OR­LANDO IN FULL BLOOM The Hol­ly­wood star comes to Bei­jing to pro­mote S.M.A.R.T. Chase, a movie pro­duced by a Chi­nese com­pany. Xu Fan re­ports.

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE -

While on a red car­pet, English ac­tor Or­lando B loom re­sponds to scream­ing Chi­nese fans, sign­ing au­to­graphs and pos­ing for pho­tos with them.

Scenes like th­ese where a Hol­ly­wood star is in China to pro­mote an up­com­ing film are fre­quent since the coun­try over­took Ja­pan to be­come the world’s sec­ond-largest movie mar­ket in 2012.

But the Bei­jing tour of Bloom, known for play­ing Le­go­las in The Lord of the Rings tril­ogy and Will Turner in the Pi­rates of the Caribbean se­ries, is a bit dif­fer­ent.

S.M. A.R.T. Chase, the thriller that Bloom pro­moted last week in Bei­jing, is a ti­tle backed by Chi­nese film­mak­ers.

The film, pro­duced by Shang­hai-based Chi­nese stu­dio Bliss Me­dia, is di­rected by Bri­tish di­rec­tor Charles Martin.

Ex­cept for Bloom, the other stars are Chi­nese. They are teenage star Wu Lei, who shot to promi­nence with the hit TV se­ries Nir­vana in Fire; Tai­wan model-ac­tress Han­nah Quin­li­van; ac­tress Xiong Dailin, known for her role in the Ip Man fran­chise; vet­eran ac­tor Ying Da and ac­tress Liang Jing.

The movie, set in Shang­hai, is about a miss­ing Chi­nese an­tique.

In the film, Bloom plays a pri­vate se­cu­rity agent lead­ing his team, known as S.M.A.R.T. (Se­cu­rity Man­age­ment Ac­tion Re­cov­ery Team), to lo­cate the trea­sure.

Han Wei, pres­i­dent of Bliss Me­dia and the movie’s ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer, says: “We’ve seen many Hol­ly­wood block­busters hit Chi­nese screens. It makes us proud to see a Chi­nese movie go abroad now.”

The Shang­hai-based firm has close busi­ness ties with Hol­ly­wood, hav­ing pre­vi­ously dis­trib­uted Mel Gib­son’s Hack­saw Ridge in China and co-fi­nanc­ing the bi­o­graph­i­cal drama Jackie star­ring Natalie Port­man.

The pro­duc­ers say that the movie’s over­seas dis­tri­bu­tion rights have been sold to 45 coun­tries and ar­eas. And it will open across the Chi­nese main­land dur­ing this year’s Na­tional Day hol­i­day week from Oct 1 to 7.

For Bloom, 40, this film is his first role in a Chi­nese movie.

Bloom has a huge fan base in China. On the Chi­nese Twit­ter-like Sina Weibo, which is also his first so­cial net­work­ing ac­count, he is now fol­lowed by 2.1 mil­lion fans.

Speak­ing about his ex­pe­ri­ences in China, Bloom says: “I had a won­der­ful time shoot­ing the movie in China. And I had amaz­ing ac­tors and ac­tresses to work with.

“We had a re­ally fun script. It feels very au­then­tic to Shang­hai. And the char­ac­ter is re­al­is­tic too.”

In the movie, Bloom’s char­ac­ter es­corts the an­tique on its way from Shang­hai to Van­cou­ver but he is am­bushed en route.

A lot of the ac­tion scenes were shot in Shang­hai, one of China’s most in­ter­na­tion­al­ized cities, and many land­mark build­ings there are fea­tured in the movie.

Giv­ing more de­tails about the film, where all the lines are spo­ken in English, Han says that the movie pro­vides a glimpse of mod­ern China and its lifestyle.

She also says Bloom will tour around 10 Chi­nese cities to pro­mote the movie, some­thing rarely done by a Hol­ly­wood A-lis­ter.

Typ­i­cally such stars visit Shang­hai or Bei­jing for pro- mo­tional events.

Mean­while, for Bloom, the lo­cal food was a great at­trac­tion.

His fa­vorite food item was the xi­ao­long­bao (a steamed bun pop­u­lar in Shang­hai).

As for re­fus­ing to use standin stunt­men, he says: “The pro­duc­ers didn’t re­ally want me to shoot ac­tion se­quences. But I was very de­ter­mined be­cause I felt it was im­por­tant for the char­ac­ter.

“I think when you see some ac­tion movie stars … like those hang­ing out­side build­ings ... you know it’s them. I want to make sure you (the au­di­ence) know it’s me.”

While asked if his star­ring in a Chi­nese movie will en­cour­age more projects in China, he says: “I be­lieve there will be more Hol­ly­wood stars do­ing movies in China.”

“I cer­tainly had a great ex­pe­ri­ence here. I think they will too.”

We’ve seen many Hol­ly­wood block­busters hit Chi­nese screens. It makes us proud to see a Chi­nese movie go abroad now.”

Han Wei, pres­i­dent, Bliss Me­dia

Con­tact the writer at xu­fan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The up­com­ing thriller S.M.A.R.T.Chase, fea­tur­ing English ac­tor Or­lando Bloom and stars such as teenage ac­tor Wu Lei, ac­tress Xiong Dailin, vet­eran ac­tor Ying Da, ac­tress Liang Jing and Tai­wan model-ac­tress Han­nah Quin­li­van, will open in Chi­nese main­land the­aters dur­ing this year’s Na­tional Day hol­i­day week.

English ac­tor Or­lando Bloom

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