How she coached actress to deliver Chinese lines in “Shanghai Calling” in two weeks

Posted by Grace Feng on September 24, 2012

Learn to speak mandarin in two weeks? Learn to deliver mandarin lines in a movie in two weeks for a zero-Chinese-language-knowledge actress? Sounds like a mission impossible. But it was actually possible for Eliza Coupe in a new film “Shanghai Calling”. Yang Yang will explain how she coached Eliza to “hack” mandarin speaking in a very short time frame:

For readers in China that can’t access Youtube, I recorded the main part as mp3 and you can listen to it here:

How I coached Eliza Coupe’s Chinese in the film “Shanghai Calling”

I think Yang Yang is very creative in transforming tones in a sentence into a sequence of music notes and taught Eliza to hum it and then put “lyrics” and emotions in. As a matter of fact, speaking mandarin does assemble singing more or less. :-)

I haven’t watched the movie yet. If anyone has, feel free to share your feedback, thanks.


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3 Responses to “How she coached actress to deliver Chinese lines in “Shanghai Calling” in two weeks”

  1. nothing


    09-24-2012 2:28 pm

    Wow, where was she when I started to learn Chinese? :) Mind, I am tone-deaf when it comes to music so perhaps her method might not have worked!
    I do not know how much Mandarin Eliza Coupe has to speak in the movie, so perhaps it is not as great a feat as it initially seems; still, kudos to Yang Yang for this fun way of teaching.


    • nothing


      09-24-2012 4:32 pm

      How much mandarin Eliza has to speak in the movie? Here we can get a hint:

      “The thing I appreciated most about Eliza was how hard she worked on learning her Chinese lines. No, Eliza does not actually speak Chinese. But she had to speak a ton of it in SHANGHAI CALLING, and she did so well that after our private screenings in China, a couple of audience members asked me Eliza got the part because she was bilingual. (That’s a real compliment.)”


      Sounds like a lot :-)


  2. nothing


    09-25-2012 12:18 pm

    Eliza 很厉害。但,幸好她不需要说上海话!:)


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