If his fierce dedication to treating each role as an artwork and his bold criticisms of his colleagues in the pursuit of his art had already begun to make my heart flutter, by the time Jin Dong started talking about beauty as a social construct, my heart had already soared out of the atmosphere. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that he totally fits my personal construction of beauty.
Her are a few selected responses by the actor in recent interviews, including on his meticulous preparation for his characters, his vehement opposition for dubbing, and his thoughts on Wang Kai, Hu Ge, and the industry. In italics are notes by me.
On fans complaining about his role being dubbed for Nirvana in Fire. Note that Jin Dong, producer Hou Hongliang, and director Li Xue are long-time best friends.
I think fans should complain some more. Even though I guest starred for (the production team) as a friend, they shouldn’t have gotten someone else to dub me. About this I have two thoughts. First is my deep hatred and disgust at Hou Hongliang and Li Xue . Second is my feeling of regret because dubbing makes the voice acting and the visual acting disjoint. When I questioned them, they proudly told me they got the biggest dubber in Beijing (Jiang Guangtao, who is the male lead in every other idol drama you’ve seen). But look at the result, you can judge yourselves.
On the standards of acting in the industry and the need to go beyond the script:
If you film one drama right after another, then you’re just using techniques to act. To be honest, the standards for this industry is too low, and the barriers to entry are too low. This is another reason why I chose to film so few dramas. I often say that the lines are only the basics. … I need to have already spent enough time to have the lines imprinted in my mind so I can act without thinking of the lines. Today, I think no matter what the monetary temptations, before I start filming a drama, I must let myself clear my head. All of my characters, no matter small or large, must be a complete character. It’s a pursuit I have. As a person, we must have principles and standards for our actions.
On his previous appearance in a number of idol dramas and crazy war dramas:
As Hou Hongliang often says, the fact that Jin Dong tries so hard to build his characters in such crappy dramas is a reason that my admiration for you is like the neverending flow of water into the ocean.
On preparing for a role. Jin Dong spends about 3-4 hours preparing each day, writing notes on everything from the character’s emotions to the background music suited for the scene.
I’m still writing character profiles. Sometimes filming time is short and we change scenes frequently. How do we make sure the production is still polished? Director Li Xue is meticulous. Even if we film late into the night, he’ll go through tomorrow’s lines once before we finish working. I think it’s an issue of attitude. A lot of people said this series (The Disguiser) is very refined, that’s because we collaborated well and used our hearts. Li Xue and I are both very introverted and don’t like to talk to the press, but I told Li Xue we have to. We have to tell people how we’re doing things. Only when everyone and every production team is doing it this way can we all move a step up, can we influence the industry.
On the Lou-Cheng bromance:
Originally, Ah-Cheng didn’t have this many scenes, but in the process of filming, I feel like Ah-Cheng is the only one I can talk to. I can’t have everyone in the show not know my true identity … So for Ah-Cheng we added a lot (of scenes). My understanding is that the fact that the interactions between the characters have reached a point of intimacy without any secrets resulted in this feeling of a ship. It’s this type of connection where they know what each other means with one look.
On whether he’ll take on Marty Sue roles:
JD: What does that mean? (interviewer: Marty Sue is a perfect male that all women fall in love with) How? Confucius said there are no perfect humans. Even if the audience wants to see a statue, I will act as no David for them. The script should have some sort of quality and include some higher level of satisfaction.
More on acting:
My principle is always to act with the heart and to show everyone the best. I think art has a common thread in that it’s not something that everyone can immediately excel at. At least there needs to be something that makes me feel that no one else can act as or reach this level of portrayal of my character. I think I want to win, it’s an inner competitiveness. Without competition, there’s no satisfaction.
On how he feels not being a fresh blood, and gaining 20+ lbs for Ming Lou:
JD: Who haven’t been skinny? But have they been fat? Who haven’t been fresh blood at some point? But did you become learn’ed? Are you well-read? When we were fresh blood, those terms weren’t used. In each time period, we have different needs, and it depends on the focus of society. When you couldn’t take care of basic nutrition needs, no one cares what you looks like, no one cares about fresh blood. It’s an upper-class social construct built upon a society with basic economic foundations fulfilled.
Advice for fans who’re disappointed to find out he’s already married:
How do I respond to this question? Study well and become better every day