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>
According to Jayne Stars, 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.”