Why Hong Kong star Andy Lau keeps his tween daughter away from the Internet

Lau’s wariness of the online world is one of the reasons the veteran actor made 'I Did It My Way'. He is both leading man and executive producer.

Jan Lee

Jan Lee

The Straits Times


Hong Kong movie star Andy Lau plays a ruthless drug kingpin in the new crime movie I Did It My Way. PHOTO: SHAW ORGANISATION/ THE STRAITS TIMES

January 11, 2024

SINGAPORE – Teens and tweens may be doing dance challenges and watching make-up tutorials on TikTok and Instagram, but Andy Lau’s daughter Hanna, who turns 12 in 2024, is not among them.

The 62-year-old Hong Kong movie star says he keeps his only child away from the Internet. He plays a drug kingpin who plies his wares on the Dark Web in the crime movie I Did It My Way, which opens on Jan 11.

Hanna is Lau’s daughter with his Malaysian wife Carol Chu, 57.

In a Zoom call with local media to promote the movie, Lau says in Mandarin: “I try to keep her away from the Internet. I’m pretty strict. Aside from the websites and apps she needs to download for school, I don’t let her use the Internet much.”

He adds: “The Internet is something so out of my control. If she really wants to surf the Web, I can do it with her.”

Lau’s wariness of the online world is one of the reasons the veteran actor made I Did It My Way. He is both leading man and executive producer.

Movies should have a sense of purpose, he says.

“Things progress so rapidly online, like artificial intelligence – it’s almost unfathomable to me.

“Technological advancements are perhaps good, but there are cons too, misinformation and so on that can be hard to balance with the good. That’s what I’m hoping to tell audiences through this film.”

Lau flaunts his acting chops as a crime boss who can torture and kill without batting an eyelid, though he still has a soft spot for his family.

He says: “I wanted to be someone who comes across as very cold. Aside from his family, he doesn’t show too much emotion.

“There are a lot of movie villains who are showier and more expressive. Tony Leung Chiu Wai recently played one in The Goldfinger, so I thought it would be good to showcase a different type of antagonist.”

The Goldfinger, which opened in Singapore cinemas on Dec 30, reunites Lau and Hong Kong actor Leung in their first collaboration since the Infernal Affairs trilogy (2002 to 2003). In it, Lau plays an investigator trying to hunt down Leung’s corrupt businessman.

I Did It My Way is a star-studded flick too, with Lau roping in fellow Infernal Affairs alum Gordon Lam, veteran Hong Kong star Simon Yam and Taiwanese actor Eddie Peng.

Peng, 41, is a well-known fanboy of Lau who has publicly professed his admiration for the veteran actor. Despite having previously co-starred in movies such as Cold War (2012), this is their most extensive collaboration yet.

Asked if Peng was nervous in their scenes together, Lau says: “That’s really normal. I was also very nervous when I first met (Hong Kong movie star) Chow Yun Fat on set.

“Everyone is this way when they work with actors they admire because you know your performance will determine their impression of you. It’s the sort of nerves that can be helpful for your work.”

With more than 40 years of experience and some 200 movies and series under his belt, Lau is booked and busy.

His year-end holiday season in 2023 was spent promoting The Goldfinger and I Did It My Way, which opened within days of each other in China.

But the Heavenly King is keen to finally cut back on his workload.

He says: “With a lot of films delayed by the pandemic now starting to screen, a lot of things are coming out at about the same time.

“But I’m definitely thinking of slowing down and I will gradually start to do so.

“Ultimately, I’m someone who likes to spend time with friends and family.”

I Did It My Way opens in cinemas on Jan 11.

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