After yesterday’s Italian Premiere of ‘The Last Supper’ at Udine Far East Film Festival, CUEAFS were privileged to talk to the beautiful and talented actress Qin Lan who played Lu Zhi in the historical Chinese film. CUEAFS member Eva Spirova speaks with Qin Lan about her role and future career.
Eva Spirova: Are you happy with the reception of the film from the audience here in Italy?
Qin Lan: Yes, I am very happy about the reception that the film had yesterday. Many people were clapping, and for me it is my first time in Italy, I thought it was a very good reaction.
ES: How did you prepare for the role? It was obviously a very complex role.
Qin Lan: I rehearsed this character for two months, I spent two whole months doing research, reading books about that period, watching films about that period. In total I’ve been working on this project for one year, and I was very determined so I could observe how the other actors were interpreting their roles so that I could get deeper into my own role.
ES: This is your second film starring in Lu Chuan’s productions. Could you tell us a little bit more about what he’s like to work with as a director?
Qin Lan: This is the second time for me working with Lu Chuan, the first time was on the set of ‘Nanking Nanking’ (‘City of Life and Death’) where he gave me and the other actors a lot of freedom, a lot of space to act and to react to what we were acting.
The whole of the film was about servicing the actors, facilitating actors who did their job. ‘The Last Supper’ was a much more difficult role for me, because my character is very different from me in real life. Halfway through I was almost going to give up, because I thought I could not do it, but he (Lu Chuan) was very encouraging and told me “I believe in you, so you should not give up”.
ES: In ‘Nanking Nanking’ your role was very difficult, how did you prepare for it? Was there any special process of getting ready?
Qin Lan: On ‘Nanking Nanking’ I was working with a very good team of people and it was a very comforting atmosphere in the set. It was developed to give us the freedom to explore our characters so I wrote stories that I thought would be relevant to that character, and really we worked a lot together with the other actors.
My partner in the role was Fan Wei who is a very good actor, he helped me a lot to understand and to work with this role in an effective way. The atmosphere on the set of ‘Nanking Nanking’ was really quite special and everybody worked toward recreating a realistic idea of what life would have been like at that time and place in history.
I remember very clearly one day when my character is the first one who leaves Nanking and who survives, but I was the last one to act that day, so I had to see all the other characters being killed, I was crying the whole time because I had gotten completely into the atmosphere that people would have experienced at that time.
ES: One last question. Could you talk us through your future projects, any current projects or any future films you would like to star in.
Qin Lan: At the moment I am reading a lot of scripts, but I’ve not decided yet which one would be the next project because I want to give myself the time and the peace of mind to select carefully the project I want to work on.
Interview by Eva Spirova
Transcript by Daisy Ware-Jarrett
Photography by Andreea Dascalu