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Why China's female stars are favored by Hollywood?

(People's Daily Overseas Edition)

09:37, August 01, 2012

Zhou Xun, a Chinese female movie star, is seen in "Cloud Atlas," a science fiction movie directed by Lana Wachowski.(file photo)

In recent years, Hollywood has frequently sent invitations to Chinese female movie stars which increased their work and roles in Hollywood and gave them a better opportunity for development. What makes them so popular in Hollywood? Where is their way out to the west?

Chinese movie stars joined the cast of four foreign blockbusters

The trailer of "Cloud Atlas," a science fiction movie directed by Lana Wachowski, was released worldwide on July 28, and Zhou Xun, a Chinese female movie star was seen in it. Zhou Xun's representatives disclosed that she portrayed three roles in the movie, all of which have a subversive appearance. The release of the trailer attracted numerous Chinese movie fans.

"Cloud Atlas" was not the first Hollywood movie to feature Chinese movie stars. As early as the beginning of 2011, Xu Qing, another Chinese female star, was invited to join the "Looper" cast, a Hollywood science fiction movie, where she portrayed the wife of the protagonist played by superstar Bruce Willis.

Soon after, another Chinese female star Yu Nan said that she was invited to join the cast of "The Expendables 2" where some on-set photos were released.

In October 2011, Chinese female star Li Bingbing uploaded several on-set photos from Canada and her agent also confirmed that Li is currently shooting "Resident Evil: Retribution." In the movie, Li was cast as character Ada Wong and will fight zombies alongside Milla Jovovich.

In June 2012, Chinese female star Fan Bingbing's name also appeared in the cast of "The Moon and the Sun" released by Bliss Media, a production company in Hollywood.

Hollywood eyes huge Chinese market

Why does Hollywood favor Chinese actresses? Many industry insiders attributed it to the rapid development of the Chinese film market in recent years.

Famous movie critic Yu Sui wrote on domestic online movie database that China's box-office revenue exceeded 10 billion yuan in 2011, making the country the world's second largest film market only after North America and thus attracting Hollywood producers to China. "The Chinese film market is developing rapidly. Shrewd businesspeople in Hollywood will certainly not ignore the world's second largest contributor to the box-office takings of 'Avatar,' 'Transformers,' and many other movies," said Zhou Liming, the author of Hollywood Politics and Economics.

Hollywood is willing to add Chinese actresses to its cast in order to attract the attention of Chinese movie-goers. "Adding a Chinese actor will make it easier for a movie to be accepted by the Chinese market," Zhou said. "In the era of globalization, Hollywood cannot ignore Chinese actors just as major U.S. companies cannot ignore small Chinese companies," said Prof. Wu Yulan, deputy dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Media under the Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, explaining the phenomenon from an economic perspective.

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