When mainland Chinese actress Fan Bingbing (范冰冰) appeared as a dispensable character in the Chinese version of Iron Man 3, she was mocked for being a “special offer for China,” especially after viewers learned that there was no sign of her in the international version of the movie. The inclusion of Chinese artists in Hollywood films is on the rise, but these artists are mostly relegated to periphery roles and have very little screen time. Nevertheless, a welcome change may be on the horizon, as Fan Bingbing and Tang Wei (湯唯) will reportedly be starring in several upcoming Hollywood movies.
Tang Wei, who rose to prominence after the 2007 film Lust, Caution <色，戒>, will appear as one of the female leads in an unnamed action thriller directed by Michael Mann. Known for helming works like Heat and Ali, Michael came to Hong Kong last month to go sightseeing and pick out actors. According to Hong Kong media reports, Michael selected Tang Wei because he admired her acting and manner.
The movie, which is about computer hackers, will also star Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, known for playing Thor in The Avengers, as well as American actress Viola Davis, who garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Actress after appearing in The Help. Filming is expected to begin next month, and it has been reported that the cast and crew will go to Hong Kong in July to film for one-and-a-half months.
When asked about Tang Wei’s appearance in this film, her manager Maria responded, “We actually haven’t been notified yet. We will respond when we are officially notified.”
While Fan Bingbing may have been mocked for her minor appearance in Iron Man 3, her many red carpet appearances at international film festivals have gained the approval of several foreign movie distributors. Bingbing will appear as Blink, a teleporting mutant, in X-Men: Days of Future Past, and it was recently reported that she would be participating in the Sino-American action comedy Skiptrace <跳躍追踪>, alongside Jackie Chan (成龍).
Bingbing has already begun filming Days of Future Past in Montreal, Canada. During a filming break, she was recognized by a Canadian fan, even though she was wearing a facial mask and sunglasses.
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