Caught in the act

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - CITY PANORAMA -

Anew Chi­nese TV show called I Am the Ac­tor has stirred heated dis­cus­sions on so­cial me­dia. Many Chi­nese ac­tors and ac­tresses of dif­fer­ent ages were in­vited to present their act­ing skills on the show. Their per­for­mances are rated and given scores by three pro­fes­sional act­ing men­tors who will choose the best to qual­ify for the next round.

As xi­aox­i­an­rou and xi­aox­i­an­hua (young Chi­nese celebri­ties who are good look­ing and have large fol­low­ings but of­ten lack true tal­ent) now oc­cupy most en­ter­tain­ment busi­ness re­sources in China, oth­ers who have real act­ing skills but don’t have an age or ap­pear­ance ad­van­tage of­ten miss out on lu­cra­tive op­por­tu­ni­ties.

For I Am the Ac­tor, many ac­tors and ac­tresses with­out con­sid­er­able looks or pop­u­lar­ity tend to give the best per­for­mances. Ren Suxi, a pro­fes­sional Chi­nese ac­tress with an or­di­nary ap­pear­ance, im­pressed the au­di­ence so much that some were moved to tears. Xu Zheng, one of the act­ing men­tors, said this show cre­ates a good spring board for tal­ented yet un­der-ap­pre­ci­ated ac­tors and ac­tresses like Ren.

With this in mind, the Global Times spoke with sev­eral for­eign­ers in Shang­hai about their opin­ions of the do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­tries to gauge if looks and pop­u­lar­ity are uni­ver­sally more im­por­tant than true tal­ent.

Petrov, a 25-year-old copy­writer from Ser­bia, told the Global Times that he mostly watches Hol­ly­wood or Ja­panese films. “I don’t know the name of the ac­tress in Maborosi [a Ja­panese film], but her per­for­mance was as­tound­ing. She doesn’t speak many lines in the movie. She’s mostly quiet, but her face says a lot.”

To­bias from Ger­many said he ap­pre­ci­ates in­spir­ing ac­tors like Har­ri­son Ford (from Star Wars) and Tom Cruise (from

Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble). Eoin, a 29-year-old restau­rant man­ager from Ire­land, said he likes Liam Nee­son and Leonardo DiCaprio be­cause the char­ac­ters they play of­ten leave a good im­pres­sion on him.

Im­mersed in movies

Rus­sian na­tional Kseniia, a big fan of com­edy films, said Milla Jovovich, a Ukraine-born ac­tress who be­came a star in the US, im­presses her the most. Rao, a 25-year-old Amer­i­can, said he re­ally likes Hugh Grant, the well-known Bri­tish ac­tor from ro­man­tic film Not­ting Hill. Rao told the Global Times that Grant’s act­ing skills as well as the way he por­trays him­self are both re­ally im­pres­sive.

In re­cent years, many young Chi­nese ac­tors and ac­tresses with gor­geous faces and large so­cial me­dia fol­low­ings have been crit­i­cized by au­di­ences for their ob­vi­ous in­abil­ity to act. Some never re­ceive pro­fes­sional act­ing train­ing be­fore be­com­ing huge stars. But do for­eign coun­tries have the same trend in their re­spec­tive en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­tries?

Petrov thinks that Ser­bian ac­tor Ne­bo­jsa Gl­o­go­vac, who passed away in Fe­bru­ary 2018, had a true tal­ent for act­ing. “He doesn’t look like a su­per­star. He looks like a nor­mal man, but his face con­tains a lot of emo­tion,” said Petrov.

To­bias said he doesn’t know many Ger­man ac­tors ex­cept for Matthias Sch­weighöfer, who stars in comedic films. “I like to see him in­ter­act with other ac­tors, also with his fe­male coun­ter­parts, in these movies.”

Eoin is not sure who is the best ac­tor in Ire­land, but he re­ferred to Liam Nee­son from Schindler’s List. Eoin said that when true ac­tors act, they can take con­trol of the char­ac­ter and let the au­di­ence im­merse them­selves in the movie.

Pho­tos: VCG and Yao Ji­ay­ing

Kseniia Eoin Petrov

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.