Tsai Chin

Chinese-born British actress

Tsai Chin (Simplified Chinese: 周采芹; pinyin: Zhōu Cǎiqín; born September 1, 1933) is a Chinese actress, singer, director, teacher and author. Her career spans more than six decades and three continents.

Tsai Chin in 2019


  • I have lived on my own since 1963. It doesn’t mean I haven’t had a sex life.
  • I’m tough but my heart is very soft.
  • I don’t know how to bargain. Most Chinese are good at it. I am not. I am too lazy. You need to have good arithmetic and I don’t. I hate gambling, which is almost a national sport. And I don’t think I would keep the money.
  • Another problem for minority actors is that we don’t often work with beautiful dialogue. And there were less chances of working with great directors and actors. That’s when you can learn a lot.
  • I always tell my students that I’m teaching them to be more confident. That’s why you come to acting class. I say, “If you aim at a tall tree, you may hit a bush. If you aim at a bush, you’ll hit that floor.” I find that some actors just don’t try enough. They may not like it when I say that.
  • See, a lot of people think freedom means you can do anything you want. That’s not true. The more freedom you have, the more responsibility you have. My life has always been about freedom and independence. And in some ways, acting has too. What is so great about acting is that after 62 years, suddenly the technique is in you already. You don’t have to think about it anymore. Suddenly you’re free.
  • I don’t like to be called “Mrs.” because I am not married, and I only belong to myself. I admire and respect people who have been successfully married for a long time, but I cannot do it. So I decided to never marry again.
  • You can control the audience. You can make the audience so happy one minute, and so sad the next minute. In film, it’s up to the directors to cut it well. Sometimes an actor may not give a very good performance, but the editor does a good job.
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