HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong actress Kara Wai says she is ecstatic over receiving this year's Asian Film Awards' Excellence in Asian Cinema Award.

"This is not an acting award, it's an achievement award, so I'm thrilled and feel as if I'm walking on clouds," the star of "Wu Xia" said in a recent interview.

With a career that spans more than 40 years and success in both television and film, the 57-year-old actress was named Best Actress for the second time at Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards in November for the role of a manipulative matriarch in "The Bold, the Corrupt and the Beautiful."

Wai began her career in the 1970s in Hong Kong as a kung fu star in the Shaw Brothers films. In 1982, she received a Best Supporting Actress Award at the Hong Kong Film Awards for her role in the action movie "My Young Auntie."

Wai thrilled audiences and impressed critics with her performance as a desperate mother in 2009's "At the End of the Daybreak" and an Alzheimer's patient in "Happiness" in late 2016. Last November's Golden Horse Award was icing on the cake.

As she approaches her 58th birthday, Wai said she knows it was a mixture of luck and preparedness that got her career to where it is today.

"The lifespan of an actress is short. It started happening when I was 50 and now I'm 58. This rarely happens for actresses, and it's happening to me. I think you can say that I've had help from a lot of good friends," she said.

"Was there hardship? Yes, I worked very hard, and only I know what I have encountered. So it has been bitter and sweet."

Wai is to receive the Excellence in Asian Cinema Award at the Asian Film Awards ceremony in Hong Kong on March 17.

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This story has been corrected to show "Happiness" was released in 2016.