The Rule of Lau

Andy Lau, it turns out, is a lot like the rest of us. O.K., we don't have movie-idol looks and we don't make millions from crooning insipid love ballads to panting female audiences. But for a long time the iconic Canto-pop star saw his job in the same way most of us see ours: as a soul-deadening grind. Going back two decades, when he was starting in television, or to the mid-'80s, after he made his big leap into films, Lau was dogged by a sensation that he was sleepwalking through his performances. "In any movie," he says, "you showed your...

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