Huang Xiaoming's arduous journey to the west

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, April 25, 2016
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Chinese actor Huang Xiaoming, who plays the monk Xuan Zang in a new epic, said on Sunday in Beijing that he was encouraged by his mother to portray the legendary historic figure before his wedding with actress Angelababy.

Actor Huang Xiaoming and his mother appear on stage to promote the new film "Xuan Zang" in Beijing on April 24, 2016. []

"Xuan Zang" tells the story of the monk's pilgrimage journey alone to India seeking Buddhist scriptures during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). Xuan Zang (602–664 AD) was a Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, traveler, and translator who described the interaction between China and India in the early Tang dynasty, and his seventeen-year overland journey to India is recorded in detail in the classic Chinese text "Great Tang Records on the Western Regions."

The endeavor eventually inspired another Chinese classic fantasy fiction "Journey to the West." However, the Chinese Buddhist world is not always a fan of the fiction because it degrades the true hero Xuan Zang, and makes a monkey demon the hero who takes all the credit for the journey.

"'Journey to the West' is a fantasy myth. The real Xuan Zang didn't have the Monkey King or other magical disciples by his side to protect him," Huang said at the press conference to promote the movie, "The journey was very arduous and there were many threats, but Xuan Zang made it through with his firm faith and persistence."

Huang also credited his mother for the film. "First I rejected the project, but my mother insisted that I accept it," the actor said, adding he was worried about his hairstyle if he accepted the role as he was preparing for a lavish wedding with actress Angelababy. "I didn’t want to wed my wife with a bald head."

His mother also stepped on stage to explain, "I told him, you have a peaceful and gracious appearance and you also have tolerance, mercy and kindness inside. And you have the insistence to reach your goal. You are the man to play Xuan Zang."

To comfort his son, the mother said, "You would still be handsome at your wedding even though you would be bald. This is a rare good opportunity. Xuan Zang is big."

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