Qu Ying, the star of
Qu Ying was born in Chang-De in Hunan province her mother a performer of ethnic dance, her father of ethnic song. She thrived at sports, entering formal gymnastics training in kindergarten and later excelling in the high jump and long distance running. She contemplated life as an athlete, but after high school Qu Ying was accepted into the Hunan Province Performance School for Theater (which her mother had attended thirty years before) and graduating, performed with the Hunan Province Theater Company . . . which considered her too tall for stage acting. With her elegant handwriting, Qu Ying was made the company's recorder. While the company was shooting a television series in Beijing, a director suggested she interview with a modeling troupe. After a break-in period (modeling throughout Xinjiang for minimum wage) Qu Ying became white-hot. She was soon the most popular model in China.
"From a certain angle I think modeling is the bearer of beauty. Clothes are lifeless and need a model to put spirit and soul into them. But the field is too narrow for models to be themselves, and modeling is just a tool for designers to display clothes. It's very passive. I'm the kind of person with an urge to extend herself, to unmask her heart. With modeling it's impossible to assert the burst of exhilaration one feels onstage. I feel everyone should explore their intrinsic talents, and I'm yearning to be in a larger, wider arena."
In 1993 Qu Ying began film acting in lead roles. Zhang Yimou's Keep Cool, her tenth film (yanked at the last second from the Cannes Film Festival by the Chinese government), gained her international recognition. She's performed on television innumerable times, starring in series and hosting specials. She's recorded five best-selling albums.
The press calls Qu Ying Spicy Girl: "Eat spicy, talk spicy, spicy personality" (China Time Weekly).