Coming to America

Chinese star Li Bingbing lands role in Hollywood blockbuster

Coming to America

You may have missed the first four Resident Evil films (WiC did too, we must admit). But no matter, there is a reason to catch the latest and the fifth instalment: Resident Evil: Retribution. That’s because Li Bingbing, the Chinese actress who starred in Snow Flowers and Secret Fan, has a role in the Hollywood movie, which is inspired by a video game.

Li (see photo) portrays the only Chinese-American character, Ada Wang, who appears frequently in traditional qipao, mirroring the appearance of the character in the video game. Her attire seems practical enough. In the film Li fights plenty of zombies, alongside Milla Jovovich’s character Alice.

This is Li’s first time starring in a Hollywood film, making her the third Chinese actress to appear in a Hollywood production, after Zhang Ziyi and Gong Li.

“The reason I took the opportunity is because I wanted to broaden my horizons, to see how a Hollywood production works,” Li told Sina Entertainment, an internet portal. “Their production process is very streamlined, and they are also very rich. You can tell that from how the production is run… Filming on the contract says eight hours a day and they really only filmed eight hours a day! If it runs overtime, everyone’s salaries will be doubled. So no one complains and everyone works the best they could because you get paid so well for all your hard work.”

Li told the Beijing News there were clear commercial reasons behind her casting. “It’s not that I am chasing Hollywood roles,” she said. “But actually it’s because Western movies need more Chinese faces.”

But don’t expect Li to work in Tinseltown full-time. “Frankly, no matter how nice Hollywood is, it is not my home. I will never go to another country. The filming [for Resident Evil] took place in Canada, and I found myself extremely homesick. Every day I went online to surf the Chinese internet sites to nourish my homesick heart.“

© ChinTell Ltd. All rights reserved.

Sponsored by HSBC.

The Week in China website and the weekly magazine publications are owned and maintained by ChinTell Limited, Hong Kong. Neither HSBC nor any member of the HSBC group of companies ("HSBC") endorses the contents and/or is involved in selecting, creating or editing the contents of the Week in China website or the Week in China magazine. The views expressed in these publications are solely the views of ChinTell Limited and do not necessarily reflect the views or investment ideas of HSBC. No responsibility will therefore be assumed by HSBC for the contents of these publications or for the errors or omissions therein.