Masala: Li Jun Li Dishes on Her Role as Lady Fay in Damien Chazelle’s ‘Babylon’

What promises a more thrilling adventure than a dazzling spectacle of Hollywood’s famed Golden Age, a time when immense depravity and debauchery ran amok?

“Whiplash” and “La La Land” filmmaker Damien Chazelle returns bigger and brighter than ever in his latest film “Babylon,” which chronicles the rise and fall of various people in Hollywood during the late 1920s.

The film features characters inspired by Hollywood icons such as Anna May Wong, Marion Davies, Irving Thalberg and Clara Bow, among others. Inspired by Wong, Lady Fay Zhu is played by Chinese American actress Li Jun Li, known for her appearances in “Quantico,” “The Exorcist,” and “Wu Assassins.” The role is particularly significant to Li, who said in a December interview with Character Media, “I am very honored to play someone who is based off of Anna May Wong.” Wong was considered to be the first Chinese American movie star in Hollywood as well as the first Chinese American actress to gain international recognition with a career that spanned across radio, film, television and theater.

Li also explained she hopes the character can help portray some of the struggles faced by people of color in Hollywood. “It was important to me that I told her story honestly and in a way that people can feel [her] pain,” Li said. “I really hope that with Damien’s incredible writing and direction that we’re able to convey this message of her hardships [as] something that you can really empathize with when watching it.”

Watch our full interview with Li above for more!