HONG KONG - Actress Gong Li said "marriage is just a piece of paper" in a rare comment about marriage.
She is known for being reticent about her private life, and especially about her 13-year marriage with Singaporean businessman Ooi Hoe Seong which ended in 2009.
Ming Pao Daily said the Chinese star gave her views about what marriage meant to her to Phoenix TV interviewer Yang Lan on her show One On One.
She said: "Marriage is just a piece of paper. Both parties in a relationship need to nurture and maintain it together," adding that a man and a woman need not "save each other" but should "help each other".
Ming Pao did not say when the interview was conducted.
Her comment followed Mr Ooi's revelation in 2012 in an interview that they had split up in 2009.
His confirmation, that they split up because years of travelling apart for work had turned their romance into friendship, ended years of speculation about their marriage.
"All my life, I have been toting two suitcases to go about everywhere. I don't have a feeling of home with so much touring," Gong said, adding that, one day, she would have to stop her nomadic life.
She is promoting her movie Coming Home, in which she reunites with her former lover, director Zhang Yimou, in yet another movie.
In the emotional period piece, she plays a compassionate amnesiac separated from her husband, played by Chen Daoming, during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
The movie is based on a novel by by Yan Geling. IMdb.com said it is set for release in China on May 16.
She said she had no problems working with her former beau, adding that she even gave him advice when the director was in the media spotlight last year for having three children in violation of China's one-child policy.
Referring to constant media reports about it, she said she told Zhang: "Don't bother about it. Those people have nothing better to do."
This article was published on May 1 in The Straits Times.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.