Cecilia Cheung can't hide her love for her latest film The Promise. The 25-year-old says she relates exactly to her character Qingcheng's troubles.
"We are both beautiful, but it seems hard for us to get real happiness," she said. "In life, we are true to ourselves. I'm willing to pay the price for love. I'm brave and won't give up easily."
The Promise, directed by Chen Kaige, opened in Beijing on December 12.
In it, Cheung plays Qingcheng, a poor girl favored by the Goddess of Fortune (Chen Hong). She rises from poverty to become the most beautiful concubine in the world, and enjoys a life of luxury. But she's cursed never to find true love in her life.
A slave (South Korean actor Jang Dong-gun) falls in love with her and is determined to lift her curse.
Her true-to-life acting and beauty stunned fans at the film's premiere.
21st Century snatched a word with Cheung before the show:
21st: What do you think of Qingcheng?
Cheung: I like the character very much. We have almost the same experiences and feelings in life. It seems Cecilia Cheung is Qingcheng in real life.
I have to face the public as a star. Some media say untrue things or make a big deal out of small things. I don't like to explain a lot and often feel unable to speak my mind. It's the same for Qingcheng, who lives in a world where she can't find or enjoy true love. She doesn't know with whom she can share her happiness and sadness, either.
21st: Is this the longest time you've spent filming?
Cheung: Yes, I spent six months acting in the film. But I'm devoted to the part not because of the time I spent on it. Even if I have to make a film in two weeks in Hong Kong, I will put all my heart in it and do my best. It's my work.
21st: How did you get along with other actors?
Cheung: Jang is quiet, and likes to sit aside to read. I admire his talent. Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada (Zhentian Guangzhi) is humorous and fun like a child, so we got a bit closer. As for Nicolas Tse (Xie Tingfeng), we've known each other since I was 18. We can read each other's minds simply by looking at each other without speaking. We're good friends. Others' gossip can't break up our friendship.
21st: Would you call yourself a direct person?
Cheung: Yes. I don't like to hide my true feelings and just say pleasant words as many stars do. Because if everyone tries to be false, it's not fun and meaningful to live in this world at all.
(21st Century December 15, 2005)