Thursday, 24 January 2013 10:21

Joan Chen, not just a spice in the Hollywood dish

The Chinese star shows why she is a much-celebrated East-meets-West screen icon

Joan Chen

Jaded about the repetitive and uninspiring parts that she was getting as the years went by, she began seeking other roles in the creative business. After joining the judging panel at the Berlin International Film Festival, Joan decided that she "had a story to tell" and completed a script on the plane ride home.

Her first self-written directorial debut Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl in 1998 was extremely well received and bagged several trophies at major film festivals. Fourteen years after her maiden venture, she released her third production Shanghai Strangers last year. The short film won an award in China's Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival and its success was reason enough for her to sit in the director's chair again.

During the interview, Joan let on that her inspirations come from her own life experiences and revealed she is currently working on a script. However, she maintained that she "would never do an autobiography" because she would rather express herself in a fictional story.

Adding a word of advice for aspiring film makers, the celebrated star emphasised that the most important thing for a screenwriter is "to send a message to the world through his work" and not simply emulate the "successful movie formula".

Joan Chen

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