"I like not knowing from one day to the next. It keeps me from thinking and allows me to just be in my character. Too much information restricts your creativity." [on working with Wong Kar-wai who doesn't use scripts.]

"Acting has always been a way for me to express the emotions I had buried. If I hadn't acted, I would have gone insane. In my acting class, I could let out my real tears and everyone thought it was the character. But no, it was me." (On acting.)

"Kar-wai is very demanding, and we never have a real script. [But he] challenges me. He is always pushing me to go deeper, to become that person. I like it."
(on Wong Kar Wai, while working on 2046)

'She looks for happiness, and will do whatever makes her happy. I'm very pessimistic. Sometimes, out of the blue, she will want to do all sorts of things. I can't deal with that, I have to plan everything properly first.'
(On co-star, Maggie Cheung)

"Hero [2002] was the first time I had ever worked on a mainland Chinese production. It was great to work with such a good cast that included Maggie, Jet Li, Chen Daoming, and Zhang Ziyi. I was particularly excited to work with Yimou, a director whose work I have always admired. When I first heard the story, I thought of Kurosawa's Rashomon [1950]. At that time, Yimou gave me a choice of playing the narrator, like Leslie Cheung did in Ashes of Time [1994]. In the end, I did what Yimou wanted and played Broken Sword, who is the lover of Flying Snow, played by Maggie. Because I have a baby face, I was quite concerned about my looks in this film because I was to play a martial arts hero. I did not want to look unconvincing. I spent a lot of time working with Emi Wada, who designed all the film's costumes, on the look of my character, as the wardrobe was very important to play this heroic figure living in ancient China."(On working with Zhang Yimou in the movie, Hero)

"Absolutely. I found myself buried in the character. I need some time to tune myself out." (On whether the character Chow Mo Wan has entered his life)

"Maybe it's because I came from a broken home. I wasn't so happy in my childhood. My parents broke up when I was six. Before, I was a very active, naughty child, but after my father left me I stopped talking. I became very good at hiding my emotions. I felt so ashamed of telling others that I didn't have a father, because that was not common in the 1960s. People didn't break up - even if they didn't love each other - in traditional Chinese families. Not like today."
(On the origins of his mournfulness)

"I wanted to take a different approach. I wanted this character to be very optimistic, always with a smile on his face, but I just wasn't able to put it into the scenes. I don't know why."
(On his character Chan Wing Yan in Infernal Affairs)

"My character has the same background as 'In the Mood for Love,' the same hairstyle, the same costume, it's filmed on the same set and because it's Kar Wai I don't have a script. I need something to get hold of, and I said, 'Can I have a mustache at least?'" (On discussions with Wong for his character, Chow Mo Wan)

"John Woo is very prepared. He respects his actors very much. He gives you a lot of freedom to create your character. So I improvise a lot."  (on John Woo)

"As an Asian actor, I would like once in my life to do just one Hollywood movie. It would be a memorable experience."