Chinese actresses get short shrift in new Hollywood epics

The latest sign of a Chinese invasion in Hollywood is a string of performances so short, you'll miss them if you blink.

Chinese actresses, many of whom are superstars in China, are appearing in big-budget Hollywood movies, but in roles that are more decorative than groundbreaking.

Yu Nan may fare the best, at least in terms of the importance of the role.

In The Expendables 2, she plays Maggie Chan, a member of the butt-kicking team that works under Sylvester Stallone.

As the only female in the ensemble, and the brainy one, she gets her fair share of screen time, which she condenses into one expression - that of contempt.

In the Chinese poster for Looper, which opened on Friday, Chinese actress Xu Qing appears in the above-title names.

In American publicity materials, she is ranked eighth.

Xu is shown as glamorous, with a striking presence that compensates for her limited screen time.

Movie fans in China are informed that Li Bingbing, a major star in China, will appear in Resident Evil: Retribution, but few are aware that she is only 10th in the starring credits.

It is quite possible her name will be bumped up in the local marketing campaign.

Likewise, Zhou Xun is ranked ninth in Cloud Atlas, a film that premiered at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival and will be released in late October.

It is safe to bet that the Chinese actress will not come close, in terms of screen time, to her role in Painted Skin: Resurrection, the biggest Chinese movie of the year so far.

The driving force behind these Chinese beauties' Hollywood debut is Chinese capital, which has found its way into productions of international box-office clout.

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