Zhang Ziyi: Stop forcing my boyfriend to marry me

I'm not that desperate to get hitched.

That's the message Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi firmly drove home yesterday to reporters when quizzed about the supposed mega-huge hint she dropped her boyfriend last month.

During a promotional event in Guangzhou, the 35-year-old had reportedly told news portal Sina Entertainment that her wedding date "should be soon" as she's "not getting any younger".

Zhang's beau of more than a year is Beijing rocker Wang Feng, 43, who is divorced with two daughters.

In town with Hong Kong director John Woo and Chinese actor Tong Dawei to promote Woo's new epic war romance The Crossing, Zhang was in an upbeat mood as she answered all questions - including those about her personal life - with a radiant smile.

One would have expected her to deflect or evade anything to do with Wang. But she didn't.

"I didn't push my boyfriend to (marry me). It's the media who keeps pushing him," she said in Mandarin with a laugh.

"Marriage-wise, I think I would just let nature take its course. You cannot make plans when it comes to love."

"In every relationship, there needs to be mutual tolerance. We give each other space."


Nevertheless, like a seasoned celebrity, Zhang - whose ex-boyfriends include Israeli billionaire Vivi Nevo and Chinese television host Sa Beining - showed her media-savvy side.

With a grin, she directed her next remark specifically at the English-speaking journalist who had asked her about Wang.

"You understood what I said, right?" she quipped.

"Don't write it wrongly."

The Crossing, set amid the tumultuous Chinese Communist Revolution in 1949, is rated NC16 and opens here today.

Zhang plays a poverty-stricken nurse, Yu Zhen, who is driven to prostitution. She has a chance encounter with soldier Tong Daqing (played by Tong Dawei) and he falls in love with her.

"I was drawn to my character because her life is filled with so much struggle. She is like wild grass growing at the lowest rung of the social ladder. That's something I never went through... I guess I've been quite lucky," mused Zhang.

"Then again, I can relate to her perseverance. Yu Zhen grits her teeth and strives on, no matter how tough the going gets."

"I feel that I am someone who is strong too, I don't give up easily."

Co-star Tong praised Zhang for being able to handle the film's emotional material at the snap of a finger.

"On the very first day of filming, both of us had to shoot a powerful and heavy scene where our characters are reunited after a long time apart," he recalled.

"Before the cameras rolled, we were still chatting casually, but once it was time for work, Ziyi swiftly got me into the mood. She's amazing."


This article was first published on Dec 5, 2014.
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