Taiwan director Ang Lee has finally decided to cast Chinese mainland actress Tang Wei as the female lead, Wang Jiazhi, in his new film Lust, Caution, according to Tuesday's Shenzhen Special Zone Daily.
Lust, Caution marks Lee's return to Chinese-language films after several English-language productions including The Hulk and Brokeback Mountain, for which he won an Oscar for best director.
Hong Kong "king of film" Tony Leung will play the male lead.
Tang, a fresh face, beat out a handful of well-known actresses including A-list Taiwan stars Hsu Xi-yuan and Hsu Chi and Chinese mainland stars Zhou Xun and Liu Yifei.
Lust, Caution is adapted from a short story by noted woman writer Zhang Ailing. Set in 1930s Shanghai, when China was fighting Japan, the story is about a young secret agent Wang Jiazhi. She tricks a government official into an assassination trap then realizes her relationship with him has grown out of control.
The screenplay is by Wang Hui-ling, who wrote the script for Lee's Eat Drink Man Woman. She described Wang as a pure but typical modern Shanghai girl. She wears attractive cheongsam and plays mahjong. She also plays the Chinese lute and sings Suzhou Pingtan, a traditional style of artistic storytelling with musical accompaniment. Tang is now learning to perform Suzhou Pingtan, which is sung in the Suzhou dialect, and learning the Shanghai dialect.
Born in 1979 in Zhejiang Province, Tang graduated from the directing department of the Central Academy of Drama. For her performance in the TV movie, Policewoman Yanzi, she won CCTV Movie Channel's Lily Award for best female role.
Shooting will start in November in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
(Shenzhen Daily July 12, 2006)