Saturday, June 17, 2017

Chinese Actress Liu Xiaoqing on Playing Empress Wu

Liu Xiaoqing as Empress Wu Zetain
In the pantheon of great Chinese actresses, few names come as revered as Liu. The star of more than 60 films and TV shows, Madame Liu, as she likes to be called, has a résumé that includes four marriages, once being China’s richest woman and a jail term for tax evasion. Now 61 years young, she is keen to discuss her latest role over dinner at Beijing’s Four Seasons Hotel. It's a role she has already played four times over.

“The tale of Empress Wu is like jade,” she tells TIME, dressed in a black tee bearing the slogan ”Little Cutie” over a green military-style shirt. “We’re on a treasure hunt for this most precious of treasures, unraveling the mysteries of that period and person.”

That person is Wu Zetian, the only woman to have ever ruled China, and that period is the Tang Dynasty (AD618 to 906). Liu is due to reprise the role in a 14-part series entitled Empress, due to hit American screens late next year.

Empress Wu is legendary in China for using her wit, intelligence and cunning to eclipse all rivals and rise from her position as Emperor Taizong’s favorite concubine to the very apex of court life. She also had scores of lovers, ruled through 72 prime ministers, and is believed to have killed her own daughter. “Only after I acted as Empress Wu did people start thinking positive things about her,” says Liu.

read more here
@ Time

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