By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
HOLLYWOOD—Tang Wei rose to international fame with her first feature film, Ang Lee’s 2007 drama “Lust, Caution.” It was an auspicious beginning for a young actress. She not only collected several awards and accolades for her daring, sexy performance, Tang also drew the ire of the Chinese government, which ordered her banned from all media. Yet, the determined actress has overcome that early setback and is enjoying a successful career in Asia.
The 35-year-old beauty now makes her English-language debut in the Michael Mann action thriller “Blackhat,” in which she plays an expert computer programmer, who is called upon to help an elite group of American and Chinese cyber experts called upon to track down and stop a dangerous hacker. She co-stars with Chris Hemsworth, best known for his role as the thunder god Thor in the “Avengers” films, Oscar nominee Viola Davis (“Doubt,” “The Help”) and Taiwanese-American actor Leehom Wang.
Tang, who married her longtime boyfriend Korean filmmaker Kim Tae-yong last year, is on a whirlwind tour publicizing the film. It’s her first time doing a publicity tour where she is speaking in English, but she says she feels much more confident in speaking the language than she did seven years ago.
After 30 back-to-back TV interviews, Tang seems no worse for wear, though she is ready for a more comfortable setting. We pile onto the bed in her hotel suite for some girl talk about “Blackhat,” working with Mann, Hemsworth and her old friend Wang Leehom (who plays her brother in the film), as well as marriage and her exotic, spontaneous wedding to Kim in Sweden.