It’s no easy leap marketable foreign face to kung fu acting career in China

“If I was at a party and someone asks me what I do…I just say I’m a student. I would never say the things that I’m doing.”

“It’s not realistic,” says Amy Lyons, an aspiring kung fu star from Australia. “You don’t see a movie about Top Gun and be like, ‘Oh, hey! I’m gonna be a fighter pilot tomorrow!’”

But Lyons is far from being the first wannabe foreign media star in China. Beginning  with Canadian freelance performer Mark Rowswell (more popularly known in China as 大山) in the late 1980s, the presence of foreign performers in Chinese media has since grown to the point where China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television has imposed restrictions on the number of foreigners allowed to be involved in domestic TV and film productions.

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Alexander Cecil McNab is a contributing writer at The World of Chinese.

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