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Interview with Andrew Lau and Alan Mak -Infernal Affairs
INFERNAL AFFAIRS series 1/1 - Page 3
Author(s) : Amy Lee
Gina Marchetti
Date : 3/11/2004
Type(s) : Interview
 Intext Links  
People :
Kelly Chen Wai Lam
Tony Leung Chiu Wai
Movies :
A Better Tomorrow II
Infernal Affairs
Infernal Affairs III
< Previous
Page 2 : INFERNAL AFFAIRS part 1
Many thanks to Andrew Lau and Alan Mak for their time and kindness. Thanks extended to Josephine at Base Production and to Media Asia Group. The interview was conducted at the Base Production office, Hong Kong by Gina Marchetti and Amy Lee. Research and organization by Thomas Podvin.

HKCinemagic.com: When did you get the idea for the second and third parts of Infernal Affairs?

Alan Mak: Andrew said let's see what happens. Before Infernal Affairs was released, Andrew was in Beijing shooting another movie. We were so worried because it was just 10 days before the film was scheduled to be released. Around the same time, another undercover movie came out, and it was a huge flop. Only about 100 viewers went to see that film. We weren't thinking of saving the industry when the film came out--just trying to do okay with it.


HKCinemagic.com: How did you go on with the story after the end of Infernal Affairs? Was it a challenge to make parts two and three?

Alan Mak: It was really difficult. Because when we wanted to shoot Infernal Affairs III, the investors wanted the same cast. I couldn't create a brother for Tony Leung and have him come back for revenge. It's too much like A BETTER TOMORROW II or something like that. So, we chose a way to tell the story in two different time periods. We used the character of Kelly Chen (Dr. Lee) to cross-over from the past into the future.


Picture courtesy Media Asia
Picture courtesy Media Asia
Past meets future meets past


Andrew Lau: Yes, that was quite difficult to match the action from the first with the third film and cross-over in a convincing way. We couldn't think of any better way to do it. Part II was easier. Part III was very challenging. We have a lot of fans with expectations, and we have to appease the audience in Hong Kong as well as mainland China . We need to strike a balance between the fans' desires and telling the story.

Alan Mak: It's also a big challenge for the audience. They aren't used to watching a commercial movie structured that way.


HKCinemagic.com: Was it difficult to get all the talent involved to work together?

Alan Mak: It wasn't difficult because of Andrew...

Andrew Lau: I'm the "Big Brother" (Da Ge/Dai Go). Andy, Tony, Anthony, Eric, we all worked together when I was young. So, I've known a lot of these famous actors for many years. Andy and Tony looked at the script, and I asked which character each wanted to do. At that moment, they knew which character they wanted. Their choices ended up being suitable. I wasn't sure about the chemistry, and I wanted to change, but it really turned out right.


HKCinemagic.com: How do you feel about the success of Infernal Affairs?

Alan Mak: The success of Infernal Affairs makes it easier for me to develop new projects. Our new film will be released in the summer.


HKCinemagic.com: Do you have a message for your fans?

Alan Mak: Is it difficult for European people to watch Hong Kong movies?

Andrew Lau: I believe that Infernal Affairs has been shown in Paris, London, and in four cinemas in the United States .

Alan Mak: I really have to say "thank you" to our fans, because I think it's difficult for European viewers to find and watch Asian movies, and I hope you enjoy our films.


Picture courtesy Media Asia

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Page 2 : INFERNAL AFFAIRS part 1

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