Hello Wu Yifan
Who is he?
With scythe eyebrows and twinkling eyes, a face that seemingly looks like God had delicately carved, a body structure of an 1.87 meter model, and a naturally emitted cold vibe, he is simply like a character that walked out from a manga.
He had once fought hard in the competitive and intense Korean entertainment industry as a foreigner, and obtained a big success, gaining millions of young girls’ hearts.
Today, despite having no acting experience, he was still picked to be a movie’s male lead by the talented female director Xu Jinglei. So what exactly does this 90s young man have that makes him enticing?
Wu Yifan meeting the media alone for the first time, accepted this personal interview and through BAZAAR, you will meet the real him.
Trans © Icingonyou
The news of him terminating his contract with a well-known Korean entertainment company has raised an uproar. Faced with endless suspicion and criticism, the plaintiff, Wu Yifan has always kept a low-profile, not replying to anything. All everyone knows is that he is in Prague with the rest of the cast and crew, filming director Xu Jinglie’s movie ‘Somewhere We Only Know.’ In other people’s eyes, this naturally gives me another layer of mysterious color. This time, through the opportunity of working close with the film crew, the BAZAAR team went to Prague, and had him undergo an exclusive photoshoot, while I who was in China, through phone finished conducting this uneasily obtained personal interview.
Before getting to know a person, based on said person’s appearance or our first impression of him or her, we tend to make a judgement in our hearts, and doing interviews, follows the same principle. From Wu Yifan’s appearances on screen and stage, we see a man who looks perfect and has a cold aura. He looks “dignified and distant” to such an extent that he can give off a “strangers don’t come near me” feeling. Especially since he is still standing on the outskirts of the battle of his contract termination, I am worried about whether he is being cautious or not giving off a disheartening official kind of answer. Fortunately, my concerns were entirely superfluous. Even though there were twists and turns in the interview timing, to my utter surprise, this interview actually ended in the midst of happy laughter.
Trans © Icingonyou
Dreams Shine into Reality: This Youth is Poised to Go
“Hello, can you hear me? Sorry for keeping you waiting.” Following the series of polite greetings that he has used, we began this issue’s interview. Although in the years that he has debuted, he has had many experiences of getting interviewed, but to accept this kind of personal interview, and as an actor, was still his first time. Even though this interview was separated by the phone, from when he encountered a question, and seriously answering with each honest word and phrase, you can feel that whiff of innocent and cute breath of newbie and excitement of an achieved dream.
The film’s male lead is someone who does not like talking, and from his appearance can give off a cool and somewhat cold feeling, which is a quality that Wu Yifan has. When we were talking about the film, Wu Yifan earnestly explained that this role has exceptional meaning for him, because this is his first acting role. One of his reason for choosing to participate in this production, is that this character’s personality has similar qualities to his own, and there exist large differences as well, which has made him feel confident that he has the ability to interpret it, and at the same time feel there is a challenge. “The character is a multi-faceted man born in Prague. He is very filial, dares to love and hate, is very responsible for everything around him, his family and his feelings, and has many problems of his own. His background and a variety of reasons have a definite influence on his personality and the things he usually says. He is someone with many stories. I like this character quite a lot.”
“If I can act, everything else does not matter.” Wu Yifan during interviews has for many times previously stated his dreams of being an actor, and have put out many efforts towards it, but it was never acknowledged. This time, acting in ‘Somewhere Only We Know,’ it counts as his wish coming true. Why choose Wu Yifan who has no acting experience as the movie’s male lead? Xu Jinglei who has always been very accurate at reading people, gave two reasons: In the industry, there is a lack of talented new stars, and her choice was “a new star who lets the viewer at first sight has the urge to fall in love.” Furthermore, in her own words: “Wu Yifan is a cameraman killer. He naturally has a star aura, and with proper development, I believe he will become a future superstar.”
Trans © Icingonyou
Stress is a Motivation
For his first role, and he is already the male lead, in the eyes of others it might be “lucky,” but the amount of stress he had to undertake, is something he only knows. However, even if there were more stress, he wouldn’t be scared. He said, “Because acting in a movie has always been my dream, there are many things I can learn. This lets me feel exceptionally fresh and excited. I am willing to put out all my time and energy to interpret this role well and film this movie well. This is what is most important.”
He wishes his acting skills will be acknowledged and that when people go see this movie, that they not only see Wu Yifan, but the character itself. In the movie, from playing basketball, to playing the cello, piano, he is a master at everything, exhibiting various kinds of talents. Playing basketball was originally his talent. In the early days of middle school, he participated in the Youth NBA China Junior High School Basketball Competition, and obtained South China district’s championship medal. As for the cello, he had to start from the basics, and because he plays the role of an exceptional cellist, he diligently practiced for two months. As for the piano, even though he build some foundation when he was young, making it easier to play, he still had to prepare for a long time.
Director Xu is not stingy with Wu Yifan’s compliments. She is constantly complimenting him on how smart he is and correspondingly, when it is time to film, she has relatively strict expectations of him. She even jokes around saying she seems to be carrying a whip while constantly urging him to learn more, to the extent that his teachers can’t help but tell her, “How about you try learning that many things in a short period of time?” How does Wu Yifan view this strict teacher who has made him endure many “sufferings”? “Director Xu is a very professional director and at the same an actor. When she is working, she is very engaged, and is especially attentive to all aspects of the production. For the purpose of everyone quickly become familiar with one another, she would often gather us main leads together to have meals, chat, and go have fun in the suburbs of Prague. When she is not working, she is like a cute little girl, who mingles with us. Possessing this style of a relatively clear separation of work and personal life is a personal charm of hers. This team has provided me with a lot of encouragement and tells me how I can act even better and even richer.”
Compared to heavy practices with the cello and tedious script-reading lessons, he feels that emotional scenes are the ultimate challenge. Besides the romantic scenes with the female lead, in the film he still had familial scenes, which all required him to be sentimental of his role’s personal background and to invest a great deal in emotions, and because he lacks the experience, how to portray the emotional scenes with life and energy, became his biggest problem. He bluntly says that director Xu Jinglei has given the biggest help with this problem, “Director Xu was always reminding me on the set, of what the character at that particular part should be feeling, how that feeling should be expressed, and the constant interaction made my acting even more accurate.
Trans © Icingonyou
Please Anticipate the Crying Scenes
“Can I specifically say what kind of scenes we are filming?” When he was asked which scene was the most memorable, there were sounds of him asking the staff from the other side of the line. When he received a definite answer and reminder, he shouted, “Ah, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, there was a crying scene that was the most memorable to me , and it was an exceptionally challenging scene. I think everyone can anticipate it.” Such honest and cute responses, almost made me laugh out loud. Upon further questioning, he slowly started to explain: “How do I say it? Before filming, I was preparing for quite some time. I was constantly distressed about how to make myself cry, how to act well. When it was actually time to film, director Xu did teach me how to act, and gave me a lot of help. In the end, to be successfully able to act out the crying scene, I was pretty happy, because this is the first scene.
What is the biggest focal point in this movie? “This film’s stories can attract people. Because he had to keep it confidential, he couldn’t specifically tell us the content, but he added, “Prague itself is a beautiful world. After staying for a month, I feel that no matter how you film, the scenes will always turn out beautiful.” That’s right. Prague has always been the holy land of many people’s romance. It is even more a representation in director Xu’s heart, of a perfect romantic city. Throughout this romantic movie, it seemingly used much of Prague as its backdrop. It’s definitely worth anticipating.
“Please use one phrase to promote this movie.” Actually this is not an easy question to answer. Wu Yifan hesitated for a while, and then used an obviously joking tone to reply: “A phrase is difficult , a word is enough, and that word is good.” Having chatted up until here, both sides were already on the verge of laughing, but maybe he still didn’t think it was funny enough and continued on: “Three words then: “Good movie” (in Chinese, there are 3 characters). Can I say it like that?” I could only suppress my laughter and reply that it was okay. Having heard that I let him off too easily, he hurriedly laughed and apologized. The laughter from the staff member beside him could already be heard through the phone. “He’s kind of silly, just like a kid, and once he smiles with his gums, everyone is utterly surprised.” I can finally understand the reason why director Xu said this phrase. Actually, under his cold appearance, he has the ability to affect others, make everyone around him laugh aloud.”
Trans © Icingonyou
Become an Actor: Most Definitely, Most Definitely Also Want to Stay a Singer
His time as an actor has not been long, but in regards to being a singer and actor, these two different kind of careers, he already has quite a deep understanding. In his eyes, in the area of interpretation, they are the most different from one another. Singers for the most part assemble on the stage, and through voice and dance, they use the shortest amount of time to convey the lyrics’ meaning. The effort behind the scenes is rarely seen by people. “For example, one song is only about three minutes long, and within that time frame, a singer needs to play out a variety of emotions.” Conversely, because the duration of a movie is comparatively longer, an actor can repeatedly ponder, and become completely immersed into his/her role. “There are a lot of details involved. It’s entirely different.” Up until this point, Wu Yifan once again humbly stresses that he still has a lot to learn with regards to acting.
There are many fans who asks, ‘after becoming an actor, would you still focus on your singing career?’ He used two “most definitely” to answer. It is true that acting is his first dream, but having debuted as a singer, and is someone who enjoys music, having experienced these years of work, music has already become a relatively important part of his life. He does not want to throw away what he had originally had. He hopes both acting and singing can integrate. Recently, during his spare time, he has been dedicated to composing, writing lyrics. Perhaps not too long from now, we would be able to listen to his original work.
He also mentioned that in the movie, there is a scene that he thinks is very interesting. It is a scene of him and another actor singing, which has made him felt that while acting, he is still accomplishing his dreams of being a singer. He jokingly exclaimed: “I filmed that scene until I was overflowing with emotions!”
Trans © Icingonyou
Love is simple.
If I like someone, I will say it.
‘Somewhere Only We Know’ is a romance movie, and in it Wu Yifan plays the role of someone who dares to love and hate, so in reality, with what attitude does he treat emotions? Wu Yifan’s response is as cool as his appearance: “I think that we should be truthful with our emotions and come from the heart. There isn’t anything that needs to be concealed. For me, love is love, which is a very simple word.” In regards to the type of girl that he likes, he has been asked this question numerous times in the past, but he said that he could not give a special response. “I haven’t truly thought about it. Maybe I am the kind of the person who relatively likes someone based on feelings, and it is necessary to look the at that moment’s situation, and that the feelings are not reciprocated. Emotions are difficult to express.”
“If I meet a girl who I like, I would be active (and express my feelings).” He says he is someone who typically does not enjoy talking, especially with people he is not familiar with, which is why on many occasion he would not be proactive. However if he truly has met someone he likes, “if I truly feel that I like her, I will definitely say it.”
Trans © Icingonyou
Fashion Aspirations –
Steadily and Surely Realizing Them
Wu Yifan has a strong passion for fashion. Besides playing basketball, understanding the season’s most fashionable trends is one of his biggest personal pleasures. If it was simply this, of course he would not be called a true “fashion lover.” He isn’t the type to simply follow the trends, he would research the fashion’s history and background, like how this type of style came to be, why do people have to wear clothes this way. After having developed a deep understanding, then he would choose what suits him. He does not miss a single detail, like accessories, which he believes is an indispensable part of the outfits appearance as a whole. “Back then I used to relatively like bracelets, necklaces and earrings, these kind of small accessories, but now I am rather focused more on shoe matching.”
As of now, Wu Yifan is more biased towards hip-hop style, and he would match some high street elements, which can be seen from the pictures of his past “Airport Fashion Outfits.” He adds: “Actually this style and my favorite music genre are relatively similar.” Off-White is one of his favorite brands, and speaking of this brand, there should be a lot of people in China who are familiar with it. Created by Kanye West’s stylist Virgil Abloh, this brand is of a style that blends both high street qualities and high fashion. Having been created for less than a year, it has already gained much love from many celebrities and stylish people. “When he first started Off-White, I had already thought that the brand would expand with endless possibilities. His designs are eye-catching and are suitable for young people who enjoy showing off their personality.” A while back, this designer custom made an outfit for Wu Yifan, and he has grown attached to it.
Fashion for him, is a kind of positive attitude of life, is a kind of lifestyle that can let him feel happiness. Besides expanding into acting and the music industry, in fashion too, he have many ambitions and aspirations. He hopes that in the future he can accomplish his goals in this city, such that one of these goals is him establishing his personal clothing line. “There a lot of futuristic plans, that still require a lot of preparation, many people’s support. This is why I am taking one step at a time.”
Trans © Icingonyou
From his polite greetings at the very beginning to his very last laugh, maybe, only through a brief interview, it is impossible to make a comprehensive judgement about Wu Yifan, but at the least, it has allowed us to experience a side of him that no one knows. He looks cold and broody, but privately, he is the opposite, such that he is extremely innocent and cute, to the extent that he can become other people’s fruit of happiness: he is young and confident, is filled with hope for the future, and what’s even more special is that he is not blind but is very clear about of what he is doing, and the road that he wants to walk on. The Heavens gave him the utmost fine conditions, to understand, treasure and work even harder, that the success rate is still far.
Trans © Icingonyou
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