The following is a summary of the interview
Challenge the villain for the first time in his career
This National Day movie "Operation Moscow" arrived as scheduled, Huang Xuan's role made the audience's eyes shine, changing the previous mild Sven temperament, he played a tyrannical and murderous villain.
The night before the interview, Huang Xuan had just arrived in Beijing from Cannes, and he had to immediately plunge into the intense film promotion. On the day we met, he had to be interviewed by different media for five hours on wheels, then went to the cinema and did fourteen post-screening meetings for seven hours. And such an intensive itinerary is just one day in the promotion period of the movie.
△ Huang Xuan in the movie "Moscow Action" as Miao Qingshan
Tagawa: When was the movie made?
Huang Xuan: The script I got in July last year began to be filmed in September.
Tagawa: So there were only two months to prepare.
Huang Xuan: Right.
"Operation Moscow" is adapted from a real case, in 1993 on the international train from Beijing to Moscow, there was a sensational train robbery, six consecutive days and six nights of driving, several waves of gangsters robbed, murdered, raped, madly ransacked the entire train, the case involved more than 100 criminals. Miao Qingshan, played by Huang Xuan in the film, is the leader of one of the gangsters.
Huang Xuan: Actually, I was not asked to play the role of Miao Qingshan at the beginning, but after reading the script, I thought my brother might be more crazy, so I said that I wanted to play Miao Qingshan. Later, there were two voices in the crew, one thought I could act, and the other thought I could? It took a month for them to reply, yes.
Takawa: How did you feel when you received a reply?
Huang Xuan: First of all, I was very excited, because I had never played a villain in a movie before. Such a big production, such an important role, for the producer and director to carefully consider. So the pressure pressed over at the same time, they all agreed, they were all waiting and seeing, so how should I act? How to interpret this character, so that everyone forgets the shadow of my previous character.
In the movie "Operation Moscow", Miao Qingshan, the villain portrayed by Huang Xuan, loves classical music, has a happy childhood living with his parents, and also has a painful past of being raped by his stepfather, with musical dreams, but went astray. Before joining the group, Huang Xuan did a lot of desk work for the characters.
Huang Xuan: I watched a lot of interviews with real cases, and I wanted to find some different sides to play this character, instead of coming up and saying in my mind that I was going to play a bad person.
Tian Chuan: You particularly emphasized the influence of the original family on Miao Qingshan, which led him astray. In your opinion, does the original family have a great impact on a person's growth and his choices?
Huang Xuan: It's too big. I think a person's personality is formed from childhood to adolescence, don't they all say that people are always dealing with their own childhood, and when they are old, they may eventually reconcile with their childhood. So I think the impact of childhood on a person is very big.
The Green Train in the movie Operation Moscow is a common memory of the journey for generations. In 1994, when Huang Xuan was 9 years old, he followed his parents from his hometown of Lanzhou to Guangzhou, and the train for three days and three nights kicked off Huang Xuan's turbulent youth.
The train full of unknowns traveled more than 2,000 kilometers from the relatively backward northwest to Guangdong, one of the most prosperous and open provinces in China after the reform and opening up.
Long memories of such bumps in the rest of his life were not uncommon. Three years after arriving in Guangdong, his parents divorced, Huang Xuan and his mother stayed in Guangzhou to live, his father went to Beijing to work, his grandparents stayed in his hometown in Lanzhou, Lanzhou, Guangzhou, Beijing, thousands of kilometers of back and forth, wandering life, distant relatives, is the main theme of Huang Xuan's entire youth.
△ Huang Xuan
Tagawa: What traces has your native family left on you, and what do you still need to reconcile with now?
Huang Xuan: A lot, for example, my personality is so sensitive, and I have a strong sense of the world and people... Because when I was a child, I had to observe others from time to time, and in the process of uneasiness you would become extremely sensitive, like a hedgehog.
When you were a child, you were very upset, leaving your hometown to go to a strange place with a completely different cultural background, where the family had to survive, you had to adapt to different places, different people, different languages, different cultures, in fact, it would make you very sensitive and keen, and you would also learn to protect yourself. It's probably all brought to me by childhood.
The childhood life after arriving in Guangdong was not smooth for this Lanzhou child. He settled with his parents in Chaozhou and Huizhou, then lived in Xianyang, Shaanxi, then returned to Lanzhou, and finally, the family that could not bear the torment decided to stay in Guangzhou and settle.
Life is turbulent and the relationship between parents is becoming increasingly strained. When Huang Xuan was 12 years old, his parents divorced and he was sent to the Guangzhou Dance School. After six years of living on campus, language barriers, and lack of family companionship, Huang Xuan said that his best friend at that time was a big tree in front of the dormitory, a tree to talk about study, and a tree to talk about feelings.
Huang Xuan: I understand the character of Miao Qingshan, because I am not a child who grew up in a greenhouse environment, and I was very uneasy when I was a child. So I can understand this kind of person, I can understand what it is like to be repressed, bullied, and always raised in insecurity and distrust. In recent years, I have actually been interested in the complexity of human nature, or the various possibilities that human nature can present. I think that people are not absolute, and they all undergo incomprehensible changes with different circumstances. Coupled with the profession of an actor is also a kind of healing for me, I play a variety of roles, from their personalities, personalities, in fact, I am also finding what I am missing, to repair myself. So it's quite happy to be an actor.
In just three years, three close relatives passed away
The decision to become an actor happened on the eve of Huang Xuan's graduation from dance school. In 2002 and 2003, he traveled from Guangzhou to Beijing twice to take the examinations of the Beijing Film Academy and the Central Academy of Drama, but both failed. His father, who works far away in Beijing, is especially looking forward to him going to school in Beijing, but such a wish may not be realized after Huang Xuan failed the art examination twice.
At this time, Huang Xuan's life was only 19 years old, his family was broken, he grew up alone, and his studies were slim. At this fork in the road that determines the future direction, fortunately Huang Xuan did not give up performing. Eventually, he was admitted to the musical theater department of the Beijing Dance Academy and was able to reunite with his father in Beijing. The oppressive green years finally shone into the light, but wave after wave of bad news brought more cold tests. In his junior year, Huang Xuan's father died suddenly. The next year, grandpa passed away, and in the third year, grandma passed away.
In just three years, Huang Xuan experienced the death of three of his closest relatives.
Huang Xuan: For the first time in your life, you experience such impermanence, and the person who called a few hours ago will be separated from you a few hours later, what do you think? But it is the truth. No way, a lot of things are like this, you can only accept it. And you know no one can really empathize with you, so at that time I would feel that only children were lonely. When you encounter a big family change, no one can stand on the same emotional concentration as you to see this matter, you can only face it yourself. At that time, I couldn't stand the thought of this, so I drank at night, had different friends to drink with me every day, and slept when I was drunk. The next morning when you wake up and come back to reality, your heart will tug. At that time, I felt that my heart really hurt.
Tagawa: How long did it take you to come out?
Huang Xuan: Completely let go and accept, I think two or three years. This thing is periodic, it's repetitive. After a few months, you feel as if you can do it, no problem, but I don't know which string is wrong one day, and that feeling comes back, and it will be low for several days. But the cycle of iteration will get longer and longer, and now I'm okay, very calm, 16 years, too many years have passed.
Tagawa: I was the same year as you, and when I was thinking about what you went through, I seemed to be a child who was very dependent on my parents. So I think you're so brave that I can't imagine if I went through the same thing, I could still come out.
Huang Xuan: This is that people cannot be resurrected after death, and there is no possibility of making choices again, there is only one way.
Tagawa: When you were in your twenties, you didn't choose to face the death of your loved ones, and now that you are almost 40 years old, will your attitude towards death be different from before?
Huang Xuan: Yes, I will often let myself do an exercise now, and I will often think about this question. One is that whether it is good or bad, I think it is not constant, and the other is that everything will pass and die, always reminding myself. The advantage of thinking this way is that I have a strong sense of urgency in life, and I will try not to do some things aimlessly and waste time. You will feel that life is really limited, effective life and energy, ability are limited. Whatever you do, focus as much as you can, or don't. This is the best reminder of death to us.
2014 is the year when Huang Xuan's acting career is on the right track, and the movie "Golden Age" directed by Xu Anhua directed by him by him, Lou Ye's "Tuina", Cui Jian's "Blue Bones" were released one after another, and Huang Xuan's name began to be familiar. The ups and downs experienced in the life of the 29-year-old before seemed to be like a treasure trove, which became the key for Huang Xuan to open different roles.
△ Huang Xuan in the movie "Golden Age" as Luo Bingji
Huang Xuan: Like Al Pacino said, an actor is an emotional athlete, and he must mobilize his emotions at any time and let go of his emotions at any time. Some emotions require you to compulsorily mobilize to cut your scars, and then calm yourself immediately after the incident and tell yourself to heal the wounds. No way, you have to be an actor.
After 2014, Huang Xuan's acting career has reached a higher level, and he has successively starred in Feng Xiaogang's "Fang Hua" and "Only Yun Knows", Chen Kaige's "The Legend of the Demon Cat", and Zhang Yimou's "The Great Wall". After starring in one movie after another of big-budget and big-director films, in 2021, Huang Xuan appeared in the low-cost, niche literary film "Wuhai" directed by a newcomer. The discussion of family relationships in the film seems to pull Huang Xuan back to the train from his hometown Lanzhou to Guangzhou in his childhood.
Tagawa: Why did "Wuhai" attract you?
Huang Xuan: The kind of embarrassment in a person's life is what I experienced when I was a child. Because of family changes, I will encounter some embarrassing and helpless things in the turbulent displacement, and be asked for debts, which I experienced when I was a child. Like my parents are divorced, I heard their arguments when I was a child. So when I first saw "Wuhai", I didn't want to act, not because I couldn't act, but because I didn't want to touch my memory. So at first I pushed it off.
Then the director wrote me a letter explaining why he asked me to play the role and why he wrote the script. I think he was very sincere, but I still didn't want to act at the time. But I think the director is so sincere that he wants to invite him to dinner, and then tell him in person, sorry for various reasons, still don't act. As a result, the director's state during the meal particularly touched me, and I couldn't stand this kind of pure and sincere person. At that time, I also drank some wine, and I asked him if there really was a place in Wuhai, and he said that there was, just in Inner Mongolia. I said let's go and see, and the next day we flew to Wuhai. There were no conditions, no contracts, nothing, so I went to see the scenery myself. It was an accident that played this role. The process of acting is painful. I said how many families may be facing this delicate relationship between the characters in the script, this mutual incomprehension and misunderstanding. I hope to interpret it for everyone to see, in fact, it does not have to be this way, and it can do better communication.
△ The movie "Wuhai" Huang Xuan as Yang Hua
Tagawa: Does your parents' relationship have any influence on your approach to intimacy?
Huang Xuan: There must be an impact, I am not good at dealing with intimate relationships. I'm not a person who can get very close to people, as if I was born with a sense of distance. Coupled with the fact that I also believe that everyone needs to have their own space, everyone is lonely, there is some distance and space, and I think that kind of relationship may be better. It is difficult for people to stick together, without distinguishing between you and me. When people are too close, they lose their proportions, forget to understand, forget to communicate, it will become something I know, how can you not know, I have thought of this thing, how can you not think of you being so close to me...
Tagawa: Everything has become a matter of course.
Huang Xuan: Right. When there is a little distance, it will feel that he has his space, and maybe the relationship will be a little more benign. Of course, this is my understanding today, and maybe it will change again in a few years. I think people's perception of a thing is constantly changing.
At the end of 2018, Huang Xuan's hometown of Lanzhou, the old house where he lived as a child was facing demolition, and in the last few months before the demolition, Huang Xuan still thought about whether he could return to Lanzhou and rent the old house for a few more months, because it stored the best memories of his childhood, no discrimination, no drifting. There was still a poster of Andy Lau wearing jeans on the door of his childhood, and no one would have imagined that thirty years later in a movie called "Operation Moscow", Huang Xuan would be in the same space as Andy Lau, playing rivalry.
Tian Chuan: In the movie, Miao Qingshan has different attitudes and ways of dealing with different people, what is your state of getting along with different people in your life?
Huang Xuan: If I were with my mother, I would definitely be in my son's state.
Tagawa: Would that be coquettish with your mother?
Huang Xuan: Not really. I went to art school to learn dance when I was about twelve years old, so I didn't live with her again when I was very young, and we both live separately to this day. I went to Beijing for college, she was still in Guangdong, and now although we all live in Beijing, we don't live together. My mother is a very independent person, and we are not as dependent as the mother and son that everyone understands. The chat history of the two of us is full of greetings and sharing, and I don't ask her to come and see me, care about me, and what to do. Maybe I had this expectation when I was a child, but then I found that when this expectation was not met from time to time, I had to adjust myself, and I knew that our relationship and our mode of getting along was like this. She is such a person, such a personality, then I will adjust to a more comfortable state to get along with her. Of course, we also had a few big arguments, not many times, but after the argument, I found that the original quarrel was also a good communication.
Tagawa: What did you quarrel with your mother about?
Huang Xuan: These are all small things, but behind the small things may be some problems that were not solved in childhood and adolescence, and these small things broke out. The main thing is that you don't care enough about me, but in the end you find that she actually loves you and cares about you in her way, but it's not what you think. After a while of arguing and cooling, the two of them acted like nothing had happened, but you knew that some problems had been solved. I think there are many ways to communicate, and quarrels are one of them. We also get along very well now.
Tagawa: Actually, you are still a person who longs to be loved and warm.
Huang Xuan: Everyone is. Should be.
Producer: Zhang Yan
Choreographer: Yi Fan