Rian Johnson's time travelling actioner Looper has been tearing up critics' charts and box offices from Boston to Beijing since its release last week. While Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis are winning plenty of much-due praise, the whole cast deserves a nod for an outstanding job. ScreenAnarchy had a chance to chat with one of the film's lesser known stars, at least on this side of the Pacific, Chinese actress Summer Qing. Best known in China for her roles in Chen Kaige's Life on a String, Lin Zifeng's Kuang (Crazy), and the popular TV show "Close to Forbidden City," Qing has been relatively unknown in Hollywood. Turns out she'd like to change that.
ScreenAnarchy: What did you first think when you read the script for LOOPER? What else attracted you to the project?
I was thinking that this writer/director is a genius! It was such a well-developed story. My character was also appealing to me for it represents a great female figure of China. Also, I will be working with Bruce Willis. How can I say no to that?!
ScreenAnarchy: LOOPER is already a big hit in China. What do you think are any specific reasons that LOOPER is so popular with Chinese audiences?
First of all, Looper is a really interesting story regardless of its Chinese elements. On top of that, the well-placed Chinese elements add color to the film, which has won and will keep winning more popularity in the Chinese audiences.
ScreenAnarchy: Rian Johnson is one of the most exciting up and coming American directors. How was he to work with? Any other American directors you'd particularly like to work with?
I had a wonderful experience working with Rian. He's so charming and humble! He gives very good directions and at the same time respects my opinions, too, so that I can give my best performance on set. I believe he has all the qualities of a truly great film director. I certainly hope that we shall work with each other soon again, no matter where.
There are so many great American directors I admire and would like to work with. Off the top of my head, James Cameron, Darren Aronofsky, and David Fincher, just to name a few.
ScreenAnarchy: Bruce Willis is known to be both very professional and friendly to work with. Any fun Bruce stories from set? Any other American actors you are dying to share the screen with?
Working with Bruce Willis is one truly great experience. I will never forget the first day I arrived on the set. He came to me, pulled me into his arms, and gave me a big long hug. He didn't say a word but that said more than enough. We were like an old couple finally reunited, ready to take on another adventure in life. It was so romantic and emotionally intense. From that day on, I have only seen the loving and caring Bruce on set, for which I am very grateful.
That's another tough question. Let me just give you the name of one actor and one actress: Johnny Depp and Claire Danes, who I really like for her performance in Homeland.
ScreenAnarchy: How was working on LOOPER different than other films (particularly Chinese films) you've worked on?
I don't think there is such a big difference on the creative side. However, Looper has an amazingly professional crew. Every department and crewmember adds points to the overall quality of the film. However, many Chinese directors are not so lucky. So many things happen that deduct points from the overall quality of the film. Still, we are able to make great films in China. Again, I don't think between working on a Hollywood production and a Chinese production, one is better than the other. What matters most is to have a great team, which I'm glad Looper is proud to have.