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Up Close with Ye Zhong



Movie Marker Magazine got up close with multi-talented actor Ye Zhong to talk about her latest project, ‘The Bet!’

Thank you for chatting with us today. Congratulations on all your incredible achievements. We are excited to learn more about the film, but first, can you tell us about life growing up?

My life had nothing to do with acting when I grew up. I think compared with many Chinese parents, my parents gave me a lot of freedom to explore my hobbies, so I was not very stressed about my schoolwork, but they did have their own opinions about what careers they wouldn’t like me to choose, for example, acting. But growing up, arts have always been in my life. I learned piano, violin, French horn, and drawing when I was younger. Although, after so many years, I am not proficient in any of them, I am happy that I got to learn them. Also, when I was a kid, my dad always brought me to watch a movie or concert, and I believe these experiences made me fall in love with acting later. Besides these, I spent a lot of time reading and exploring all the magical stories. Books were my best friends growing up. But don’t get me wrong, I did spend a lot of time hanging out with my friends, and now they’re the biggest supporter of my dream even though we’re far away.

How important to you is being able to speak in multiple languages as actor?

I would say being able to speak multiple languages is a big advantage for me as an actress. I’ve seen many casting calls looking for actors who can speak multiple languages. I am really happy that I can speak both Mandarin and Cantonese. It definitely helps me to have more audition opportunities. I think the industry is becoming more inclusive, and people would like to tell more stories about characters from different backgrounds, which is very beautiful.

Was it always your dream to work in the entertainment industry?

I have wanted to become an actress since I was 14, and I have always wanted to learn acting in the US. However, as I mentioned before, growing up, I didn’t have a chance to act because my parents were against it. But I always know I would regret it forever if I didn’t give my dream a chance. So, after graduating from college, I came to LA to learn acting, and I am very thankful to myself that I never gave up.

Tell us about the movie, ‘The Bet!’

So, ‘The Bet!’ is a movie we created for this year’s LA 48 Hours Film Project with a group of friends from my acting school. It’s a short comedy buddy film about two men and a mysterious mission.

What character do you play?

I played a supporting role, Ms. Fang, in the film. People thought she was just a sweet lady who owned a Chinese restaurant, but actually, she is a mysterious character who pushes the story under the table. And what is super cool is I was able to decide the name of my character! During the writing process, our screenwriters told me they had difficulty naming my character since she’s Chinese, and they didn’t want to butcher it. I really appreciate how thoughtful they were. So, they asked me whether I could give my character a “badass” name. It was pretty challenging because the name couldn’t be too complicated. Otherwise, it would be hard for other actors to pronounce. In the end, I decided to name her Ms. Fang, a common name in Chinese, but it sounds dangerous in English.

What was your favorite moment on set, and least?

I loved the time when we finally got to film my scenes. Although by the time everyone was exhausted, it was pretty fun to film in a beautiful Chinese restaurant at midnight in west Hollywood. I don’t think I had the least favorite moment on set. Yes, the whole process was very intense and tiring, but it’s always fun when you work with a group of friends who are as passionate as you.

Is there a certain genre of film you prefer to get behind? 

It is so hard just to name one genre because I would love to do everything! But I want to do more dramatic films for sure. I love comedy, but I definitely watch more movies in the drama genre. I also would love to try an action film one day. It would be a big challenge for me, but I always love doing combat scenes. I love the romance genre too… I guess I just want to try all of them if possible.

What’s coming up next for you?

I am going to participate in a feature film, and I am very excited about it! I will also play the lead and supporting roles in several upcoming short films, and we will start filming them soon. It feels great to keep myself busy doing the thing I love.

How can people find you?

People can follow me on Instagram as @yezhong_ and you can also find me on IMDB Ye Zhong. 

Thank you!

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