The Hong Kong actor stars alongside Matt Damon in The Great Wall

Whilst promoting his upcoming film, The Great Wall, Hong Kong actor Andy Lau has said that winning awards was never important for him.

Speaking with the Jakarta Post, Lau said he wasn’t bothered by receiving awards. “It’s not important, it never was for me,” Lau said, “If I get an award, it is wonderful, but if I don’t, it’s okay because I know how much effort I have put into something. That’s what you need to do every time you start any work – you need to make sure you do your very best and just be yourself. That’s more important.”

The Great Wall, directed by Zhang Yimou, opened in China on 16 December 2016 to a lukewarm response but won’t be in western cinemas until 17 February 2017.

The film tells the tale of foreign missionaries who become involved in a war between Chinese warriors and monsters on the historic Chinese site.

Lau, who plays a strategist in the movie, speaks English for most of his part. “When I was preparing for the character, I had to think about his background and what he was like, in English,” Lau explained, “It was not that easy but at the same time, I felt it was important to do it that way because he is supposed to be a scholar, a thinking man. And he needs to communicate with the foreigners in English.”

The 55-year-old actor also mentioned that whilst he may not look his age, he is starting to feel it at times,“I try not to do action films where I need to fight all the time or do a lot of physical work. I think fighting is a little bit hard for me now,” he said laughing.

When choosing film projects, Lau revealed his favourite film genre, “light comedy! Action-packed films, maybe not. But if there is a good script then OK, I can start to practice and manage it,” Lau revealed, “If someone wants me to be in their film, just let me know! If I have the time and if the project suits me, then I might do it. But I am not aggressively trying to look for something from there. I prefer to make more local movies.”

Despite being China’s most expensive movie of all time, The Great Wall received a great deal of negative criticism even before its release, with many calling out director Zhang Yimou for ‘whitewashing’ by casting Matt Damon as his lead actor. Damon called the controversy a “fucking bummer”.