Alynda Wheat, Catherine Kast, and Hannah Kay Hunt
July 25, 2011 12:00 PM

>LI BING BING

SHE’S BRINGING A BELOVED BOOK TO LIFE

A top actress in China, Li stars in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, based on the popular 2005 novel by Lisa See about female friendships. She plays a double role: She had to study English to portray Nina, a businesswoman in present-day Shanghai, but “it’s not torture for me to learn,” she says. “I love to study language.” She also plays Lily, a wife in 19th-century China. “Even for Chinese girls, it is a faraway culture for us.”

HUGH JACKMAN MADE HER SWOON

“He’s so handsome!” she says of the star, who plays a nightclub owner (and sings!). “When we were shooting, I could feel [his emotions] from his eyes.”

SHE HAS A BETTER WORD FOR BFF

The film’s friends declare themselves laotong, or sworn sisters—and the phrase blew up on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. Says Li: “Everyone talks about their laotong—even men! It’s trendy now.”

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