With box office revenues soaring in recent years, China has become the new land of temptation for Hollywood studios. Even the 3-D version of James Cameron's "Titanic" raked in an astonishing 900 million yuan. Hollywood filmmakers are therefore seeking various ways to attract this lucrative market.
Li Bingbing starred in "Resident Evil: Retribution" as Ada Wong.[File photo]
Global blockbusters such as "Kung Fu Panda" and "Avatar," contain plenty of Chinese elements. In addition, more and more popular Chinese actresses have started to take on Hollywood roles which in turn pleases their Chinese fan-base.
Yu Nan joined the production of "The Expendables 2" and Li Bingbing starred in "Resident Evil: Retribution" as Ada Wong. Chinese actress Zhou Xun also took on three parts in "Cloud Atlas" and Xu Qing was invited to join the cast of "Looper," a Hollywood science-fiction production.
"It is much easier to enter the Chinese market when a Hollywood film adds a Chinese character -- which also is good for box office earnings," film critic Zhou Liming said.
In terms of remuneration, Hollywood filmmakers usually will not spent much money on Chinese actresses, who they think don't share the same global popularity as do Hollywood stars such as Angelina Jolie.
Chinese actresses often don't care how much money they will make from shooting a movie that can hit theatres world-wide. They are interested in is elevating their international image, which will bring out some hidden chains of interests.
"The actresses who have appeared in Hollywood films will become the prime choice when first-class international companies choose their brand spokesperson for China. Generally speaking, the fee for a star's endorsement is very high," an anonymous insider explained.
However, what disappointed Chinese fans, is that their well-known heroines only have a little time on the screen. Zhou Xun appeared in "Cloud Atlas" for merely five minutes. Xu Qing found herself in the same situation, although she had got two eye-catching bedroom scenes with American actor Bruce Willis.
"Personally I don't think that the importance of the role has a lot to do with its on-screen time. For example, although I only appeared in "Looper" for merely five minutes, yet the character I portrayed played an important part in the film. Without me, the story would not even begin," Xu said.
"As an actress, I have no right to choose any parts in Hollywood studio films. Nonetheless, I still hope I can portray a character which fully represents my performing skills," she added.