Shi Liang--A Cross-cultural Actor 04-15-2005 11:16

鈥淟ife is short. We should chase our dreams and do what we like to do.鈥 Just like the many roles he has played on screen, our guest, Shi Liang, has had many careers in his life. But it was at the age of 35, while in France as an MBA student, when he decided to pursue his passion for acting. Today, he is a successful actor in many Chinese films and TV series...

Shi Liang is absolutely a special actor compared with other Chinese actors. He didn鈥檛 enter the entertainment industry until he was in his mid 30s, and began his acting career in France. Four years ago, he moved back to China and performed in multiple movies and TV series such as Missing Gun, Dangerous Journey, and Something Romantic. He received more and more opportunities in Chinese film and TV series and was gradually recognized by Chinese audiences.

Before Shi Liang went to Paris, he accidentally met with the famous Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci, director of the acclaimed film "The Last Emperor". Bernardo appreciated this Chinese young man and offered to give him the role as the emperor鈥檚 driver. Shi Liang didn鈥檛 know how famous Bernardo Bertolucci was at that time and refused the offer because he had plans to go abroad the next month. Bernardo Bertolucci let him play a smaller role, which only took several days to film, and in the end, we can see his name in the credits, but not his face in the film.

Studying in Paris despaired Shi Liang. He studied international trade law and an MBA successively, but he didn鈥檛 know what to do. He changed his jobs time and time again. Lawyer, guide, translator, interpreter, bank staff鈥one of them could keep his interest long. In the end he returned to what he had already done in his childhood鈥斺攑erformance. He experienced the organized and professional French entertainment industry. But acting abroad is not always a happy thing. Most times, the Asian role was limited to being ugly and narrow-minded, which made Shi Liang quite uncomfortable.

In 2001, Shi Liang returned to China. Living abroad for 12 years made him feel a bit unfit to work and live in China. The transition was a difficult process. But he managed it in the end.

Among the roles he played in Chinese film and TV plays, he is most satisfied with the one in the film Missing Gun. His conflict transition made him close to the role of Zhou Xiaogang. And also the local dialect was easy for him, a man from Si Chuan Province. The most difficult role in his mind is the one in CEO, which was a TV play telling the true story of a famous Chinese enterprise, Hai鈥檈r. Shi Liang said, 鈥淵ou must be him, but you are not him.鈥

Looking back at his growing path, Shi Liang still thought the experiences of learning Peking Opera when he was a child interesting. Although he stopped performing because his father was against it, after many years鈥 of changing jobs, he came back to this career again. But he didn鈥檛 think it too late to find his proper place, because his experiences in different fields are good preparation for his acting. He enjoys performing very much, but 鈥渂eing an actor is not enough鈥, he also plans to direct his own film or TV series in future.

--Written By He Jieping


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