Gong Li (巩俐) went to Hong Kong to promote Coming Home <归来>, a film directed by her longtime collaborator Zhang Yimou (张艺谋). In a recent interview, the 48-year-old admitted that she has been dating a man who is not from the entertainment industry for many years. Despite her first marriage ending in divorce, Gong Li still believes in love.
“I will marry again, but I don’t know when. I’ll leave it up to fate,” said Gong Li. She then added with a laugh, “After filming [Coming Home], my confidence in love grew!”
Gong Li married Singaporean businessman Ooi Hoe Soeng (黄和祥) in 1996 but divorced thirteen years later. She has mentioned before that she finds marriage to be “just a piece of paper”, but she finds that all people, especially women, need to have love in their hearts. “It makes life more meaningful and blissful. Regardless of men or women, we all want to have a partner that we can spend the rest of our lives with. We want someone to take good care of us. We want to live with no regrets.”
Coming Home, adapted from the novel Inmate Lu Yanshi <陆犯焉识> by Geling Yan (严歌苓), sees Gong Li play Feng Wanyu, a woman who suffers from amnesia. Her husband Lu Yanshi, portrayed by Chen Daoming (陈道明), attempts to trigger his wife’s memories by watching over her through the years.
Though highly acclaimed for the role, Gong Li only gave herself a five out of ten points for her performance. “Of course, Chen Daoming also helped me a lot. We have our interactions in the film. If he does well, I would do well. However, a good director would never tell you how to act. A good actor would also never ask the director to teach. I had to rely on myself when grasping every expression and emotion. This film really challenged my limit.”
Despite the sad tone of Coming Home, Gong Li does not find the drama film to be tragic. “It is a beautiful love story told in a sad setting,” she insisted. “It’s about two people protecting their love. It’s a positive message.” Though Feng Wanyu was an extremely hard character to grasp, Gong Li said she missed living in her character’s world. “She has a very simple life. She just waits for her loved ones to return to her every day.”
On Zhang Yimou and Chen Daoming
Although Gong Li and Zhang Yimou have worked in nine films together, she said she does not know if she considers the filmmaker to be her most compatible partner. However, Gong Li did say that they share a mutual trust that makes her very comfortable. “The film is two hours long. It’s not a 30-episode television drama. If you don’t do well in one episode, you can improve yourself in the next. But in a film, you won’t get that opportunity. Every camera angle, ever scene, every second is an opportunity that we cannot mess up. We have to grasp onto it well. That is why Zhang Yimou and I are very straightforward with each other. Our style of collaboration is quite unique.”
Source: Ming Pao
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.