Shanghai premieres

Shanghai premieres
Source: Global Times [22:36 June 11 2010]
By Mao Renjie
One week before opening to the public in China, epic thriller Shanghai held its world premiere in Beijing Thursday afternoon. Leading actors John Cusack and Gong Li graced the red carpet and spoke about their mutual admiration for each other and shooting Shanghai, hinting that their next collaboration would be a comedy.
From teen icon to hero in blockbuster 2012, which scored a record $80 million on the Chinese mainland, Cusack said China was a very mysterious place to him growing up. The 44-year-old US actor revealed that he got to know the country from Chinese novels and films, including Gong's past works with Zhang Yimou, including the 1994 success, To Live.
"The films were one of my first entries into China and Chinese culture," Cusack said.
He added that he has long been an admirer of Gong, whom he referred to as "a charming performer." He also spoke about his Shanghai co-stars Chow Yun-fat and Ken Watanabe saying "to work with such great actors is a rare honor." He added that he watched John Woo's The Killer, which Chow stars in, saying that he really enjoyed the avant-garde and classic action film.
"Chow is like the Humphrey Bogart of China," Cusack laughed.
In Shanghai, Cusack plays a US intelligence official who comes to Shanghai to investigate a friend's death shortly before Japan attacks Pearl Harbor during World War II. In his investigation, he meets local Mafia boss (Chow) and his wife (Gong) and falls in love with the latter, an elegant and mysterious woman.
"She is like a Mona Lisa on and off screen, with her mysterious power to attract the attention of every man," Cusack commented, saying that Gong has a very subtle way of conveying how the character feels. "A complicated and intricate performer as she is, I have to pay attention to not just her lines but her body movements and subtle gestures five seconds before and after those lines while we act in the same scene."
Cusack also revealed that he is planning to work with Gong again, but in a comedy, saying hopefully they will create a different type of spark than in a thriller and a love triangle relationship.
In response, Gong praised Cusack for being an exceptional actor and also a talented and charming person. She admitted being happy but nervous when she first heard that they would work together, concerned that there might be communication problems as he is from the US, even though she has worked alongside several of Cusack's countrymen in Memoirs of a Geisha and Miami Vice.
"When we met the first time in England, I realized that he was extremely kind and nice and we talked for quite a while," Gong recalled.
Shanghai also sees the second cooperation between Gong and Chow after Zhang Yimou's 2006 Curse of the Golden Flower, which was also Gong's last appearance on local screens. She used the word "joyful" to describe playing husband and wife with Chow for the second time, saying that they have got to know each other well enough to deliver an intimate performance.
Shanghai is Gong's first epic film for which she said it was very difficult to imagine the era and life of the times, but after studying the script and reading related history books, she was able to feel "the role growing inside of me." In her understanding, her role in Shanghai is brave and independent, a woman who pursues only what she wants.
"I hope audiences can feel and understand her love, bravery and wisdom," Gong said.
Shanghai is a joint production by the US' Weinstein Company and China's Huayi Brothers. It is also the first Asian production for the Weinstein Company.


Shanghai(2009) (pre-production) (in negotiations)
The Factory (2009) (filming)
Igor (2008) (post-production) (voice) .... Igor
Summerhood (2008) (post-production)
(uncredited) .... Narrator
War, Inc. (2008) (completed) .... Brand Hauser
Martian Child (2007) .... David
1408 (2007) .... Mike Enslin
Grace Is Gone (2007) .... Stanley Philipps
The Contract (2006/I) .... Ray Keene
The Ice Harvest: Alternate Endings (2006) (V) .... Charlie
The Ice Harvest (2005) .... Charlie
Must Love Dogs (2005) .... Jake
Runaway Jury (2003) .... Nicholas Easter
Identity (2003) .... Ed
Max (2002/I) .... Max Rothman
Serendipity (2001) .... Jonathan Trager
America's Sweethearts (2001) .... Eddie Thomas
High Fidelity(2000) .... Rob Gordon
Being John Malkovich (1999) .... Craig Schwartz
Cradle Will Rock (1999) .... Nelson Rockefeller
Pushing Tin (1999) .... Nick Falzone
The Jack Bull (1999) (TV) .... Myrl Redding
The Thin Red Line (1998) .... Capt. Gaff
This Is My Father (1998/I) .... Eddie Sharp, the Pilot
Chicago Cab (1998) .... Scary Man
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997) .... John Kelso
Anastasia (1997) (voice) .... Dimitri
Con Air (1997) .... U.S. Marshal Vince Larkin
Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) .... Martin Q. Blank
"Frasier" .... Greg (1 episode, 1996)
- Our Father Whose Art Ain't Heaven (1996) TV episode (voice) .... Greg
City Hall (1996) .... Deputy Mayor Kevin Calhoun
The Road to Wellville (1994) .... Charles Ossining
Bullets Over Broadway (1994) .... David Shayne
Floundering (1994) .... JC
Money for Nothing (1993) .... Joey Coyle
Map of the Human Heart(1993) .... The Mapmaker
Bob Roberts (1992) .... Cutting Edge Host
Roadside Prophets (1992) (as John Cusak) .... Casper
Shadows and Fog(1992) .... Student Jack
True Colors(1991) .... Peter Burton
The Grifters(1990) .... Roy Dillon
Fat Man and Little Boy (1989) .... Michael Merriman
Say Anything... (1989) .... Lloyd Dobler
Elvis Stories (1989) .... Corky
Tapeheads (1988) .... Ivan Alexeev
Eight Men Out (1988) .... George 'Buck' Weaver
Broadcast News (1987) (as John Cusak) .... Angry Messenger
Hot Pursuit (1987) .... Dan Bartlett
One Crazy Summer (1986) .... Hoops McCann
Stand by Me (1986) .... Denny Lachance
The Journey of Natty Gann (1985) .... Harry
Better Off Dead... (1985) .... Lane Meyer
The Sure Thing (1985) .... Walter (Gib) Gibson
Grandview, U.S.A. (1984) .... Johnny Maine
Sixteen Candles (1984) .... Bryce
Class(1983) .... Roscoe Maibaum