China’s Zhou Dongyu may have taken a recent turn as a producer, but the 27-year-old actress plans to focus on honing her craft in front of the camera rather than branching out too much into other roles behind it. She also believes that female roles are increasing in quantity and quality in China, and is hopeful that women are finally being judged on “standards of ability” instead of beauty.

Zhou both acted in and produced one of her latest films, the small arthouse title “On the Balcony,” in which she portrays a mentally disabled girl.

“I was quite anxious about the role, because I’ve never come into contact with a person like that. So I watched a lot of documentaries in order to accurately portray her,” Zhou said at a Kering Women in Motion talk on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival. “That’s one of the most challenging things about my job: to have to understand characters and scenarios I’ve never encountered before.”

Watch the conversation above.

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