Fan Bingbing is a name most audiences in China have little trouble remembering, but as the entertainment walls dissolve and the market becomes more of a global one, she is on the verge of making a similar impact in the U.S.
Domestic audiences may not know the name Fan Bingbing at this time, but they probably do know her face. Fan starred as a mutant in the well-received X-Men: Days of Future Past. While the then-33-year-old seemed like a newcomer, she actually had more experience than most in the cast having worked regularly since 1996.
Forbes China has named Fan Bingbing to its top earners list on multiple occasions, and she is known as one of the highest-paid actresses in the world. Now Fan will be looking to increase her footprint with U.S. audiences in a film that is already playing the film festival circuits and has already made a splash at one of the world’s biggest, the Toronto International Film Festival.
Deadline reports that Well Go USA Entertainment will release the Fan Bingbing-starring I Am Not Madame Bovary, a revenge-driven satire, spans several years and tells the story of “a village woman (Bingbing) accused of being an adulterer.”
— SF Film Critics (@sffcc) September 21, 2016
The synopsis on Deadline adds that after a ruling is made against her in her divorce case, “she begins an annual ‘journey of petition’ to Beijing in order to prove that her divorce was a sham, and to redeem her reputation.”
Reuters has a couple of more details on the role Fan Bingbing will play in I Am Not Madame Bovary, noting that she and her husband in the film initially decide to fake their divorce to obtain property, but things go off the rails when Fan’s character “discovers her husband has moved into their new apartment with another woman.”
The film’s title is based on the iconic Gustave Flaubert novel in which an adulterous woman has a series of affairs to escape her droll country lifestyle. Fan is hoping the connection will draw audiences in, she tells Reuters.
“Because Madame Bovary is so iconic, I think it’s a really interesting character that audiences know immediately. I want audiences to appreciate the title when they see the film later,” she said.
Fan Bingbing’s success in China is well-documented. While the U.S. is generally thought of as the place where actresses have to go to be successful, the Shanghaiist reports that in 2015, she beat out Oscar-winner Charlize Theron ($16.5 million) with a $17 million salary from starring in films native to China like Lady of the Dynasty, League of Gods, and Skiptrace.
Other actresses that she managed to beat out include Amy Adams, Julia Roberts, and Mila Kunis. The only domestic stars to beat her out were Jennifer Aniston at No. 4, Scarlett Johansson at No. 3, Melissa McCarthy at No. 2, and Jennifer Lawrence at No. 1. Lawrence earned $46 million.
Fan Bingbing’s pay as an actress, however, is not inclusive of her overall earnings. Known as much for her work in fashion and producing, Fan is also very active in philanthropy.
As for future projects of Fan Bingbing, she will next appear in L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties on Sept. 30 and the U.S.-based The King’s Daughter on Oct. 7.
7. Fan Bingbing aka CHINESE PHILANTHROPIC MEGASTAR CUTIE. Played Blink in X-Men: Days of Future Past :) pic.twitter.com/PO7dMlQE9n
— Christine Vo (@christinexvo) September 14, 2016
The King’s Daughter will star William Hurt, Pierce Brosnan, and Benjamin Walker. Fan Bingbing is fifth on the cast list and will play Mermaid in the action-adventure fantasy that centers on King Louis XIV and his quest for immortality. According to IMDb, this “leads him to capture and steal a mermaid’s life force, a move that is further complicated by his illegitimate daughter’s discovery of the creature.”
What is your favorite Fan Bingbing role, and what are you most looking forward to seeing out of her next? Sound off in the comments section.