The New Paper
Thursday, Oct 8, 2015
She's only 16, but is already going places.
Local TV host Quan Yifeng's daughter Eleanor Lee has just scored a role in a new Chinese TV drama, Tribes And Empires.
She will play the younger version of lead actress Karlina Zhang and will appear in the first eight episodes of the 50-episode series.
Since Eleanor starred in an Apple commercial in February, she has been offered roles in movies and TV dramas, said her godfather, local celebrity hairstylist Addy Lee.
She recently returned from a three-day shoot in Spain for an ice cream commercial.
But Lee said he and Quan had to reject all four acting offers as the filming schedules would interrupt Eleanor's studies.
He told The New Paper: "Eleanor's mum and I are very strict with her. We finally agreed to let her act in Tribes And Empires because the filming would not interfere with her studies. We told her that if she wants to continue acting, she has to keep her grades up.
"For me, that means that she should get all As and is only allowed to score two Bs. Eleanor said that she would try her best."
The teenager used to score Cs for Chinese until two years ago, when she began to mix more with her schoolmates from China at the international school that she attends here.
Nowadays, Lee said she scores A for Chinese, which would stand her in good stead when she flies to Hengdian in December to film Tribes And Empires.
So what is her weakest subject? Mathematics.
Lee joked: "Eleanor is just like her mum, both of them are bad at Maths. They don't know how to 'count' money well.
"The money that Eleanor earns from these jobs is in safe hands with the management team that has been hired to look out for her interests.
"She will also have people I trust follow her when she goes overseas for filming."
Eleanor told Shin Min Daily News that she is looking forward to Tribes And Empires.
This is because her straight-talking character "who dares to anger (others) in order to express her opinion", reminds her of herself.
LEARNING TO RELAX
Of the acting classes that she has taken up, she said: "Crying scenes worry me the most.
"My teacher said that I was too good at controlling myself. So I had to learn to relax myself. Only then could I cry."
Eleanor is signed to Beijing Shen Yi Entertainment, which manages China artistes like Li Sheng, Wan Qian and Gao Ziqi.
Quan told Shin Min Daily News that she was initially worried about her daughter following in her footsteps, career-wise.
"My daughter is only 16 and I thought she would find acting very awkward. She's not a child actress, she's also not mature."
But Quan is convinced that her daughter's future is well-handled.
"Her management company feels she is very likeable.
"I am happy they have made great efforts to make sure Eleanor's studies have not been disrupted."
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