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Sun, Feb 10, 2013
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Shu Qi says: Her life, her rules

Yes, I'm married with two kids.

This was Taiwanese actress Shu Qi's sarcastic reply to rumours that she secretly wed Hong Kong actor-director Stephen Fung last year.

It was a tongue-in-cheek response by the 36-year-old, who is notorious for not always being friendly towards the media.

Last Thursday, a Hong Kong tabloid reported Fung and Shu Qi had secretly registered their marriage in the US last year, but their respective managers shot down the rumours.

Speaking to the local media on Wednesday night before the Hong Kong gala premiere of her new movie Journey To The West, Shu Qi seemed nonchalant about her "wedding".

"Let's just say I already have two kids," she told The New Paper in Mandarin.

"I've been in this industry for over a decade. Such rumours are nothing new to me."

A former soft porn model-actress, Shu Qi crossed over to mainstream cinema in 1996 - the same year she made her debut - and has since established herself as one of Asia's top leading ladies.

Her role as a porn star in Viva Erotica (1996) won her Best Supporting Actress and Best New Performer at the 16th Hong Kong Film Awards in 1997.

She won Best Actress at the Golden Horse Awards in 2005 for Three Times (2005), in which she played three different roles over three different eras.

Aside from her career achievements, her love life has also been closely watched.  

Over the years, she has been linked romantically to Hong Kong Heavenly King Leon Lai, actors Chang Chen and Shawn Yue, singer Wang Lee Hom and Fung, with whom she has allegedly been having an on-and-off relationship since 1997.

Despite being in the limelight, Shu Qi is is determined to draw a line at answering questions about her personal life.

"In recent years, the Hong Kong and Taiwanese media have become more concerned with gossip," she said.

"No one seems to care about our movies or the roles we play."

When asked if she would make a public announcement if she eventually got married, Shu Qi shook her head.

"I'll just quietly go about my personal stuff, like how it's been all this while," she said.

"If I start talking about my life, people may just start asking me silly questions like 'When did you last change the soap in your bathroom?'.

"I prefer to live life by my own rules."

Not surprisingly, Shu Qi became chattier when discussing her latest work, Journey To The West, a re-imagining of the classic Chinese tale of the same name.

In this prequel - written, directed and produced by Hong Kong actor-director Stephen Chow - she plays experienced demon hunter Miss Duan, who falls in love with amateur Tripitaka (Chinese actor Wen Zhang).

On their journey, he has to subdue his demonic disciples-to-be, including The Monkey King. The movie is now showing in cinemas.  

A whole new world

When asked about her foray into comedy, Shu Qi said it was not an easy step to take.

"Comedy is quite difficult, it's a whole new world to me. Without Mr Chow's guidance, I wouldn't have been able to do it," she said.

So if people think I have comedic talent, they are sorely mistaken. I think it's better for me to return to tragic roles!"

She also joins a select club called "Chow's Girls", a term coined by the Chinese media in reference to the lead actresses of Chow's movies.

But they are no Charlie's Angels.

They usually look unglamorous or even ugly, like Karen Mok's buck-teeth look in God Of Cookery (1996) and Vicki Zhao going bald in Shaolin Football (1997).

Luckily, Shu Qi was spared the make-under.

Chow, 50, explained she had a "special disposition" which he did not want to hide with too much make-up.

That said, Shu Qi said she was prepared to look really ugly.

"Before filming started, I tried to imagine how ugly I would become. But Miss Duan wasn't ugly at all," she said, laughing.

"I think the sloppy look is very chic and it saved me a lot of make-up time."

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