The lead in the latest film adaptation of Louis Cha's famous martial novel Return of the Condor Heroes was finally decided after several months' pondering by the production team. Against all the odds, Huang Xiaoming and Liu Yifei finally gained the lead roles, playing condor hero Yang Guo and the Dragon Girl.
Told he'd been chosen as the embodiment of the warrior hero, Huang Xiaoming couldn't help jumping up in excitement. For this TV series, he turned down eighty other roles in movies or TV series. In today's List, we get to know this new star of the Chinese small screen.
After graduating from the acting department of the Chinese Film Academy in 2000, Huang Xiaoming was no more than another good-looking actor until he became popular in 2003. In that year, three TV series he played in were released in China. At the end of 2003, when he was driving to a mountainous area for a shoot, his car turned over and Huang was badly hurt. But he soon turned up on set sporting a neck brace, something which greatly impressed the media and his fans.
There's an old saying in China: if someone survives a disaster, they're destined for good fortune in the future. This has certainly been proved true for Huang. Before he won the enviable role of warrior hero Yang Guo, he had already finished shooting the 40 episode TV series Imperial Bill in which he plays a famous bank manager during the Qing dynasty. In another modern drama he successfully portrays the life and loves of a male model.
Now let's list some tips for Huang Xiaoming's success.
Tip one: swordsman killing with love, not weapons
In the TV series Princess Pearl 3, Huang Xiaoming plays a young swordsman. His character is even named "jian", which means "sword" in Chinese. But the way the actor wins over the audience is through his portrayal of love. The comedy, featuring lots of martial arts scenes, focuses on the contorted love stories of the young boys and girls related to royal family. Handsome Huang Xiaoming is well-suited for his role of wooing a princess.
Tip two: young emperor "reigning" with charm, not ruthlessness
Huang Xiaoming seems to have been a favorite for costume dramas since he became known to audiences. In the Emperor of the Han Dynasty released in 2003, he portrays the Han Emperor Wu Di, one of the most brilliant rulers in Chinese history. Huang was acclaimed by fans as the most handsome "emperor" on mainland screens. And he pleased many fans unsatisfied with previous emperors who were too mature.
Tip three: young talent enchanting with "cool", not quickness
Another historical figure Tang Bohu, a Ming dynasty famous painter from nearly five hundred years ago, had been played on the small screen by Hong Kong actor Stephen Chow. Chow's glib portrayal of Tang Bohu had been very popular. When it fell to Huang Xiaoming to act the role, his weapon here was "cool". From manner to remarks, the famous painter comes alive on screen in a different but equally attractive way.
Huang meets a new challenge in his role in the Return of Condor Heroes. This time it's warrior hero Yang Guo, previously portrayed by pop idols Andy Lau and Louis Koo. Let's have a look at the unforgettable performance of these two pop stars, to see what Huang Xiaoming has to surpass.
Warrior hero Yang Guo by Andy Lau: very gentlemanly, handsome and caring!
Warrior hero Yang Guo by Louis Koo: a bit arrogant, still very handsome and considerate!
Huang Xiaoming is by no means less handsome than them. And, as those who have watched the TV drama Tang Bohu will know, he does have the potential to realize the pride and gentleness which come together perfectly in Condor's martial hero.
(CCTV.com October 20, 2004)