Oh, Wang Kai, how do I describe thee? He’s the only young drama actor I know who has never had someone else dub for him in a drama (minus a brief dub-over by Jin Dong when his character sung opera in The Disguiser). Be it the flaming director in Ugly Wudi, the rugged soldier who murders for love in A Murder Beside Yanhe River, the metro detective in New Detective Squad, the teary-eyed officer in All Quiet in Peking, the Prince who risked his life for the truth in Nirvana in Fire, or the traitor, the revolutionary, the secretary, the assassin, the smuggler, and the miser in The Disguiser, Wang Kai has successfully portrayed a string of characters with vastly different personalities, slipping under the radar until this fall.
Marked by a rare honesty (he will respond to literally any question), here are a few selected interview responses to him. He’s actually a lot more silly in interviews than the translations imply.
On not being the lead in anything. According to Tencent, Wang Kai’s been getting about 2 new scripts a day in the past month, many of them male leads. So excited for his first male lead drama!
You don’t have the ability to draw in viewerships, why should they use you? Everyone wants to be the lead, but you don’t have the opportunity to be the lead, you have to work hard in what you can do. Actors are a very passive role. People often say actors want to be famous for the fame or money, but I think a lot of times it’s to get more say. We’re working so hard to reach for a bigger room to chose and to compose. … To be able to express my thoughts on my characters.
On the difficulties of not famous:
As an actor, as a newbie, you don’t have a lot of say. You have few rights to actively initiate any discussion. To be frank, when you speak, some might not even listen to you. … Although we have our ideals in the pursuit of art that we want to uphold, we have to compromise. … Now, at least people will hear you out.
In addition to the recent finished The Disguiser and Nirvana in Fire, his third drama in a row, Love Me If You Dare with Wallace Huo and Ma Sichun, is currently airing. He is currently filming as the resident doctor/sex appeal in Ode to Joy opposite Wang Ziwen. He currently has not announced his next project, but my guess is that it will be his first male lead ever given his recent popularity.
Ugly Wudi gave me a lot and made me lose a lot. This show made me known over night .After the first season, many people could recognize me on the street. But this also gave me a lot of limitations since I played a stereotype To a lot of professionals, it was a joke, a show based on an exaggerated performance. … Especially for my role, many producers or directors would look at my resume and say, I know this person, he played that effeminate guy, can he only play that type of roles? … A lot of dramas I almost had opportunities to be in, but because of this impression, I was eliminated.
Where he shows his complete oblivion to the fact that how some women dress has nothing to do with comfort by the following response to a reporter’s question on what he would do if his red carpet partner was cold:
Aren’t girls less likely to be cold? The boys are often wearing long coats and they’re still showing legs and wearing heels. Girls seem more resilient to the cold. (Host: If you’re walking down the red carpet with a girl and she’s not wearing much, would you put your jacket on her?) Put where? (host: on her shoulders) Shoulders? Isn’t it their legs that are cold?
- Once when we finished acting, Jin Dong said that, “You’re too much like me. I feel like I’m acting with myself.”
- He has very strict standards for you, but he’ll also protect you. When interacting with him, he’s like a teacher and a friend. After all, he’s my shige, so he’s willing to teach us professionally and tell us what we still lack. In private, our interactions are also fun. We’re like brothers. We’ll play and be goofy, eat and drink.
- Very strict, strict, strict. No matter how good you are with him usually, if it’s work, if he thinks you’re under-prepared, he’ll immediately change face, and that’s when he’s nice. (host: Does he yell?) At least he’s never yelled it me, haha. He says his temper is a lot better now that he has a child. Before he had a child, he had even more a temper.
Phoenix Entertainment: Actually, before these two dramas, a lot of people noticed you during All Quiet in Peking. After you’ve faced these veteran actors, do you feel more at ease with the other characters?
Facing different characters and facing different actors are two things. I’m very serious about each character. Toward each character, I have a, how do you say it, I treat each character as sanctified, so I’m always nervous. I’m more or less nervous about each character I portray. It’s out of a reverence I have for this occupation.
As for other actors, you can’t be nervous towards artists or more experienced actors and then be relaxed toward other actors. I believe that’s wrong. Of course, I am nervous out of respect and reverence for artists. For some actors, because we might interact more as friends, so communications are easier, we are more similar to age. In that aspect, it might make filming be not as pressured.
On roles. I like that he wants to act as a psychopath along with every other actor, but at the same time acknowledges that it’s not yet time for him to take on such a role.
I want to act more roles like this (Xiao Jingyan and Ming Cheng) , to dig deeper into this type of role. I also want to act as an antagonist, a gentleman on the outside but a psychopath at heart (he’s super jealous of Zhang Luyi’s role in Love Me if You Dare), but I think that can wait, because I feel my acting still needs more polishing and I need to accumulate more experience.
On difficulties in filming, in particular, Educated Youth, where he filmed in 50 degrees below freezing (Celsius)
I can accept any level of difficulties for filming, because you’ll remember that it’s your job. You think your job is hard, but whose job isn’t hard? Everyone’s job has its difficulties. Since you’ve made your decision, you have to face it. Comfort is for the dead. If you want comfort, close your eyes.
Let’s conclude this with some important life advice.
Sohu: If you were asked R-rated questions now, would you answer them?
WK: You can try asking.
Sohu: *giggles* Some fans have made the hashtag *giggles* #What is the point of life if I cannot sleep with Wang Kai#. *giggles* Can you *giggles* tell *giggles* fans how they could *giggles* sleep with you? *giggles*
WK’s manager: Let’s stop the interview here.
WK: It’s alright. As long as you study well, work well, study hard, and work hard, one day, you’ll sleep with someone who you love.
P.S. After the above interview, fans changed the hashtag to #I will study hard for Wang Kai# and replaced comments of “How can I sleep with you” to “If I study hard, can I sleep with you. “