Maggie Cheung, straordinaria musa di Wong Kar-Wai, di Olivier Assayas, di Zhag Yimou e Johnnie To, non gira un film da oltre sei anni.
Quando l’abbiamo incontrata a Venezia per presentare l’istallazione di Isaac Julien, Better Life, non ci eravamo resi conto della fortuna…
Dopo la vittoria del premio di miglior attrice a Cannes e la fine del rapporto personale ed artistico con Olivier Assayas, cominciato e finito su un set – dal meraviglioso Irma Vep al dolente Clean – qualcosa si è rotto, proprio alle soglie dei quarant’anni.
Dal 2004 la Cheung non ha più girato ruoli significativi, a parte un cameo in Inglourious Basterds, tagliato in sede di montaggio.
In un’intervista a The Scottsmen traccia un bilancio disilluso e forse un po’ amaro di una vita dedicata forse troppo intensamente alla propria carriera.
“I did 75 films, I didn’t take a break, I didn’t spend my money, I have my savings, so when you’re not working for money any more, then you should find things that are meaningful and not just be, like, OK, that’s another day gone.
Another part of the problem was that she was at an age where she was “too old to play the girlfriend any more, but too young to play the grandmother”.
“I was always the hero’s girlfriend or wife, actually the woman with no voice,” Cheung recalls.
This changed, however, when Wong Kar-wai cast her in his 1988 debut feature, As Tears Go By. “People suddenly realised, ‘Oh, she acts. And she wants to act. She’s not just here for the money or the fame or the glamorous side of the business. She’s serious.’ So people like Stanley Kwan, other more serious Hong Kong directors, started to want to work with me, and that started a journey for me to become a more serious, in-depth actress.
By the time of the award, she had been working for more than 20 years and made over 70 films. “I thought, ‘Come on, conclude this,’ and Cannes was the conclusion. If I’d said yes to all the things that came along right after Cannes. I did have many, many offers, because you’re hot then. But that was the point when I needed to take a break, so I said, ‘No, no, no’
Maggie Cheung si è anche stancata degli incessanti obblighi promozionali dei film che girava.
The job of promoting her films had become onerous. Looking me straight in the eye, she says: “Sorry to say it’s this kind of stuff. It’s not interesting. I love acting the part, but I don’t like all the side bits. One year after the film is completed you’re still talking about it.”