The Message
 

Dalian Site Visit: Press Interview Transcripts

Alec Su becomes Xiao Bai, Huang Xiaoming made an opening speech in Japanese

New Entertainment Online News: The completion of Hua Yi's mega movie, Feng Sheng (The Message), is scheduled to be at the end of May. A few days ago, when reporters went to the site of the filming in Dalian during the visiting hours, the cast revealed to us that each of the lead actors/actresses has a specific unique skill. However, because this is a story about detecting a spy within the inner circle, it is inevitable that the lead actors/actresses be subjected to various forms of cruel tortures. For this reason, Li Bingbing and Zhou Xun had to prepare themselves to be tortured.

Along with conspiracy and plotting, hiding and concealment, etc., the popular tropes of espionage warfare, this game of catching the “spy” is rather outmoded, no matter how one looks at it. Hence, Hua Yi, when developing Feng Sheng, had to rack their brains to arrange a unique task for each lead actor/actress, such as having Zhou Xun dance, Zhang Hanyu act in an opera, and Huang Xiaoming to speak Japanese.

And Su Youpeng (Alec Su) is undoubtedly one of those who gave us the most pleasant surprise. This time, acting as the Kunqu opera performer with exquisitely trimmed eyebrows, he even sang, on the spot, a portion of the opera that is part of the movie.

Alec Su: I have not loosened my larynx, hope that when the teacher sees this, he will not kill me.

Nonetheless, due to the lack of gender distinction in Bai Xiaonian, it has been difficult to act as him. Initially, Alec Su, who only joined the cast recently, was slow in capturing the essence of the character and apparently, none of the shots of his first day could be used.

Alec Su: On the first day, I could already feel myself falling apart, wanting to leave the project, as I was really unable to release myself completely. Moreover, I felt that the crew on the site—actually it was me who was feeling terrible with my hang-ups—was looking at me with very strange eye expressions ... yes, like that (Alec demonstrated the eye expressions). Hence, I became less and less confident and started to wonder whether I should actually not continue acting in this role.

In addition, the amiable teasing from fellow actors increased the weight of his psychological anxiety, and he mentioned among the most hateful was Zhang Hanyu.

Alec Su: This includes brother Hanyu (ah!) All the time, he will speak, in an effeminate tone, “Xiao Bai, Xiao Bai is here” (here, Alec Su smilingly demonstrated in a higher but gentle voice, “Xiao Bai, Xiao Bai lai le”). Everybody liked to joke at my expense. In the beginning, I was not used to it. I had told them before very formally not to make fun of me. As I already had to overcome my own mental and psychological barrier in order for me to act in this, I told them not to continue laughing at me.

Fortunately, as the filming progressed and Alec became more engrossed in it, he was gradually able to reach the most pleasant and enjoyable stage. On the other hand, the cruel torture is the common nightmare of the lead actors/actresses. It is alleged that the scene in which Li Bingbing was flogged used up 15,000 feet of film, which is equivalent to 160 minutes worth of filming. On that day of the interview, the cast, one after another, “complained” to the reporters.

Zhou Xun: You look! I have already been beaten. Have already been beaten. They have already turned into “coffee” colour. It is real beating. (Reporter: What is this? scarred by cigarette end?) No, it is not. That is a wound.

Zhang Hanyu: Me, don't even mention it. Basically, there is nothing resembling a human at all. ...Electrocution... followed by various kinds of flogging, and finally even more cruel, they actually used...(a reporter interjected, “seduction”) ... that is (laughs) Uh? Seduction? Well, I have mentioned before, seduction was not used...

In the end, even the director is unable to remember clearly which scars were supposed to be the ones “afflicted” in the movie.

Huang Xiaoming: Let me tell all of you a little secret. When I started out, I had this scar, which was a requirement for the role’s makeup. Just now the director was wiping it off, asking me “Why do you have this scar?” I replied that that was for the movie. They had forgotten about it and filmed right through to the end of the movie.

It was so tormenting, that a few of the actors were close to a breaking point, and the situation was even worse for the actresses.

The director of Feng Sheng, Gao Qunshu: There was a torture scene that was difficult to visualize. No matter how, Zhou Xun was unable to visualize it, and we had not even finished filming when she started crying. When we were filming, perhaps she would not be crying but when she was sitting there, she suddenly started crying. I asked, “Why are you crying?” and she was unable to reply.

Only Wang Zhiwen has no complaints. That is nothing to wonder about, as he is the one to carry out these tortures to extort a confession.

Wang Zhiwen: (Reporter: Are you able to get away from the movie?) Able to do what? (Reporter: to get away from the movie after the completion of the movie?) It is only for the fun of it. Acting in a movie is only a matter of enjoyment.

Ying Da: My only grouse is that during every shoot, I was fitted with this “stomach.” Not sure why at that time, everybody particularly naturally believed that he really had to have this kind of stomach (a reporter asked him to let them to undo his vest to let them have a look at “the stomach.”) That cannot be done. Unless you let us have a look at yours, then I will let you have a look at it. Teacher Ying Da, by nature, has a strong and handsome body, that can be comparable to Wang Zhiwen’s. In the end, they caused it to become like this.

Director of Feng Sheng, Gao Qunshu: They are all very well known actors and actresses, who have achieved a rather high status in the country. This is the first time I, an inexperienced director, get to see so many professional actors/actresses. This is also a contest of strength. They are also tormenting me, so I should also torment them in return.

English translation by moonstruck for Alec Su International Fans Forum

 

Interview with Director Gao Qunshu

 

Interview with Zhang Hanyu and Zhou Xun

 

Interview with Su Youpeng (Alec Su)
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