After several minutes the conversation is interrupted by the loud banging of
a door. It seems to be coming from the direction of the kitchen. Is there
anyone else in the house, the visitor asks. No, Chen replies. Then should he
go check out the sound? It's just the wind, Chen insists, signalling by a
change of posture that discussion of the matter is over. As they are about to
resume, the visitor hears the sound of a lock turning coming from the same
general direction as the banging. It's clear from Chen's expression that the
sound is to be ignored.
"It doesn't seem to be as important as before when I didn't have
anything else in my life. Now I have a family."
Q: Your husband and both your parents are doctors. Is
there a connection? A: Both my parents are very hard-working, very caring,
studious people. They take their profession very very seriously. Especially
in China, there is not much of a reward other than saving lives. So I have a
very very high respect for the profession of medicine. That could be a
Q:It makes it easier for you to trust your husband? A:Yeah, yeah. He's very hard-working. He reads, takes his
work very seriously, he's very caring. So in a way it feels like going home,
like he's someone I can trust, I already know. I think it helps.
Q:Is there some subliminal connection between your father
and him? Is he a similar kind of person? A:To an extent. They're completely unrelated in that they
grew up in very different ways. They're both doctors and both very
Q:He's a surgeon, isn't he? A:He's a cardiologist who does invasive procedures, but he
doesn't do open-heart surgeries.
Q:Is he older than you? A:He is 36.
Q:You met through a patient of his. Tell us how that
happened. A:That patient knows my girlfriend whom I had known since
the age of 15. We're very good friends. She called my mother first. She said,
"I think I found you a son-in-law. I want Joan to come here and meet him."
He probably sounded pretty good to my mother, and she said, "I think you
should fly over and take a look."
Q:Where did you meet? A:We went to a restaurant. I don't remember which one. He
was on call that weekend, so he was late, like over an hour. When he came to
have dinner, he was beeped every 15 minutes, I was a little tense. Also, it
wasn't comfortable because it's set up, you're not casually meeting just to
make friends, you're set up to see if you want to date each other, so it wasn't
comfortable. The first meeting was with Shelly, Shelly's husband and the
patient. So it wasn't much of a date.
Q:Had Peter put Shelly up to it? A:No, actually Fred the patient called Peter to say, "I want to
introduce you to someone, A. She's an actress." Peter remembered
me from The Last Emperor. It wasn't fair because it wasn't really a
blind date for him. Prior to setting up this meeting with me, this patient was
so grateful [to Peter for saving his life that] he had set up two or three other
meetings. He was determined to find Peter a wife. He said, "I wonder if he's
gonna come because the last two or three times, it didn't work out." He says,
"He's so busy he doesn't have time to find himself a wife."
Q:What was your impression? A:I thought he was extremely handsome. I called Anchee. I
said, "Hey, this guy's more handsome than John Lone."