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Liu Ye: Feeling Happy with Acting

When Liu Ye won the Golden Horse award for the role of a gay man in Lan Yu in 2002, he was still little known to the audiences.


Three years later, the handsome young man has become one of the most popular actors in China.   


The 27-year-old is widely recognized for his diligence and acting talent. Over the past seven years, he has acted in 16 films and over a dozen TV series and stage dramas. He has costarred with nearly all the important Chinese actresses, including Zhang Ziyi, Hsu Chi and Zhou Xun. Liu is now trying to make his mark in Hollywood. He will shortly begin work on his new film Meteor, costarring Oscar-winning American actress Meryl Streep.   


Liu was recently seen in The Promise, a Chen Kaige movie vying for next year's foreign film Oscar. He plays Guilang or ghost, an anti-hero who is naive yet carries a certain sinister air. The role is dark yet tender, and unpredictable. He spoke to South China People's Weekly about his career, his roles and his ambitions.   


South China People's Weekly: Some people said your acting career had been very smooth. Do you believe yourself to be lucky?   


Liu: Oh yes. I am quite lucky because I have had the opportunity to do many interesting movies. But good luck is not enough, and hard work and talent are essential. I have actually devoted a lot to acting.   


S: How do you feel while acting? What does acting mean to you?   


L: I feel happy while acting. I really enjoy appearing in front of the video camera. Whenever the video camera is turned on, there is a "crack" sound as the tapes are started. Such a sound always excites me. Upon hearing the "crack," I felt really inspired. I regard myself as a quiet person, but I immediately become excited in front of the camera.  




S: You have starred in many love stories. What's your idea about a perfect love?   


L: I have a very traditional attitude towards love. People born in the 1980s might be quite open, and constantly change their boyfriends or girlfriends. This is not possible for me. I dare not imagine what I will become if I separate with my present girlfriend and start a new love.   


S: Some actors think that films have more prestige than TV shows. But you appear on TV although you have a busy film schedule. Why is that?  


L: I used to hold the idea that films are more important. But I found TV series are more popular among the people. I act in TV series to make myself recognized by more people. This, I believe, will add to my value.   


S: How do you feel about your role as Guilang in The Promise?   


L: The shooting of The Promise was an unforgettable experience for me. Guilang is quite a controversial person, being strong and weak, good and evil. He is not completely an anti-hero, because he is very courageous and finally devotes his life to a good person. I quite like this role and I have learned a lot from the other cast members in shooting.   


S: Do you have any expectations from your acting career?   


L: I have a strong sense of crisis. You know, new actors are just springing up every year and they would become very famous by doing just one film. The audiences can easily forget me if I disappear for a single year. So I have to work very hard. I hope I can be like Jiang Wen (one of the most influential actors in China). Even if he doesn't appear on the screen for many years, audiences still remember him and like him. It is my ultimate goal.




(Shenzhen Daily December 21, 2005)

Chen Kaige's Oscar Promise
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