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Gong Li says director Zhang Yimou more polite

When Gong Li first worked with director Zhang Yimou, she was a little-known Chinese mainland actress. Now she's an international star who eases between Hollywood blockbusters and Chinese productions.

With Gong and Zhang working together for the first time in a decade, Gong says the director is more courteous toward her.

"He's more deferential now. He's deferential to every actor. He's very polite. I tell him you don't have to be this deferential, this polite. We don't have time," Gong said over the weekend at a news conference in Beijing for Zhang's new movie, which translates as "Wearing Golden Armor Across the City."

Gong plays an empress in the film, set in ancient China, opposite an emperor portrayed by Hong Kong star Chow Yun-fat.

Gong and Zhang first partnered on "Red Sorghum," released in 1987. The collaboration extended to films like "Raise the Red Lantern," "To Live," and "The Story of Qiu Ju," but the two haven't worked together since "Shanghai Triad," released in 1995.

The couple were once also believed to be romantically involved, but Gong has since married a businessman.

After splitting with Zhang professionally, Gong went on to work with other famed directors, such as China's Chen Kaige and Hong Kong's Wong Kar-wai.

She recently made a trio of Hollywood films _"Memoirs of a Geisha," "Miami Vice" and "Young Hannibal: Behind the Mask."

Reunited with Zhang on "Wearing Golden Armor Across the City," Gong said Zhang chooses his words more carefully around her.

"He's more careful when explaining what he isn't happy with, our flaws. I'm not sure if he's afraid of hurting our feelings or something else," she said.

In contrast, Gong said she's impatient with Zhang.

"Maybe sometimes when he hasn't even finished speaking, I say, 'I know, I know.' I'm the one who's impolite," she said. 

Zhang was full of praise for Gong at Saturday's news conference.

"Now is her prime," he told reporters.

Zhang has a reputation for having a Midas touch for leading ladies. After Gong, Zhang worked with Zhang Ziyi on "The Road Home." Zhang has gone on to starring roles in the Oscar-winning Ang Lee kung fu movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and more recently, "Memoirs of a Geisha," in which she plays Gong's rival.


 Source :   Editor: WuLin
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