Maggie Cheung is an actress and model from Hong Kong. She is best known for being one of the biggest female stars in Hong Kong movies. After a few years in London, she went back to Hong Kong when she was 18 years old. She first did modeling and beauty pageants, and then she moved on to acting in movies. Maggie became well-known for her roles in action movies like “Police Story,” “The Heroic Trio,” and “Executors,” because Hong Kong made more action movies than any other kind. Some comedies came in between, but she really liked romantic movies, especially those by Wong Kar-wai, one of Hong Kong’s best directors. Her work with Wong led to movies like “As Tears Go By,” “Days of Being Wild,” “2046,” and “In the Mood for Love,” but that’s not all. The last one is considered to be one of the best movies ever made, and Maggie became an international star because she was in it. Maggie has won many acting awards over the years for her wonderful roles. Since her first movie, she has been in more than 80 others. This has made her one of the biggest movie stars not just in Hong Kong, but in all of Asia.
Childhood and Adolescence
Maggie Cheung was born on September 20, 1964, in Hong Kong, during a time when the city’s cinema was still in its infancy. As a result, it has yet to demonstrate its global significance. Maggie, interestingly, had no ambitions to be a movie star when she was younger.
Maggie was forced to go to England when she was eight years old, and the strange society she encountered there turned her into a shy, introverted child. But all of her experiences strengthened her, and she resolved to overcome her problems by learning English. Her ability to learn quickly was advantageous to her.
She enrolled in a school there, and the fact that she was the only Asian student on campus made her even more uneasy. This alienated her even more, but she gradually acquired confidence and established several solid friends.
She was regularly complimented on her good features, which led to her involvement in theatre during her secondary school years. She fell in love with the art of acting and returned to Hong Kong for her summer vacation after finishing high school. She was amazed by how the profession had grown since she left and began modeling shortly after.
She entered the Miss Hong Kong Beauty Pageant in 1983 when she was 18 years old and placed the first runner up. By the end of the event, she had also been named Best Photogenic Face, putting her even more in the spotlight.
She was a woman of many skills who proved difficult to refuse by the production houses where she auditioned, and her career took off quickly.
Maggie Cheung’s Career
In 1984, she made her acting debut in a small humorous role in the film ‘Prince Charming.’ In those days, the Hong Kong film industry commonly combined comedy and martial arts, resulting in several tremendously successful films. Jackie Chan, the genre’s pioneer, took notice of her and cast her in his 1985 action comedy picture ‘Police Story.’
Maggie became an overnight sensation as a result of the film’s popularity.
The success of ‘Police Story’ tormented her for the following several years, since she only got offers to portray similar characters in films like ‘Happy Ghost 3’, ‘Sister Cupid,’ and ‘The Romancing Star.’ She desired a change of image, and she couldn’t say no when Wong Kar-wai, a relatively young director, gave her a role in his love drama “As Tears Go By” in 1988.
Maggie had never received genuine praise for her acting ability before, and this would be the first of many more collaborations she would have with Wong. She began to take on more serious roles after that, and reviewers began to see her as a wonderful actress.
She followed up her critical breakthrough with the Golden Horse Award-winning film ‘Full Moon in New York.’ She also won an acting prize for ‘A Fishy Story’ at the Hong Kong Film Awards. She became the first Asian actress to win the Best Actress prize at the prestigious Berlin Picture Festival for her film “Centre Stage.”
Cheung demonstrated that she was not only a talented actor, but also a versatile one. In the early 1990s, she demonstrated her martial arts skills in films like ‘Executioners’ and ‘The Heroic Trio.’ She also had a notable role in the film ‘New Dragon Gate Inn,’ and critics began to praise her increasing flexibility as an actor.
She took a two-year vacation after a period of back-to-back filming and returned in 1996 with ‘Irma Vep,’ a hugely popular picture that gave her international exposure. Her second project, ‘Comrades: Almost a Love Story,’ was also a triumph. She was once again praised anonymously for her portrayal of a lover who has been separated from the man she loves for over ten years.
Her debut English-language picture, ‘Chinese Box,’ was released in 1997. The film featured a number of well-known Chinese performers, but Maggie stood out among them by playing a key role in the film’s success.
Her age began to show in her casting choices in the late 1990s. She had lost interest in playing a young effervescent and clumsy girl solely to amuse the audience. She began to choose meatier roles all of a sudden. She couldn’t say no when Wong Kar-wai asked her to reprise her role in the dismal romance ‘In the Mood for Love.’
The film was released in 2000 and immediately became an international success, earning Wong Kar-wai critical acclaim. Since its debut, the picture has been referred to be one of the greatest films ever made, bringing Maggie back to the international spotlight.
Her choice to star in the 2003 period film ‘Hero’ earned her another professional boost. She portrayed an assassin in the film who plotted to kill the Emperor of the Qin Dynasty. Jet Li, an internationally known Hong Kong actor, co-starred with her in the film.
The film gained critical acclaim across the world for its stunning cinematography and for proposing a creative new method of telling a traditional subject. The film is still considered one of her biggest successes.
With ‘2046,’ a vague sequel to ‘In the Mood for Love,’ she reunited with Wong Kar-wai. ‘2046’ was a romantic science fiction film. Wong Kar-wai had established himself as a significant role in the world film scene at that time, and the picture was shown at the Cannes Film Festival, where it garnered a standing ovation for touching the emotions of everyone in attendance.
Maggie decided to stop performing to focus on her humanitarian services and editing after being overwhelmed by her incredible success.
Her Private Life
Maggie Cheung married the famous French filmmaker and critic Olivier Assayas in 1998 and moved to France for a brief period of time. The marriage lasted only four years before ending in divorce.
Maggie’s interest, aside from cinema, has always been hairdressing, which she occasionally practices with her friends.
Maggie is a multi-lingual person and can speak Cantonese, Mandarin, English, and French with ease.
Estimated Net worth
Maggie Cheung is an actress from Hong Kong, and she is worth $80 million. Cheung was born in Hong Kong in September 1964 and is also known as Cheung Man-yuk. Cheung grew up in England and in Hong Kong. She was a model and worked at a store.