Asian Actress Yuya Pu in America

As a film actress, a pretty face may help get your foot in the door, but it certainly won’t keep you there. The attractive appearance that initially gains attention for young actors and actresses can lead to a short career if there is not substantive talent underneath it. Actress Yuya Pu may be new to American audiences, but she became famous nearly a decade ago in China , her home country, with her starring role in the massive hit film Ghost of a Model. Beyond the charisma which Ms. Pu possesses, she exhibits an essential ingredient of so many great actresses, i.e., able to make a seemingly unsympathetic character in fact very likable. Yuya confirms, “There are so many different people and different personality types in the world. I don’t think it’s as clear as who are the ‘bad guys’ and who are the ‘good guys.’ That’s a naive perspective. Human nature is very complicated. Acting gives me the opportunity to find the positive and negative qualities in these characters and present them to other people in a way that is very real and human; it’s what I love about my work.” The U.S. audiences are now able to witness this as Yuya is presently starring in REB13TH, a suspense thriller presently showcased at film festivals but soon to be released in theaters and online.

In the film REB13TH (REBIRTH), Yuya plays Ashley, a role vastly different from other roles she played before. Trepidatiously, Ashley agrees to a dinner invitation from a mysterious man. Accepting a drink from her host, she soon finds that she has been drugged. Upon gaining consciousness, Ashley finds herself as the focal point of some type of bizzare and frightening ritual presenting her as a sacrifice. As the story gradually unfolds, Yuya’s performance creates resonation bringing the audience into her fearful circumstances. Though still in its festival run, REB13TH has already earned Yuya accolades in the industry, and particularly, she received the Best Actress Award at the Golden Statuette Film Festival where she was recognized in an early stage of her acting career. “When I learned that I was shortlisted for this award, I was so happy; then to receive it, I was truly overwhelmed! There were so many other great actresses nominated for the award, it’s a huge source of encouragement to me to receive the award from a pool of so many talented actresses. I think this role was quite different and that was part of what the judges recognized. The role was quite challenging, and the script was so interesting; I had high hopes for this film, and it certainly lived up to my hopes,” Ms. Pu states. Acting is about empathy. It takes someone like Yuya Pu to become the connection point bringing audiences into the realities of others.

The feature film Ghost of a Model became a sensation in China upon its release back in 2013. The target youth audience instantly embraced it at film festivals, and it quickly found a much larger audience at theaters (earning 3.27 million RMB at the box office) and on China Central Television (CCTV) with 1.5 billion views. As a result, Yuya Pu made a sensation and became one of the most talked about actresses in the country. For her acting in this film, she received the Best Young Actor Award at the Golden Statuette Int’l Film Festival. Ms. Pu appeared in the film as Lisa Su, an incredibly beautiful young model who is not particularly kind to her peers. An accident alters the trajectory of her career and necessitates Lisa Su to redefine her future and the way she has viewed herself and those around her. This catharsis of Lisa Su is palpable and moving as Yuya draws upon her own life experiences and understanding to bring out authentic emotions. Yuya Pu has created delineations with vivid characters in the films she played a lead role, and she deserves the recognition received at international film festivals.

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Kelly King

An LA based writer with more than a decade as a staff writer for NYC based Drumhead magazine, Kelly is also a contributor to a number of outlets.