The Promise ,Chen Kaige's latest fantasy movie competing for next year's foreign-language film Oscar, had its international premiere in Beijing on Monday and opens today in Shenzhen cinemas.
One of China's most expensive films, the movie has grand filming, a carefully woven story and a star-studded cast, including South Korea's Jang Dong-gun, Japan's Hiroyuki Sanada, Hong Kong stars Nicholas Tse and Cecilia Cheung, as well as mainland superstars Liu Ye and Chen Hong.
Cheung stands out for both her beauty and her acting. Cast as Qingcheng, Cheung said confidently: "I deserve high marks."
The most beautiful princess, Qing-cheng is in a complicated love affair with almost all the leading males in the film. She experiences the happiness and sadness of love, and finally overturns her fate of having no true love.
Cheung's portrayal of Qingcheng has won wide recognition, which the actress attributes to her personality.
"I share many similarities with Qingcheng. Like the princess, I am sometimes enthusiastic and sometimes cold to others. I am also similar to her as I am always optimistic about the future." Cheung said.
She appreciates Qingcheng's attitude towards love. "Qingcheng is very devoted to love. She is both persevering and courageous. I hope I can be like her and pursue all my dreams," she said.
About her image
In The Promise, Cheung plays an amazing beauty. She appears in different costumes, including a hand-made feather dress, a sexy royal dress and a mysterious black cloak.
Cheung likes the feather dress best, which makes her feel like a bird. However, she said she was troubled by the dressing and makeup process.
"In this film, I have to constantly change my images to match different dresses. But I like all my images and was happy to appear so beautiful," she said.
About Chen Kaige
Cheung said she really treasured the opportunity of working with Chen Kaige, an internationally renowned director. Although many other cast members considered Chen tough, Cheung liked the director's attitude, which she considered necessary for his high standards.
"I tried my best to meet the director's requirements, even though some requirements seemed to be missions impossible. But the result of such strictness is fantastic, and the film is almost perfect," Cheung said.
About quitting acting
During the promotion of The Promise, rumors arose that this might be Cheung's last film, and the actress would leave the entertainment world.
Cheung's response was ambiguous: "The Promise will be the last film in which I appear so beautiful," she said.
She also said being an actress was very tiring.
Cheung once said she might leave Hong Kong and study at a university after she quits acting. But she also said it was still too early to make such a major decision.
(Shenzhen Daily December 14, 2005)