The Goldfinger is a new, big-screen crime caper. And no, it’s not a remake of the James Bond 007 classic, but for those old enough to remember, it brings two Hong Kong superstars back together after their acclaimed undercover cop thriller, Infernal Affairs (2002).
More than 20 years later, Tony Leung (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, The Grandmaster) and Andy Lau (The Wandering Earth II, House of Flying Daggers) are back with writer-director Felix Chong (The Silent War, Overheard), now taking directing duties on this sweeping criminal story set in the Hong Kong financial market.
Recently promoting the release in UK and Irish cinemas, Leung and Lau were kind enough to answer some questions about making this ambitious film.
The Goldfinger follows the rise and fall of a multi-billion-dollar company and its chairman Cheng Yi-yan (Leung), who undergoes a major investigation led by an anti-corruption investigator (Lau) who dedicates himself to the case, even putting his life and family at risk, to bring justice.
Set across multiple periods during the 1970s and 1980s, the film boasts many different looks for its cast of characters, and noticeable changes in the epic production design. There’s a great soundtrack to boot.
Tony Leung explains, “These jumps in chronology didn’t affect us much. We had the full script, so we could plan ahead for our performances or ways of acting for each specific time. As for makeup, I mainly have three different styles to help create the character.”
Andy Lau recollects, “When I watched the film, I didn’t see much de-aging digital technology being applied. For the later part where we get older makeup, I have to credit the makeup team, for the hair and face, they didn’t put latex or something like that to make me look older, just normal makeup, and making aging more obvious [laughs]. This made me feel more comfortable.”
Yet for Tony Leung, his villain character – a fearlessly ambitious showman – proved to be one of the most demanding of his career to date. He says, “For me, every scene playing this role was challenging because I’ve never played someone this cocky and flamboyant, or unreserved. So, this character is the most challenging for me.”
In addition to uniting these two titans of Hong Kong cinema, The Goldfinger stars fellow industry veterans Simon Yam (Ip Man), Charlene Choi (New Police Story) and rising stars like Michael Ning (One More Chance), Carlos Chan (Anita) and Catherine Chau (The Counterfeiter).
With encouragement, Andy Lau adds, “We have worked in the industry for more than 40 years. Now we hope that a new generation of actors and actresses can have chance to work on big productions, to let audiences see our new blood.”
“Because of the change of demand, we [in Hong Kong] cannot just produce crime thrillers. This time we wanted to make a change too, apart from focusing on crime, there is something new. The Goldfinger doesn’t only focus on the villain and the cop, it also shows who else can be there when there is a loophole in the operation”, referencing the cast of shady characters who populate its world, from slick businessman to sinister gangsters.
The Goldfinger, with its deep narrative, powerful performances and slick style and visuals, goes a long way to re-establishing the big screen impact of Hong Kong cinema. Encouraging audiences to see the film, Lau simply adds, “if you miss seeing Tony and me, go and watch it!”
Trinity CineAsia presents The Goldfinger in UK and Irish cinemas from January 5th.
Book tickets here: https://trinitycineasia.com/in-cinemas/the-goldfinger/