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Fan Bingbing's bizarre skin-care methods, and other secrets from the star of 'Sacrifice'
She wears sunblock when using a computer, goes through 600 facial masks every year, and prefers "mental trophies" to real ones
A week ago, “Sacrifice,” the Chen Kaige-directed blockbuster starring China’s biggest names in cinema including Ge You, Fan Bingbing and Huang Xiaoming, was released across cinemas in Shanghai.
The movie raked in RMB 2.9 million in box office sales on its opening day and set the box office record in Shanghai that day.
Actress Fan Bingbing (who plays Princess Zhuang Ji in the movie) was on the Shanghai leg of the cast’s promotional tour when she gave her this candid interview.
CNNGo: Why did you choose to be part of “Sacrifice”?
Fan Bingbing: It was in large part due to director Chen Kaige. I knew that only he could pull off a film as epic and historically significant as this.
I have nothing to explain. As for being misunderstood, I have grown accustomed to that.— Fan Bingbing
Also, I was greatly moved by Princess Zhuang Ji, the character that I play in the movie. She displays great courage and a very fierce maternal love when faced with extreme hardship and tough choices in the course of her life.
CNNGo: What did you do to prepare for the role?
Fan Bingbing: Zhuang Ji is pregnant throughout the movie. I’ve played pregnant characters before in other movies but the mood of this movie and requirements for the role was entirely different.
In the first half of the movie, Zhuang Ji is a happily expectant mother in a blissful and loving family, but circumstances change very quickly and she is forced to separate from her child shortly after childbirth.
There’s a lot of emotional breadth to this role I had to prepare for.
CNNGo: You have previously worked with Ge You on “Cell Phone” and were named Best Actress at the Golden Rooster Awards (金鸡奖) for it. Are you hoping for any other awards with this latest collaboration?
Fan Bingbing: No. Awards are not the only markers of success; I don’t judge myself just based on them. I believe that each cinema-goer has his own mental trophies.
I mean, he has his own take on which movies have the best story lines and which actors deserve the Best Actor award. It is these individual trophies rather than those given out at grand award shows that I would rather receive.
CNNGo: What is it like working with Ge You again after seven years?
Fan Bingbing: Are you asking if I have the seven year itch? [Laughs]
Seriously though, Ge You has given me a lot of guidance. After shooting each scene, he will give me pointers on what I’ve done right or wrong. As a result, I’ll look toward him rather than at the playback on the monitor after each take.
Working with him is very reassuring.
CNNGo: You are a beauty icon as well as an actress. What makeup products do you have in your bag at all times?
I was greatly moved by Princess Zhuang Ji, the character that I play in the movie. She displays great courage.— Fan Bingbing
Fan Bingbing: I always carry lip balm and lipstick. Lipstick is a very important beauty product because I find that lips are the most beautiful feature of anyone's face.
CNNGo: You have an almost perfect complexion. Do you spend a lot of time taking care of your skin?
Fan Bingbing: I carry an umbrella when I am outdoors and always wear sunscreen, even when I am sitting in front of a computer screen! I never touch coffee or other caffeinated drinks.
Also, I use facial masks diligently. I use at least two a day -- one for moisturizing and one for whitening. I think I go through at least 600 sheets of facial masks every year.
CNNGo: Microblogs are very popular among Chinese celebrities these days, why don’t you have one?
Fan Bingbing: I’m not really interested in them.
Microblogs are yet another form of public display, but I would rather be true to myself. If I am unhappy, I can write “damn it” in my personal diary, but I can’t do that on a microblog so I might as well not start one.
CNNGo: You seem to be constantly plagued by rumors. Do you ever feel misunderstood or the need to explain yourself?
Fan Bingbing: I have nothing to explain. As for being misunderstood, I have grown accustomed to that.
I am a very frank person and that’s how I hope to remain. I don’t like to pretend to be polite. What you see is what you get.
For more Chinese celebrity interviews check out "Karen Mok: Single, happy and unashamedly 40. Pity about her cats" and "Liu Xiang: ‘I don't have a lot of opportunities left’"