Nana Ou-yang may be the new it girl, with a starring role in the next Jackie Chan movie, but she’s returning to her roots and first love: cello.
The 17-year-old actress just released her second cello album, Cello Loves Disney, where she plays all the classic hits from her favourite fairy tales. Nana said that it was a dream come true to record the songs she loves and knows by heart, including Tale as Old as Time from Beauty and the Beast.
“Never did I imagine that when I [was] 17, I could play it and release the album. When I was little, I’d sit on sofa and watch the movie. I’d think, ‘Oh, Belle is so beautiful when she’s dancing with Beast.’
“This was also the first song that I recorded for the album. There was a lot to adjust, to get used to, but I still need to sound sweet and full of love.”
Nana was born into a family of entertainers. Her aunt, Ou-yang Fei Fei, was a famous singer in Taiwan in the 1970s. Both her parents acted in television in Taiwan. Nana was trained to become a classic cellist, but dropped out of school to pursue acting full time.
Her role in the 2014 film Beijing Love Story jump-started her acting career. At 15, she was a guest of Chanel at its Paris Fashion show, taking selfies with Karl Lagerfeld backstage. She just released Secret Fruit, a coming-of-age love story, on the mainland.
Next, Nana will be playing Chan’s daughter in his new action sci-fi film Bleeding Steel, scheduled for release in China in December. She said the action star has shared with her words of wisdom that she has taken to heart.
“You will never see [Jackie Chan] tired. I’ve never heard him say he’s tired, or wants to sleep or take a break. ... When I see him like that, I feel so inadequate. He also tells me that I should work harder when I’m young, so that I don’t have any regrets when I’m old.”
The on-screen father/daughter duo had such a wonderful connection they decided to extend it to Nana’s cello album. The pair sing a Mandarin version of A Whole New World as a bonus track on the album.
Nana said she is not ruling out going back to school one day, but doesn’t wish to be a normal 17-year-old.
“I choose this life. I want to be an actress, I want to be a cellist,” she said. “So I have to learn to accept all the things like paparazzi, and the reporters ... or cyberbullies. These things I have to learn.”
Cello Loves Disney is out now