Gong Li on Marriage and Working with Zhang Yimou Again

Acclaimed actress Gong Li (巩俐) reunites with longtime collaborator Zhang Yimou (张艺谋) in his latest film, Coming Home <归来>, a Chinese drama film starring Chen Daoming (陈道明) as a man who flees to the United States after he is forced into a marriage. It has been seven years since Gong Li last starred in a Zhang Yimou production, 2006’s Curse of the Golden Flower <满城尽带黄金甲>.

The 49-year-old award-winning actress recently accepted an interview with Chinese talk show host Yang Lan (杨澜), where she spoke about Coming Home, Zhang Yimou, her thoughts on marriage, and retirement.

Gong Li rarely talks about her private life in public. Her last known relationship was with Singaporean businessman Ooi Hoe Seong (黄和祥), whom she married in 1996. Gong Li said she admired Ooi Hoe Seong for being understanding and forgiving. Though the couple ended in divorce in 2010, the two have remained in contact as good friends.

Gong Li expressed that she finds marriage to be “just a piece of paper”. She does not find marriage to be a necessary aspect in life to maintain long and healthy relationships. What makes a relationship last is being willing to compromise and take good care of each other. “A man and a woman don’t need to save each other. What they need is to help each other.”

Gong Li has been in the business since the late 1980s. She said an actress does not have an expiration date, “You can still go on even if you’re 90 years old,” Gong Li explained. However, as she is always traveling and working, she felt like she does not have a home anymore. “There will eventually be a day when I must stop,” she said, hinting that she is already contemplating about retirement.

On working with Zhang Yimou again after seven years, Gong Li said their communication and connection with each other has never changed. “We have no secrets.”

During the filming of Coming Home, Zhang Yimou was under media scrutiny for breaking mainland China’s One Child Policy and the filmmaker was fined a hefty sum. Gong Li’s advice to Zhang Yimou was, “Ignore everything. If it happened to me, I would have to ignore it. I simply don’t have time to care about it.”

Source: Sina.com

This article is written by Addy  for JayneStars.com.

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  1. Been a while since I’ve watched any of her movies.

  2. It has been a while since I watch her movies already. I loved her movies and have watch those that I can find online however there are some that I could not find. I think I am one of the youngest that like her as no one in my school except for the teachers know her.

  3. In my personal opinion, marriage is more than just a paper.

    1. Very much so… the paper really is meaningless, and having it does not guarantee a happy one. The paper is a formality, nothing more. it is up to the couple to plot the course and maintain the relationship.

      A marriage was never successful, nor has a marriage ever failed, because of that piece of paper.

    2. Agreed, marriage is more than just a paper. That little piece of paper sure makes a “huge” difference in the eyes of the law.

      1. Also, if she finds marriage to be “just a piece of paper”, she may as well not sign all those “pieces of paper” that gaurantees her pay. They’re all “just a piece of paper”.

    3. Rumours going around she’s eyeing the red passport.

      Not sure how true is that.

    4. Marriage being “a piece of paper” is a common saying among modern Asians, though I personally disagree. Anyone who believes that statement does not understand true marriage–the combining of two lives in every single way. The other comments are right; the “piece of paper” is the last thing that makes a marriage count.

    5. paper is to get half of whatever the other have ^^

      1. And, for men to pass on their family name. 🙂

  4. The institution of marriage had existed long before its legal recognition. In fact, in China, the issuance of marriage certificates “the paper” did not begin until the middle of the 20th Century but the Chinese had been marrying one another for thousands of years.

    Therefore, I fail the see the analogy of marriage being just a piece of paper.

  5. marriage being “just a piece of paper” had been quoted since the 1970s in the USA.

  6. Red Sorghum left a deep impression upon me. It might have been the first Mainland film that marked my young adulthood.

  7. I hope she’s kidding. Just remember Jessica Seinfeld and Anita yuen both chucked beaux for the real thing so if you just go with the first pleasant person available, one of you will be damaged when the other one finally meets their Jerry/Chi Lam.

  8. I’ve felt pity for Gong Li. She lost her happiness. Wish her well.

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