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Maggie Cheung Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (30) | Personal Quotes (10)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 20 September 1964Hong Kong
Height 5' 6¼" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Maggie Cheung was born on September 20, 1964, in Hong Kong, and moved at the age of eight with her family to England. After finishing secondary school, she returned to Hong Kong, where she began modeling and appearing in commercials. In 1983 she participated in the Ms. Hong Kong pageant, winning first runner-up, which proved not to be a detriment since she went on to become a star of both Hong Kong television and film.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: A. Nonymous

Spouse (1)

Olivier Assayas (26 December 1998 - 2001) (divorced)

Trivia (30)

Member of the jury at the Berlin International Film Festival 1997.
First runner-up and Miss Photogenic in Miss Hong Kong and a semi-finalist in Miss World.
Guest model of Hermès during Paris Fashion Week in March 1998.
Spokesperson of LUX shampoo in mid-late 1990's in Greater China.
Clean (2004) was turning point in her career. Before this film was made, she was only offered the roles of beautiful Asian women in Western films.
Olivier Assayas wrote the characters of Maggie Cheung (in Irma Vep (1996)) and Emily Wang (in Clean (2004)) specifically with her in mind.
The first Chinese actress ever to win the Best Actress award at the Berlin International Film Festival (1992 - for Center Stage (1991)) and Cannes Film Festival (2004 - for Clean (2004)).
Her parents are Shanghainese. While she cannot speak the dialect, she understands it.
In Hong Kong, she has been handed every role she has played since she was 18 without an audition.
Wanted to be a hairdresser as a child.
Was offered a role in X-Men 2 (2003) but turned it down because "If I start making films like that, they won't be proud. I'd feel like I was cheating. And I don't want half the world, we have 1.3 billion people in China, to know I'm cheating. That matters to me. I have more pride than that."
Learned French for her role in Augustin, King of Kung-Fu (1999).
Grew up in Bromley, Kent, when she lived in the UK.
Signed her divorce paper with Olivier Assayas on the set of Clean (2004) which was directed by her ex-husband.
She and Tony Chiu Wai Leung made 7 movies together: 2046 (2004), Days of Being Wild (1990), Ashes of Time (1994), In the Mood for Love (2000), The Banquet (1991), The Eagle Shooting Heroes (1993), and Hero (2002). They also starred together in a short-lived TV-series: San jaat si hing (1984).
Acted in 6 movies with Brigitte Lin Ching Hsia, whom she considered her idol and an actress she respected.
She was a finalist to star in Memoirs of a Geisha (2005).
Declined lead role in Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) because of racial sensitivity between the Japanese and the Chinese, due to WWII.
Although an icon of Asian cinema, she is actually a European with extended residence in Hong Kong.
Member of the jury at the Venice Film Festival in 1999.
Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007.
Filmed a role in Inglourious Basterds (2009) but all of her scenes were deleted from the final cut.
Is fluent in English, French and Chinese (both Cantonese and Mandarin, and understands Shanghainese).
Ex-daughter-in-law of Jacques Rémy.
Ex-sister-in-law of Michka Assayas.
In April 2010 Cheung was appointed as UNICEF's Ambassador to China.
In July 2011 Cheung was awarded the degree Doctor honoris causa at the University of Edinburgh, UK.
Member of the jury at Marrakech International Film Festival 2010.
Resides in Beijing, China.
Upper East Side, New York [August 2005]

Personal Quotes (10)

No matter where I'm going, I feel like I'm leaving something behind. Every time I get on a plane, I cry. The flight attendants on Cathay Pacific must think I'm mad.
...you experience a lot more pain than normal people, your mom dies, your dad dies, your boyfriend chucks you, you live in the street, and you're really going through these emotions. You're trying to know what it feels like to watch a man die in front of you, as if you've really lived it. Once that division is gone, it gets blurry, you look back at a shoot and think, was I really that sad because in the film my boyfriend didn't like me -- or was it something else, something real? [on being an actress]
If I was drinking something [in my house], they said, 'Oh, she got dumped, she's so miserable she's turning to drink'. Or if my mother and sister came over, they said, 'She's so miserable she needs her family to support her through this hard time.'" [on her experience with the Hong Kong paparazzi]
Words like 'fabulous,' 'wonderful,' 'great,' 'absolutely gorgeous,' they don't exist in Cantonese. It's good, or it's O.K. That's it. It's very blunt, Cantonese. I appreciate that there are no fake words, but it's hard to switch channels, sometimes, after I've spent time in France. I'm just learning to use more generous words myself, but you know, 'gorgeous,' I just can't go to that extreme.
It was heaven. We were in Los Angeles. And we could go anywhere. No one had any idea who I was.
I think I started to have thoughts to really want to be serious about my work when I was about twenty five and I just kind of started to look into that direction and moved into it. But it didn't seem as though it was going anywhere because, you know, films without action or comedy are rare to find in Hong Kong, especially if the main character is a woman. But along the way, I've had a few good breaks.
Even though we can say the European or North American market is bigger, no, for me, I want Hong Kong to be my main market. They want to own me and I want to own them. It's out of willingness.
These two men, how they like their women to be is so different. The way Wong [Karwai]sees beauty, or women related to beauty, it has to be that sensual, perfect thing, whereas Olivier [Assayas] is more interested in something more internal and modern. But I feel happy to be able to fit into their desires of what they want to see on the screen. That's what interests me in my work, to transform according to different directors.
Because I've done so many different roles, I don't want to repeat myself. It's getting harder and harder to find something interesting.
I think it comes from far away inside me, to be strong to survive everything that comes my way. I think, going back to the beginning, feeling like an alien in an English school when I was eight, that set up my pride very early on. I think I'm very defensive, but I'm trying not to be like that any more.

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