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[bnt interview] Zhang Ziyi, “In addition to love, living life also has its worth”


[by Wang Yi Lady - bnt China Joint Coverage] Zhang Ziyi has good luck, but disputes are endless. In addition, she has many people who criticize her but she has that much more people who like her. What she has accomplished during the past 15 years is something no one else could have done.

Last time Zhang Ziyi said, “I don’t expect other people’s sympathy.” Looking at that, you think that she has a strong self-esteem. This same thought did not change when she entered the studio. Walking in with her head held high, she looked bit audacious but was blinding.

Yu Zhen cannot choose the environment or fate but we can.

Q. What kind of woman is Yu Zhen in ‘The Crossing?’


“Yu Zhen is at the bottom of the social hierarchy and is a person who turns her back on her home and leaves in the midst of a war for love. She is a woman who isn’t sure about the fate of the revolution but can’t give up even though she is suffering. During the day she volunteers at church as a nurse and at night, inevitably becomes a prostitute. She has a strong contradiction.”

Q. What are the differences and similarities between yourself and Yu Zhen?

“You must be able to relate to the character in order to be impressed by the role. Her love is very strong and is something that cannot be burned like wild grass, which has a resilient vitality. In this unstable time, a fragile girl cannot depend on anything but herself. A woman entering society is something I can relate to. That is why I respect many successful women. The most different trait is the situation we’re facing. Yu Zhen cannot choose her environment or fate but we have many choices in our lives.”

In addition to love, living life also has its worth.

Q. Previously you once said, ‘Yu Zhen doesn’t easily give up on love, she is obsessed and even goes through danger.’ Are you also like that?

“Life is worth experiencing. This is a topic I put out in ‘My Lucky Star’ and is something that echoes in my heart. In addition to love, experiencing many things in life is worth it.”


Director John Woo is an artist.

Q. ‘The Crossing’ went through many hardships from preproduction up until screening. When was the most touching part of the movie?


“This movie really went through a lot of hardships from preproduction until now. A long time ago when I first received the script of ‘The Crossing,’ without even reading all of it, I decided to do this role. As the future director’s health declined, the production was pushed back. It was very unfortunate. However, later when director John Woo said he would direct the movie, I was so happy I enthusiastically supported him. I remember that John Woo said, ‘There isn’t a film I am truly satisfied with’ at the Cannes film festival in the summer. It was really moving that such a successful director would say such words. That man is an amazing director and an artist. Looking at just the movie plot, people think it’s a war movie with battle scenes, blood, and dead bodies. However, this movie is about the people who lived during that time. In addition, you can say that each person in the film is inflated by hope. Such hopes are valuable and touched me.”


Shot in the winter Beijing waters for 6 months

Q. When was the hardest time during filming?


“Shooting the ship sinking took several months. At that time it was November in Beijing and a huge reservoir was made in Huairou. You could climb down that reservoir and the deepest was 6m. At first, the director would make the water warm so we wouldn’t catch a cold, but later found out the effort was in vain. That is because the heated water would immediately become cold. In addition, the actors’ lips would turn blue by themselves so there was no need for special effects or makeup. However, the hardest part was of course the emotional acting. There were times when my heart was hurting so much it felt like I died and woke up again.”

Q. How did it feel when John Woo complimented you during filming by calling you a heroine?

“Ha ha. The director probably thinks I love acting and thinks I am sweetly withstanding the struggles. Going through struggles for something you love is a happy toil.


Gentleness can be recognized outside of the television screen if there is a bond with that person.

Q. In and out of the camera, you show a strong image and don’t seem to show feminine characteristics. Why is that?


“I don’t purposely choose those roles. It’s probably because I am frequently touched by these types of characters. People who I have a relation with will be able to recognize my gentle side.”

Q. From Gong Er (‘The Grandmaster’) to Yu Zhen, you already won a lot of awards and shot many films. What are you future plans?

“Actually, it’s been a month since I’ve already started my new project. This time I’m working with young director Er Cheng and Ge You is my counterpart so I think it will be an amazing journey.”

Q. Do you think that actresses have a harder time in this field than actors? For example when actresses are faced with more criticism and demands.

“Not just actresses but it’s the truth that women in society have a harder time competing than men. Thankfully, the people I work with are all professionals and respect me and I have a good time during on set.”


Q. What is a problem that only women face with when working?

“That day that magic comes? …………..Ha ha”

Q. You faced many obstacles but came out on top. If you compare to when you first came into society, what changed? What did you learn from your life?

“I think that it is lucky that I am more optimistic than anything else. It helps a lot when life goes through its ups and downs. Your attitude on life is made by yourself and can become your weakness or your strong support.”


Q. If you had to sum up the 12 parts that dominated the year in one word, what would it be? Also which woman is your female role model?

“I want to use the word ‘hope.’ I think when ‘The Crossing’ was released at the end of the year, it was able to move and give hope to the audience. I also hope for the director to get healthier and for ‘The Crossing’ to easily enter the market. As for my female role model, I like a woman who doesn’t complain, is independent, has confidence and works hard. A woman’s role model doesn’t necessarily have to be a successful woman. It is happiness to be able to do well in just one field in life that you love.”

Planning: Tian Lan/ Editing: Tang Xiao She/ Snake Huang Xin/ Filming:  Feng Hai/ Makeup: Tang Yi/ Research&Writing: Cheng Pei Pei/ Design: Wang Wen Jing




Contact: news@bntnews.co.uk

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Write: 2015-01-06 09:22:54 / Update: 2015-01-06 18:22:02

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