Maggie Cheung Makes Beijing New Home in Name of Love

April 2, 2008
Editor: yf

Marvelous Maggie Cheung has made Beijing her new home all in the name of love. A new whirlwind romance with a young German architect has drawn her to the capital and as the spring blossoms begin to bloom, Cheung appears to be the happiest she's been in years.


Maggie Cheung Makes Beijing New Home in Name of Love
Maggie Cheung has made Beijing her new home. [File photos]
The 43-year-old star has fallen head over heels for Ole Scheeren, who helped design CCTV's new eye-catching headquarters, and the affair with the younger man has the Hong Kong media reeling.

Cheung met Scheeren, 36, at the birthday party of Cheung's agent in Beijing last June.

The tall and handsome stranger was a partner in the prestigious architectural house Office for Metropolitan Architecture and soon after their first meeting, Cheung was seen on his arm at the Swarovski Fashion Rocks Show in London.

Recently the Hong Kong paparazzi have caught the couple shopping at Shin Kong Place near Dawanglu and taking in the sights and sounds of Beijing.

Although Cheung refuses to answer questions about her new love, it is very obvious the cinematic icon is in a very happy place, both emotionally and physically.

"I want to be happy and lighthearted. Right now I don't feel like being stuck or committed to anything full time," she says.

Cheung loves Beijing and the millionaire actress enjoys roughing it on the 2-yuan-a-ride subway, mingling anonymously in the crowd. "I love taking the new subway and walking on the street without anyone noticing me," she says beaming.

"Whenever I pass Chang'an Avenue, I can feel the city. Its history and culture, which can not be found at any corner of the world.

"And I love the people here whose personalities are straight up. They won't compliment and flatter, and the way they behave is pure. I feel I'm becoming more and more a Beijinger."

"In Beijing I feel that with anyone I am in touch with, whether they know who I am or not, they are genuine and not judging me on how I look.


Maggie Cheung Makes Beijing New Home in Name of Love
German architect Ole Scheeren, a designer of CCTV's new headquarters. [China Daily]
"I don't always want to be alert and on my guard."

The Hong Kong-born star moved to England, when she was 8, and finishing high school in Kent. Being the only Chinese student at school she felt alienated from the other kids. She often changed her appearance, her hairstyles and clothes in a bid to be accepted. She returned to Hong Kong in the early 1980s but once again found it hard to fit in, because she couldn't speak her native language. Instead, she let her attractive looks do the talking.

After finishing runner-up at the Miss Hong Kong Pageant in 1983, she starred in the popular comedy Police Story (1984) with Jackie Chan.

In 1988 she landed a role in As Tears Go By, directed by Wong Kar-wai, a man who would be key to her career. Success quickly followed, and so did the awards - the best actress accolades in Berlin and Cannes plus five Golden Horse Awards. Such praise, however, was not enough to keep Cheung on the silver screen.

After completing Clean in 2004 she drifted away from cinema. Today she admits to "letting it be."

"I'm not looking to do another film," she says.

"The only thing that could draw me back to a three-month shooting schedule is something very special and worthwhile. I want to go for something that I love 100 percent. What I need is quality of work, not the quantity."

Although she now resides in Beijing, she still travels to Hong Kong, England and Paris, for promotional work and meeting friends.

Cheung is the new face to Piaget, a luxury watch and jewelry maker. Photographed by Patrick Demarchelier in Paris, the campaign was recently unveiled at a press conference in Beijing.

"Wow," she exclaims looking at the photos. "This is great! It's a big bonus that I am a fashion icon. I enjoyed the two-day shooting process in Paris, which was like a treasure hunt game. I was like a little girl immersed in beautiful clothes and accessories."

Having stepped away from an acting career, Cheung seems carefree, and stripped down to her real self.

She doesn't have to change her clothes or hairstyle any more to fit in.

"I value my time at home, not putting on any cosmetics, just a little lipstick. I can spend a whole week at home, cleaning, shopping and cooking," she says.

"It's amazing to be able to live as you wish. You are able to plan your day yourself and do whatever you want. I like to do things properly. What I have on my hands now makes me busy and I just don't want to overload myself."

She says she now enjoys the anonymity of living an ordinary life, taking buses and the subway, and cooking at home.

And of course, maybe spending more time with the new man in her life.

Cheung says she has always followed her heart. "You always have a voice in your heart telling what you should do. So I am willing to be brave and follow my heart," she says. "I love surprises bestowed by life and believe my intuition."

"I know what I want to do and how to enjoy life now."

(Source: China Daily)

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