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[Web Chinese Drama 2017] Beloved Enemy, 决对争锋

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Beloved Enemy by Shui Qiancheng is adapted into web series!

Shang Bai brings Gu Qingpei alive!

 

Author/Qi Ye Sep. 22, 2017

Translator/@DreamsComeTrueKR

Have you ever seen one actor bringing the love-making scene alive all by himself?

Looking around all these web series, except Zhang Yishan from “Yu Zui (Remain Sin)”, just Shang Bai in “Beloved Enemy” blew me away.

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Shang Bai portrayed Gu Pingpei

Maybe some of you haven't watched Beloved Enemy yet. This drama is adapted from the well-known fiction Beloved Enemy by Shui Qiancheng. It tells the story of how the elite businessman Gu Qingpei and the vigorous and arrogant son of his boss Yuan Yang become ‘beloved enemy’. How is that, isn't it exactly what the girls like?

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So, even if using all fresh faces, Beloved Enemy has been on the trend topic of Weibo for several times. And the number of the second spreading of fan-made videos are huge. In the meanwhile, Shang Bai’s compelling acting, bringing the role of the original fiction alive perfectly, has won himself a lot of fans.

Is it true that there’s still an actor being popular not because of the pretty face, but the great performance? The answer is yes!

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look at the fierceness and intensity through his eyes

Though he is the Post-90s, Shang Bai has be an actor for 7 years. During the time, he appeared in several historical dramas and literary films, played historical figures and even playboys. Definitely an old stager. In Beloved Enemy, it's easy for him to handle this well-dressed, sophisticated, scheming business elite. And an hour later after the interview, I couldn't help myself becoming one of his fans too.

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On the day of the interview, we made the appointment at 2 p.m. in his office. He arrived earlier than me, and the first thing he did was to say hello to the staffs, totally easy-going.

Comparing with Gu Qingpei, Shang Bai in reality is more tender and not that kind of aggressive. My deepest impression for him is his gentleness. No matter answering questions, making jokes with the staffs or playing the bunny doll the whole time, you could feel the gentle&soft atmosphere from him, making people around him feel comfortable.

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But he is a complicated individual at the same time. He was once a bully when he’s at school, he used to have a fight with 10 people alone to get revenge for his friends; he used to sell clothes in order to anneal himself when he’s 17 in high school, and chatting everything with an over 50 years-old man in the store. The second day after getting his diploma of the college, he went straight to Beijing alone just because he wanted to shoot films. He couldn't get one main role for several years, but he believed he would film a legendary movie ultimately. Oh, and he always holds this thought of becoming a carpenter in his mind.

“One man’s life experiences are extremely important, all these experiences would become my treasure.” Said Shang Bai.

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The role model of astonishing audiences with flawless acting.

The truth is Shang Bai was underappreciated at the beginning.

On the first day of shooting on Dec. last year, there were some low-quality and badly-taken pictures  been leaked out. The fans of the original fiction immediately got shocked, all of them expressed their highly disappointment, and the appearance became their main target. During that time, Shui Qiancheng, the author of the fiction didn't have the courage to open her Weibo account. 

Shang Bai overheard the discussion of the staffs. “I don't know why, but at that moment, I was kinda chuckling inside, I just thought they are so adorable, they just reached the conclusion that this actor is not appropriate, based on one glance of the picture.”

As it turns out, there are reasons for Shang Bai to remain calm. The second day after Beloved Enemy being released online, the number of the comments and reposts of Shang Bai’s Weibo directly increased from tens to thousands. The fans and the former antis were shouting they’ve been proven wrong. “He has conquered me who used to have doubts about him with his perfect performance and beautiful lines!” “He is Gu Qingpei himself walking out of the book!”…

And as the drama getting hotter, the number of Shang Bai’s followers on Weibo has increased from 20 thousand(20th Aug.) to 350 thousand.

 

The last familiar scenario happened to Zhao Youting (Mark Chao), the male actor of Eternal Love (aka Three Lives Three Worlds). Though Chao's casting as the beautiful male lead was originally met with harsh criticism, he successfully won over critics with his incredible acting and created a classic character. Therefore his amazing performance was called as the ‘plastic-surgery’ acting skills*.

[ ‘plastic-surgery acting skill’ (整容般演技):

Chinese Internet buzzwords, describe the actor/actress changes the initial thoughts of critics because of his/her phenomenal performance, and making the audience totally into the character that he/she created.]

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And talking about how he got the chance to shoot this drama, he smiled, answering ‘it's destiny’. 

The truth is, last November, Beloved Enemy and another drama of his friend are both in the preparing stage at the same place. Shang Bai’s friend recommended him to audition for the other drama. But when he came to the crew, the director was absent that day. In the meanwhile he happened to meet an old friend, then he was dragged to the crew of Beloved Enemy. At last Shang Bai finished the audition of Beloved Enemy before he completely figured out what was going on.

“After the audition, I felt like this role was kind of right for me, but I didn't take it seriously, and continued shooting other dramas later on.” And then you all know what happened, the film crew was satisfied, then I met with the director, the producer, the author…and finally got the role. “I think it is destiny for me to meet each character, the one belongs to you is always there, the one doesn't belong to you, you couldn't get it anyway. I think it is fate that I meet this role.”

When it comes to the question of how much effort did he put into this drama, he gave us an unexpected answer. “No particular or extra effort.”, then he added “I just did what a professional actor should do. An actor should have this responsibility for his job. I think these kind of words ‘acting with my life’ is over exaggerated, but I did spent all my energy and strength to present the best performance I could give, it is the most exciting moment for me when I am acting.” 

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Before and after By Gones, honed over 7 years

Before Beloved Enemy, Shang Bai’s acting career was not smooth-sailing.

In 2014, the third year of him starting his acting career in Beijing, he struggled into this kind of embarrassing situation: no shows, no roles, no money to pay for the rent, even didn’t have the courage to go home during the new year.

But in Shang Bai’s opinion, actually 2014 was just a crucial time for him to make the choice. “Whether should I hanging there or should I find another way to make a living? ” Fortunately he persisted and survived. “I Just want to see how am I gonna struggle in this kind of situation.”

During that period of time, he just could do some supporting jobs and play minor roles in some projects. And when finally there was a main role for him, but the project was terminated, only after 20 days of shooting. It sounds dramatic, but Shang Bai doesn't take this seriously. “It was kind of fun now I'm thinking about it, these experiences could all be reflected into my works.”

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Shang Bai portrayed Mao Anying (the son of President Mao Zedong)

After he portrayed Mao Anying in Marshal Peng Dehuai in 2015, Shang Bai kept appearing in several films: Gu Jingzhou (《顾景舟》), By Gones (《旧人》), Dark·Fire (《夜·花火》), Breathing (《你在哪》), in which the literary film By Gones got the Hubert Bals foundation of the International Film Festival Rotterdam and the invitation of taking part in the exhibition and competition at the same time.

Among all the roles, there are no ones alike. Shang Bai managed to give each role the convincingly portray, with no duplicate actings. He is one of the best actor of his age with no doubt.

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Shang Bai portrayed Liu Laoer in By Gones

Liu Laoer, the role Shang Bai portrayed in By Gones, is one of his favorite role. But actually at the very first beginning, Shang Bai was not the director’s first choice. In order to get this character, in February 2016, cold winter, Shang Bai went straight from Beijing to Shan Xi to meet the director. “I knew I’ve got to go there, this role was created for me.”

He remembers clearly it was February 27th, he left home at about 8 a.m., arrived at the county of Shan Xi until 6 p.m., watching the little rain changing into small snow and then into heavy snow. Being moved by the sincerity, the director made his decision after a short time chatting with Shang Bai, without any audition. “I said one sentence to the director at that moment: ’I am the best actor of my age’, but on second thought, I added ‘one of them’. Actually it was a little cocky for me to say so, but if there is another chance, I might say the exact the same words.”

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In order to prepare for the role, he learned the accent of Shan Xi, playing the Suona(a traditional Chinese instrument) and the harmonica, and hunting etc.. Living and eating with the villagers for over ten days, to blend in the local vibe. 

Through the 7 years of ups and downs, Shang Bai is still full of satisfaction though, he smiled gently said “It is my treasure”. In the end he said ‘There is no need to mention some parts of the conversation’. He doesn't like to use the experiences to get sympathy.

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The fresh air of the entertainment industry.

On the day of the interview, he wore a white long sleeve fleece, a black cap, showing the smooth bangs, looked exactly like a senior college student. He would occasionally joke with me, making fun of the staffs, and getting defeated, then looking down with a smile. It was hard for me to imagine someone like this could bring a 33-years-old  fox-alike scheming business elite alive. But I knew I shouldn't be fooled by his appearance.

Shang Bai’s username of Weibo is @上白小叔儿 (Little Uncle Shang Bai), therefore his fans got the nickname: “nieces/nephews”,  and many of them think he is an ‘arty old-timer’.

Shang Bai likes tea, even bringing a whole tea set with him during the film shooting.

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One thing he always wanna do is to take a green train which won’t stop until after 7 days and nights.

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He barely follows the hot topics or trends on the Internet.  He would learn some buzzwords but then forget them after a while.

And there’s more. During the interview, I took a phone call. Meanwhile Shang Bai was talking about skin care with the staffs, giving the advice of not wearing makeup everyday, saying sometimes he even wouldn’t use the moisturizer*. And this word is so ‘80s.

*Shang Bai used an old-fashion phrase to express the facial cream.

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But in my opinion, it is not fair that just call Shang Bai as “veteran cadre”. It’s not his label, he is just remaining true to himself under this lousy, utilitarian environment of the entertainment circle.

Shang Bai told me, at first the reason of him drinking tea is his fond of the Sand-fired pot. And then he finds out drinking tea would make himself feel calm,  detach himself from the utilitarian entertainment environment temporarily. “The entertainment circle is a Vanity Fair itself, sometimes people would get lost and be blinded by the weird rules and the abnormal environments. At that moment you should stay calm, detach yourself and observe the changes.”

Except for having tea, there are other ways for Shang Bai to let himself feel calm as well, such as burning incenses, listening to the classic music, and walking along the road by himself in the night.

He barely uses Weibo, he usually removes the Weibo App a few hours later, after updating one post, and re-downloads it next time. Comparing with the media and public voices, he is more focused on his own self-cultivation. And for the voice of doubts, Shang Bai couldn't care less. “Cause I know what I want. Don't take too much advices, or you’ll lose yourself.” 

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Look. Even now, the tone of him is still gentle.  

However, there is no doubt, this kind of clear self-cognition can also be seen in his planning of the acting career. Like many actors, his ultimate goal is to film a movie that still means something 10 years later. “I really wish there was one piece of work from me, which 10 years later after I finish shooting, the audiences and the film learners would still appreciate and analysis it. By that time I would actually have fulfilled my desire of being a filmmaker.”

But facing the reality of the current film-television industry, the social media data are getting increasingly important. Shang Bai still has a long way to go. How to break the circle and walk into the mainstream and public, maintaining the balance between being an actor and being a social media data celebrity? It’s an issue. Maybe a hot drama, a perfect character would let him have the breakthrough. 

Such opportunity, will it come?

 

The original article link:

http://www.sohu.com/a/193754212_50819

 

Here is an exclusive interview of Shang Bai, I wanna translate this article and share it with all the international fans who wanna know more about Shang Bai.:heart:

 

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14 hours ago, meifang89 said:

@fantasysnack Thank you so much for the translation! :wub: I hope you will post more in the future :lol:

You're so welcome, dear~

I did make some screenshots of Beloved Enemy n posted them on Weibo, maybe I will repost some of them here in the future.

You can see more in my Weibo Photo album if you like. 

http://photo.weibo.com/2067090467/talbum/index#

 

Some GIFs of Episode 07:

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Some HD screenshots of episode 06:

 

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Mr. Gu cooks the  chicken soup for the soul for ya:tongue:

 

"There're many ways to live a life
Each one can fulfill yourself
I know you hate the office  
But hate doesn’t mean to give up
unless you are a child
As a mature grown-up, there is no like or dislike 
Just should or shouldn't do
Since it’s the way you should go
You must go ahead, even if you have to kneel it through"

 

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