NYGossipGirl recently had the pleasure of chatting with Li Cunxin, author of Mao’s Last Dancer. The book was adapted to the big screen and is based on Cunxin’s life.
At the age of 11, Cunxin, a peasant boy from rural China beats the odds to become a world-renowned ballet dancer. When he makes it to the United States, he risks everything for the woman he loves and to remain in the country.
During our exclusive interview, Cunxin talked about his involvement in the film and what is was like studying ballet.
NYGG: Can you talk about your involvement with the film and how it all came together?
Cunxin: I was a special advisor on the film and helped with the screenplay. Director Bruce Beresford asked me to find the key actor that could dance and play me and I helped him find the actor. I was quite involved with the film – people called me from the creative team and we went through the details, down to what pajamas I wore. I stayed quite true to the story – it was really the most thrilling and satisfying aspect. Once the actual filming started, I stayed away, I didn’t want to be too close. I didn’t want to be a liability.
NYGG: What did you think of the film when it came out?
Cunxin: I was thrilled, especially the first time I saw it. I didn’t know what to expect. I was so pleased and I think Bruce did a fantastic job.
Read the rest of NYGG’s exclusive interview with Li Cunxin after the jump!
Edited: May 4th, 2011