In the 1920s, Hu Die emerged just as a new accent on realism in film saw women permitted to play lead female roles for the first time. Hu Die’s roles included aunt, mother, teacher, prostitute, celebrity, and working woman. She was the star of China’s first talking picture, Songstress Red Peony, 1931, and the first to wow audiences with martial arts skills. Her sophisticated acting skills and fine temperament earned her widespread popularity among local audiences, such that in 1933 Hu Die was publicly anointed “Queen of the Movies”. Today, Hu Die is still credited as one of the best actresses of early cinema in China.