New York, I Love You: Jiang Wen in Chinatown

New York I Love You

The “Jiang Wen” segment of “New York, I Love You” stars Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen. The film, whose concept was created by Emmanuel Benihby, is being release October 16, 2009 by Vivendi Entertainment.

A pickpocket (Hayden Christensen, STAR WARS, JUMPER) discovers the picture of a beautiful girl (Rachel Bilson, JUMPER, “The O.C.”) in a wallet he pilfered, and he soon finds himself in a battle with her current beau (Academy Award nominee Andy Garcia, THE UNTOUCHABLES, OCEANS THIRTEEN) to steal her heart, among other things.

Wen is perhaps best known for his internationally acclaimed leading role opposite Gong Li in Zhang Yimou’s RED SORGHUM. He first became renown in China for his starring role in the television series “A Native of Beijing in New York.” His acting credits further include HIBISCUS TOWN, BLACK SNOW, THE EMPEROR’S SHADOW, THE SOONG SISTERS and Yimou’s STAY COOL. He made his directorial debut with IN THE HEAT OF THE SUN, which won the Best Actor Prize at the Venice Film Festival as well as six Taiwanese Golden Horse Awards, including Best Director. He next directed DEVILS ON THE DOORSTEP, which won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, and most recently directed THE SUN ALSO RISES, which showed in competition at the Venice Film Festival in 2007.

Benbihy was gratified to have Jiang Wen’s participation. “He is basically the Robert DeNiro of China,” he notes. “He’s a major actor but he’s also a very, very daring director. I had wanted to work with him on PARIS JE T’AIME and the circumstances didn’t work out, but he very much insisted on being part of NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU.”

Rachel Bilson, well known to television viewers for her role as Summer Roberts on the popular “The O.C.,” jumped at the chance to take on the role of a woman whose heart is literally put into play in the middle of a Manhattan bar. “I loved PARIS JE T’AIME, so I was very intrigued by the idea of doing something similar in New York,” she says. “And this story takes an almost cliché New York moment – when someone steals your wallet – and puts a great romantic twist on it. When I read it, I felt like the feel of the city really came across in it.” Bilson was also excited to reunite on-screen with Hayden Christensen, with whom she recently starred in the action thriller JUMPER. “I love working with Hayden because I think he’s so talented and this was a fun way to have that chance again,” she says.

Most of all, though, Bilson was attracted to working with Jiang Wen, a rare opportunity for an American actress. “His visual ideas are really cool. He has a great eye and he’s very smart,” she comments. “It’s always a pleasure when a director understands being on the other side of the camera and as an actor, Jiang Wen has that quality. We worked with him through a translator but even so, there was always a really great feeling of communication. That’s what this project was all about – bringing people from all over the world together in a collaborative effort to capture a great city.”

 

SEGMENT DIRECTED BY JIANG WEN

Ben HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN
Garry ANDY GARCIA
Molly RACHEL BILSON
Written by HU HONG and MENG YAO
Adaptation by ISRAEL HOROVITZ
Director of Photography MARK LEE PING BING
Editor AFFONSO GONÇALVES
Original Music by TONINO BALIARDO