Q:What did that do to your sense of self, having a strange
family just moving into your house? A:There probably is an effect, but I don't know what. I think
it makes me strong, it makes me understand that things happen to a person.
Many unexpected things happen. You walk out and a beam could hit your
head. I think all this helped me when I moved here. Relatively speaking, I
was a lot more naive than kids today. It was a very difficult move and all
this toughening up when I was little helped. Especially for me. I was treated
as the princess of China, basically the exiled princess. For a person who just
left home, it's already one problem and for a person who's well loved by a
billion people to come in here and all of a sudden you don't know the
language, you don't have any other support system was very very difficult.
Times like that you rely on the experiences you had before, the hardships
you endured before.
Q:Let's talk about how you became that exiled princess.
Your parents were taken away when you were about seven. A: My mother came back a little earlier.
Q: When you were how old? A: All I know is when she came back I had rotten teeth, a
whole mouthful of rotten teeth, so after changing of the teeth.
Q: But before they recruited you to be in the play at 14. A: Yeah.
Q: You were about 12? A: Yeah.
Q: Tell me about that period, from 14 to 19, when you went
from being an unknown little schoolgirl to China's biggest star. How did that
happen? A: Nothing that I fought for, nothing that I wanted.
Q: Just the parts that you were given? A: Yeah. And I'm sure I had a certain presence. It just
happened. I didn't have too big of a problem with it because my family
grounded me very well and I didn't understand what fame is and the
corruption that fame could bring. I was too naive. I was very much a kid. I
believed that people just loved me. But there were some problems right
before I came to the United States. I was getting older and things were
changing and I sort of felt that I don't have privacy and there were certain
things I had to do because I was an example for the youth. I had to behave a
certain way and not dress pretty and not hang out with boys, you know, all
these pure qualities I must have and I didn't want to have any more.
Q: As of what age? A: 18, 19.
Q: That's when you made the decision to leave? A: That wasn't the reason exactly, but I did start to feel that's
not who I am. Why do you make me this person that I'm not? Now I
understand, they want you to be this person because that is the person
everybody loves. This [meaning herself] is not the person everybody loves
but I didn't know the difference. Today I would know. If my publicist says
you have to be a certain way, I say, Yeah, okay. That's the way the public
likes to perceive me. It's all fine, that's part of the business, but I didn't
Q: You had already kissed your first boy some time before
that. A: But it wasn't really a kiss I understood. Q: Was it when you were about 10 or 12? A: No no no.