Wallace Huo – Can Start All Over at Any Time
Elle, Sept 2012, Issue 17th
Make-up/Stylist: Xu Jian Hua (徐建华) Author: Yan Ni (彦妮)
I saw Wallace arriving on time at the entrance of the bar where the shooting would take place. Standing in the shadow of the light, wearing sunglasses, hair a bit long, holding a bottle of yogurt and sandwich, he politely nodded and said hello to the working staff. He seems that type of people naturally saying fewer words.
The staff members were busy around him when the shooting started: putting on makeup, setting hair, adjusting lighting effect, shooting, seeing the results, fixing clothes again, more shooting…..His smile was warm and sunshine after the shooting was done and changed back his clothes. Pushing a plate of fruits in front of me: “If you have any questions, do ask!”.
The freedom from being slow down
Wallace has just finished filming Yu Zheng’s version of “Swordsman” as Linghu Chong. Originally he could play him as a “simple” character as just being chic, unruly, cheerful, and easy going. But Wallace questioned himself could Linghu Chong be depressed? Be complicated? He hoped the Linghu Chong being portrayed by him is not that carefree, not that “Xiao Ao Jian Wu” (translator note: something means wander the living world with carefree). “Only after experienced so many things, it’s a completed makeover. It’s about living a life”. With the ability to put his own perception in the process of performing the character and be able to recreate, it is about a transition of achieving from being a pop start turning into an actor.
Presuming you were now 28 years old and 10 years ago you were in Taiwan. Every day when you turned on the TV, with a remote control randomly changing channels, you would definitely see Wallace’s handsome face. If he wasn’t bitterly in love with a girl, a girl was bitterly in love with him. His work was to satisfy people’s fantasy of the world of love. Those love stories are similar to those soap bubbles under the sun, gorgeous and colorful but fragile and light. In the environment of that kind of dramas with a simple theme, he could only rely on his handsomeness and charm and eventually being overly consumed.
In 2002, from the moment he took up “Star”, he got out of hand. He woke up at 6am and worked until 2 to 3pm every day. Every day it was the same routine. He maintained nearly a year in such a gyroscope-like rhythm. In that year he filmed 6 dramas. This is a record until today no one can break. However, with the turning on a TV you could see his face didn’t make him feel complacent, on the contrary, he felt scare. “You were overly exposed. No chance to go out. Every day was about work. It wasn’t one drama, lots of dramas.” Fatigue and pressure were just the icebergs floating on the water. The real problem was he was lost.
At 25, to regain control of his life, he walked away with courage and dashing spirit, leaving behind his unwanted life. He began a “secure” adventure – brought his manager from Taiwan, established a personal studio, and concentrated his development in the Mainland China. Prior to this he only filmed “Hands in the Hair” and “Tain Xiao Di Yi” in China. Everything was new, had to adapt to the situations, needed to adjust to the practices of the two shores (translator note: Taiwan and Mainland China). “My state of mind was simple. I treated myself as a newcomer. I treated that moment as a starting point. “
This “starting point” is talking about 5 to 6 years times. He has learned mindfully, removing gradually the routines and habits of the original idol stereotype from his body and transforming into a new self. “I knew this was an extreme way to go. Before leaving Taiwan, I told my mom this time I leave (Taiwan); whether 1 year, 1 decade or 2 decades, I have already prepared to spend times to cultivate. Even fighting a long war is no problem!”
I can call out all the crew members’ names
He doesn't carry any sign of entertainment. Strong will at heart and no trace of false from his mouth. Other than his works, you almost can hardly see him at various places with fame and famous. One thing nice about him is that he doesn't try to build the illusion of a star. He hasn’t set a label for himself, no cover up. He manager said: “Write whatever you have seen in Wallace”. He doesn’t need a label to cover himself. He doesn’t really mind what people say about him, be it praise or lament. Wallace just looks for one thing. He is an actor. He uses his projects and roles to speak.
There were a group of artistes at the “Swordsman” filming site. Other than certain key artistes, there were about 50 to 60 extras lazily scattered at the side. Under heat waves of 40 degree Celsius, Wallace was the first one standing under the sun waiting for filming (standing in his position waiting for other people to take their places and the camera to roll). He didn’t require an assistant to hold an umbrella. “I want to set an example to let other people know timing is important. The male lead is here. Just want to get people to focus a bit more and improve efficiency. But I’m not pushy. I don’t mind if people don’t respond. This is what I require from myself. This requirement is strange.” With all these years no matter what projects, whether as a male no. 1, male no. 2 or male no. 3, he’s the same. He has been persistent for many years. Similar “self requirements” include, first one arriving at the set and last one leaving the set. He is always the first one standing up and going to his position. The most amazing thing is that he can call out the names of all crew members, including crew members in every project.
“Now I don’t take on plays within a short interval. I would anticipate a break after each play. Rest and live a normal life. Dinning and drinking out with friends. Acting is a matter of feeling. How could it be mechanically repetitive?” Good actor requires growing slowly. Today is far from his most fruitful harvest. He is still cultivating with hard work. “I think this work is something which makes me to live on. Without it, I’m nothing. My wealth, my reputation, and all my properties become emptiness.” When not filming, he likes to drive to the outer city. Being alone with the driving wheel in his hands, the car won’t say no to him. No needs to please anyone. No plan. No needs to report to anyone. This “loneliness” is something he was searching for in his olds days crossing thousand miles. Until today, it has become a habit, planting in his body.