‘3 Body Problem’ Cast And Character Guide: Meet The Actors

Past work: “The Joy Luck Club”

Character speciality: Astrophysics

How would you describe this show in 15 words or less?

What happens when the actions of one young woman — her fateful decision — changes the course of humanity.

How would you describe your character?

So I would say that Ye is a survivor of extreme trauma, and she’s lost everything. As a result, she’s learned a sort of adaptability, and she also has a bit of survivor’s guilt. She’s a mother. And at the same time, she believes that she has the power to effect change, and I think she goes about it in the best way that she feels possible.

Inside her, she’s still partly the young Ye, because she was a prodigy, and that still exists in her. And that belief in herself, that her decisions are the right decisions, and she can effect change. Even if all goes to crap, she can effect change.

Did you read the books before you signed up?

I’m here [in the U.S.], and have that American tunnel vision. So, I’m a philistine and had not heard of a ‘Three-Body Problem’ until Benny Wong — we were both in London, working on different projects, and he told me he was working on this. And I was like, “What’s that?” But then I did read the book. I had a Chinese coach who insisted I read the book before I start filming this, and he was very strict.

But once I read it, I got so many copies for other people, because I really do feel it’s accessible. And they’ve made it even more accessible. I was really drawn in, and love the books, even though I’m not, you know — I’m a nerd, but I’m not a sci-fi fan at all.

And as far as what I took away from it, it’s that time is elastic.

Do you believe that humanity will come in contact with intelligent extraterrestrial life?

I believe anything’s possible. You know, definitely before this, somebody would say something about extraterrestrials, and inside I’d be rolling my eyes and like, “Oh, yeah, it could happen.” But now I’m a little more open to “anything’s possible.” We don’t know what’s out there. Just what we see, feel, hear and touch is not necessarily what’s real. There’s a lot more out there that we’re not aware of.

How did you work with Zine Tseng to create the character?

Zine had filmed her section first. Her last day was my first day, so I received all her footage prior to starting. I basically lived Zine before I even met her. So when I met her, it was like meeting a celebrity — or meeting another side of me. Honestly, she built the structure, she laid the foundation.

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