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Wang Jingchun: Humble salesman to award-winning actor

2019-03-06 14:21:14

Chinese actor Wang Jingchun recently received the Best Actor award at this year's Berlin Film Festival for his stunning performance in Wang Xiaoshuai's epic drama "So Long, My Son."

Five years ago, his friend Liao Fan won the same honor for "Black Coal, Thin Ice" directed by Diao Yinan.

Wang and Liao, both graduates from Shanghai Theater Academy, later founded the Chunfan Art Film Center in 2015. Many art-house movies by both celebrated filmmakers and young talented directors have been produced at Chunfan.

Wang, 46, is a native of Altay Prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. At the age of 19, he still worked as a salesman in a local shopping mall. By chance he got to know director Lang Chen, who later became a primary mentor for his acting. In 1995 Wang was admitted to the Shanghai Theater Academy hoping to fulfil his huge potential.

Despite his superb acting skills, it was not until 2013 — 15 years after he graduated from the academy — that his talent was recognized with the Best Actor Award at the 26th Tokyo International Film Festival for "The Police Diary."

He has starred in many different roles, including Marshal He Long in "The Founding of An Army," an ordinary Chinese soldier in Zhang Yimou's epic war film "The Flowers of War"  and an experienced cop in the suspense movie "The Witness."

"So Long, My Son" is the first installment in director Wang Xiaoshuai's "Homeland Trilogy," which points its lens at China's ever-changing times over the past 40 years.

The film opens with the story of Liu Dong and Shen Yingming, who are originally close childhood friends, but become estranged because of an unexpected event. It follows the pair's journey from the 1980s till today. Themes of love, marriage, family and social change are prevalent throughout.

In the film, Wang portrays repairman Liu Dong, who unfortunately loses three of his biological sons in three consecutive accidents. Despite the trauma, he never doubts or stop loving his adopted son.

To depict such a role in the movie, he managed to shed 15 kilograms in a month.

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