Ang Lee: Director With Balance

Ang Lee in 2000 for use with SUNDAY MORNING advancer
This Oscar weekend on CBS News Sunday Morning, Taiwanese film director Ang Lee talked about balancing the “yin and yang” of work and life.

In the week leading up to this year’s event, Lee told Correspondent Martha Teichner that he works hard to maintain a stable life in the face of the success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

When Teichner told him that he seems concerned about not appearing to be too successful, Lee replied, "Yes, this might have something to do with my Chinese background, keeping it well balanced. Anything in balance and normal, that’s good, and off-balance is bad, including being too successful."

Is he embarrassed by too much success?

"Yeah, embarrassed," said Lee. "Getting a lot of attention, it’s scary."

If history is a guide, Lee, who won this year’s Directors Guild of America Award for Best Director, should take home the coveted Oscar statue for his epic martial arts romance film. The winner of the DGA award has won the Oscar all but four times in the last 53 years.

Balance at home is also crucial for Lee, and he won’t be moving to Hollywood anytime soon. He lives in a modest home in Westchester County, N.Y., where he prefers a "middle-range, normal people’s life."

People seem to find it extraordinary, Teichner observed, that a prominent director who has been recognized by Hollywood stays as far away from that kind of life as possible.

"I think I am a very domestic, normal person, and I kind of like that," said the director. "I feel safe. I feel I’m grounded. I think that’s important, so when I’m not working, when I’m not going crazy, my mind can be peaceful, like everybody else."

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