Ang Lee has done more than anyone to bring attention to the Taiwanese film industry, shooting much of his 3D fantasy film Life of Pi in Taipei and Taichung — and always making sure to thank Taiwan in those Oscar speeches, even if his film is about gay cowboys in Wyoming. But Taiwan’s local films have had a recent commercial resurgence as well, catapulted by 2008′s super hit Cape No. 7. More recently, successful films include You Are The Apple of My Eye, Monga, and Seediq Bale, in addition to Taiwan/China co-productions like the ensemble romantic comedy Love. At the same time, Taiwanese dramas are as rampant as ever — and all of this brings us a wealth of new Taiwanese leading ladies.
A comprehensive list that spans decades would definitely include Taiwanese talents such as Sylvia Chang, Brigitte Lin, Lu Yi-Ching, Mavis Fan, Barbie Hsu, Rene Liu, Vivian Hsu and more. But for this year’s Women’s History Month showcase, we’re going to concentrate on young actresses ruling commercial Taiwanese film and television today.
Click on to see the ten ladies!
We’re giving away Blu-ray combo packs of Ang Lee’s award-winning film Life of Pi!
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FROM OSCAR® WINNING DIRECTOR ANG LEE COMES THE INSPIRATIONAL. EPIC JOURNEY, LIFE OF PI, ON BLU-RAY COMBO PACK & DVD MARCH 12
Life of Pi is the film that earned Taiwanese American director Ang Lee his second Best Director Academy Award at this year’s Oscars. Based on the Booker Prize-winning novel by Yann Martel, the film stars newcomer Suraj Sharma as Pi, alongside veteran actors including Irrfan Khan (as the older Pi), Tabu, Adil Hussain and Gérard Depardieu.
Lee brought what many thought was an un-filmable story onto the big screen. With the help of the visual effects company Rhythm and Hues Studios, the Life of Pi team staged a devastating shipwreck, turned a water tank in Taiwan into the middle of the Pacific Ocean and brought to life a Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker shares much screen time on a lifeboat with Suraj Sharma’s Pi.
In addition to Lee’s Best Director win, Life of Pi took home three other Academy Awards (Cinematography, Visual Effects, and Original Score), earning the most Oscar wins of any film this year.
The film is currently available on Digital HD, Blu-ray, and DVD.
2013 marks 100 years of Indian cinema — home of the unique film genre affectionately referred to as Bollywood — and through the century, there have been many memorable leading ladies, from Nargis, Sridevi and Rekha to Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya Rai, Rani Mukherjee, Preity Zinta and many many more.
For this year’s Women’s History Month, Audrey Magazine highlights some of our favorite Indian actresses ruling contemporary Hindi cinema today. This is the first in our series of Asian Women in Film, where we will be featuring leading ladies from all of Asian cinema.
Here are 10 names to know:
When the former Miss World (2000) began her career in Bollywood, from her 2002 debut in the Tamil film Thamizhan to her damsel-in-distress role to Hrithik Roshan’s superhero in 2006′s Kriish, there was often more talk about her skimpy outfits than her acting skills. Then 2008 happened: Chopra had six films come out that year, and while the first few were unsuccessful, late 2008 brought the release of Fashion, the first role that got critics talking about her talent rather than her looks — especially when she swept all the major Indian Film Awards that year for Best Actress. Since then, even if the film she’s been in haven’t been acclaimed, people tend to point out Priyanka Chopra’s performance as the best part. Case in point: the awards she’d picked up for playing a murderess in 7 Khoon Maaf and an autistic woman in Barfi! in the last two years.
Vidya Balan has been acting in feature films for a decade, but she broke out into stardom recently with her role in The Dirty Picture, the biopic about the adult film actress Silk Smitha who was popular in the 1980s and 90s. The role earned her Filmfare and National Film Awards for Best Actress in 2012, and she followed it up with the crime thriller Kahaani, in which she plays a pregnant woman in search of her missing husband.
Kajol (also pictured at the top of the article) has been a household name since 1995′s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), which kickstarted a filmgoing craze (it is the longest running Indian film in history, and as of Jan 2013, the film is still playing in a theater in Mumbai, 17 years later) as well as a timeless romantic pairing (Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan have acted in six films together). But in recent years, Kajol has brought an even greater depth to her performances. Just check her out as the blind woman in Fanaa or the grieving mother in My Name is Khan. You’ll feel like a really beautiful, soulful woman just punched you in the stomach.
Deepika Padukone made her debut in 2007′s Om Shanti Om, playing two characters that looked identical though they’re from different time periods (it can happen, just go with it). But she gave both characters enough nuance to prove to audiences that she was more than a tall, strikingly-beautiful model — even though she was definitely tall and definitely strikingly beautiful. Since then, she’s taken on different types of characters, from the modern-day romantic lead in Love Aaj Kal to the downward-spiraling toxic friend in Cocktail.
Another actress who got her start in a Shah Rukh Khan film (2008′s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi), Anushka Sharma soon ventured out on her own and found another leading man that she seemed to have good chemistry with, on and off screen. Acting opposite co-star Ranveer Singh (quick tangent: check out his abs in Audrey’s Daily SHAG here) in Band Baaja Baaraat and Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl, Sharma really showcased her natural charisma and ability to lead a film. In 2012, she reunited with Shah Rukh Khan in Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Whereas in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, she played the mourning, subdued wife whose life and belief in love needed to be re-ignited by Shah Rukh Khan’s charm, in Jab Tak Hai Jaan, she was the mini-Shah Rukh Khan, who “Shah Rukh Khan”-ed Shah Rukh Khan himself. I know it sounds confusing. But just watch the movies.
Born in Hong Kong to a Kashmiri Indian father and an English mother, Katrina Kaif often seems to have a maturity beyond her years onscreen. By 25, she was playing the Chief Minister party leader in the political thriller Raajneeti — and somehow pulling it off. After memorable turns as a civil rights activist circa 9/11 in New York and a diving instructor helping Hrithik Roshan get over his fear of water (and workaholism) in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, she helped jaded modern audiences believe in “old school” true love again in last year’s blockbuster Yash Raj film Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
Farah Khan has been in the industry for what seems like forever: as a choreographer, she is responsible for so many memorable Bollywood dance sequences that it’s almost impossible to count, but some of our favorites include “Chaiya Chiaya,” “Shava Shava,” and “Maahi Ve.” In addition to her choreography, she’s directed memorable films such as Main Hoon Na and Om Shanti Om. In 2012, she won a Stardust Best Actress Award for her on-screen debut Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi. But even when she’s behind the camera, she is an incomparable leading lady.
Sonam Kapoor (daughter of Anil Kapoor, who international audiences know from Slumdog Millionaire and TV’s 24) made her debut in 2007 with Saawariya, opposite Ranbir Kapoor. At the time, Saawariya got a lot of attention, because although the two of them were newcomers to the industry, the film was co-produced by Sony Pictures, and it was the first Bollywood movie to receive a North American release by a Hollywood studio. Since then, Kapoor has landed girl next door roles in romantic comedies, such as Aisha and I Hate Luv Storys.
A descendant of the legendary Kapoor family, Kareena Kapoor is continuing the legacy started by Prithviraj Kapoor and cemented by Raj Kapoor, as Kareena was most recently named the highest ranking female actress in Forbe India’s Celebrity 100 list. A power player in the industry, Kapoor has been one of India’s highest paid actress in years, starring in blockbusters including Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots, Salman Khan’s Bodyguard, Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One, and most recently reuniting with Aamir Khan in Talaash: The Answer Lies Within.
There are many more, but here are 10 to start with. Who are your favorite Indian actresses?
In our interview, cover girl Elodie Yung told me that she’s not a model. In fact, this was her second cover shoot. But as you can see in this BTS video of our cover shoot at The Mountain Mermaid in Topanga Canyon – it didn’t matter. The G.I. Joe: Retaliation star was natural at it – and much more, a natural beauty. She radiated so much warmth on the set that everyone fell in love with her – and I promise, after you watch this video, you will too.
High school: such a pivotal time in young women’s lives for college/career decisions, familial tension, first loves, first rejections, no-holds-barred attitude and unexpected self-discoveries.
And when high school years are depicted on American film and television, extracurricular activities may involve solving murder mysteries (Pretty Little Liars), and unrequited love is sometimes best told through song (T.V. Carpio’s cover of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in Across the Universe).
One could argue that Tamlyn Tomita’s Kumiko was the ultimate Asian American high school “girl-next-door” crush, even if, back in 1986, the Karate Kid had to travel all the way to Japan to be in the right neighborhood. But in the past 25 years, there have many memorable Asian American girls – as well as British Asians, Asian-Scots and Asian Canadians that we snuck onto the list — that we can look up to (or reminisce with) in these classic tales of high school.
Below are our Top 10 Asian American High School Girls Next Door:
It’s that time of year again – Forbes Korea unveiled their power ranking for celebrities for 2013. For the last two years, the nine member Girls’ Generation topped the power ranking list. Did they maintain the top position this year? Click on to find out!
How do you celebrate your magazine’s ten year anniversary — if you’re InStyle Korea? Easy: you round up the best and brightest Korean stars of the last decade. The cover spread features actresses Kim Hee-sun, Han Hyo-joo, Lee Yeon-hee , Han Chae-young, Kim Hyo-jin, Lee Yo-won, Kim Yun-jin, and Jeon Ji-hyun who serves as the issue’s cover model. The shoot stops nothing short of making all the girls look fabulous – even if they’re surrounded by large legos (in the case with Han Hyo-joo), holding a plastic baby (Lee Yeon-hee), or fawning over a cheetah in a forest (Kim Hee-sun).
Click on for the images!
The Oscars took place this past Sunday and while there was a lack of Asian nominees within the categories, the film “Life of Pi” emerged a big winner (which was also nominated for 11 awards), coming home with four awards: Best Director (Ang Lee), Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and Best Original Score.
Congrats to all the winners! Click here for the full list of winners.
Jamie Chung may be the hardest working Asian American actress in Hollywood right now. Writer Paul Nakayama witnesses the star in action.
ISSUE: Winter 2012-13
DEPT: Cover Feature
Photographer: Diana King
Stylist: Ashley Avignone @ The Wall Group
Makeup: Shelly Samia
Hair: Alex Polillo
Photo Assistant: Kevin Burnstein
Stylist Assistant: Liat Veysey
Producer: Olivia Wu
Story: Paul Nakayama
We’re giving away tickets to Justin Chon’s upcoming movie screening for 21 and Over on February 27th in Los Angeles!
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