Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Chinese actress Summer Qing. She has appeared in films The Founding of a Republic, Flash Point, and can be seen in the current mind bending hit Looper as Old Joe’s Wife. In this interview Summer talks about her origins as an actress, her role in Looper, the differences between a Chinese movie production versus an American one, and even tells us her favorite comic book movie!
What inspired you to become an actress?
Because I can. LOL!
Believe it or not, there wasn’t any inspiration for me to become an actress until I actually enrolled in the film school. Only after I entered the Beijing Film Academy did I learn such great actors’ names as Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro. Then I was inspired to become an actress.
What is your favorite genre of storytelling (drama, action, etc.) to be a part of?
I love great stories well told regardless of their genre. But if you want me to be part of it, I guess my personal favorite would be the history drama. I have done a few in my career and play some great female characters but there is this one legend that I have aspired to play. She was the one and only female empress in Chinese history. Her name is Wu Zetian. It’d be a great challenge for me. As a matter of fact, my production company is developing such a project as we speak.
I play Bruce Wills’ role Old Joe’s wife. My character loves Old Joe very much, but I have a strong power over him. Even though he is a tough guy, when he is with me, he is quite tender. I will play the one in charge in this relationship. However, the relationship was hopelessly romantic and tragic. We have such passion and love, but we always knew that his identity will separate us, but we still stuck together till the “end”, which explains why Old Joe is so determined to travel back in time seeking for justice and revenge.
What attracted me to this role is that she represents a great female figure from a futuristic superpower China. Such a character in the story is believable. Plus, this role will be Bruce Willis’s wife in the film. How can I say no to that?
Did you experience any differences between working on a Hollywood production versus a Chinese one? If so, what were they?
I don’t think there is such a big difference on the creative side. However, Looper has an amazingly professional crew. Every department and crew members adds points to the overall quality of the film. However, many Chinese directors are not so lucky. So many things happening are deducting points to the quality of the film. Still, we are still able to make great films in China. Again, I don’t think between working on a Hollywood production and a Chinese one, one is better than the other. What does matter is to have a great team, which, I’m glad, Looper is proud to have.
What work of yours do we have to look forward to after ‘Looper’?
I will be working with the best Chinese playwright and theater director Stan Lai on an 8-hour-long play, which will be a groundbreaking cultural event in Asia. At the same time, there are a few international film projects under development and/or in negotiation.
Be true and truthful to people and to yourself. Only by doing that can we shine with our true self in our work.
What is your favorite comic book movie? (We ask everyone this).
Batman series (by Nolan)
Check out these behind the scenes photos, courtesy of Summer Qing!