Q: How long were you there as an order taker? A: Maybe a year, I'm not sure. The work wasn't hard. The
hard part was that the manager kept telling everybody, "This is the best
actress from China." I felt a little strange. If people didn't say anything
about it, it seemed fine. People kept saying it, and I felt, Hmm, is this bad for
the image of China? I mean, for the most loved actress from China to be
working in a restaurant. I felt bad for China.
Q: What's the quality that makes people want to watch you
on the screen?
A: I think when I was in China, I was more natural. Because I
wasn't as well trained, I was more instinctual.
Q: But anyone can be natural. A: No, actually not. Not over there, not in China because the
acting in China is very stylized and dramatic and I was just me.
Q: A simple, young, naive... A: ...young naive kid. I don't know. How do you explain
certain physical qualities that somehow sell on screen? You're born with it.
That's money. Certain people are just more watchable and I was more
watchable, but I don't think I understood acting or drama very well when I
was a kid. My instinct was very good. I was very eager to explore and learn
but it was just what I was born with.
Q: A lot of it was physical then. A: I think they used the words lively and pure. They see life
in me on the screen while in a lot of stylized acting, life is stifled. Less
pretentious, actually--that's one of the biggest qualities they saw in me in
Q: Is that part of the trend in China? The new Chinese
movies seem more natural. A: A lot more. The education we got then was Chinese stylized
acting plus Russian. So it was very big acting, very stage acting. It's very
Q: Can you put into words the quality that made you picked
out for stardom? A: When you put five people on the screen, they pick one
person to look at. That person has a strong presence that engages people's
Q: So you think it's the feng shui of your face. A: I think it's something inside of you also. I don't know
exactly what it is, be it a determination, or when they choose to look into
your eyes, there's something they hope to see there. I'm not the person to
ask, I wouldn't know.
Q: Did you think of The Last Empress as a sexy role? A: She's a sensuous role, yeah, but she didn't have a lot of
really sexy things to do.
Q: Well, with Maggie Han... A: Yeah, she's a very sensuous person.
Q: Was that particular scene difficult for you? A: No, it wasn't difficult. [Bursting out laughing.] It was
probably difficult for Maggie because she had to kiss my foot.
Q: Actually, she had to lick your toes. A: [Still laughing] I washed it with soap, rubbed it with
rubbing alcohol in front of Maggie to show that it's clean. No, it was hard for
her, not hard for me at all. No.
Q: Did Maggie say, Yeck, I don't want to do that? A: I guess we laughed about it. But no, it was a beautiful
scene. We're actresses, we enjoy doing it. I don't find intimate scenes more
difficult than other scenes.