Le Figaro

In private with... Zhang Ziyi

May 24, 2006   |   Written by Nicole Picart & Natacha Vigié

At what moment were you most happy?
I cherish every day that passes. Each day offers something new, something different. I’m very happy at the moment.

What do you think is perfect happiness?
To be loved and to love.

The last time you laughed out loud?
Last autumn, I took my puppy Teddy shopping. I found him a magnificent warm coat and the salesman put some thick socks on him. As soon as they were on his paws he shrank back and then lifted up each paw, one at a time. I burst out laughing and couldn’t stop. Teddy looked at me with the air of defeat. I nearly died laughing!

The last time you cried?
Watching Hustle & Flow a few weeks ago. When Terrence Howard prepares to go to prison and goes in his house to say goodbye to the woman that he loves. I was so touched by the tenderness in this scene that the tears flowed.

What’s the principal trait in your personality?
Perseverance. In spite of hurt and my frame of mind.

What is the first thing you do in the morning?
I turn all my phones on. I have to stay in touch with all my friends around the world.

Your hobby?
Listening to music. Massaging my feet. Cleaning my room. I love that, I find it very relaxing.

What has been your biggest success?
Learning another language.

Your favourite drink?
Watermelon juice.

What do you most treasure?
My relationship with my family. It’s very strong and full of love.

Your favourite writers?
I love reading children’s books in English. I can devour six in half an hour. The classic Chinese writers will always be in my favourites too. In particular ‘The Dream of the Red Chamber’.

Cult film?
Dancer in the Dark. Bjork is excellent in this film.

Favourite actress?
Sophie Marceau. Her acting inspires me. I had dinner with her in Paris and she was so funny, I really liked spending time with her.

Your heroes?
Ordinary people who do extraordinary things.

What scares you? Rats.
That’s all.

What talent would you like to have?
To play the piano. With virtuosity.

Your favourite word?
‘All right’ and ‘ludicrous’.

A sentence which disturbs you?
When people say to me: ‘We’ll be ready when you are’. That frightens me.

What do you hate the most?
Being misunderstood makes me feel very uneasy.

Have you kept a part of childhood?
Yes, it comes out when I’m happy and relaxed.

What is the next dream that you would like to achieve?
To learn how to cook snails like they do in restaurants in France.

Your favourite activity?
Watching programmes on the Discovery Channel, I find it all very inspiring.