Zhang Ziyi is the first Asian actress and the youngest female filmmaker to attend a Cannes Film Festival masterclass.
And this year's just concluded 72nd Cannes festival masterclass also featured American actor Sylvester Stallone, French actor Alain Delon and Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn.
Meanwhile, Zhang's latest film Godzilla: King of Monsters will simultaneously open in China and North America on May 31.
Speaking about the movie, she says: "The reason that I decided to participate the film is simple. They offered me an emotional character. They are not just using my name and reputation."
"As a Chinese actress, it was quite an eye-opening experience to participate in a film of such scale," said Zhang during an interview in Beijing on May 14.
She is grateful that director Dougherty respected her and her role, and gave her a big space and freedom for her to fully develop the character.
"My character is a little complex, she is not the symbolic role which I feared I would be getting, which would have been a waste of time," the actress said, adding she was able to enrich the role after she and the director had some good exchanges.
However, as with her fellow actors, she never actually saw any real size monsters, not even a puppet and other props. "We have to use our imagination," she explained.
Zhang plays a scientist working for a secret crypto zoological agency known as Monarch, who inherit her family's psychic ability to connect with the monsters. In the film, her research on Chinese myths about Chinese dragons proves significant in human efforts to help Godzilla fight its rival monsters and protect the world.
Trained as a dancer since the age of 11, Zhang spent six years honing her skills in traditional Chinese dance and, for a short period, classical ballet. However, as she has said in numerous past interviews, she knew she didn’t have a future in dance. “It was just a feeling I had then. When I look back at it now, I see that I was right,” she says.
In reality, the transition was made a whole lot smoother when she caught the eye of the pre-eminent Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou, who was auditioning actors for a commercial he was directing at the time. Her first starring role, at the age of 19, came swiftly afterwards in the director’s Silver Berlin Bear-winning drama The Road Home (1999).
That is, I hadn’t planned my career path. After I made The Road Home, I took part in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), and after that I made Rush Hour 2 (2001). It happened quickly and one followed another.
Her sustained success since, however, has been no accident. “[Before Hero], it was simply a case of opportunities knocking, so I went with them,” she says. “I didn’t especially feel that I was going to make acting my career. But gradually, after making film after film, I discovered that I was indeed passionate about acting. Every new role has unique aspects that only belong to that character. Every new character is like that, which is what makes [acting] interesting to start with.
When she met director Steven Spielberg for the title role of American film, "Memoirs of a Geisha" , Zhang could only blurt out a few words her agent had taught her five minutes ago: "Hire me!"
She finally got the role, which meant she had to speak only English in the film. To improve her English, Zhang listened to and repeated words and phrases she heard on music CDs. One of the artists she was listening to was Eminem, which obviously led to some embarrassing moments for Zhang. "I didn't always know what Eminem was talking about, so I wrote down the lyrics and repeated them. Later, I understood how rude they were."
章子怡表示，自己最喜欢的一个英文短语是：逼上绝路 (to drive one up the wall)，而学英语，正是将自己逼上了绝路。
在此之前，我的生活就是下一个剧本和角色，我应该穿些什么 —— 那就是我的生活。但如今我要把时间分开来；我要根据孩子的作息来安排工作日程。
Before, my life was really about what would the next script or character will be, what would I wear—that was my life. But now I have to divide my time; I need to work out a work schedule that will suit my child.
And because I am blessed with a very steady family, I find it easier to turn down projects and focus my attention on them.
When the environment of life, career, friends, and life is particularly smooth, maybe the couple will be more accommodating if they stay with each other.
But when you encounter obstacles, you actually need to work together with your partner to face the storm.
综合来源：China Daily, China.org, Time Out, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Hong Kong Tatler