This is my bromance edition. There are quite a few that have warm my hearts through the years to name, I should say I love too many of them. The obvious is HuGe+YuanHong, or Daniel Wu and Stephen Fung, or the love hate bff/frenemy trio of Chen DaoMing 陳道明, Ge You葛优 and Jiang Wen 姜文, of the older generation of C thespians, never into the game of flaunting anything personal in public. There is a current unfolding juicy rumor of Jiang Wen casting Ge You and maybe CDM in his upcoming movie he’s also starring. I doubt it’ll happen, but these 3 honchos in one movie? Not gonna miss that.
This is mostly a Liu Ye appreciation post.
Lan Yu is on many must-watch list of any HK/C movie aficionado. Have an MV:
Lan Yu is the name of Liu Ye’s character, based on an internet novel Beijing Story and adapting this new medium to a movie was groundbreaking 12 years ago, let alone a gay-themed mainstream movie with an established name HuJun and up and comer Liu Ye. Most of the chatter to this day is still around what you see of Liu Ye in it. But what impressed me most is the restraint. And somehow the ending haunts me, I rewatched it recently and the rendezvous watching the last minutes overwhelmed me.
Engsubbed18+NSFW (I’m sure it won’t stay on YT for long:
And to this day, I think this is one of the frankest essay of a relationship between a man and a man Asian cinema has offered. What really smitten me the most is the earnest machismo/charisma and vulnerability both men are oozing off their every pore so effortlessly in character. It’s one thing to have the charisma as a star, but another level to flesh it most naturally on screen as a character. And they have a most lovely magical chemistry. They both have IT, both injecting authenticity to their respective characters, it’s not a contest of who out-act or upstage the other, but I can feel the heart and the conviction in being most true to the the characters first and foremost. The movie is not most entertaining, it’s not most tightly paced but somehow it makes it more believable, and as an audience, I can simply sit back and feel.
Since then I’ve diligently checked out everything Liu Ye and Hu Jun did, most were let-downs, but somehow they are enough a draw for me to soldier on. Hu Jun picks safer mainstream roles in blockbusters, he has his niche and at a point of his career I don’t think he’s in need for new heights. Liu Ye always remind me (and I know I’m alone and weird in this) of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. There is always this alluring mix of boyish playful charm in hand with smexy, just everytime the ratio is calibrated accordingly. He got my vote for the most talented C actor of his generation that has not hit his full potential, whom I have an irking is not fully aware of how obscenely talented he is, following his heart and passion too much without a rational savvy in this business and frankly quite clueless into promoting himself to the mega A-lister status…that is until recently when he started a weibo acct.
Before the weibo-stalking, my impression of Liu Ye is this sensitive soul, a manchild, equiped with every manly sensibility firmly adhering to gender roles of a Northerner, with a devilish dry wit, wrapped under a manboy package almost sweet and cute enough to be full on heartthrob but just not quite fitting. I am putting dips on him to be the next Tony Leung, a combo of both of them Tonys to be exact. So in my head, he is super serious with his craft, no nonsense, withdrawn and an oddball. He was in a very public and intense relationship with quite a popular CN starlet/TVhost and famously said I would have spent the rest of my life with my first girlfriend, if she hadn’t broken up with me… when asked why did he marry his wife (whom he’s not shy to proclaim his adoration for her). It’s well known he suffered from very debilitating insomnia for years, taking pills, inebriated….till he met his wife. It is this mettle, this spunk, frank and honest and open with himself ie the root of that alluring mix of fragility and machismo, that explains why his acting is always attractive to me, even when the project itself is not.
His weibo, is the most charming, funniest riot. It’s quite inane most of the time, but so insanely cute and playful even the best master thespian can never emulate. I giggled my arse off with his every weibo presence and I’ve warned myself never to lurk there for fear I would be laughing so hard I can’t fall asleep not able to stop laughing. I mean he’ll openly give the public pointers on his silly game of grabbing the first reply under any and every weibo under the sun and be a nosy weibo butterfly replying the first for the latest hottest gossip and anything concerning himself.
To this day, any mention of either one of them, a lot of fans will immediately connote the other guy. Liu Ye is normally shameless and suave in RL, but here in 2012, when they met up for a charity event, he seems to regress back to that young precious green boy LanYu before HuJun and our eyes:
During the promo rounds for Last Supper with Daniel last year, when Daniel brought up his other bromantic half Stephen, his first on screen kiss, Liu Ye didn’t miss a beat mentioning his first on screen kiss was with HuJun and to this day, ‘it’s complicated.’ he half-jokingly said about their friendship.
Some fans posted his student ID from Central Academy of Drama to the weibo of Idol/Idiot (CAD is the alma mater of who’s who: Chen Dao Ming, Jiang Wen, Chen JianBing, GongLi, Zhang ZiYi (classmate of LiuYe), Tang Wei and Hu Jun to count a few). What did LY reply under the thread?
LiuYe: So handsome! :O~ Hey, who is this!? So Handsome! :O~ To which HuJun butt in: Look at what you have now, that is what’s truly beautiful! LY replied: Well said, Handsome Bro! I’m the type that ages in reverse, the picture aged me more than I’m now! T_T V
And to this pic sent to Idol/Idiot by fans of Hu Jun, LY commented: Very Handsome :~(
GAHHHH, after a decade plus, they have not collaborated together, nor seen much together, but thanks to the all powerful weibo. Viola! *I went and rewatch LanYu just because of this exchange*
Yup, the same dude
Liu Ye has a bunch of upcoming projects piquing my interest:
红色通道: He is a spy in the drama. Yeah, and Loverboy is ALSO A SPY!!! *as far as my special fangirl powers go, is Binnie gonna be in some spy thriller too?!?!?!?!*
Erm, in the vid, he’s chatting about joie de vivre, esp at weibo. And he has mastered the craft of shamelessly joke with a serious face throwing in a cutest chuckle shouting the world how handsome he is. He has claimed himself cuter than his 2yo son. He admits to being impish at weibo, just for fun. And he has an anon handle with which he’ll go and track down peeps saying bad things about ‘Liu Ye’ and protests under the thread with his handle, ‘No! You don’t know LiuYe! He’s very good!’ Attaching a cute ‘muahahahaha’ at the end of the interview after saying that. This is a Dad of 2 babies and a Golden Horse Best Actor, acclaimed Intl thespian.
《厨戏痞》 (The Chef, The Actor, The Scoundrel) or they r saying 虎烈拉 ‘hu le la’ just coz it sounds cool, PD said. The 3 leads are the hot commodities in C movieland (and here being the hot men/ahjusshis they are for sohu) Zhang Hanyu (also from Central Drama Academy) first caught my eye in 贫嘴张大民的幸福生活 (I ❤ that little Cdrama) but he’s much better known for his supporting roles in hit movies like Bodyguards and Assassins, recent works include the new Water Margin and White Vengeance. Huang Bo is the new ‘2 billion Man’, that’s his box office contribution. And what is interesting is they made a drama version based on the same Occupation period 火线三兄弟 of the same (?) 3 bros of the Tian family (though looking much more normal) by the same director 管虎. The director’s best work is the Cdrama 《黑洞》 Black Hole, a crime thriller written by the now famous director of his own right LuChuan. It is still one of the best in its genre starring Chen DaoMing and Huang Bo (a muse of the director) has a minor role. I don’t know, the new move just looks too stylized and utterly bizarre, it can go both ways.
The official Trailer:
The 3 Best Actors famously went slashy in the promo rounds: @张涵予：我是看着刘烨的戏成长起来的。@黄渤 ：没错，按照拿奖来说我们都是晚辈，刘烨的好作品太多了，比如《蓝宇》啊，比如《蓝宇》啊。@刘烨：直接影响了你们的爱情观是吧？@张涵予 (ZhangHanYu): I grew up watching LiuYe’s movie. @黄渤 (HuangBo): That’s right, from the chronological order of getting awards, we are both his junior, Liu Ye has too many great work, like <Lan Yu>. LIKE < LAN YU>! @刘烨 (Liu Ye): It has directly influenced your view on romance, right?
《杀戒》 is an angsty thriller. LY is paired up with NiNi (of War and Flowers’ fame). YES! I’m not sure if the movie will do them justice, but they have hot scenes, some bloody, playing a couple. Although NiNi is so sensual on screen, in RL she is a shy young girl, not skilled with facing the press and biting questions…and how to keep composure and her eyes off the hottie against those electrocuting hot glances and flattering flirty words of LY. Those glances they exchanged during the presscon are YUM!
HuJun has been steadily amazing, the go-to guy for so many commanding powerful (smexy) men through the years. Kublai Khan, first Ming emperor Zhu YuanZhang, Xiang Yu, King of Yue, Fu Chai in Great Revival (<333) and the LC wuxia hero who SLAINS me the most: Qiao Fung of DemiGods and SemiDevils 2002. There is a testosterone fest coming up that no right minded fangirl is gonna miss, because there should be a guy doing it for you here, and as firefighters:
Tell me you don’t need any one of them to put out the sizzling hotness you are feeling atm. But my biggest draw is director Derek Kwok, responsible for the surprise 201o gem Gallants打擂台. I’m still waiting for a Cantonese version of Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons 西遊·降魔篇 which he co-directed with Stephen Chow to pop up somewhere in the interwebs.