--- SEARCH ---
Learning Chinese
Learn to Cook Chinese Dishes
Exchange Rates
Hotel Service

Hot Links
China Development Gateway
Chinese Embassies

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation
Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the UN
Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland
Foreign Affairs College
Institute of American Studies Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Asian 'Invasion' into Hollywood

Kelly Hu feels the future is bright for Asian actors and actresses in Hollywood.

Actress Kelly Hu shares her thoughts about Hollywood's willingness to cast Chinese faces in key roles. Not just a fad, she believes the opportunities are just beginning.
On the heels of the dazzling kicks and punches of Michelle Yeoh, Jet Li and Jackie Chan, Asian faces have broken down the gates to Hollywood. With the local screening of the sci-fi blockbuster "X2: X-Men United," Kelly Hu has successfully raised her profile to new heights.

The Hawaiian native was in Shanghai promoting the action film on Monday. Clad in a dark gray suit and self-made necklace, she shows a completely different character to what's portrayed in the film -- she plays a nasty mutant named Yuriko Oyama, aka Lady Deathstrike. Her bright smile, easy-going manner and chattiness create a good impression with the local media instantly.

Among Chinese-origin actresses in the United States, Hu and Lucy Liu -- one of the three angels in the "Charlie's Angels" series -- are at the top of the Hollywood food chain. But Hu doesn't see it that way. "I think there's room for all of us Chinese actresses in Hollywood," says the 35-year-old. "Lucy Liu has a great career, and I have a great career so far. We don't have to just choose one or two as the best."

Nevertheless, the two are still regarded as action queens on screen. In addition to pretty faces and a sexy appearance, both boast gravity-defying jumps and super powers in their movies similar to kung fu stars. But are action roles the only path for Chinese stars in Hollywood? Hu believes kung fu is "definitely not" the only option. "Martial arts have created something that is sort of new to Hollywood," she says.

"There are a lot of incredibly talented Asian actresses out there who don't do any martial arts, such as Joan Chen, who is fantastic with no action gimmicks. It's just a fad going on right now, and lots of Asian actors get to be part of it. But it's not necessarily the only way." Recently, Hu has signed to work with writer-director Spike Lee on a new comedy titled "She Hates Me" -- her role doesn't include any martial arts or stunts.

As an American-born Chinese, Hu has a better view on the change of Oriental artists in Hollywood. When she started her career about 18 years ago, few roles existed for Asians. Now producers and writers are much more open about casting Asians. Nonetheless, few Asian faces grace the big screen. Hu regards language as the main obstacle. "Language is simply a barrier for those actors who came from China and Japan," says Hu. "It's very limiting for them because they can only play whatever ethnicity they are."

Part Chinese, Hawaiian and English, Hu's rise to fame has been a steady upward climb. She won the Miss Teen USA pageant in 1985 -- the first Asian-American to win the crown. In 1993 she was named Miss Hawaii. Her acting career started in television. Hu's first role was in the hit TV series "Growing Pains" in 1985 as an attractive Hawaiian tour guide. Since then, she has appeared in nearly 20 other series such as daytime soap opera "The Bold & The Beautiful," with Don Johnson in "Nash Bridges," and the CBS network hit "Martial Law" starring renowned Hong Kong kung fu hero Sammo Hung.

Though Hu is comfortable with her increasing popularity, local critics still see something else behind the actress' screen presence. "Like many other actresses, Hu still relies more on her appearance rather than ability," says Wu Xiaoli, professor at the School of Film, TV Art and Technology of Shanghai University.

"She is a relatively fresh face in Hollywood and movie buffs are always fond of seeing new people or new things." Zhou Yi, 27, a local movie fan, thinks that now many Asian stars in Hollywood are just like "leaves to set off flowers," or cast in supporting roles to make major stars look good. Indeed. Hu also realizes that she can not rely solely on good looks if her career is to maintain any lasting momentum.

"A nice appearance needs to be backed up with talent," she says. "A pretty face might get you in the door, but talent is going to give you the longevity." Wu figures the current fascination with the Orient is being generated by global business. The Western world is watching the East and therefore, Hollywood is being subtly influenced, which gives "Asian, in particular Chinese actors and actresses, greater opportunities to develop."

Thanks to Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" -- not just a kung fu flick -- China's best talents have more access to Tinseltown. Hu is also optimistic. "Those producers, writers and directors seem to want to color the cast -- see more than white people cast for one film," she says. "Filmmakers are now really making an effort to try to bring more minorities into different projects. I know that there are going to be more and more Asians, as well as Hispanics and blacks, in future films."

(China Daily September 18, 2003)

Kung Fu King Still Bewitching Visitors
Hong Kong Promoted as Cultural Interface Between East, West
Print This Page
Email This Page
About Us SiteMap Feedback
Copyright © China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-68326688