Daniel Wu – Gala Honoree
Daniel Wu is an American actor, director and producer. After graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in architecture, he moved to Hong Kong in 1997 to witness the transfer of the territory’s sovereignty from the United Kingdom to China. While there, he was scouted into acting in a commercial and then, remarkably, by another to star in a feature film. Wu fell in love with acting and landed his very first professional roles in 1998 in a trio of Chinese-language features, most notably in “City of Glass” (Boli zhi cheng), for which he earned the first of four Hong Kong Film Award nominations, as Best New Performer.
Since the auspicious 1998 movie debut, Wu has been featured in over sixty films, with his breakout role in Benny Chan’s “Gen-X Cops” (1999). He received two more Hong Kong Film Award nominations in 2005, for Best Actor in “One Night in Mongkok” (Wong gok hak yau) and Best Supporting Actor (alongside boyhood idol Chan) in “New Police Story” (San ging caat goo si), a role that also brought him Taiwan’s Golden Horse Award as Best Supporting Actor. He won the prestigious Hong Kong prize as Best Director for his 2006 feature, “The Heavenly Kings” (Sei dai tinwong). In addition to his work in front of the camera and as a director, Wu has produced several projects, including “Night Corridor,” “Like A Dream,” “The Heavenly Kings,” “Tai Chi Zero” and “Control.”
His string of international film hits includes “Night Corridor” (2003, Best Actor nomination at Taiwan’s 40th Golden Horse Awards), Frank Coraci’s 2004 remake of “Around the World in 80 Days” (again appearing with Chan), “Blood Brothers” (2007), “Overheard” (2009), “Overheard 2” (2011), “Overheard 3” (2014), “Like A Dream” (Rumeng, 2009, Golden Horse Award nomination), Quentin Tarantino’s presentation of “The Man with the Iron Fists” (2012), “Europa Report” (2013), Jackie Chan’s “Chinese Zodiac” (2012), China’s submission to the 88th Academy Awards “Go Away Mr. Tumor,” Duncan Jones’ adaptation of the renowned iconic video game, “Warcraft” (2016), “Geostorm” (2017), as well as the remake of “Tomb Raider” (2018). He also starred and executive produced the AMC TV show “Into the Badlands” (2015-2019).
Most recently, Wu starred in the box office hit “Caught in Time” (2020), as well as appearing in Lisa Joy’s feature directorial debut, romantic sci-fi noir thriller “Reminiscence” (2021), and the HBO series, “Westworld” (2022).
He can currently be seen in the Disney+ limited series, “American Born Chinese” (2023) based on the award-winning graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang. Wu appears as Sun Wukong, better known as The Monkey King, a mythological and all-powerful god who journeys into our world in pursuit of finding his son.
Daniel was the 2022 recipient of The Bruce Lee Award, in honor of the legendary actor, presented each year by AWFF and the Bruce Lee Foundation to an individual in the film industry whose efforts in the field of martial arts has created a legacy of excellence.