Li Gong

Li Gong


Life Story

Born in Shenyang, grew up in Jinan, the daughter of an economics professor. Loved music from childhood, and dreamed of a singing career. After failing to gain entrance to China's top music school in 1985, applied for and was admitted to the Central Drama Academy in Beijing, from which she graduated in 1989. While still a student, was cast as the female lead in Red Sorghum (1988)(aka "Red Sorghum"), the initial directing effort by Yimou Zhang. China's best-known actress in the West, she was named Best Actress at the 49th Venice International Film Festival for her role in The Story of Qiu Ju (1992) (aka "The Story of Qiu Ju"). Made a series of successful films with Yimou Zhang, a collaboration that apparently ended with the breakup of their personal relationship in 1995 and Gong's subsequent marriage to a tobacco company executive.


Jean-Michel Jarre (May 2019 - present)


Was included in People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People.
Representative of Shanghai Tang line of clothing.
Graduated from the Central Drama Academy in Beijing (1989)
Personal favorites: Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman
Received New York Film Critics award for Farewell My Concubine (1993).
President of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 50th Berlin International Film Festival in 2000.
President of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 59th Venice International Film Festival in 2002.
President of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 16th Tokyo International Film Festival in 2003.
Member of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 50th Cannes International Film Festival in 1997.
Her performance as Juxian in Farewell My Concubine (1993) (aka "Farewell My Concubine") (1993) is ranked #89 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
The youngest of five children.
Had a song written about her by the Red Hot Chili Peppers ("Gong Li").
She was presented the French government's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in June 1998 for contributions to the cinema.

Personal Quotes 

For me the beauty of a person is a matter of the whole package. You have to look at the whole thing, not just a matter of outward appearance or whatever. It has to do with one's character, personality, upbringing and so on
The important thing for me when I look at characters is to consider the kind of constraints placed upon them. Now, me personally, I don't like to have a lot of constraints placed upon me. When you look at a script, of course, you look at a character and sometimes the character has to face situations that are very different from what you would like to face, or how you would like to react.
The important things are the script and the director. I have been waiting around to get the right script and the right director. For example, in the past if a Hollywood director came to me with a script and wanted me to play a character and she was a stereotypical Asian woman who gets into a fight and gets killed off quickly, that didn't seem to have much interest for me.
[on Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)] The most extraordinary thing about Rob Marshall is the way he works. For one thing: he is always encouraging, always supportive. Whatever we do, he says "Perfect", "Elegant", "Very Good", etc. Even if you're not the best actress in the world, he will keep supporting and encouraging, so that you will feel like "Oh my Gosh, I'm such a great actress, I can be a great actress!' And this really helped us a lot, because it really inspired us to give him our all. Every time we tried a scene, we would give him more and more. The other thing about Rob Marshall is his way of rehearsing. We rehearsed the whole film all the way through, from beginning to end, before we started shooting each scene. We had to memorize all the lines. They set up a simple set for us to practice and we ran our lines, adjusting some, so we knew what we were doing when we actually started filming it. We rehearsed the whole thing even before we split up the screenplay into shots, so we knew the whole script all the way through. This is something we just don't do in China. And it's very refreshing and different for me. And now I'm convinced this is a very good way to work.



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