It’s also about learning Chinese culture.
After all, learning Chinese is about establishing a connection.
Mention a famous Chinese actor and most Chinese people will have some opinion, one way or the other.
To get you up to speed, here is the lowdown on 10 famous actors that you should know.
Chow Yun Fat
Chow Yun Fat has always been very well known in Hong Kong for his gangster action films. Much like Andy Lau, if you like gangsters and guns, Chow Yun Fat plays defining roles in the genre. He actually has also appeared in a handful of Hollywood films as well, with varying degrees of success. But to see him in an excellent Mandarin film without so many guns, try “The Curse of the Golden Flower”. He plays the emperor in ancient China, and he has the presence to fill the shoes of such a grand role. He really delivers well, and for sure his experience in some good crime stories translates well with, as the story centers around plots and counter-plots by his family and members of the court to overthrow his empire.
Do you like comedy? Then start right here. Zhao Benshan is highly talented, very funny, and highly entertaining. He has learned traditional Chinese performance arts, including a type of Chinese sketch conversation comedy called crosstalk. He is a great actor and if you want to laugh and connect to a heartwarming character but not worry too much about if the film is realistic, then check out his role in “Getting Home”. The premise of the film is quite ridiculous and he is excellent at making it seem entirely natural and logical for his character to stumble into and out of really hilarious and implausible situations. He shows us a character at his wits end more than once, but always tempered by a comedic carefree spirit.
Do not let the limitations of Hollywood action films like “War” (with Jason Statham) or “Romeo Must Die” (with Aaliyah) fool you about the actor Jet Li. Jet Li is a very popular actor in Chinese martial arts films, as a perfect example see “Hero”. He plays the main character, a nameless assassin in ancient China. He gives a very compelling performance, especially in some intense interactions with the other main characters, most notably the emperor, whom he has planned to assassinate. The depth of the character he plays here is a great place to get you started on his work in Chinese films.
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