Fan Bingbing on LGBT Role in ‘Green Night’ at Singapore Masterclass



Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing delivered an electrifying masterclass to a sold-out ballroom full of screaming fans at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands on Friday.

The in-conversation event was part of the 34th Singapore International Film Festival where Fan is the recipient of this year’s Cinema Icon Award. The festival is screening three of Fan’s films, curated by her – the recent “Green Night,” “Buddha Mountain” and “Double Xposure” – and the star walked the red carpet on opening night, Nov. 30. 

Fan spoke frankly – in Mandarin, which was translated live to English by an interpreter – on a range of topics including an in-depth analysis of Han Shuai’s “Green Night,” which comes to Singapore after Berlin and Busan. In the film, Fan plays a Chinese woman, trapped in an oppressive life with her Korean husband, and sets out on an adventure with a mysterious green-haired girl, played by Lee Joo-young (“Broker”).

“The story is very much about two girls, what happened between two days and one night, a very short period of time. It’s something that I’ve never experienced before,” Fan said. “The director actually allowed me to have the choice of who the partner is going to be. So I chose Joo-young.”

Fan arrived at Joo-young while going through the script and wrote her a letter welcoming her to the project. “The whole movie isn’t just about same gender culture and relationships. It’s very much about two girls coming together, helping each other in a very different society, helping each other grow and support each other and taking each other out of any difficulties,” Fan said.

“The portrayal of the relationship to me is that really aren’t any boundaries when it comes to love. I don’t think we should think too much about it, there should be freedom, what is more important is that when souls connect, there is love,” Fan added. “It gave me a different experience, it helped me to draw on the character. I was very touched by the story itself. The two protagonists in this film, their interactions have chemistry. It allowed me a platform to unleash very much.”

Fan also recounted how “Green Night” was one of her first projects after an enforced hiatus and that it was shot in the peak of COVID-19, during which time she contracted the virus. She lauded the efforts of the film’s all-woman crew. “For us ladies, when we come together, we huddle together, face the troubles and difficulties. We are able to give strength to each other, we can handle the pressure and the stress. And we are actually able to solve problems together,” Fan said.

Looking back over her career, Fan spoke fondly about her terrific working relationship with Li Yu, with whom she has worked in “Lost in Beijing,” “Buddha Mountain” and “Double Xposure.” Fan described “Double Xposure” as a “neglected piece” and one that helped her grow as an actor.

About “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” where she played Blink, she recalled working with Hugh Jackman. “He was really disciplined, he had very high expectations of himself, he was constantly doing bodybuilding. Even on set when we were filming, during break times, he would be picking up the bells and making sure that he keeps himself in very good shape because of the role’s requirements. It isn’t easy, it’s something that I actually respect a lot to keep himself in such good shape. I believe something that actors and actresses need to do is to find a balance between work and life,” Fan said.

Above all, the event was about the fans, a majority of them female, who hung on to every word that the superstar spoke and cheered every third sentence. Some of the fans had travelled all the way from China to see their idol in person. They went into raptures when Fan said she would pose for pictures with some of them and then did so.

As for future projects, Fan said that she’s reading scripts at the moment and is open to working on a Singapore project.


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