Gong Li

  1. Maggie Cheung, Ching se  (US: Green Snake),  Hong Kong, 1993.     The marvelous love-snake story  (don’t ask!) was planned to be headlined by two Chinese superstars Gong Li and Anita Mui.  They were churned into Cheung and Joey Wang.  “Sounds like roles for Marlene Dietrich and  Bette Davis,” said my Paris spy Nicolas Rioult, “were played by Kay Francis and Irene Dunne.  More human but less glamour.”
  2. Diane Venora, Heat, 1995.      Auteur Michael Mann was directing Robert De Niro and Al Pacino –but Gong Li anf Madeleine Stowe passed!  Not for the same reason. The Chinese diva refused to even think about joining them  until the scriptwas translated into Mandarin.  It never was.  But Mann made sure that  Miami Vice was in 2005.
  3. Zhang Jingchu, Rush Hour 3, 2006.       On his dream list,  flashy director Brett Ratner wanted the most celebrated female stars from China and  Bollywood movies: Gong Li and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.  Both passed. Easily.  Neither offered role was important enough when Ratner’s third Jackie Chan-Chris Tucker  road show hit Paris.


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  3