Hollywood film and television actor, Ye Zhong was born and raised in Southern China. Since graduating from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Ye has been a Warner Bros. TV Actors in Training finalist and has starred in many movies and theatre productions. She audited and was accepted for the Academy Company program and was part of four plays in seven months.
Ye stars in the new film, ‘Bet!’, a short comedy buddy film about two men and a mysterious mission. Playing the role of Ms. Fang, in the film Ye gives audiences a taste of her sweet yet sour side.
“People thought Ms. Fang was just a sweet lady who owned a Chinese restaurant, but actually, she is a mysterious key character who pushes the story under the table.”
An actor frequently morphs into character or pushes their comfort zone in order to bring out the person they are portraying. Although Ye is Chinese playing a Chinese lady she had to push personal boundaries to fulfil the role.
“In real life, I am very different from my character in the film, so I talked to the director and the screenwriter to better understand my character. Then I did some script analysis before filming to ensure I had a clear objective. I also worked on my voice a little more than usual to lower my voice so that I could show the best color of my character.”
The new movie, ‘Bet!’ was made under extreme conditions. Making a movie has its natural challenges, but in 48-hours, time is the biggest. Ye explained, “Time was our biggest enemy during filming since we only had 48-hour to make a film. My scenes occurred at the film’s beginning and end, but we had to film them at the very end because of the location. By that time, it was already midnight, and everyone was exhausted after a whole day of filming. We wrapped the film at 4am, and it definitely feels like we just finished a marathon.”
Every Hollywood actor aspires to working with their idols along the way. However accomplished Ye maybe she is no different, “I have a list of actresses that I hope I can work with one day! Growing up, a lot of female actors inspired me. I would love to work with Jennifer Lawrence and Saoirse Ronan. I always love their acting. For Asian actresses, I would love to with Michelle Yeoh and Masami Nagasawa. For directors, I wish one day I could work with Christopher Nolan, Ang Lee, and Chloé Zhao.”
We have all heard the saying, “send the elevator back down” so we asked Ye what advice she could give any actor who is trying to break into the entertainment industry today, “There’re so many in my head, but one piece of advice I really want to give is to work more with your peers and learn from them. People always say making connections is very important in this industry. As new actors, we are always eager to know more famous casting directors and producers and hope they can help us with our careers. Yes, it is helpful, but I think it is also very important to make connections with people who are at the same stage as you, like new actors, producers, and directors, people who are also at the beginning and have the same passion as you. I am always amazed at how much I learn from my peers and how many opportunities they provide me. One of my acting teachers once said, “you never know how far people will go in this industry, so work with new people and never look down upon anyone” I always keep that in mind.”