Unafraid of struggles, humble about his achievements
He’s encountered struggles, and now he welcomes many achievements, having both good acting skills and good looks, and he can be accountable for high ratings and high popularity works. After debuting after more than ten years, Wang Kai is now experiencing the happiness of a highly popular actor, tired yet joyful. He only hopes that the fast-paced work schedule can slow down a little, and that his life can be slower-paced.
On one of the coldest days Paris has had in a year, in the famous Les Deux Magots Cafe, Wang Kai stood looking stylish and dapper in front of the camera. Even though it was cold, he still completed his outdoor photoshoot with no complaints, and in order to create a spring and summer feel, he was so dedicated that we did not wear any heat pads. [They would have made the clothing look puffier and detracted from the spring/summer feel of the photoshoot]
The shooting location was surrounded by many fans who came from all over Europe, they waited there for hours, only to see their idol in person. The cold winds were blowing strong on the streets of Paris, and even though they were shivering in the freezing weather, it did not conceal the excitement on their faces . “Crossing seas and oceans to see you,” this must be the unique charm of idols.
The Les Deux Maggots Cafe was once the work place of surrealist artists and a gathering place for existentialists, and is thus known for such. At a place like this, we asked him, “What do you think of, when on the streets of Paris?”
The idol’s answer was unexpected yet straightforward, “To hurry up and return to China and eat spicy foods!”
Wang Kai is very busy. This trip to Paris Men’s Fashion Week, Wang Kai’s itinerary was only four days, which includes time for flights both to and from Paris.
The first day was a fitting and street-side photo shoot. Right after he got off the plane, he didn’t even have time to adjust to the time-change, and immediately got to work. Because Paris was so cold, he got frostbite on his nose, and thus it was very red, not even make-up could cover it up.
The second day was the main photoshoot. The weather was very cold, so his workers suggested that we switch to an indoor photoshoot, but since we wanted to be able to feel the atmosphere of Parisian fashion and Wang Kai felt that it was not a problem, we continued our shoot as before, and thus troubled him to wear his spring and summer attire in the cold Paris winter.
The third day was the DIOR fashion show, and being the only mainland Chinese artist invited by the brand, he was both excited and nervous before the show, and looked very quiet. His team said that he is not a person of many words, and since he was about to attend such a grand fashion event, nobody bothered him much, allowing him to rest and adjust to the time difference.
After the show, he went with his team to Paris’ famous Sichuan restaurant to eat hotpot, treating everyone to a meal from home. On his fourth day, Wang Kai flew back to Beijing, and as soon as he landed, went directly to rehearsals for the Spring Festival Gala. During his trip to Paris, he didn’t have any time to go shopping, or enjoy the local scenery.
Regarding fashion, his thoughts look a little conservative, “With fashion, you have to maintain your own style. What you can wear well, you should wear. Never wear something trendy just to be trendy. Others will say that these clothes are not yours.
Wang Kai rarely wears formal attire in his private life; generally his style is simple and comfortable. But this simplicity is not really that simple–how to dress simply yet have your own style is an art that is not easily learned.
There is another key word to Wang Kai’s thoughts on fashion–breakthroughs. He’s done a lot of experimenting, gentlemanly style, young urban professional style, casual style, but no matter what style, on his tall figure, with his good posture, and handsome face, it is always very good-looking. However, he himself did not think that he is very handsome, and rarely ever takes selfies. Even though barely any agree with his, “handsome yet unaware” beliefs, he still insists that–”I don’t take selfies, when I post selfies, I lose fans.”
The courage to experiment, the courage to create new breakthroughs, this is Wang Kai’s attitude towards fashion, and his attitude towards his work as well. Last year, Wang Kai had many works that were airing, many different roles, none of which were the same, and was always giving the audience a surprise. His fans describe him as, “the actor Wang Kai, one person, thousands of faces.”
“I always want to try new things, because you don’t know if it is suitable for you until you try. Like comedies.” At the end of last year, Wang Kai’s movie Railroad Tigers was released, and the audience was happily surprised to see that Wang Kai, who has acted mainly in serious dramas, could be seriously funny as well. After discovering his talent for comedies, Wang Kai has continued his path of self-exploration. In his newest work, the upcoming The Devotion of Suspect X, Wang Kai plays a genius physics professor, Tang Chuan, accurately portraying the scholarly aura of those from the ivory tower, as well as the pride of a genius. His ability to not become bounded by his characters, and his continual breakthroughs in his characters, must be the self-cultivation needed in an actor.
If you must have him say his reasons for picking up dramas, Wang Kai says that it must be the script and character that has moved him.
He wants to portray a very down-to-earth character, a character that is devoted to life, so that he can truly experience life, and find his way into the heart of the character.
He says that being able to portray a down-to-earth character is extremely difficult, because there is a character like this in everyone’s lives, and everyone will know if you are able to truly portray the character in an accurate, life-like manner. “Unlike most the characters that I have portrayed, whether it is an ancient Chinese drama or a period drama, all of these characters are created, and the audience cannot verify what these characters are actually like from their own lives. So I think, to reach a higher level of acting, the characters portrayed need to be more down-to-earth.”
Looking at Wang Kai’s works from the past two years, you can pull out a long list of them, each being extremely popular. All of these popular works are of the same actor, and he says he is tired but happy. If there was any suffering, he says, “If you’d have to say, the inventory clears out too quickly, [his works air too quickly] and to fulfill everyone’s wants, I have to continue to film, film, film…” After saying this, he presented us with his representative Wang Kai “hehehehe” laugh.
From the past, “being chosen by others,” to becoming so popular and overwhelmed with prospective scripts, Wang Kai not only has to become accustomed to this “acceleration,”but also has to remain clear-headed and have self-control. Not only does he need to be able to grasp opportunities and take advantage of good characters, he also has to be able to avoid over-burdening himself.
So in 2017, he has planned to slow down a little. “Actors need to store their energy, last year I tried what I wanted to try, and this year my steps will slow down a little.” Unlike actors who become famous right after they’ve debuted, Wang Kai has encountered times of struggle when he did not have any works to film. Thus, looking at his previous experiences, he has often been asked in interviews, “Are you afraid of not becoming popular?” A question like this seems to be rather hard to answer, much like asking someone, “Are you afraid of death?” Yet Wang Kai’s answer could not be more brilliant: “I’m not afraid, what is there to be afraid of, starting from nothing. I think at the top of a mountain, there is a very small amount of space, and it cannot hold too many people. You might as well stand up there for a while and then come back down, as it is time for others to have a turn up there. So you must plan out your trip and know when it is time to leave.”
His trip here, was not an easy one, so he is very good at encouraging himself. “My way of relieving stress, is to talk to myself rather often, and comfort myself.” He is also naturally tenacious. As a Leo, he says that the strongest part of his personality is his confidence, mental strength, persistence, and refusal to be defeated.
This is also why he is so assertive. Even when he had no works to film, “I was never anxious. I think that in my life, I didn’t believe that all my work would be for nothing. Of course it was a very unclear voice, not saying exactly when I would become successful, I didn’t know that. Someone once said to me, male actors before 30 years old cannot portray characters with too much depth, because you don’t understand. Film, film good works, and live well, live to after 30 years old.”
After turning 30 years old, success and achievements came to him, as if it was destined for such to happen. Corresponding to his own life, Wang Kai believes in the philosophy that “If you continue to persist in what you believe in, one day you will achieve it.”