like a movie mogul, with a cigar in his mouth and a potbelly. As he has slimmed down, he also displays more humility.

Ning Tam, a scriptwriter who worked with To on many of his earlier projects.

He is very hardworking and keeps reinventing himself. His new movies are very different from his old ones and much better. He is not afraid of failure. When he fails, he will reflect on himself. I love his perseverance.

Ching Wan Lau, a regular in To's movies, who usually plays the male lead.

When I praised Johnnie To as he first started in the 1980s, nobody would agree with me. They were not convinced of his talent until his string of hits in the late 1990s. Johnnie could misfire, but it seems he's on a roll now, creating wonderful works that can either be high art or pure moneymakers.

Jing Wong, Hong Kong director whose father, Tin Lam Wong, was a mentor for To.