Celebrities nowadays are mostly treated with reverence and awe, except for when they get into trouble, of course. However, in the early 1990s, Hong Kong stars were actually suffering at the hands of underworld forces which were running rampant then.
Hong Kong star Andy Lau (刘德华) was not spared the treatment. He was once slapped by a triad leader for not performing his best.
In 2000, Lau was once invited by the northeast triad boss Liu Yong to perform at a concert. Liu promised to pay Lau RM3 million for his performance. At that time, Lau was becoming very popular in Hong Kong. After the performance, an underling complained that Lau’s performance was less than satisfactory. Liu took personal offence to the supposed slight and called Lau in to ask about it. Lau argued he had done his best but the answer had only upset Liu further. He slapped Lau, knowing there was nothing Lau could do to retaliate.
Liu also poured salt on the wound by only giving half of what he had promised to Lau. When Lau’s assistant asked for the other half, Liu said “If Andy Lau wants to give up and return to Hong Kong, I will consider giving (him) the other half.” Andy Lau did return to Hong Kong, but was still under Liu’s control. He tried to ask his connections for help. He was friends with Simon Yam (任达华) whose brother was the Deputy Commissioner of Hong Kong Police at the time. Lau also asked Charles Heung (向华强) who was a leader of a triad in Hong Kong for help. However, Liu was still too powerful then. Thankfully, Liu was arrested by the police and sentenced to death.
Additionally, film director and producer Manfred Wong (王文雋) once revealed that Hong Kong stars were consistently targeted by triads for films. Popular celebrities would be kidnapped and forced to film “bad movies” as movies featuring these stars had the potential to be a hit in the box office. Lau initially had no intention of joining any of these films but he was threatened at gun point. Lau only gave in after they threatened his wife as well.
He once performed a scene while at gun point. At that time, he was in the Netherlands with Carina Lau. According to China Press, they were filming the movie “Tiger-Dragon Club (轰天龙虎会)“.