Who's Yu Nan?

Chinese actress Yu Nan in The Expendables 2.

Who's That Girl?

This leggy 1.7m-tall beauty hails from Dalian, China, and is a graduate of the prestigious Beijing Film Academy, which boasts famous alumni such as director Zhang Yimou and actresses Xu Jinglei, Liu Yifei and Zhao Wei.

Where You've Seen Her

She played Horuko Togokahn, the sister of racer Taejo (Rain), in Speed Racer (2008).

Why Her

She may not be a household name in her native China, like compatriots Zhang Ziyi or Fan Bingbing, but Yu has gained street cred in Europe and won accolades along the way for her works in Lunar Eclipse (1999), The Story of Ermei (2004) and Tuya's Marriage (2006). 

Some critics in that part of the world call her the next Gong Li.

The 33-year-old, who is fluent in English and French, has also served on the jury panel at notable film festivals such as the Pusan International Film Festival, Golden Rooster Award and Berlin International Film Festival.

What's New

She is the lone woman in The Expendables 2, opening here today.

She plays Maggie, a mysterious Chinese agent who joins Barney's (Sylvester Stallone) team of crack assassins - which includes a who's who of 80s action stars such as Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis.

Quoted

On being starstruck on the set of The Expendables 2

"I grew up watching their films. They are such big stars. All of a sudden, I'm working with them. Really big things have happened in my life. They are also such nice people."

On feeling small next to her co-stars

"I'm kind of tall in China and I'm considered big there. But when I'm with the guys, I feel so tiny. They're all so huge! All you see are muscles and muscles and muscles."

On how she developed her love for movies

"I was not a typical good student because I often skipped classes to watch movies at home. My favourite films as a student were those from France and Italy."

On being more recognised abroad than in China

"Yes, that's true. But I don't have any special plans to focus my career in China or internationally. There are no boundaries in the art world."

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