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Chinese star Fan Bingbing reveals challenges of her return to acting after tax evasion scandal

Fan Bingbing
via South China Morning Post, Berlinale

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    Chinese superstar actor Fan Bingbing, who disappeared from public view and social media in July 2018 after it was rumored that she had fled China, recently attended Berlin International Film Festival to promote her new movie “Green Night.” 

    Months after her hiatus, it was revealed that Fan was fined for tax evasion and ordered to pay about 880 million yuan (approximately $128.1 million) in fines. 

    Soon after, she issued a statement apologizing for her actions on Weibo, saying that there would be no Fan Bingbing “Without the great policies of the [Communist] Party and the state.”

    In a candid interview with the South China Morning Post, the 41-year-old actor spoke about the challenges of returning to acting after a long break. 

    I was at home, I was dealing with some things. But, you know, everybody’s life has highs and lows. And when you reach a low, you steadily, gradually climb back up again. And it’s a tough process. But you learn a lot of new things at the same time, and you learn a lot about the world, a lot about people. And for me, it was a very good experience in retrospect … and everything’s fine with me now.

    Fan, who played the superhero Blink in the blockbuster “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” also discussed the difference between shooting in Hollywood and China.

    Hollywood is so developed and they really know every single minute what they’re going to do on set and what you have to be doing. And [they’re] very on track and on top of things. It was different from shooting in China, but I was able to learn a lot from that experience.

    Talking about the importance of staying grounded, Fan noted, “For me, I really feel it’s important to maintain this sort of life because then you can see the details of real people, in real life, and then I can bring those emotions and experiences into acting.”

    She added that she considers her new return to acting a “restart,” revealing that she plans to “stick at it” as it is “something that I’ll probably be doing for my whole life.”

    Last year, Fan appeared in the South Korean series “Insider,” on the television network JTBC.

    In her new film, Fan plays Jin Xia, a Chinese immigrant in South Korea who works as an airport security official while living with an abusive Korean husband. 

    Her encounter with a Korean drug mule (played by actor Lee Joo-young) sends her and the mysterious green-haired stranger on a wild run for freedom across Seoul. 

    “Thanks to my friends from all over the world,” she told journalists before the movie’s premiere on Feb. 23. “Everyone’s life has its ups and downs. It can be very difficult and hard work at times, but you actually learn a lot of things in the process. Everything is fine now.”

    “Green Night” director Han Shuai, who last joined the festival in 2020 with her film “Summer Blur,” heaped praise for the actor, highlighting how she’s “very straightforward and frank rather than a ‘star-star.’”

    “Green Night,” which is Han’s second feature, premiered in the Berlin film festival’s Panorama section on Feb. 23.

    Watch the trailer for “Green Night” below.

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