Sept 2014 Louder Than Words - WallaceHuo (霍建华) - For International Fans

Happy 26th Birthday to ELLE

Wallace Huo: Louder Than Words 
ELLE
 September 2014

He doesn’t post on weibo. He doesn’t talk sweet. He only conducts a few days of promotion in a year. Wallace said that to understand him, you have to watch his plays. He wants to reserve some privacy for the rest of his time. In this complex and hullabaloo, fussy world, he tries to remain a simple person. 12 years of career are Wallace’s persistence and highest demand of himself .

At the shooting site, we had a modified vintage motorbike which costs Rmb1 million. Wallace spotted it as soon as he came in. He gently touched the motorbike and grasped the handle. His eyesight turned from excitement to thoughtfulness…12 years ago; Taipei; he was a newbie; his working schedule was tight and he needed to work like a superman. He rode his motorbike to commute from one filming site to the next. One time he was so tired that he fell asleep and almost got an accidence.

Generally he woke up at 2 or 3am, put on makeup and out with his motorbike. He saw many younger people enjoying their night out, eating their supper and having fun. Their day still hadn’t ended yet but for him it was a new day. He thought why were they having fun and yet he’s so busy at such a young age? He convinced himself with “no pain no gain”.

2 years later, he finally escaped that life. He challenged the Mainland China market by ditching all the reputation he had built up. He also set up his own work studio. The main reason is, he didn’t want to repetitively play idol dramas and lose himself into it. The ambition that wasn’t mentioned by him is appearing gradually later on in his choice.

Wallace isn’t a short-sighted person. He didn’t explain or resist being called a “flower vase” (translator note: a person who doesn’t know how to act and simply depends on his pretty face). He has been sharping a sword within all these years. He has been accumulating by quantity (translator note: by acting in numerous plays) and focusing only on acting.

In the recent 2 years his acting seems to reach a milestone in his plays. There are seriousness as well as comedy; misery as well as happiness; a well-kept gentleman as well as a deep and worn-face person. He can play an idol ancient drama as well as a serious Minguo drama. “The audience slowly can see my possibilites. But I still think I’m on the road. I’m trying hard not to repeat myself. I want to be clear in all my characters. Although I only act them, I want to put in my own thinking and shadow.”

Wallace’s latest play is “Battle of Changsha” as shown on CCTV-8. His Gu Qingming is a rich son who gave up civilian life to join the army. Although he was covered in soil everyday and had to run around in explosive scenes, he was excited when we discussed his plays. But when we spoke about his normal days, his pacing slowed down. His normal days are ‘boring’. But at the filming sites he is like a fish in water.

“I enjoy being in a crowd. At the filming sites we all bear the same hard work. Filming is tiresome. Sometimes I just want to finish it and take a good rest. But when relaxing at home I don’t know what to do. Excise or jogging? Stay at home or dine out with friends? I fell hopeless with too many choices. During normal days I feel a bit anxious”

Ancient dramas are about willpower
Wallace created a high intensified record of filming 7 dramas in a year. After he left Taiwan, he set himself a rule that he would never take more than 1 play at a time. But lately he has broken his rule.

“The Imperial Doctress” and “Journey of Flower” are filming at the same time. During one period he had to turn up at both filming sets. One play at a time is because he wants to be more professional and also enjoy the process more. But he couldn’t resist these 2 offers. He knows the production company of “Imperial Doctress” well, plus the working partner is Liu Shishi. They had agreed to take on other plays together. As for “Journey of the Flower,” it was because fans wanted him to.

To Wallace Huo acting is hard work but fun. How hard is it? He said: “Just the costumes are already a killer.”

Wallace’s most heavier costume is in “The Imperial Doctress”. It exceeded 30 kilograms. Not only he had to wear it a whole day, he was also on wire and finished off his fights. When the weather was warm, it’s torturing. After sweating all over, he was so tired after work he didn’t even want to remove his makeup and take a shower.

At one time he forced himself not to sit down after returning to his hotel room, “If I didn’t force myself to take a shower, I would lie on my bed and didn’t want to get up.”

“Filming against the weather happens very often. Wearing thin clothes in the winter and 6 layers in the summer. Ancient people have their specific manners. Postures must be stable. “Being stable” means more strength is used. Many cameos faint because of the heat. But professional artistes can’t. Even those delicate actresses whom seem can be blown away by the wind won’t. The underlying secret is staying focused and the wining over willpower.”

“Why people only see a few people in ancient plays? Firstly because they’re suitable in ancient looks. Secondly because they can suffer a lot more than normal people.”

Like any normal people Wallace doubts about life when he’s tired. He’ll ask himself why. He knows he doesn’t have to be working so hard. He still has other choices, “But that thought died out in a blink of eyes. Most of the times I only think about how to stay energetic. I sleep right away.”

Discuss rules but not rigid
Other than “Battle of Changsha” the most expected play of Wallace is “The Great Protector” in this year. “The Great Protector” has a dream team. Famous scriptwriter Zou Jingzhi as producer and “The Grand Master” scriptwriter Xu Haofeng wrote the script. Wallace is the male lead. His character Liu Anshun started a journey in the jianhu from the age of over twenty years which spammed over from the late Qing Dynasty to Early Republic of China.

Wallace believes this play is his milestone. “If “Battle of Changsha” is about heart acting like in a movie, “The Great Protector” is about practicing for real. I could practice my way of acting in that play. These two plays have a strong team. The directors gave me room to explore.”

“His life has ups and downs. I also have faced ups and downs in my acting career. I understood his persistence and struggles.  To play him at that current state was most appropriate.”

Producer Huo is about being gifted
Wallace also has added one more role recently– as producer Huo. bBoth rating and viewership are good. It’s Wallace’s first investment. With such a quasi-steady and resolute vision, Wallace said he didn’t know for sure at the beginning. The outcome is a unexpected surprise.

With his change of role he acted differently. He picked up trashes and moved stage properties. “If it’s just an investment I wouldn’t stay at the filming set so long. I also happened to be the male lead. I was there every day. Of course I hoped the operation run smoothly. I needed to care for a lot of stuff". He made the decision to use Tang Yan who once cooperated with him in “Chinese Paladin 3”. He invited the female lead. Tang Yan felt his progress – he’s more open and bright and also helped to coordinate. “Actually I didn’t do it on purpose. It’s like when you see other people’s kids you’ll say they’re lovely and want to touch their head. It’s like that. But to your own baby you wish to hold her in your arms forever.”

First investment, his mood isn’t disturbed
“People think I’m under a lot of pressure because of my first investment. But I feel relaxed. The bigger the matter the more I don’t concern about it. Be big and drive small is the best thing.” At the filming site he tried to make people happy. Many funny scenes weren’t predesigned. They were the outcomes of them playing at the scenes. Wallace said frankly that isn’t a drama with an in-depth theme. “It’s just that the society is sometimes depressed and I hope it will bring a bit of happiness to the audience.”

As long as it’s a girl
12 years on the roads, Wallace has had numerous pink news. But Wallace didn’t admit publicly that he has a girlfriend. So how is his love life?

The lovely side of Wallace is – even though he has been steeped in the showbiz for a long time, he still resists elaborate and lying. For someone who doesn’t talk sweet he sets a high standard for himself. Of course he knows this industry needs endless civility talks, he chooses not to talk instead.

What kind of a girl you want?
He spoke out without thinking: “Just a girl is fine.”
“So…. simple?”
“Must be someone I like.”
 “But who would find someone he doesn’t like?”
“Some people want to find someone who is good to him. I hope to find someone who I would give out more.” In Wallace’s heart a good relationship is about mutual understanding and think in other person’s shoe. “This is due to my career. An actor needs his partner to give him more freedom, understanding and trust and support him to do what he wants to do.”

Wallace doesn’t expose himself unless when it’s necessary to do promotions. In the showbiz it’s inevitable to ‘get hit with no course’. Wallace said he’s used to it. “It’s a lie if I say I don’t mind at all. I do mind. But you can’t avoid it. Unless you want to quit.”

He insists on not opening a Weibo. He also seldom uses Wechat – He describes himself as a boring man – “I love to stay at home. Watch TV, Chinese dramas, and study acting. Other things are to eat stuff and take a walk.” In the past he collected automatic watches and trainers. Now he has given up. No desires at a young age isn’t a good thing. But Wallace concerns more about freedom of mind.

“My interpretation of freedom is that you feel you’re alive. It sounds simple. But not too many people know they’re alive. To pursue something they forget about their own existences. Although I’ve a load of work I still find time to make myself feel that I’m alive. For instance when I need to go to work at 10am, I’ll wake up at 7am to climb the mountains, listen to music and watch things around me. I want to know that I’m alive.”

Not only staying alive but he also needs to face the real self. “Sometimes I allow myself to release my temper. Being unruly. Allow myself to feel hard to get along. People expect to see you always smiling if you are an actor. People want to take pictures with you. But what if I’m in a bad mood and I don’t want to work? I try to act directly instead of hiding my emotions in my heart. It’s like you must tolerate everything because you’re a public figure. Actually now I’m already tolerant and accommodate people more. I need an exit for my emotions.”

12 years of time actually haven’t brought many changes. He’s still straightforward and simple. What is the best change in him? “I started being confused, tried hard to convince myself, forced myself and finally l fell in love with my job.” Wallace believes that it’s happiness to find something one loves. Only love can move one’s will without caring about what returns.

Translated by tobeme and edited by yueniang


霍建华拒绝围观的男人
ELLE9月

他不开微博,不说场面话,一年难得抽几天宣传自己。 霍建华说,想了解我,看我的戏就够了,剩下的他要保留一点给自己, 在这个复杂喧嚣的世界里,尽力做个简单的人。 出道12年,这是霍建华对自己的最大要求和坚持。

在我们的拍摄现场,停着一辆价值百万的复古改装摩托车,走进影棚的霍建华,第一眼就看到了它,他轻轻抚摸着车身,握了握把手,眼神从兴奋慢慢变得若有所思……12年前,台北,他是刚出道的新人,工作日程被安排得像超人一样紧张,他骑着机车,自己辗转于片场之间,有一次实在太疲劳了,开着开着居然睡着了,差点发生意外。

经常,他凌晨两三点起床,因为四点要开始化妆,骑着机车,一路上总会遇到年轻人在享受着他们的夜生活,吃着宵夜,嬉闹着,他们的一天还未结束而他的一天已经开始,他想,为什么同样的年纪,他们可以玩乐而我却要这么忙?能用来说服自己的,只是一句不太肯定的“努力了就应该有收获吧”。

两年后,他终于逃离了这种生活,放下名声渐起的良好开端,转战大陆市场,和发小成立了自己的工作室。最主要的原因是,他不想在无限重复的偶像剧和程式化表演中废掉自己。那些从来没有说出口的“野心”在他之后的选择中,一步步显山露水。

霍建华从来不急于一时,对于“花男瓶”的称号,不辩解,不抗争,多少年来苦心磨一剑,用量变来积累质变,他更在主演戏本身。

这两年他的作品呈现一种大爆发的态势。有严肃的也有搞笑的,有虐心的也有欢乐的,有玉树临风的也有沧桑深沉的,他演得了古装偶像,也演得了年代正剧。“观众会慢慢看的我的可能性,但我一直觉得自己依然在路上,努力做到不重复自己,把每个角色都分清楚,虽然在演,但也要带上自己的思想和影子。”

霍建华最新的作品是登陆央视的抗战大剧《战长沙》,他饰演的顾清明是个投笔从戎的富家少爷,虽然拍摄时每天一身土,还要在炸点里跑来跑去,但谈到戏,他总是雀跃的,而谈到日常生活,他的语速就慢了下来。不拍戏的时候他非常“无聊”,在剧组反而如鱼得水。

“我喜欢热闹,在片场大家一起承受所有辛苦,拍戏是很累,有时也想拍完好好休息,但真的在家休息了,我又不知道要干嘛,是运动,还是散步?在家里呆着或者约朋友吃饭?选择太多就手足无措,日常生活让我有点慌张。”

古装剧是意志是胜利
霍建华曾在台湾创下了一年接拍7部戏的高强度记录,离开台湾后,他给自己定下了绝不轧戏的原则,但最近他破例了。

《女医明妃传》和《花千骨》相继开机,中间有一段时间他需要在两个剧组之间往返。不轧戏,是因为专业,也希望能享受拍戏的过程。但这两部戏实在难以割舍,《女医明妃传》的出品方与他熟识,加之与主演刘诗诗是老搭档,早就约好再合作,而《花千骨》则是影迷的众望所归。

对霍建华来说,演戏是件辛苦但好玩的事,苦到什么程度呢?他说:“光服装就叫人受不了。”

霍建华穿过最重的戏服是在《女医明妃传》里,超过30斤重的盔甲,不仅一穿一整天,还要吊这威亚,完成各种武打动作。天热时,这完全是酷刑,身体经过汗水的一遍遍洗刷后,收工时已然累极,根本不想卸妆洗澡。

有一阵子他回到房间都不允许自己坐下来,“如果不强迫自己马上洗澡,就会趴在床上,再也不想爬起来。”

“反季节的拍摄非常普遍,冬天穿着薄薄的单衣,夏天里三层外三层。而且古人要有古人的仪态,坐立起行都要四平八稳。‘端着’,意味要付出更多的体力,很多群众演员会中暑晕倒,但职业演员不会,哪怕再娇弱——那些看上去风一吹就倒的女演员也不会,这完全是专注和意志的胜利。”

“为什么大家看到演古装戏的演员来来回回都是那几个?一是他们适合古装扮相,二是他们绝对比一般人能吃苦。”

和普通人一样,累到不行的时候,霍建华也会怀疑人生,也会问自己这到底是为了什么。他知道自己不一定要这么辛苦,也可以有别的选择,“但那个念头只是一闪而过,大部分时间我只想着要保证每天的精神状态,要赶紧睡觉。”

很讲规矩但不死板
除了《战长沙》,霍建华今年最值得期待的作品是电视剧《镖门》。《镖门》堪称梦幻阵容,著名编剧邹静之监制,《一代宗师》的编剧徐皓峰执笔。霍建华任男一号,他饰演的镖师刘安顺从二十多岁开始行走江湖,徐徐展开了一副从清末到民国的武林长卷。

霍建华相信,这绝对是自己里程碑式的作品。“如果说《战长沙》更像电影,更走心的表演,那《镖门》就是一场真的实践,在戏里我可以实践自己想要的表演方法。这两个班底都实力雄厚,导演也给了很多发挥空间。”

“他一生波折,而我在演艺这个行业也遇到过高低起伏,我很能理解他内心的委屈和挣扎,在这个阶段我去演他,恰逢其时。”

霍出品靠天分
霍建华最近还多了一个身份——霍出品。口碑收视双丰收的古装言情轻喜剧《金玉良缘》是霍建华投资的第一个项目。这样稳狠准的眼光,霍建华坦言当初自己也未曾想到,一切皆是意料之外的惊喜。

身份的变化带来最显著的变化是,他开始在片场捡垃圾,搬道具。“如果只是投资我不会在片场呆那么久,可我又是男一号,每天在片场,当然希望它各方面都运转良好,要管很多事情。”曾在《仙剑奇侠传三》中合作过的唐嫣,是他拍板定下,并亲自去“搞定”的女主角。唐嫣最能感受霍建华的成长——变得开朗了,会帮忙协调很多事情。“其实我也不是刻意的,就好像你看到别人家孩子你会说’好可爱’,想去摸摸头,但也就仅此而已,可是对着自己的孩子,总会恨不得一直抱在手里。”

第一次投资,他的心情倒不忐忑。
“大家都觉得我第一次投资压力会很大,但越这样我越松弛,越大的事情越不要放在心上。举重若轻是最好的。”在拍摄现场他尽量让大家快乐。戏里许多搞笑的桥段都不是设计出来,而是边玩边拍出来的。霍建华直言,这并不是一个多有深度的一个戏,只是“社会有时候是很压抑的,我希望它能给观众多一点开心。”

女的就好
出道12年,有过各种版本的绯闻,但霍建华始终没有一个公开承认的女朋友,他的感情世界到底是怎么样的?

霍建华的可爱之处还在于——浸淫这个圈子好多年,他坚持不敷衍,不说谎。一个不愿意圆滑的人,内心深处是对自己极高的要求,他当然知道这是个需要无数场面话的行业,但他尽量选择不说。

到底想要一个怎么样的女朋友?
他脱口而出:“女的就好了。”
“这么……基础?”
“一定要我很喜欢。”可是谁又会找一个自己讨厌的人呢?“有些人可能要找对自己好的,我是希望找一个让我想要付出多一点的。”霍建华心目中,好的爱情就是“互相体谅,互相迁就,互相站在对方的立场。”这多半是出于职业的考虑,演员这份职业需要伴侣给予很多的空间去包容、信任,以及支持他去做他想做的事情。

不到宣传期基本不会抛头露面的霍建华,在娱乐至死的年代也免不了频频“躺枪”,他说自己习惯了。“说完全不在乎是假的,心里多少会介意,但是避免不了,除非你自己决定不干这一行。”

他坚持不开微博,也很少用微信——他把自己形容成一个无聊的男人——“我就是个宅男啊,在家看电视,就看国产剧,研究表演。再就是吃吃东西,出门散散步。”以往他还收集机械表和球鞋,现在都已经放弃。年纪轻轻就无欲无求可不太好,但霍建华更在乎精神自由。

“我理解的自由就是你感受到自己是活着的。听起来简单,但是并非每个人都知道自己是活着的,因为要追求某个目标,就忘记了自己的存在;我虽然工作量大,但一定会找时间让自己感受到,我是存在着的。譬如早上10点上班,我会7点出门,爬山,听音乐,看路边有什么,我要知道我自己是活着的。”

不仅活着,更要面对真实的自己,“有时候我允许自己发一些脾气,任性一点,允许自己不那么好相处,做了演员之后大家都要求你笑,谁见你都要合影签名,可也许我心情不好或者不想工作呢?我希望尽量直接的反应,而不是把情绪压在心里。好像因为你是公众人物就什么都要忍耐,其实我已经忍耐,迁就很多了,要给自己一个发泄的出口。”

12年的光阴,没带来太大的改变。他依然直接而简单,发生在他身上最好的改变?“我从茫然,努力说服自己,逼迫自己,到真的爱上这份工作。”霍建华坚信,找到所爱是幸福的,唯有热爱,才能不计回报,心甘情愿。

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