11 Jul - She has played a lot of strong characters in the past, which is why many thought it was weird that Ma Yili decided to play a struggling housewife in her new drama, "The First Half of My Life".
As reported on Tencent, the new drama, co-starring Jin Dong, revolves around a 30-something housewife and how her world turns upside down when her husband, of whom she has always relied on, decided to end their marriage.
In an interview to promote the drama, Ma said that playing a weak woman in the drama is actually more challenging to her, which is why she decided to accept the offer.
"Previous roles are relatively simple. I played aggressive, strong characters. This time, I play a woman who has no strength at all and is fully dependent on the man in her life. I never played such a role and it is also unfamiliar to me in real life," she said.
Ma, who is married to actor Wen Zhang, said that she has had thoughts about being a woman and how certain women behave and think.
As she plays a housewife in the new drama, Ma is asked if she would one day retire from acting and be a stay-at-home mum herself.
To that she said, "I would never completely abandon my duty as a mother at home and I don't think there is anything wrong about being a housewife. [For me] the most important thing is for women not to lose [their sense of identity]."
She also stressed that while being independent is a necessary quality for a woman, one should not be too focused on one's career to the extent of forgetting one's duties to the family.