Tony Leung Chiu Wai

Chinese film and TV actor Tony Leung Chiu-wai gained some stateside critical attention with the limited release of Vietnamese filmmaker Tran Anh Hung's "Cyclo" (1996). Describing his character, "The Poet"--a sensitive gangster who suffers stress-related nosebleeds between bouts of ruthless bloodletting--he has been quoted: "The role of the Poet is quite different from the characters I usually play, more introverted, more fragile. I like his sadness, his modesty, his breathtaking self-destructiveness. The Poet is still with me today. I'm not very talkative like him, and I appreciate my solitude as he does." Such an assessment seems somewhat disingenuous in light of the vulnerability Leung Chiu-wai often brings to his characterizations, even in hard-boiled action fare.