Best Visiting Artist St. Louis 2000 - Tony Leung
Despite the residency of theater innovators Lanford Wilson and Marshall Mason at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis last fall, the artist who took up shop in this town with the most noteworthy rep was not the Pulitzer/Tony/Obie Award-winning duo but the actor who went on to win best actor at Cannes this year, international film star Tony Leung. If Leung is known to American audiences, it's probably as the sultry, sexy companion of Jane March in the screen adaptation of Marguerite Duras' The Lover. Beyond these xenophobic shores, however, he's considered the Tom Cruise of Hong Kong and Chinese cinema. Leung was in town to film Gua Sha (The Treatment), a film shot with a minuscule budget and a combined Chinese, Hong Kong and American crew. Even with the "international film star" label, Leung showed all the grace and good nature you'd never expect from Cruise. A true professional, Leung came to town, did his work and left with scarcely anyone in the river city recognizing his talents -- not an uncommon occurrence in St. Louis.