In Venice, Maggie Cheung still playing hard to get

VENICE, Gina Doggett- Chinese megastar Maggie Cheung, in Venice for the screening of Isaac Julien's art film "Better Life", has shunned the celluloid since becoming the first Asian actress to win in Cannes in 2004.
The recognition for "Clean", she said, "concluded one stage of my life" following her 2001 divorce from the film's French director, Olivier Assayas.

Chinese megastar Maggie Cheung
Chinese megastar Maggie Cheung
"I got my own fulfilment, or my own explanation to what I've done in the last 25 years," she said of the best actress award.
"You didn't waste your time, you did do something significant... and that was good to know; but it was enough for me to move on," she told reporters on Saturday.
While she has turned down offers aside from the two-day gig for "Better Life", the 45-year-old Cheung said she remains open to a project if the right one comes along.
"It's not impossible something would come up, but it would be a chance, it would be fate. Fate has to come in the right way, the right project, the right moment, the right person," said the star of "In the Mood for Love" (2000).
Meanwhile, Cheung is using the down time to "age a bit", she said, adding that while she is based in Hong Kong her "love life" now takes her to Beijing.
"I'm at the age that of course I still want to do something like 'In the Mood' that I look beautiful and everything (but) you have to know where you are."
Declaring herself to be "in between", she said: "I feel that at my age I'm a bit too young to play the grandmother yet, and a bit too old to be Jackie's girlfriend," referring to her opposite number Jackie Chan in the "Police Story" series.
"Maybe I'll come back to cinema and play a woman who is not the same as the woman I was playing before," Cheung said. "I will feel better when I am looking a bit older and can play older and forget about all that... You can still be old and beautiful in other ways, but I don't think I've reached there yet."
Meanwhile, Cheung has taken up music, and dreams of being able to score a film. "If I could make music for films that would be a joy," she said.
In "Better Life", Cheung plays the goddess Mazu from a 15th-century Chinese fable, one of three interweaving "ghost stories" in Julien's examination of why people migrate, often risking everything for a worse fate than staying home.
"He found a very good way to put the images to these ideas," Cheung said.

Sunday, September 5th 2010
Gina Doggett

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