China goes crazy for YOLO, the smash hit that officially opens FEFF 26!
Like the great Hollywood method actors, Jia Ling transformed her body for her role.
With 500 million dollars in ticket sales, the Chinese superstar is the highest-grossing actress-director in the world!

In order to play Jake La Motta in 1980's Raging Bull, Robert De Niro put on almost 30 kilos. A transformation we're still talking about today. In fact, from Christian Bale and Charlize Theron to Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, the history of Hollywood has no shortage of actors who chose to "get serious" and modify their bodies without the aid of prosthetics or CGI. Which brings us to the Far East Film Festival in Udine, thanks to the cultural phenomenon (cinematic and otherwise) that China is going crazy for: we're talking about superstar Jia Ling, we're talking about her physical transformation and, obviously, we're talking about her fantastic YOLO (acronym for You Only Live Once) which, with the 500 million dollars it's earned at the box office, has made Jia Ling the highest-grossing actress-director in the world!


Selected by the FEFF as the opening film for its twenty-sixth edition (and let's not forget, Opening Night is set for Wednesday the 24th of April), the film is an international festival premiere and tells two stories: the one that plays out on the screen and the one that blew up in real life, becoming a source of inspiration for millions of Chinese. Two stories which both highlight the same message: it's never too late to change your life. It's never too late to believe in yourself and to go for what you really want, defeating the insecurities and fears that are stopping you from spreading your wings.


Director and star of YOLO Jia Ling put on 20 kilos and then dropped 50 (!) to show as authentically as possible the narrative arc of Le Ying: a woman trapped by the misery of the daily grind who finds escape and redemption when she puts on a pair of boxing gloves and climbs into the ring. Everything is possible, Jia Ling reminds us, and the success of YOLO (an adaptation of Japanese movie 100 Yen Love, which was a hit at 2015's FEFF) proves it. And as well as the film and the incredible talents of Jia Ling herself, what made YOLO hit home even harder with Chinese audiences was the song You Only Live Once/Everything Comes in Time, written by Jia Ling herself.


In the video, the character of Le Ying duets with herself, with the "new" Le Ying encouraging the "old" Le Ying not to let herself be caged in by the roles imposed on us by society. A hit which, exactly like YOLO, represents a glorious hymn to the importance of loving yourself!


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