© The Financial Times Ltd 2013 FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
September 20, 2013 7:03 am
Fan Bingbing, 32, is one of the world’s most successful actors. She starred in the Chinese TV series Princess Pearl as a teenager and started her own studio in 2007. Last year she played the lead in Double Xposure, which took more than Rmb100m (£10.3m) in mainland China. She tops the Forbes China Celebrity 100 list.
What was your earliest ambition?
When I was 12 years old it was already my dream to become an actress. To experience other people’s joys and sorrows by playing their lives fascinates me.
Elite school or state school? University or straight into work?
I studied acting at Shanghai Xie Jin Film and Television Art College. I was determined to enrol there but my mother was opposed to the idea. She thought girls should keep their heads down and go to university but eventually she relented. I began to work when I came out of the college at 16 and started getting parts in TV shows.
Who was or still is your mentor?
Many directors and actors I have worked with and also my mother.
Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?
They are both equally important. The most important thing is to have very strong determination and to always keep your eyes on your goal.
Have you ever taken an IQ test?
Do you consider your carbon footprint?
Because of my work I am always flying but I try my best to do small things like separating my rubbish and conserving water.
Do you have more than one home?
My home is wherever my parents and relatives are. I don’t yet have my own family.
What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?
I want to increase my knowledge and improve myself. I would like to go to the UK and study art.
What’s your biggest extravagance?
Nourishing facial skin masks. I apply two every day. In a year that’s more than 700.
In what place are you happiest?
With my family. When I go to interesting places I take my parents when I can. Just seeing them makes me happy and makes me feel that all my hard work is worth it.
What ambitions do you still have?
I really hope I can play all kinds of characters and I especially have always wanted to try acting the part of a gay person or a schizophrenic.
What drives you on?
My family and fans of my movies. I want to provide my parents and my younger brother with carefree and happy lives. My enthusiasm for my acting career and the support from my fans provides the engine for me to accelerate, to always look forward to my next role.
What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?
A charity project called Heart Ali. Looking back at how more and more children have been helped, it feels a bit like writing a diary – one page a day does not feel like much but after some time you hold it and, wow, you realise that it is already very thick. I think this is the feeling of achievement.
What has been your greatest disappointment?
I don’t have any disappointments in my work. I don’t have enough spare time and can’t spend a lot of time with family and friends. I wouldn’t really call this disappointment but, rather, a bit of regret.
If your 20-year-old self could see you now, what would she think?
It pays to be persistent.
If you lost everything tomorrow, what would you do?
After being tempered by 17 years of experience in this industry, I have learnt to be calm and steady so when things happen I don’t panic. I also know that my family and friends will always support me so there is nothing to be afraid of.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
No. I believe we just have one life.
If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?
Definitely 10! I have a bunch of people around me who I love and who love me, I’m doing what I want to do and I have my own career so there is nothing to complain about.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2013. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.