Last year, Fan Bingbing gave Carmen Sandiego a run for her money after she went missing and had everyone wondering “Where in the world is Fan Bingbing? No really, where is she.” Fan got tied up in a Chinese tax evasion scam and was allegedly banned from acting for three years, but no one could really find out the truth from Fan herself, because she could not be found.
In reality, Fan hadn’t disappeared into thin air. She was being held under a type of house arrest, and was facing $100 million in fines. In April of this year, Fan made her first public appearance. This whole situation has been shady from top-to-bottom, so of course I was convinced the Fan that appeared in public was a super-realistic hologram to distract us from the real Fan’s whereabouts. But that’s not the case, because the real Fan recently gave an interview to The New York Times, and she’s explaining what’s up.
Fan reportedly scammed the tax system with a thing called “yin and yang” contracts, in which one contract – the one that goes to the tax man – says you made significantly less than your real contract – the one that benefits your bank account. Fan allegedly got caught after a TV host named Cui Yongyuan got mad at the plot of her 2003 film Cell Phone (in it, Fan played the mistress of a TV host, who Cui believes was based off himself). When Fan announced a sequel to Cell Phone, Cui ponied up some receipts which showed how much she was going to make off the film vs. what she was going to tell the government she made off the film.
Fan was then charged with falsifying contracts four times, and then she went missing. But Fan is coming back, slowly. Fan will still appear in the all-female action film 355, and The Times says she will soon be appearing on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam.
Fan – who I’m sure is coming up with these thoughts totally on her own and with no help from a publicist and lawyer – now says that she’s glad it happened, because it has made her reevaluate her life.
“It may be a trough I encountered in my life or in my work, but this trough is actually a good thing. It has made me calm down and think seriously about what I want to do in my future life.”
She also thanks China’s Communist Party for making like one of the Golden Girls and being a friend after her detention.
[Fan] said that she would have been nothing “without the party and the state’s good policies.”
When asked who Fan would like to marry, now that she’s no longer engaged to actor Li Chen, Fan answered: “Hmmmm…either the man who invented taxes, or China’s version of Uncle Sam.” She didn’t say that, probably because the publicist assigned to her case didn’t want to go overboard.
The Times amentions that Fan is having a bit of a difficult time with her official comeback, because some people see her as nothing more than a scammer. Fan is working on that comeback anyway, but she notes it’s not going to be raining diamonds like it was before.
“There are regrets, pain and fragility. But I still feel that I need to keep on living…It is impossible to have the best of everything,” Ms. Fan said, describing her present comeback situation as a “crossroads.”
Fan was China’s biggest actress before the money-scented shit hit the tax fan, so it’s not surprising that she didn’t disappear forever. Because for every person who is looking at her like China’s version of Wesley Snipes, there’s another that wants to see Fan on top again. She just needs to find the right vehicle. Hey, maybe she could use that thing about her career being at a crossroads as inspiration. Because who wouldn’t love a reboot of Britney Spears’ cinematic 2002 hit Crossroads? Except in this version, Fan’s character buries a wish box that contains only one wish. “I wish I never got caught cheating on my taxes.”