The Faces of Wong Kar Wai: Spotlight on Maggie Cheung

The Faces of Wong Kar Wai: Spotlight on Maggie Cheung

por remi mourany

Maggie Cheung Man-yuk is a renowned actress, well known to the French public since she played herself in Olivier Assayas' Irma Vep (1996) and ventured into French comedy with Augustin, roi du kung-fu (1999) by Anne Fontaine. Born in Hong Kong on September 20, 1964, she lived in the UK with her family from ages eight to seventeen. After returning to Hong Kong, she entered the "Miss Hong Kong" pageant, where she was the first runner-up and won the "Miss Photogenic" award. She then worked for the TVB television network, appearing in numerous successful series.

Her film career took off globally with the success of Police Story (Jackie Chan, 1985), leading her to star in a variety of comedies, romantic dramas, and action films. At one point, Maggie Cheung was making up to twelve films a year, along with her TV roles, a period she describes as very "professionally enriching."


Her career took a significant turn when she met Wong Kar Wai, who cast her in the lead role of As Tears Go By (1988). This film transformed her status as an actress, making her a muse for Hong Kong's auteur cinema. She starred in Ann Hui's beautiful autobiographical film Song of the Exile (1990), won a Best Actress award at the Berlin Film Festival for her performance in Stanley Kwan's Center Stage (1992), in which she portrayed the legendary silent film actress Ruan Lingyu, and worked with Tsui Hark in Green Snake (1993).

Wong Kar Wai collaborated with her again for Ashes of Time (1994) and later for In the Mood for Love (2000). In addition to her Silver Bear from Berlin, Maggie Cheung has won four Golden Horse Awards (the Taiwanese equivalent of the Oscars), the Golden Bauhinia (Hong Kong’s equivalent of the Golden Globes), and awards at the Turin and Chicago film festivals.

Selected Filmography


  • Police Story (Jackie Chan)#000000#EAC039


  • Project A 2 (Jackie Chan)


  • As Tears Go By (Wong Kar Wai)
  • Police Story 2 (Jackie Chan)


  • Song of the Exile (Ann Hui On-wah)
  • Farewell China (Clara Law Cheuk-yiu)
  • Days of Being Wild (Nos années sauvages) (Wong Kar Wai)


  • The Banquet (Tsui Hark, Clifton Ko Chi-Sum, Cheung Tung-Cho, Alfred Cheung)


  • Twin Dragons (Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam Ling-tung)
  • Centre Stage (Stanley Kwan Kam-pang)
  • Police Story 3: Super Cop (Stanley Tong Kwai-lai)
  • Dragon Inn (Raymond Lee Wai-man)


  • Heroic Trio (Johnnie To Kei-fung)
  • Flying Dagger (Chu Yen-ping)
  • The Mad Monk (Johnnie To Kei-fung, Ching Siu-tung)
  • The Bare-Footed Kid (Johnnie To Kei-fung)
  • Green Snake (Tsui Hark)
  • Executioners (Johnnie To Kei-fung, Ching Siu-tung)


  • Ashes of Time (Les Cendres du temps) (Wong Kar Wai)


  • Irma Vep (Olivier Assayas)
  • Comrades: Almost a Love Story (Peter Chan Ho-sun)


  • Chinese Box (Wayne Wang)


  • Augustin, Roi du Kung Fu (Anne Fontaine)


  • In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar Wai)


  • Hero (Zhang Yimou)
  • Clean (Olivier Assayas)
  • 2046 (Wong Kar Wai)


  • Better Life (Isaac Julien)


  • Playtime (Isaac Julien)