73-year-old ‘wuxia film mogul’ and wife, 42, draw ‘grandfather-granddaughter’ comparisons

By Linh Le   May 19, 2024 | 11:00 pm PT
The marriage of 73-year-old Zhang Jizhong, celebrated as China’s “wuxia film mogul,” to Du Xinglin, 42, has sparked widespread debate, with some likening their age gap to that of a grandfather and his granddaughter.
Chinese director Zhang Jizhong (C), his wife Du Xinglin (far L), and their children. Photo from Zhangs Weibo

Chinese director Zhang Jizhong (C), his wife Du Xinglin (far L), and their children. Photo from Zhang's Weibo

The South China Morning Post reports that discussions have flared across Chinese social media following Zhang and Du’s revelations about their romantic life online. While skepticism about the authenticity of their bond persists, others advocate for them, citing age as irrelevant in matters of love.

"When this couple stands together, they look like a grandfather and his granddaughter," a netizen commented. "Is this kind of love really practical?"

"Zhang is just older, but that does not stop him from being a good partner," another countered.

Zhang himself has addressed the commentary regarding his relationship with Du.

"Because my wife is 30 years younger, there were many doubts from the world, thinking she was after money and I was after beauty," he explained in a video on his social media account. "But actually we were attracted to each other and are deeply in love. We share a passion for Chinese traditional culture."

Further insights into their life together are provided by other videos on their social media accounts, which depict Zhang attentively caring for Du during her pregnancy. In one instance, upon noticing Du’s morning sickness, Zhang immediately ceased work to massage her, prepare warm brown sugar water, and provide her with fruit to alleviate her discomfort.

According to The Star, Du mentioned in a previous TV program that Zhang assists with feeding the children and changing their diapers, in addition to handling the laundry and cooking.

She also shared that Zhang was exceedingly thorough in his care during her pregnancy. He accompanied her to every ultrasound appointment, closely monitored the fetus’ development, and meticulously noted the doctor’s advice to ensure the best care for both mother and baby.

These supportive actions have eased her stress as she has three young children—one from a previous relationship and two with Zhang—to take care of while expecting another baby.

Zhang is renowned for his film adaptations of classic wuxia novels by the esteemed author Jin Yong. His notable works include "The Smiling, Proud Wanderer," "The Legend of the Condor Heroes," "Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils," "The Return of the Condor Heroes," "Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber," and "The Deer and the Cauldron."

He has also performed supporting roles in several of these adaptations.

He and Du have recently enjoyed increased popularity through their live streams, where they sell a diverse array of products.

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