Aug 2012 A Low-Profile Wallace Huo - WallaceHuo (霍建华) - For International Fans

A Low-Profile Wallace Huo

TV Series

August 2012

There are certain people in this world who exude an intriguing temperament by nature, the more uncertaint they become, the more people want to explore out of curiosity. Wallace Huo is obviously such a special person. You can only look from a distance with the temptation to get more. Particularly stars are being over consumed in this kaleidoscopic show biz. Some people try to maintain their popularity by revealing themselves in all possible occasions every now and then, exposing themselves in entertainment shows, having great fun along the way, and gradually getting lost in their own words. But Wallace Huo is wide awake and he can see things thoroughly. He is a ‘geek’ in the eyes of other people; someone not belonging to the show biz. But using his own way of surviving, he has created a brilliant path, which is different from others. Even in an age where micro-blog has become a universal tool, he remains as a kind of person living in the ‘mountain top cave’ which is hard to be understood by other people. He lives a comfortable and free life as compared with others and let his characters speak for himself. He lives a life as he wishes switching freely from being a star, an actor and a common person naturally without any difficulties, showing his multifaceted nature inadvertently. He uses magic to play a legend, uses the real state of mind to play Wallace Huo, and uses the simplest way to regress to living a normal life. So Wallace’s charm comes from being hard to understand. You don’t need to understand him, just quietly appreciate the characters he portrayed. Such as what he said: “I’ve never treated myself being an entertainment person. Every project is work to me and I’ll try my best to execute it. When I am not filming I’m a normal and common person.”

Role: Being a star

Being himself in the ornate stage

The classic “Zhong Xiaogang” in At Dolphin Bay must be mentioned when Wallace Huo is mentioned. Now looking back, Wallace Huo is still grateful. He said “If there were no Zhong Xiaogang, there would be no present Wallace Huo. Zhong Xiaogang demanded a strong presence to me as a newcomer, I was under a lot of pressure. I prepared myself a pair of sunglasses, which was actually used to cover up my lack of confidence, but turned out to be a special feature (for the role). I remember there was a scene about a press event and I needed to speak many lines on my own. Because of that scene I especially spent money to attend classes. I learned from a drama teacher and the results were better than I’d expected. I spent many hours on that scene and I still can say those lines nowadays. They are in my heart.” I was sceptical, after all it has been a very long time and so I asked him to say a few lines. It turned out that Wallace said a whole segment of lines out loud without the need to stop and skip any words.

Wallace Huo at that time was considered lucky. As a newcomer he filmed 5 idol dramas in one year, this was about receiving good treatments and being popular which were most envy by other people. But he didn’t seem to like himself during that period. He said: “I had too many scripts on hand and I was unable to digest them. I could only arrive at the filming sites and did what the directors told me to do. I don’t like this feeling of being out of control of the characters I portray. But in retrospective, it is ok for a newcomer to experience that state. It allowed me to understand the situations of the filming environment.” To a youngster who was suddenly packed in a glamorous world, it is easy to be self-expanded under the temptation of the neon lights. But Wallace Hou at that time maintained an unusually conscious mind. He decided abruptly giving up the idol path being built for him by other people and finally chose to come to China to explore a new path.

Changing to a new environment is certainly hard to adjust. Wallace Huo gave up the popularity he had built up in Taiwan and started all over as a newcomer. He believes this is a good thing to him. Both mentality and knowledge have been uplifted, he feels more at ease in doing things different than before.

Role: Being an actor

Uses acting magic to conquer the world

His first drama in China was “Tian Xia Di Yi”, an ancient drama. Wallace said: “Guihai Yidao was easy to master. I definitely couldn’t manage if I portrayed Roger Kwok or Li Yapeng’s roles. Relatively I played a role with fewer lines and with sincere emotions. To a newcomer it was relatively easy, because of the fewer lines. I think this role was particularly well written. I met Zhong Xiaogang in Taiwan and met Guihai Yidao in Mainland China, two roles I’m particularly grateful. I remember when I was filming Tain Xia Di Yi, Li Yapeng’s leg was injured so some fighting scenes were giving to me instead. One time I couldn’t continue after filming halfway. The director let me off to have an intravenous drip. I came back to continue filming after sleeping for 1 to 2 hours. It was suffering but I don’t regret. Without those experiences there would be no me in present days.”

Being an actor is a bitter errand. A tired body is just an aspect. If a role with abuse emotion is encountered, it is often double tortured. Wallace has a famous quote “being an actor is looking for abuse”. I asked him his interpretation of this quote. Wallace’s reply: “Filming is really torturing and abusing to people.  And acting as a male lead for a Wuxia drama is even harder. In addition to maintaining a physical state, psychologically one must also have a good state of mind to face the people and bring up the morale of the entire crew. It is painful as well as enjoyable. Although being abused, that being abused brings happiness. This is quite contradictory. Nowadays after finishing a project I don’t think any more (of it) and go back to my own life. I stopped contacting the crew for a short while. For example, after finishing Swordsman, I stayed at home 3 days, 3 nights without talking. It’s fine after thinking through. But before I used to put myself in abnormal situations. Because I was new and inexperienced and  put my own emotions into it. Like when I filmed for “Love at First Fight” I was in a frantic state. I was being overly excited even after the wrap up. I couldn’t stop my emotions. Another example is Tain Xia Di Yi. One day 10 scenes about Guihai Yidao  becoming insane were arranged, after filming my hands were shaking after coming back to my room. I couldn’t retrieve from that state. And so later on I called my family and let them talk to me for a while and brought me back to reality.”

Without the treason of “exploring the world” in those days and remaining obediently acting as an idol -as designed by other people-, Wallace might have disappeared nowadays. Because of his long-term vision, as well as insightful into his career, his acting career can go a long way. He isn’t someone being crazily chased by fans but is a real competent actor using his life to create the characters. “Stars certainly must have charisma, with a very prominent personality to attract people. Actors only need to interpret his roles well with their own thinking. I don’t enjoy being a star. Don’t like noisy environment as well as l don’t process a charisma and personality to attract many people. I’m not someone who gets high by going up the stage. I’m more suitable for being an actor.” Wallace’s remarks have profiling himself thoroughly. The most unusual thing about him is being able to keep his head cool whether bestowed with favour or subjected to humiliation and attend to his own moral uplift. Not everyone can do that.

In a sense, actors and magicians are basically the same: using certain skills to appeal to the audiences to watch the occurrence of a miracle: profound, charming and mysterious. They appear friendly within certain distance yet it’s hard to see through their hearts. Wallace Huo is constantly performing ‘magic’ to give us surprises. His effortless handling skills presented us with magical characters, ever changing abruptly and unpredictably. You can never guess his breakthrough in the next second. It’s the so call one minute on-stage = ten years of efforts spent off-stage. We watch Wallace’s continuous wonderful acting on the small screen, but we can’t see the efforts he spent behind the scene. “Xin Ming Shi Ye” director Yuan Xiaoman once commented that Wallace likes to watch videos at home when not filming. Wallace said: “I liked to do research previously. I didn’t talk on the field. But now I talk more and have learnt how to relax. Trying not to be interweaved with something. Previously even with a mistake I made on acting, I couldn’t sleep at night. But now this is not happening. I don’t want to regret. I don’t want to hurt myself for being an actor. This is something I avoid. Now I’m more relieved and chat on the sets.”

Magicians require constant thinking. Self-confidence is built by projects after projects. Actors are the same. Wallace said he saw hope in a drama “Emerald on the Roof”. He said: “this drama made me become active. I could create some new plots. This was important to me. I suddenly knew how to act.”

Wallace’s many roles made people feeling devastated, who would have known the depressed prince could be so crazy when playing comedy. “Love at First Fight” Li Yashou’s totally new appearance was a big surprise to most people. Subsequently in the “Trouble of Insects” chapter in “Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei” his comedy cells were shown at their extreme. “At the beginning I really disliked this Trouble of Insects chapter. I didn’t know how to portray it when I received the script. Later on I watched a few scenes of Li Bo as played by Xiao Ben. His acting was exaggerated. A brainwave hit me. Why not playing along with him. A chapter I didn’t like at first turned out to be a chapter I liked the most. I remember the script just called him Mr Yun (cloud) without a full name. When I saw Xiao Ben I thought I should introduce myself. I said my last name is Yun (cloud), as Fu (floating) in Fu Yun (floating cloud). I purposely said it inaccurately (translator note: should be cloud as in floating cloud.) Later on I gave him a full name of Yun Shui Piao (cloud water flutter). Comedy is a lot of fun.” Wallace laughed excitedly.

After trying out a role with hardships in Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei, he later on challenged a completely different role with smoked makeup in Xin Ming Shi Ye. Wallace Huo has always been one who dares to try on different styles. I asked whether, because he is too handsome, what causes a distress to him, therefore, he particularly likes to have a break through. Wallace smiled and said: “l want to give the audiences a fresh image. Johnny Depp bought accessories for his characters. I’m learning from him. I believe style is important. Sometimes I could no longer do any new tricks from acting. But when a new style was out, a fresh idea also clicked in. The style in Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei gave me lots of help. Originally I didn’t know how to do it but after the role design was out, the idea clicked in.” Chatting until now, I suddenly remembered the ‘rumour’ about him paying out of his pockets to hire his own stylists for Xin Ming Shi Ye. So I verified this with him. Wallace said: “I hired stylists I trusted most to let them design for me. For instance, they designed the pirate costumes. The Reason for this is because I wanted to guarantee the success of this character and this series. If I wanted really delicate style, the crew couldn't afford it. I also don’t want the crew to spend extra money for me. So normally I make an agreement with them before accepting a series that I will take care of the design and don’t need them to bear the cost. The style will also be consistent with the theme of the series. I particularly believe that the style for an ancient drama is important. When the audiences watch a drama I believe a sense of reality is important, which attracts them to finish watching.” I could not resist asking: “ After spending so much money on styling, is there much left to earn?” Laughed out loud by Wallace: “Not necessary, my paycheck isn’t that low! For instance, the earring I bought for Xin Ming Shi Ye is cheap, only Rmb50 a pair.” From this he appears like someone who takes responsibility of the quality. I’m curious about his principle accepting a series. Wallace said: “Some projects are willing to spend money to engage me only because they want to use my name. I wont’ accept these projects. My standard of accepting a project is based on their needs of me. From my acting career there was one project I felt they didn’t really need me. I was at the wrong place. After that project I questioned myself. If they need me to accomplish something, I will certainly join in. For instance, When Tang Ren sincerely looked for me to join “Chinese Paladin 3”, they believed I was suitable for that role, which made me believed they needed me. Although I couldn’t understand the misty plots, I accepted it. At that time I didn’t even know how to portray Xu Zhangqing. Although up until these days I still don’t get a grip of the scripts, but I tried my very best during the filming process.” Wallace said with a smile.

Wallace recently accepted “Swordsman”. People wondered why he accepted this series. Wallace gave a simple answer that it was mainly because of “Linghu Chong”. He then explained in details: “Every male actor should like this character. I wanted to take a challenge. Also in my previous dramas they were all about me in love with a woman. But Swordsman is different. People around him were impressed because of Linghu Chong’s charms. I felt this was quite good. Why did I have to feel sorry myself for loving someone in every film I made? In this version of Linghu Chong his changes in the course are quite apparent. Everybody believes that Linghu Chong should be carefree and bohemian. I believe this is correct. But I divided Linghu Chong into sections. In the first half I acted like that. But after his master betrayed him plus his martial mother and martial sister left him, I believed he could no longer be positive. He couldn’t be bearish about these things. I didn’t want to play God. I believe Linghu Chong is a tragic figure. He should feel sad when he is sad. He has moments of hesitation.”

Of course, the most surprising is not about him taking on Swordsman, but his challenge of taking on the role of feminine toy boy Yang Lian Ting. Wallace said: “This adaptation has changed Yang Lian Ting. The change was made cleverly. He had the same face of Linghu Chong, which was why Dong Feng Bu Bai used him as a toy boy. But Dong Feng Bu Bai didn’t really get used to him because after all he was only a substitute. Yang Lian Ting is a complicated person. Really shrewd. But his screen time is short. I believe the audiences will have fun watching him. The original make-up for Yang Lian Ting was not so much. I asked the make-up stylist to make him a demon look with eyeliner and eye shadow. Gave a feeling of neutral sex. I quite enjoyed the process. Certainly some people may find such a change is too much. I agree as well. But from the angle of an actor this is enjoyable. I applied two ways in acting. Yang Lian Ting is a villain in this drama. It’s a good thing that (I) could apply different acting in a same drama.

Role: Being a common person

Using low profile to break loose of bondage

During a period in which only high-profile can make one standing out, every day new things happened making people dumbfounded. But once not filming, you can never find a trace of Wallace Huo. While other people still receive the pleasure of being glory after stepping down from the stages, he can break loose of the bondage being imposed on him for being an actor. Being obscured yet happily for being carefree. You will feel the distance between him and the show biz. You can rarely see him in major events. His fans often have to learn to remain calm. While the stars of other fan groups hold promotions after promotions, they freely follow their idol experiencing some moments of quietness. Such as what I saw before at one event, other fans were yelling their lungs out to support for their idols, Wallace’s fans were standing together watching and supporting him quietly. So as to speak, sometimes the glory on the surface is fragile bubble, but eternal force is well kept at heart. Certain kind of stars attract certain kind of fans. If one can endure deep loneliness, one can bear the glowing radiance. Apparently Wallace has been labeled as low-profile. Whenever his name is mentioned, the first description that comes to mind is this one. But Wallace said he doesn’t really try to be low-profile. He said: “I only want to maintain my work-life balance as much as possible. I don’t like to talk too much in front of the people. I only want the audiences to know I’m an actor. They can’t see me anywhere else but can see me on TV or theatre. I hope I can enjoy things that normal people do when I am not filming. I can live a normal life. At work, I’m Wallace Huo. I can show myself to you all. I can act whatever you like me to act. But privately I hope not to get too much attention.”

With Wallace’s remarks, I could not help thinking of an interview with Hu Ge not long ago. He said Director Zhang Li told him to minimize going to events so that the audiences can’t see the life he lives in in order to maintain a fresh image of being an actor. Isn’t this status what Wallace has maintained all along?  But Wallace said: “I’m not that great, I’m only lazy.” He smiled and continued: “I was acting when I was at work. I don’t want to force myself to say some social words in real life. I want to stay true to myself. Of course, for some meaningful activities I will still attend.  I am quite picky about this. Director Li meant only use the characters to speak out, I’m not up to that yet. But if I can do that in the future that’ll be great. This is what I’m trying to achieve. Such as Chen Daoming and Wang Zhiwen, I will make reference to them. Their philosophy is correct, putting acting at first.

Capricorn is cold at the outside but warm at the inside. Being in the show biz for so many years, Wallace Huo became acquainted with a lot of friends. The most interesting thing from his friends’ comments about him is he can remember what they like to eat. So every time they dine out he was responsible to make orders. So I asked him whether he is an observant (careful, considerate) person in real life? Wallace denied: “I am actually quite careless. I was responsible for making orders because they were too embarrassed to order.” Wallace laughed jokingly, then answered seriously: “But when filming I am observant. I will take care of the crew because they work hard. Privately I’m not that careful with friends and family relatively, after all they are staying in air-conditioned rooms. Sometimes when we film ancient dramas, some lady cast didn’t know whether they were needed (on that day). If none, I would ask them to go home to rest. In this area I’m sensitive. Some young artistes don’t know. I’m a big brother. Especially for ladies, I need to take care of them.” Although he has many friends, Wallace revealed he also prefers to be alone. He said: “Because of my work. I used to like being in big crowds. But I lived with a big group at work. There were lots of noises in the process. When encountered with directors who like to shout, it’s so noisy as in a food market. There is no need to speak so loud. Why roaring? People don’t understand if speaking normally? I especially don’t like these situations, but can’t escape. As such, I like to live a quiet life. It’s the best for being alone.”

Wallace has set up a studio lately. I said Capricorns are good at planning, but he modestly said: “I don’t have planning at all. I just do thing when it’s appropriate to do. My colleagues make the plans. They only need to tell me what they’ve done. I believe life cannot be planed. Like the studio, it is only more constructive in the recent two-year.  I hope to have a studio, with colleagues coming in. Previously we were only me and my manager, two persons. There were many things we couldn't do due to limited manpower. Now I hope to have more professional people who can help me. This is better for me. I don’t need to sign with a company to live up with their expectations. Likewise, other companies may not dare to sign me. If they do something against my will, I will give them bad face. It is more secure to own a studio. Some other people already told me my emotions are shown on my face. l said I’m an emotional person. I think so. Sometimes I was talking happily but the next moment I didn’t want to talk at all. It could be due to some situations at the site, which made me upset. Back to the studio, everything is still in the refining process. We have plans. Once a plan is fixed we will let you all know. Also there's a thought of producing my own TV series. Because sometimes when filming for other people’s series, there are things that can’t be controlled.” At the end of the interview, I asked him what merit has he still kept at present days as compared to when he was a newcomer. After a deep thought, Wallace replied: “My state of mind. Not because I’m now a male lead I have changed my attitudes. I actually treasure it more and want to do more. When filming Swordsman, one day it was 40 degree Celsius. Sunny day. That day we filmed a big group. I was the first one standing under the sun waiting for the cast. I forced myself to do that. This is about attitudes. Because I portrayed Linghu Chong and everyone was looking up at me. I must lead by example.” So as to speak, from beginning to present, from Taiwan to Mainland China filming sets, he still has remained as the familiar Wallace Huo. He is the same old him, he has never changed.

Q&A

TV Series: As compared between the current Wallace Huo and Zhong Xiaogang, who is more handsome?

Wallace: Zhong Xiaogang is more handsome on the face, but Wallace Huo is more handsome at heart (laughs).

TV Series: What is the most ideal happiness?

Wallace: I accept a play when I want to accept it. I don’t need to look at other people faces when I refuse (laughs).

TV Series: What do you fear most?

Wallace: I am afraid of getting old (laughs).

TV Series: What is your biggest merit?

Wallace: I’m easy going. Not forcing anything. (disadvantages?) Too many disadvantages (big laughs).

TV Series: If you meet the robot cat and you can ask for one thing from it, what is it?

Wallace:  l want to have Jingxiang, Daxiong’s girlfriend (translator note: doraemon character. The robot cat belongs to Daxiong, which knows magic and can fulfill Daxiong’s wishes). I don’t know why I came up with this answer (laughs).

TV Series: What challenging role do you want to take at the moment?

Wallace: I still haven’t encountered a villain role. I believe I play a villain better than a good guy (big laughs).

TV Series: What kind of roles you definitely won’t take?

Wallace: One that requires dancing. I don’t know anything about dancing. I will go mad for taking up such a role (big laughs).

TV Series: What you must not miss?

Wallace: Music. I listen to music when I get up in the morning. I listen to music on the way to the filming sites. I also listen to music when I don’t need to film. Music calms me down. Can take me to another world.

TV Series: Is singing still your dream?

Wallace: Not a dream presently. It’s an interest (instead). If there is a suitable song in a drama I will still sing it.

TV Series: What romance in TV series  you yearn the most?

Wallace: All too dramatic. I hope I have a normal love life. A simple one.

Interviewer’s notes

I still profoundly remember my first interview with Hua ge because of Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei. On December 31, 2010, 7pmish in the evening, our phones were connected. The reason why it is so memorable, other than it was New Year’s Eve, is that it was the most successful phone interview I ever had. Frankly speaking, I was quite nervous prior to the interview because more than once my media colleagues told me Hua ge didn’t talk much. So before the interview I prepared an agenda with questions more than double as compared to my other agendas. But after the phone was connected it was only to find out I was wrong. He was actually quite talkative. Besides, during the entire interview his cheerful laughter rendered joyfully, which was quite suitable for the New Year’s Eve atmosphere. I had a feeling that chatting with him could make my troubles disappear.

For this studio shoot interview Hua ge arrived 20 minutes earlier than the agreed time. Because he still hadn’t eaten at noon, an ordinary lunchbox was bought from the convenience store downstairs. Although there were staff at the studio, he handled things himself. After arriving at the studio, he started to eat while putting on make-up. Spotting our colleagues he asked with enthusiastic: “Have you had lunch yet?” Before everyone could reply, he suddenly interjected: “Can’t help if you haven’t eaten as I only have one lunchbox.” Hua ge’s cold humor amused the people at the studio and everyone laughed.

Wallace Huo was cooperative during the shooting. He didn’t refuse being bundled up as part of our plan. Although it was hard he was dedicated. The entire interview also fell into my expectations. It was still the same talkative with a laughter like spring breeze. Worth mentioning, this time he treated the studio shooting as if a character in a drama. He spent money to hire his own stylists. Our colleagues couldn’t help but sigh: “It's so domineering!” (translator note: in this context it means someone has a strong presence as the original Chinese word Baqi 霸气 (domineering) isn't necessary a negative word).


霍建华:华·力の低调

《电视剧》2012年8月下

(总第284期)

这世上有一种人,天生散发着一种耐人寻味的气质,愈是若即若离,就愈是让人产生一种一探究竟的好奇心,霍建华显然就是这样的特别存在,只可远观,余韵绕梁。尤其是是在光怪陆离的娱乐圈,明星被大众过度消费,有些人为了维持人气,想方设法将自己的那些事隔三差五摊开来给大家看,在赤裸裸的秀场里玩得乐此不疲,却渐渐地迷失了自我。而霍建华则将这一切看得很通透,独自清醒,他是大家眼中的“怪人”,根本不似娱乐圈中人,却以自己的一套生存方式,与众不同地创造最灿烂的一笔。哪怕是在全民微博爱秀的年代,他甘之如饴地做别人看不懂的“山顶洞人”,活得比谁都要潇洒、自在,用角色说话,然后过自己想要的生活,在明星、演员与凡人这三个角色中自由切换,毫无难度,不经意间,立体地呈现着他的多面性。他用表演的魔力上演着一段段传奇,用最真实的心态做霍建华自己,再用最简单的方式回归平淡。所以说,霍建华的魅力在于他的难懂,你不需要去读懂他,默默欣赏他的角色就好,也许正如他自己所说:“我从来都不把自己当做娱乐圈的人,每一部戏对我来说都是工作,认真地把它做好就行了。我不拍戏的时候就是一个很正常、很平凡的人。”

身份:明星

在华丽的舞台,独善其身

提到霍建华,就不得不提《海豚湾恋人》里经典的“钟晓刚”,现在回过头来看这个角色,霍建华仍心存感激。他说:“如果没有钟晓刚,也许就没有现在的霍建华。钟晓刚要很有气场,但是我作为新人哪有气场可言,所以当时压力很大,我就自己准备一副墨镜,实际上是想用来掩饰不自信,结果后来反而变成一种特色了。我记得有一场发布会的戏,我一个人要讲很多台词。因为那场戏我自己专门花钱去上了课,去话剧老师那里排练,出来的效果比我原来预想的好。那场戏确实花了我不少时间,对白我到现在还能背出来,已经熟到不行了。”我将信将疑,毕竟过了那么久,于是提议他说两句,结果哪知霍建华像说绕口令一样噼里啪啦一字不漏中途也不喘气就把那大段的台词背了出来。

那时候的霍建华,可以说是幸运的,作为新人的他一年接了五部偶像剧,这是别人羡慕不来的待遇与人气,可是他却好像并不喜欢那个时候的自己。他说:“那时候我无法消化剧本,接戏太密了,只能到现场,导演说什么我就照着做而已,我不喜欢这种无法掌控自己演的角色的感觉。但是回想起来,对于新人来说经理这样一个阶段也是OK的,首先能让自己了解拍戏的环境大概是怎样的。”对于一下子挤进华丽世界的年轻人来说,很容易因为五光十色的诱惑而自我膨胀,但那个时候的霍建华却始终保持着一颗异常清醒的心,他决然放弃了别人给他打造的人气偶像之路,最终选择到中国内地市场闯一番。

初初换了一个新的环境,肯定有不适应的地方,霍建华放弃了自己在中国台湾已经积累起来的人气,以新人的姿态重新出发,他觉得这对于自己而言是一件好事,心态与认知也因此有了新的提升,做事变得比以前更踏实了。

身份:演员

用表演的魔力征服世界

他参演的第一部中国内地剧是古装题材的《天下第一》,霍建华说:“归海一刀是剧中我比较能掌握的一个,如果那时候让我演郭晋安或者李亚鹏的角色我肯定演不了,所以相对来说让我演了一个对白比较少,情感却是很真挚的角色,对于新人来讲是挺简单的,因为对白比较少。我觉得这个角色写得特别好,我在中国台湾遇到了钟晓刚,在内地遇到了归海一刀,都是我特别感激的角色。我记得拍《天下第一》的时候,李亚鹏的腿受伤了,所以要把一些打戏加给我,是蛮辛苦的,有一次我拍到一半就不行了,导演放我去打吊瓶,我去睡了一、两个小时后回来继续拍,很痛苦,但我不会后悔,因为没有这些过程就没有现在的我。”

做演员是一个苦差事,身体上的疲累只不过是一个方面,倘若遇到一个虐心的角色,往往是双重的折磨,霍建华曾经有一句名言就很经典,说的是“当演员就是要找虐”,我问他这句话如何理解,霍建华答道:“拍戏本来就是一件很折磨人、虐待人的事情,如果是做一部武侠剧的男主角更煎熬,除了体力上的状态要保持之外,还有心理的问题,因为必须保持一个很好的心态去面对大家,要把整个剧组的士气带起来,享受也痛苦,虽然被虐待,但还是要被虐待得很快乐,这个还挺矛盾的。我现在拍完一部戏之后什么都不去想,投入到自己的生活里面,一阵子不会跟这个剧组的人联络,比如我刚拍完《笑傲江湖》,我呆在家里三天不出门也不讲话,想通了就好了。但是我以前就会把自己弄得很不正常,因为是新人没有经验,把自己所有的情感都放进去了,像拍《武十郎》的时候我是癫狂的状态,导致杀青以后还一直亢奋,情绪怎么也收不回来。再比如拍《天下第一》,有一天统筹安排了十场戏都讲归海一刀是发狂的,拍完之后我回到房间里手都是发抖的,抽离不了当时那个状态,后来只能给家人打电话,让他们陪我说一会儿话,把我拉回现实。”

如果当年没有“闯世界”的“叛逆”,乖乖做别人打造出来的偶像,也许现在的霍建华已经销声匿迹了,正是因为他的长远目光,以及对事业看得通透,所以才让霍建华的演艺之路走得更长久,他并不是被粉丝疯狂追逐的明星,而是一个真真正正用生命在创造角色的实力派演员,“明星肯定得有个人魅力,有很突出的性格来吸引大家,演员只要把自己的角色诠释好,有自己的想法就行了。我不享受当明星的感觉,不喜欢热闹,而且也没有多大的人格魅力去吸引很多人,我不属于一上台就很HIGH的人,还是做演员比较适合我。”霍建华的一番话,将自己剖析得很彻底,最难得的是能够在纷纷扰扰的繁华背景下宠辱不惊、独善其身,不是每个人都能做到的。

从某种意义上来说,演员和魔术师都是一样的,都是用一定的技巧让观众去欣赏奇迹的发生,深邃、魅惑而又神秘,在一定的距离内让人感觉到亲切,单又好像永远看不透他的心。而霍建华就正在用表演的“魔力”不断地给大家带来惊喜,他以挥洒自如的操控力将一个个充满神奇的角色呈现在大家面前,变幻莫测,你永远不会猜到下一秒他又会有怎样的突破。正所谓台上一分钟,台下十年功,看霍建华在小荧屏上不断上演精彩,但他背后的付出又是大家见不到的一面,这是一个善于思考的演员,《刑名师爷》的导演袁晓满曾说霍建华下了戏就喜欢躲在屋里看碟,霍建华说:“我以前会特别钻研,在现场都不讲话的,但现在话比较多了,学会放松,让自己不去纠结一些事情,以前因为演错一个反应,回去之后都没办法睡觉,但现在不会了。我不要后悔,我不想因为做演员把自己搞得很痛苦,这是我很忌讳的。我现在很会释放,在片场也会聊天。”

做魔术师要不断思考,要借助一个个作品给自己自信,演员亦然,霍建华说让他看到希望的一部戏是《屋顶上的绿宝石》,他说:“这部剧让我开始活跃了,自己可以创造一些新的桥段,对我来说是蛮重要的,突然就懂了演戏。”

霍建华的很多角色都虐得人死去活来,谁会想到这样的“忧郁王子”玩起喜剧来又可以癫得那么疯狂,《武十郎》里的李亚寿是霍建华让人大感意外的一次全新亮相,而后他又在《怪侠一枝梅》中《虫之患》单元将自己身上的喜剧细胞发挥到极致,“《虫之患》一开始是我非常不喜欢的单元,拿到剧本都不知道怎么演,后来在现场看演萧本的李博拍了几个镜头,他演得很嚣张,我灵机一动,干脆我跟他一起玩好了。反而我最不喜欢的一个单元后来变成我最喜欢的了。我记得剧本设定我叫云公子,但是没有确切的名字,我想第一次见到萧本总得跟他介绍一下,我说我姓云,浮云的浮,是我故意说错的,后来我给他取了个名字叫云水飘。喜剧很好玩,碰到好的对手会很有火花。”霍建华兴奋地笑了起来。

在《怪侠一枝梅》里尝试了沧桑的造型,随后又在《刑名师爷》里挑战了更加颠覆的烟熏妆,霍建华从来都是一个敢于在造型上尝试的男演员,我问他是不是因为自己长得太帅的缘故造成了困扰,特别想要去突破,霍建华笑了笑,他说:“想给观众一点新鲜感,像国外的演员约翰尼德普,他会为了角色买配饰,我也在向他学习。我觉得造型很重要,可能有时候在表演上已经玩不出什么花样,但造型一变,一个新鲜的感觉就出来了。《怪侠一枝梅》的造型就给了我很大的帮助,本来我没想到怎么演,做完造型之后,感觉立马就来了。”聊到这里,突然想起了一个“江湖传闻”,据说拍《刑名师爷》的时候,霍建华自掏腰包请了造型师,于是向他求证,霍建华说:“我请了自己比较相信的造型师,让他们帮我定妆,比如说海盗装就是他们帮我设计的。之所以这么做,是因为我想保证这个角色,保证这部戏,如果想要角色的造型很精致的话,剧组是花不起这个钱的,我也不会要求剧组为我花这个钱。所以接演之前我都会跟他们沟通好,造型方面我自己包了,不需要他们付钱,而且会跟剧集整体风格保持一致。我觉得尤其古装戏的造型,是非常重要的,观众看电视剧的时候,第一眼觉得有质感,那么会吸引他们追下去。”我不禁地问:“在造型上花费那么多,拍一部戏下来岂不是赚不到钱?”霍建华大笑道:“那倒不至于,我片酬没那么低吧!而且像我为《刑名师爷》买的耳环,很便宜的,才五十块一对。”由此看来,他是一个对自己作品很负责的人,于是开始好奇他接戏的原则,霍建华说:“有一些戏愿意花钱请我,如果只是需要用到我的名,这种我就不会考虑。我接戏的标准是希望别人是需要我的,我的演艺生涯里拍过一部戏,让我感觉到他们不需要我,我来错了地方,那部戏之后我有很多反省。如果觉得我来才能完成这件事,那我一定来。像《仙剑奇侠传三》,当时唐人很有诚意的来找我,他们觉得我演那个角色很合适,让我感觉到是需要我的,所以即使我不是很理解那么飘渺的剧情,还是接了,当时也没有想过该怎样去演徐长卿,虽然剧本我到现在都不是很明白,但过程中我还是蛮尽力去演的。”霍建华笑道。

霍建华近日接了《笑傲江湖》,所有人都很好奇他为什么会接这部剧,霍建华的回答很简单,说完全是冲着“令狐冲”这三个字。他接着补充道:“这应该是所有男演员都会喜欢的角色,我想挑战一下。而且以前演的戏都是我单恋一个很久,而《笑傲江湖》不一样,所有人因为令狐冲的个人魅力被他折服了,我觉得这种感觉蛮好的,我为什么每次演戏都要去喜欢别人那么难受呢?我这个版本的令狐冲,起承转合会很明显,可能所有人都觉得令狐冲要潇洒、要放荡不羁,我觉得这个是没错的,但我会把令狐冲分一个段落,前半段我会这么做,到后来他遇到师傅背叛他了,师娘和小师妹离开他了,我觉得他再怎么豁达,都不可能完全看淡这些事情。我不想演一个神,我觉得令狐冲是一个蛮悲剧的人物,该难过就得难过,他也有很犹豫的时候。”

当然,最让人惊讶的不是他接演了《笑傲江湖》这部剧,而是霍建华在剧中还要挑战阴柔的男宠,霍建华说:“这一版吧杨莲亭改编了,改得挺巧妙的,有着跟令狐冲一模一样的脸,所以东方不败才会把他收为男宠,但是东方不败还是很看不惯他,因为他毕竟只是一个替代品。杨莲亭是很复杂的一个人,城府很深,但他戏份不多,我觉得观众看到之后会觉得挺好玩的,杨莲亭的妆一开始也没那么过分,是我让造型师把我化得很妖,加了眼线、眼影,很中性的感觉,我挺享受这个过程的。肯定有人觉得这么改很雷,我自己也承认,但站在演员的角度却觉得是很过瘾的,因为是两个很极端的人物,我用了两种演法,杨莲亭可以说是这部剧里的反派,能在一部剧里展现几种演技给观众看是好事。”

身份:凡人

以低调的心态挣脱束缚

在这个只有高调才能博出位的年代,每天都会发生各种让人瞠目结舌的新鲜事,但下了戏之后的霍建华,你却永远都无法寻到他的踪影。别人荣耀加身,走下华丽的舞台仍然享受人气带来的快感,他却能够挣脱演员这个职业带给他的束缚,默默无“闻”,乐得逍遥。你会感觉到他与娱乐圈的疏离,很少在各大活动上看到他的出现,而作为他的粉丝也往往要学会淡定,在别家明星铺天盖地的宣传一浪高过一浪的时候,他们却跟着自己的偶像自由自在,体验难得的宁静。就好像我曾亲眼所见,在某剧宣传的现场,别家粉丝喊得声嘶力竭,而霍建华的粉丝却团结地站在一起,默默地关注他,默默地给他打气、加油。所以说,有时候表面的繁荣也许只不过是易碎的泡沫,而永恒的力量却一直存于心中。有什么样的明星,就有什么样的粉丝,耐得住多深的寂寞,就经得起多灿的光芒。很显然,霍建华已经与“低调”画上了等号,但凡提起他的名字,大家想到的第一个形容词就是如此。但是霍建华却表示自己没有刻意去低调,他说:“我只希望自己的工作和生活尽量分得开一点,我不喜欢在大众面前说那么多话,我想让观众知道我是一个演员,在别的地方不可能看到我,只能在电视剧或电影里看到我。我希望不拍戏的时候可以去享受一般人做的事情,可以很正常地去生活。工作上,我是霍建华,我可以摊开来给大家看,要求我演什么我就去演,但是私下我不希望得到那么多关注。”

霍建华的一番话,让我不由的想起不久之前采访胡歌,他曾说张黎导演就教导他尽量少参加一些活动,让观众永远都看不到生活中的他,只有这样才能保持演员的新鲜感。这不正是霍建华一直保持的状态嘛!霍建华却说:“我没那么伟大,我只是懒。”他笑了笑,继续道:“工作的时候我已经在演戏了,生活中我不想再被迫讲一些场面话,我想稍微自我一点。当然,一些有意义的活动,我还是会参加的,会比较挑一点。张黎导演的意思是只用角色说话,我还没那么厉害,当然如果将来以后能做到更好,这也是我自己追求的,像陈道明老师、王志文老师都是,我会参考他们的做法,他们的理念很对,把戏放在第一位。”

摩羯座的人都是外冷内热的,在娱乐圈闯荡了这么多年,霍建华也结识了不少的朋友,看到他的朋友对他最有意思的评价是,他总记得大家喜欢吃什么,所以每次聚餐都是他负责点菜,于是我问他生活中一定是一个很细心的人吧?霍建华否认:“我其实蛮粗心的,我负责点菜是因为他们害羞,不好意思点。”霍建华先是玩笑式的大笑,接着又认真地回答道:“但是,拍戏的时候,我还是很细心的,我会照顾工作人员,因为他们很辛苦,私底下我对家人、朋友就没有那么细心,毕竟他们还可以吹空调。有时候我们拍古装戏,有些女演员不知道这场戏有没有她,如果没有,我都会告诉她让她回去休息。这方面我是很敏锐的,有些年轻的演员不知道,大哥哥嘛,尤其是女生,一定要照顾一下。”尽管朋友不少,但霍建华也透露说自己喜欢独处,他说:“也是因为工作的关系,以前我很喜欢热闹,但拍戏时群体生活,过程中有太多杂七杂八的声音,遇到有些导演喊来喊去,吵得跟菜市场一样,我觉得有事情讲出来就好,不用那么大声,用吼干嘛呢?正常说话,别人就听不懂吗?我特别不喜欢这种状况,但是我逃避不了。所以,生活中我就喜欢安静,一个人的时候是最好的。”

霍建华最近成立了自己的工作室,我说摩羯座的人都很有计划,他却谦虚地称:“我这个人一点计划都没有,只是合适的事情我就去做,计划都是我同事做的,他们告诉我做什么就好了,我觉得人生是不可以计划的。像工作室,直到最近两年才把它给具体化了,希望有办公室,有同事进来。以前只有我跟经纪人两个人,很多事情做不了,毕竟人手有限,现在希望有更多专业人才可以帮助我。对我来说比较好,不用签公司看人家脸色,而且别的公司可能也不敢签我,万一他们做的不是我想要的,我的脸色会很难看,还是自己有工作室会安稳一点。已经有人跟我说我是一个喜怒都写在脸上的人,我以前觉得自己是一个很会隐藏的人,但现在才发现不是。我也不记得是谁跟我说的,说我是一个很情绪化的人,我现在也这么认为,比如说我有时候说说笑笑,下一秒突然就一句话也不说了,可能是因为片场的一些状况,搞得我心烦了。说回工作室,现在一切都挺完善的,一直都有计划,等计划成形了就会跟大家说。也有想过自己制作电视剧,因为有时候拍别人的戏,有的东西没办法掌握。”采访的最后,我问他现在的自己跟刚入行相比,有哪些优点还在保持,霍建华仔细想了想,然后答道:“我的心态,不会因为我坐上男主角了,就改变态度,反而更珍惜,要做得更多一点,像拍《笑傲江湖》的时候,有一天四十多度,大太阳天,那天拍的是一场群戏,我会第一个站在太阳底下等群众演员,我要强迫自己做到,这是态度问题,因为我演令狐冲,大家都在看我,要以身作则。”原来,从开始到现在,从中国台湾到内地片场,他始终还是那个大家所熟悉的霍建华,他就是他,从未改变。

霍然奇想Q&A

电视剧:您觉得现在的霍建华何钟晓刚时期相比,哪个更帅?

霍建华:钟晓刚的外貌帅一点,但是霍建华的个性比较帅(笑)。

电视剧:最理想的快乐是什么?

霍建华:想接戏就接戏,不想接也不用看别人的脸色(笑)。

电视剧:最害怕什么?

霍建华:我很害怕自己老(笑)。

电视剧:你觉得自己最大的优点是?

霍建华:我很随缘,不会去强求什么。(缺点呢?)缺点太多了(大笑)。

电视剧:如果遇到机器猫可以跟它要一样东西,你会要?

霍建华:想跟它要静香,大雄的女朋友,我也不知为什么会想到这个答案(笑)。

电视剧:目前最想挑战的角色是?

霍建华:我还没有遇到反派角色,我觉得自己演反派会比正派好太多(大笑)。

电视剧:什么样的角色是你一定不会尝试的?

霍建华:要跳舞的,我完全不懂跳舞,这样的角色会让我疯掉的(大笑)。

电视剧:什么东西是你一定不能缺少的?

霍建华:音乐,我早晨起来要听音乐,到片场的路上要听音乐,如果这场戏没我也会听音乐,音乐可以让我平静,可以带我进到另外一个世界去。

电视剧:唱歌现在还是你的梦想吗?

霍建华:现在不是梦想,是兴趣。如果有合适的戏里面的歌我还是会唱的。

电视剧:电视剧里的哪段爱情是你比较向往的?

霍建华:都太戏剧化了,我希望自己的爱情尽量平淡、简单一些。

采访手记

至今还深刻地记得,第一次采访华哥是因为《怪侠一枝梅》,2010年12月31日,晚上七点多接通了电话。之所以难忘,除了因为那天是跨年之外,还因为我现在都觉得那是我做得最成功的一次电话采访。老实说,采访之前我挺紧张,因为之前已经不仅一次听到媒体同行说华哥话不多这个特点,于是在采访之前我准备了比以往提纲多一倍的问题,结果电话接通开聊之后,才发现,我错了,原来他就是一个大话痨,而且整个采访中更是被他时不时的爽朗大笑渲染得十分喜悦,还真是符合跨年的气氛,让我产生“跟他聊一聊,什么烦恼都烟消云散了”的想法。

这一次约棚拍专访,华哥比约定的时间要早二十分钟到场,因为中午还没吃饭,于是在影棚楼下的便利店里买了个很普通的盒饭,即使身边有工作人员在场,但他却亲力亲为。到了影棚之后,他开始一边吃饭一边化妆,看到我的同事,先是热情的问了一句“你们都吃午饭了吗?”在大家还没来得及回答的时候,他却突然又插话说:“没吃饭也没办法,我这里就一盒。”华哥的冷幽默逗得现场所有人哈哈大笑。

正式拍摄的时候,霍建华一直很配合,有一套捆绑的方案,华哥也来者不拒,虽然很辛苦,但仍然非常敬业。而采访的过程更是如我所料,仍然是话痨加如沐春风的大笑风格。值得一提的是,华哥这一次将他对待角色造型的态度用到了棚拍上,仍然是自掏腰包邀请了化妆造型师,让我周围的同事都不禁感叹:“真是太霸气了!”

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