One of the Chinese Mainland's most renowned actresses has made a more than credible directorial debut behind the scenes of the new movie "Eternal Beloved." The tear-jerker about a couple who promise to reunite in the afterlife has thrust a more mature Yu Feihong back into the spotlight she stepped away from four years ago.
It has taken small screen beauty Yu Feihong 10 years to adapt the novel "Eternity of Love" into cinematic format. The filming process saw her take on multiple jobs - including scriptwriter, lead actress, director, and producer.
The movie is a "Romeo and Juliet" type of fable set in the late 19th century. Newlyweds Mo Xiaojiu, played by Yu, and her teacher husband move into an idyllic country house built on the site of a former monastery. One night, the wife is visited by a lovelorn ghost named Ming, who says he/she and his/her significant other were driven apart by a family rivalry in their previous lives.
The actress turned director says she was mesmerized by the story the first time she read it.
In her first attempt at helming a project, Yu makes the most of her professional network by bringing together all of the investors, cast, and crew members. The effort was all about making a long-held dream come true.
Yu Feihong said, "How many decades do we have in a lifetime? I know, clearly, that making this movie is an extreme luxury for me."
Yu Feihong was born in 1971 to an engineer's family in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province. She displayed great interest and skill in acting from a young age. Her first film role came when she was just eight. By the time she turned 16, Yu had already nailed down the lead role in the movie "Murderer and Craven."
After graduating from Beijing Film Academy, the cradle of China's top actors and directors, the scholastic standout became a teaching assistant at the institution.
But she felt too young and inexperienced to be an effective instructor. This led Yu to quit her cozy and promising job to study in the United States.
Her quiet campus life across the Pacific Ocean was later cut short by a 1998 phone call from director Yang Yang. The strong-minded woman insisted that Yu was perfect for the role of an innocently lovable mistress in her TV drama "Qian Shou," or "Hand In Hand."
As one of the first dramas to probe into the subject of midlife crises in urban China, "Hand In Hand" attained huge popularity. Yu's fame also skyrocketed as she jumped onto the list of the country's most sought-after actresses.
In 2006, the limelight-weary star retreated from public view, and wholeheartedly devoted herself to preparations for "Eternal Beloved."
Known for exuding stillness, composure, and femininity - Yu brings each of those characteristics to her new endeavor. She also says she has now found another side of herself as a director. Yu confidently feels she can be as adamant and unbeatable as anyone in her newest and most challenging role.
(Source: cctv.com March 22)
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