Yang Rong participated in the Chinese reality show I Am The Actor where contestants are judged for their acting skills.
There, she got very candid about aging out. Here’s the transcript –
Summarizing what she said in the show:
She’s been working in the entertainment business for a long time and she is now 30+ years old. Standing on stage, she used the opportunity to make a request to the 3 judges – Xu Zheng (actor and director), Zhang Ziyi (actress) and Wu Xiubo (actor, producer and musician) – to give actresses in their 30s and 40s more opportunities.
This is a cause that is close to her heart since she wrote a heartfelt post about the same issue months earlier.
She recounts an incident in the summer of 2017 when she received the script for Tomb of the Sea. She was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to play the part of Liang Wan successfully and end up disappointing her favorite author Nan Pai San Shu.
She also feels that people might be find her career path hard to understand. While some actresses of her generation have begun playing mother roles, she’s still playing “young roles”. It’s not a matter of the fear of getting old but a fear of an industry that does not allow actresses to mature into older roles.
She shares that actresses who are in their 30s do not love playing younger roles because they want to or love to but more so because the market needs for them to play the part. She’s eager to play challenging roles like a mature woman who can’t get married or a single mother whose life is full of challenges.
She admits she is already a middle aged actress which is similar to another actress that she admires. This actress is famous and pretty but does not have any projects so she worries about herself since she says she is not as famous and not as pretty as this other actress.
So Yang Rong is extremely thankful forTomb of the Sea because it gave her a chance to do a meaningful role which gives her strength to be braver. Brave enough to face her feelings head on.
Asian people are stereotypically known to look young for their age. It is a blessing and a curse at the same time. Yang Rong is only 37 years old.
Heck, I am older than her by a year and I wish I looked as young and fresh as her. This is not a problem that’s limited to the Chinese film industry. Hollywood has been dealing with this issue for quite awhile now and we don’t see any significant changes as of yet. For some reason, this is only plaguing actresses and not their male counterparts. I am glad she’s spoke up on a national platform to bring attention to it. There might not be any immediate change but if more people speak up on the issue like she did, change will eventually come.
So Yang Rong, you are brave!