Here we have another interview that Wang Kai did near the end of 2015. This is only the Wang Kai cut, and sadly we don’t have access to sub the whole interview with Jin Dong’s parts. This is a really great interview highlighting some of the struggles of Wang Kai’s career and also some of the triumphs. Enjoy!
Click on “cc” to watch with English subtitles in the video embedded below. The complete transcript is also below the video here in case you can’t watch right away and still want to read.
With the hit broadcast of The Disguiser and Nirvana In Fire, Wang Kai and Jin Dong have become the new men in demand.
[Lyrics of Shang Ye (an archaic Chinese song) on screen: Then who knows the peach blossom fell after the night, who can lend me a glimpse… In those days when flowers were flying around in Chang’an, I heard the wailing from the north through the wind in spring.]
[Background song from The Disguiser: Infinite tender love is like the ripple of spring water. Your shadow flashed across my heart. Your words and your mind are what I long for.]
Some shoot to fame in one drama after years of being dormant.
[Wang Kai]: You feel happy when you are watching (the drama), I was actually exhausted when acting.
[Jin Dong]: I think it’s the attitude (that matters).
Let’s see how Jin Dong and Wang Kai savoured the wait and preserved their initial values. “People In News” is now on air.
Welcome and thank you viewers for joining us on time this evening. This is People In News brought to you by Hunan TV, I am your host Sun Pu.
[Background music from The Disguiser: I was always hoping, looking forward to a night, when I could speak out my true heart and never hesitate anymore.]
Recently, there are two men in their 30s who have been sweeping across the whole show biz industry with lightning speed. They don’t have the in vogue fancy appearances of metrosexual men, nor do they have an advantage in terms of age. However by virtue of having played a series of reserved and dignified characters and roles, they have garnered the favor of a wide audience. They are the actors who played brothers Ming Lou and Ming Cheng in the drama The Disguiser, Jin Dong and Wang Kai.
[Scenes from Run For Time: Huang Xiaoming,“We all are in danger…”]
In the Run For Time (a Chinese variety show broadcast on Hunan Television channel) episode broadcasted last night, Wang Kai time-traveled to Tang Dynasty and “accelerated” on the busy streets of the capital city and had a contest with the “Hunters” in the 5th round. Shedding his persona as Prince Jing, [Caption: Joining the journey to look for Jia Ling] Wang Kai, willing to be chased around, also changed his brave and resolute character. In facing the impartial unarmed “Hunters” he “scampered” around town till his knees were weak.
Although he did not need to fight on the battlefield, having lost his war horse, he had to walk on his own two feet. [Caption: Baby Jing was frightened.] This situation of great disparity caused Prince Jing to go into berserk mode, which he found hard to adjust to. It also made the audience anxious for him. [Caption: Wang Kai, at the moment being of caught.]
[Caption: Wang Kai was caught,10 people left][(Wang Kai’s voice)Ah~~~] [Caption: With his “demonic” screaming, Prince Jing! Take care! Game over.]
[Caption: Scenes from The Disguiser: Whose side do you hope that I am on?]
Three months ago, The Disguiser, known as the best quality drama series of the year aired on Hunan TV and Wang Kai who went through numerous hardships in the entertainment industry for ten years became famous overnight. Together with him, the audience also pursued and admired Jin Dong, the actor who played the elder Brother Ming Lou.
[Scenes from The Disguiser: If he is my brother, why didn’t he ask you to let me go?]
In the series, Big Brother Ming Lou and his assistant Ah Cheng are like shadow and form, almost never separated. They have a mutual understanding and are a feast for the eyes. Ah Cheng guards Ming Lou closely every hour of the day. Ming Lou tends Ah Cheng’s wounds for him. Whenever there is an argument between Ming Lou and Ming Tai, Ah Cheng would be on Ming Lou’s side with no hesitation. This adorable “pairing” is highly beloved by the audience.
[Wang Kai] Big Brother Ming Lou and I, we are like shadow and form never separated because we are together every day. We have triple identities. We are actually underground members of the CCP, but we also use the identity of members of the Central Bureau of Investigation and Statistics of the KMT and go undercover in the Reorganized National Government headed by Wang Jingwei. It sounds a little complicated. In fact, all these people are in my and Ming Lou’s control. They are all chess pieces. Big brother Ming Lou decides how to play the next move and I execute his orders.
[Scenes from The Disguiser: Since we have made a fatal mistake, the only way to fix it…]
In The Disguiser, Big Brother Ming Lou played by Jin Dong and Assistant Ming Cheng played by Wang Kai are both spies with multiple identities.
They devise strategies while in the enemy’s camp for the sake of the nation and people. Their exquisite, magnetic, calm and reserved form of acting accentuated their characters’ personalities to the finest detail: Ming Lou who is gentlemanly, commanding and wise while Ming Cheng is loyal, brilliant and tactful.
This character is also one of the most challenging roles ever since I started acting. Because my earlier roles are more similar to each other, quite one-dimensional compared to this one. This role (Ming Cheng) has a lot more ‘changes’, he interacts with people in different departments, with different positions and identities, he has all sorts of communication with them. However, when you face each individual, you have to use a particular way. So my role in this drama is quite smooth and slick. He can walk around those people with skill and ease. That’s it. The story is fast-paced, the actors are young and with good appearances as well. And it encourages the audience to think. Actually a lot of young audience members love to watch dramas that can make them think these days. They don’t like the flat and straightforward ones anymore.
Jin Dong and Wang Kai are both at the peaks of their careers because of one drama series. When we look at their entertainment career histories, we can find many surprising similarities.
Both of them graduated from The Central Academy of Drama. They both had stood in the shadow of their roles before, which cannot be erased. In show biz, with the temptation of fame, they kept calm and preserved their initial values and accumulated a wealth of experiences.
[Caption: Wang Kai: Ten years of waiting, never giving up.]
[Scenes from “Wind From the East Entertainment Awards Presentation Ceremony 2015”]
Ladies and gentlemen, my friends, good evening. I am actor Wang Kai. I will hold all your love in my heart, walk on steadily and with warmth. Thanks to you all. Lastly, I’d like to express my gratitude to one more person and that would be me. [Caption: Jin Dong & Wang Kai: Keeping Their Initial Hearts] I want to thank myself for the past ten years. No matter what difficulties and setbacks I met, I made it through and I never gave up. Thank you everyone.
This is what Wang Kai said in the “2015 Wind From the East Entertainment Awards Presentation Ceremony”. The last sentence, “I thank myself for never giving up” struck a chord in many people’s hearts.
At the age of 33, Wang Kai is not a newbie anymore. He had what it seemed like a prosperous beginning but he did not know that it would take him ten years to walk it alone. After graduation from high school, Wang Kai did not go to University. He worked at Xin Hua Bookstore and starred in ads at the same time. With an outstanding appearance and his talent for acting, he was often asked by directors if he had graduated from The Central Academy of Drama or Beijing Film Academy, which often made him feel awkward. However, it’s also because of these inquiries that gave him the courage to pursue his dream. At the age of 21, Wang Kai enrolled in The Central Academy of Drama and became the classmate of the “domineering CEO” actor Zhang Han and the actress Ma Li from Mahua FunAge. After enrolling in the Central Academy of Drama, Wang Kai kept waiting for opportunities. However, for the four years of University, no famous directors or big productions approached him. It was not until 2007 after his graduation that Wang Kai got the opportunity which lots of people had long dreamed of: signing with Huayi Brothers Media Group. Signing with Huayi made Wang Kai think that he was only one step away from success. But reality is always crueler than dreams.
In the first year after graduation, Wang Kai did not receive any roles. Then, Hunan TV’s production team approached him for its self-produced drama Ugly Wu Di and allowed him try the supporting role of Chen Jiaming. [Caption: Scenes from Ugly Wu Di]
[Scenes from Ugly Wu Di] I want to get rid of Ferdinand. From now on, do NOT allow that ugly girl to set a single step into my studio, she’s NOT allowed to be close to the backstage, she’s NOT allowed to be within 2 meters of me, she’s NOT allowed to call me, she’s NOT allowed to report to me, she’s NOT allowed to mention me, she’s NOT allowed to be mentioned in front of me. And, she’s not allowed to hug my Wan Jun. Who are you? Who let you in?
It’s also because of this role that made Wang Kai, who is known for his doe eyes, beautiful hands and bass voice, known to the public.
[Dialogue from Ugly Wu Di] Delayed fees, delayed fees. All you filthy businessmen think about money. No feelings, cold blooded. Do you think that everything in the world can be evaluated by money? Can you buy everything with money?
The relationship between Wan Jun and me, the common memories between Wan Jun and me, they are all priceless.
With red-framed glasses, flamboyant flower patterned shirts, orchid hand pose, a sharp tongue and an arrogant attitude, high-pitched dolphin vocals, Wang Kai’s Chen Jiaming was one of the biggest highlights of Ugly Wu Di. This talented director of the advertisement company loves every beautiful thing.
[Dialogue from Ugly Wu Di] Get this noisy woman out of here!
Yes, get her out!
Not her, I mean you! You, you, you!
As a perfectionist like me, ugliness would easily make me despair.
Fortunately, I have you to save my eyes.
[Scenes from Ugly Wu Di] Sloppy and ignorant to fashion, Lin Wu Di ruined his catwalk several times with her floppy appearance. She became Chen Jiaming’s biggest rival.
Pretentious and hysterical, his exaggerated facial expressions and punch lines are still fresh in the audience’s memory. However, this type of role will also limit the actor’s future acting style. To a young actor, this is not a good thing.
[Dialogue from Ugly Wu Di] You, you, you, you, you!
What’d we dun last night? (She’s speaking in a countryside accent/dialect.)
Fan Chunhua, how dare you ask me what we’d dun! (He’s using the same accent/dialect.)
Oh my God, what did I say? Spit, spit, spit. You’ve turned me into a country bumpkin!
I went to this drama not originally…I did not go into this drama for the character Chen Jiaming. It was an accident arising from many factors and then…actually, I had to force myself to act in this drama. I gave up several times in the middle but then the director guided me, and I was stuck there and kept acting in the role. I hadn’t expected this kind of result. And then after its broadcast, it was within my expectations that a lot of people would look at you differently or think that you’re only able to play this type of character.
Afraid of being typecast after his debut, Wang Kai continuously played minor roles but refused to compromise again. The bottleneck period after Ugly Wu Di forced Wang Kai to have a nearly empty wallet. He didn’t star in dramas for 7-8 months and he often had to pay out of his own pocket for styling and makeup fees to attend red carpet events. Although he was on glamorous stages, his days were in financial straits. Wang Kai says those days were the lowest troughs of his life.
Those times were pretty dark. That time, right after Ugly Wu Di, most of the filming projects offered to me were pretty much of the same variety. I rejected them all. I said, acting in that kind of drama entertained everyone but it exhausted me. I said I still want to act in roles that I’m good at. So after rejecting similar drama offers, I realized that for a good six months, no other filming offers came my way. I was starting to get anxious again.
[Scenes from the drama Zhi Qing (Youth)]
Don’t be afraid.
In order to break away from the restraint his last character put on him, Wang Kai picked up the drama Zhi Qing (Youth), playing the role of a restrained, cold in appearance male lead, Qi Yong. There is a scene of him repairing electrical lines in a snowstorm. It was -40°C and in order to create the snowstorm effect the production team brought a wind blower and aimed it at Wang Kai. He couldn’t feel his face or his hands after filming this scene.
[Dialogue from Zhi Qing (Youth)] Stop quibbling! I’m telling you, if I die in the cold tonight, even if I become a ghost, I won’t let you off!
You’re being unreasonable!
[Wang Kai] Later by chance, I met Zhang Xinjian, the director of Zhi Qing (Youth). It went smoothly. So we talked and tried on the costumes. It was decided that day that I would play Qi Yong in the drama. So after Zhi Qing (Youth), I slowly got back on the right track. Step by step, I started getting offers again. Yeah. That was basically the course of events back then.
[Scenes from Nirvana In Fire]
Then Sir, do you wish to choose the Crown Prince or Prince of Yu?
I want to choose you, Your Highness Prince Jing.
After the spy drama The Disguiser, Wang Kai played the role of Prince Jing, Xiao Jingyan in Nirvana In Fire.
In the drama, he didn’t care about being neglected by his father for 12 years and believed in his just decisions. Faced with unfair and ungenerous treatment, he still stood upright and refused to bow to his father because of his principles. He silently received orders and went from one battlefield to another, distancing himself from the center of politics. He willingly let the court disregard him due to the cynicism and anger he held in his heart. With his character, Wang Kai’s masculinity was able to shine.
[Dialogue from Nirvana In Fire] I must investigate this. Seventy thousand souls have not rested and their names haven’t been cleared.
To overturn this case means the Emperor must admit his wrongdoings.
Your Highness! Xiao Jingyan, you stop right there!
[Wang Kai] Everyone must think I’m purposely changing my image or purposely choosing this type of character to play. No, I’m not. Actually, I think if I didn’t have that type of role (Chen Jiaming), I’d still be picking this type of role (Xiao Jingyan). But everyone wouldn’t be using these words to describe me now. Because there was a contrast previously.
[Jin Dong]…Can go act in a more easygoing role.
Being meticulous in their work is what Wang Kai and Jin Dong have in common. Their spike in popularity marks the temporary departure from only highly valuing extremely good looks which has been taking over the small screen. The market for stylish men has changed again. Valuing both appearance and acting skills is now the new indicator of a stylish man. Now with great fame, how to protect their initial values has become a new round of contemplation for them. They don’t have a lot of replies.
[Wang Kai] But in real life, I’m not that smooth and slick. My EQ isn’t that high, yeah.
Source: 王凯影迷会iwangkai’s YouTube