June was a month of unalloyed bliss for the Wallace Chung fans all over the world. If you got a little depressed earlier this year because you didn’t get to see Wallace in the news as often as you desired, you wish was granted in the month of “Zhong”—doesn’t Wallace’s last name in Mandarin Chinese sound a lot like “June”? Wallace won his first best male actor award at the Shanghai International Film Festival, graced the premieres and press conferences for his latest works, and turned dozens of road shows of “Three” into jovial fan meets. Plus, he caught up with the latest technology adored by China’s entertainment world, “live stream,” to connect with his beloved fans.
Note: All the photos in this post can be clicked and viewed in full size.
Wallace Won His First “Movie King” Award
June 18, 2016 is bound to be an unforgettable day for Wallace and his fans. He attended the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) and won the first award in his filmmaking career—”The Male Lead That Grabs the Most Attention in the Media.” The award was given by China Movie Channel’s Media Focus Unit.
The official recognition reads, “Wallace Chung portrayed an atypical character with a high IQ in ‘Three.’ Such a character is rarely seen in police and ganster-themed films in recent years. He fully utilized the elements of character design, lines, body language, etc. to actively serve a role who is trapped within a relatively closed space, a limited amount of time, and a designated contentious triangular relationship. Also, in competition with strong fellow actors, he handled the character relations with ease and flexibility.”
The committee also offered Wallace some acting advice: Wallace Chung is a late bloomer among young actors. We hope that in the future, Wallace Chung will create more roles of rich inner lives, develop a more distinctive acting style, and grow into a unique actor with stable acting performance among young artists.
In response to the award, Wallace gave a short and rather predictable acceptance speech: “Guests, good evening. Now I feel as if I walked [on thin ice]…I feel extremely flattered. I am very happy that everyone seems to like my performance in ‘Three.’ This is probably the first time in my career that I received such an important honor for acting in films. I would like to thank Director [Johnnie To] for giving me this opportunity to challenge myself. And my thanks go to Director Yau Nai Hoi for creating such an amazing character…he is sitting right there…and I want to thank Zhao Wei, Louis Koo, all the other actors, the many body language teachers who worked laboriously with us, and all the staff who worked so hard with us. Last but not least, I want to thank China Movie Channel, and the organization committee of this Media Award [Media Focus Unit]. I will keep working hard to bring to the audience more works. I hope everyone keeps supporting Chinese movies…and supports ‘Three.’ Thank you!”
It should be noted that SIFF is one of the 15 competitive film festivals accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) based in Paris. The Media Focus Unit consists of over 100 media companies like People’s Daily, Southern Metropolis Daily, Phoenix Entertainment, Youku.com, and Douban Movies, in addition to corporate sponsors. The winners are chosen democratically using ballots.
“Three” is the 17th movie that the 41-year-old Wallace participated in. It is not totally inappropriate to call Wallace a “late bloomer” even though that phrase caused a burst of laughter among the audience at the ceremony, but he is certainly an incredibly youthful-looking late bloomer!
Fans naturally reveled in the significance of the honor, but they didn’t forget to joke about Wallace’s sense of direction on the stage…
Wallace later admitted that he was indeed befuddled by the “movie king” award. He said in an interview after the ceremony that he didn’t know how important this award was when he was on the stage, which I think explains why he didn’t say the name of the committee correctly. He felt extremely humbled by the honor and reiterated that he felt nervous, as if he were “walking on think ice.”
However, Wallace did not forget to satisfy the fans’ curiosity about his feelings upon receiving the award. Albeit unbelievably childlike as he is, He understands how ecstatic the Liang Family are and what they want to see, as the following video illustrates:
“Three” Hit the Road
“Three” was the priority in Wallace’s hectic schedule in June. Although he will “monopolize the big screen” [Chinese Internet slang term for what prolific actors do] as the media say with three movies this summer, “Three” was premiered on the earliest date, June 20, and its road shows started on June 21 with Wallace participating in 30 of them.
At the June 20 “Three” premiere in Beijing, Wallace was asked again about how he felt about the best male actor award, he said he still felt it was not quite real and asked the audience to excuse him if he spoke incoherently at the premiere. It was funny that Mr. Johnnie To, the director of the movie, praised Wallace’s acting with some reservation. He commented that gangster Zhang Lixin “is a pretty hard role to play, but Wallace made it, so he got a ‘movie king’ [award].” However, he said Wallace could still make more progress and wished him greater success in films. Wallace added that he knew his portrayal did not fully meet the director’s expectations and that he would strive for better performance.
I watched “Three” on June 24. I think Wallace did well enough lol. In a group interview, Wallace, Zhao Wei, and Louis Koo aka Gu Tianle discussed the complexity of the making of “Three.” Each of them suffered physically due to some violent scenes. For example, Louis Koo shook Wallace’s head hard and fast which caused Wallace’s ears to fester. The slaps that Zhao Wei received from Louis numbered upward of 30. As a result, Zhao Wei showed up the next day with a swollen cheek and bloodshot eyes. Louis himself was also a “victim” of Mr. Johnnie To’s perfectionism. A piece of broken glass went inside his eye in a shooting scene, yet he didn’t go to the doctor until three days later. Zhao Wei quipped that Louis was highly tolerant of pain, but Louis responded that he only felt a little uncomfortable….
Wallace mentioned the two biggest challenges for him in “Three.” The first one was speaking without taking a breath. Since he played a glib gangster, he was required to recite lines where the punctuation marks were deliberately taken out. The second challenge was the gunfight scene near the end of the movie. It was an impressive 6-minute long take that featured a diverse cast of 100 characters acting out slow motion. The completion of the task took 250 people, 60 days of preparation, four days of rehearsal, and 15 takes. At first, Wallace thought his dancing background would help him execute the slow motion fairly easily, but he was wrong. It was the body language teachers who helped him achieve fine motor control through movement analysis and plenty of practice.
“Three” pulled in 25 million RMB in mainland, China on its opening day and made the highest debut among Mr. Johnnie To’s crime films. The movie has also generated heated discussions on its storyline and implications. On Douban Movie, “Three” has generated 746 movie reviews and 14,282 short comments as of this writing. Many devoted fans have chosen to watch the movie more than once. Below are some comments garnered by the movie’s official Weibo account.
360-degree spolier as follows.
Morality, responsibility, law, doctor’s ethics. There is no absolute right or wrong in the world. Doctors can kill people while trying to save people. Cops can break the law in order to enforce the law. The only measuring tool is one’s conscience.
Watched “Three” twice. It is worth watching again and again. The three characters’ minds deserve repeated perusal, especially Wallace Chung’s precise emotional expression. Plus, his Cantonese and English sounded so nice that I almost melted.
How can Wallace Chung be so handsome even when he played a pervert?
“Three” has not only been well-received in China, but it has earned rave reviews from international media such as:
- Toronto Star
- San Diego Union-Tribune
- Los Angeles Times
- The New York Times
- Film Journal international
- San Diego City Beat
- The Washington Post
- Rotten Tomatoes
What’s Wallace’s take on the movie? His latest Weibo offers some clues:
Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. Those are my takeaway from the film “Three.” When I was on the set, I often saw Director To acting like a vagabond doing his favorite thing, bold and unbridled. His world goes beyond considerations of good and evil and lends itself more to the portrayal of reality. Since part of the reality is humanity, any thought that is supposed to cross a character’s mind he wouldn’t shun. Hence, “classic” means to Director To making the films that he wants to make and letting time form the tribunal. “Three” will definitely become Director To’s new classic. “Where there are three men walking together, one of them is bound to be able to teach me something.” We will prove that.
I actually watched “Three” with this Weibo post in mind. I have never been to the movie theater with such high anticipation, and I left with great satisfaction. “Three” was captivating and thought-provoking. If you haven’t seen “Three,” I highly recommend the Cantonese version, because having worked in mainland for about 17 years, Wallace rarely spoke Cantonese in public. It was very interesting to listen to him speak his first language in a movie.
“Tik Tok” Amazed Shanghai
June 11 and 12 were big days for “Tik Tok.” On June 11, the “Tik Tok” team graced the red carpet at the Shanghai International Film Festival, and the next day, the team gave a press conference in Shanghai and released new posters.
I LOVE Wallace’s dashing appearance at the “Tik Tok” press conference. Kudos to Wallace’s photographers and fans who followed him everywhere to capture all the precious moments and post these high-resolution “cabbages” [a slang term for event photos of Wallace] on Weibo.
The graceful gait, the winsome smile, the ruminative gaze, the quick-witted reply, the naughty side-glance…What’s not to like? Wallace’s mannerisms are a reflection of his inner beliefs. As a Wallace fan for a year and a half, I think curiosity, kindness, creativity, diligence, and peace of mind are the very essence of his life philosophy. Any comments?
In the June 12 interview with Renren.com after the press conference, Wallace said he felt it was “magical” that his three new movies came out in one summer. He didn’t expect this matter of happenstance to occur too often in his future career.
I like that 20-minute Renren.com interview a lot. First, because he was in my favorite suit lol. Second, because this was probably one of the first interviews Wallace had regarding “Tik Tok” after the press conference, he sounded relaxed and appeared to be in great spirits. Third, the reporter was well-prepared. She did not ask too many regular questions that Wallace would answer 100 times during the road shows. Instead, her questions ranged from “Tik Tok” to TV dramas, to the fan-made kissing scene collection, and to the concert tour. And she was good at asking follow-up questions to get the most out of Wallace. After watching the interview, fans were touched by Wallace’s confession that he shed tears at concerts against his wishes but he couldn’t help it because he thought about how he grew with the fans, how much the fans had prepared, and how many miles they had flown just to see him in person.
On June 18, Wallace had an in-depth interview with 1905.com. A fan of the Wisely Series [Ni Kuang’s adventure-science novel series], he recalled his strong interest in the script of “Tik Tok.” He said he read the script as if it were a detective novel. The movie unleashed his fiendish side and enabled him to play a villain with a split personality.
Wallace implied some weariness of typecasting. He said he understood that fans liked seeing him play the “domineering boss” [internet slang term for roles like Lu Licheng and Murong Feng], but he would also allow himself to accept some edgy roles every now and then.
When asked about “Hour Glass” [the first movie that Wallace will direct], he said the team had been back to the script revision stage so the project would be pushed back a little bit.
This teaser shows the making of “Tik Tok.” Wallace was not interviewed but the other two leading actors were. Lee Jung-Jae said a bridge was closed for a car chase scene, while Lang Yueting said she thought for a second that their bus would rush out of the bridge. I was impressed by some heavy-duty special effects that were applied in this highly-anticipated thriller.
For those of you that haven’t seen the latest trailer, here it comes:
Wallace’s character, Guo Zhihua, said in the trailer, “There are three levels in betting: Not afraid of losing; not afraid when losing; afraid of not losing…” “Tik Tok” will be premiered on July 1.
“Bounty Hunters” Premiered in Beijing
Just like “Tik Tok” and “Three,” “Bounty Hunters” also stunned the red carpet at the Shanghai International Film Festival. This star-stud motion picture was premiered in Beijing on June 22.
The following teaser shows that the making of “Bounty Hunters” is a widely entertaining and exhilarating adventure. Wallace explained that his character, Wang Boyou aka Ah Yo, is a clever food junkie. He is not the best fighter, but he is the biggest jester and bread winner on the team. Wallace flexed his facial muscles and experienced some intense driving scenes in this comedy.
This trailer is titled “Male Gods Came to the Mundane World.”
In an amusing interview with the media on the premiere day, Wallace “complained” without any spoiler warning. He said when Tang Yan’s character, Cat, shot everyone with a stun gun, he had the most exhausting experience in his acting career. “Being beaten up is also replete with action […] From the moment she zapped me, I had to shake my body like crazy all the way until the take was finally over…that was called an action scene…I was the real action lead,” Wallace quipped, referring to the movie’s marketing strategy that defined Lee Min-ho’s Li Shan as the “action lead” and his Ah Yo as the “comedy lead.”
Two Liang Family “Live Stream” Talks for the Fans
“Live stream” is a live, interactive videotaping technique that has taken the Chinese entertainment industry by storm recently. In a live stream session, the stars chat with the fans via a live webcasting app while the fans can respond by typing and sending emoji gifts. Sending emoji gifts often costs real money.
On the morning of June 12, Wallace had the first live stream chat session with fans. The announcement was made on the Liang Family Weibo at 1:32 A.M. The chat started around noon.
Wallace mainly discussed Ah Yo from “Bounty Hunters.” At 04:10, Wallace was asked by the host to tell a joke or make faces as Ah Yo, so he began rapping. After only a few seconds, he stopped and asked why he saw a plethora of comments and emoticons [it is called “barrage”] flying across the screen. The host told him they were from the viewers. He then said, “The words were churned out faster when he did the Ah Yo bit. Does that mean the fans became more active?”
After his speculation was confirmed, Wallace suddenly asked the fans very sincerely, “Can you stop being so active?” LOL. He said he couldn’t see any question as they flew across the screen too fast. Apparently the fans ignored him and sent him more comments and gifts…
According to the Wallace Chung W Liang Family weibo account, a total of 538,302 people watched the live stream session simultaneously online.
On June 26, Wallace surprised the fans with an additional live stream session on the way to a road show of “Three” in Shenzhen.
Many fans missed the session because it was not announced in advance. Wallace started by sitting in the van and holding a cellphone to record all his goofy cute moves. He kept his voice low, saying that he didn’t want to disturb the other people in the van. It seems that he is very familiar with what the fans have been saying about him on Weibo—he called himself “Tough Gangster Baby [Note: “Baby” is a new internet slang term widely used to address onself and anyone one deems adorable], which I think must have amused many viewers. I was surprised that Wallace hadn’t watched “Three” by the time of that chat session. No wonder he didn’t know the answers to some fans’ questions about “Three” in previous road shows…LOL.
Well, later that day, he watched “Three.”
Wallace Just Can’t Stop Joking with the Fans
Congratulations, you just reached my favorite part of this post! Though I wrote all parts with equal diligence…
Wallace’s “Three” road shows allowed fans to do their favorite thing—”meeting the emperor“—in six cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Wuhan, Shenzhen, and Donguan. In every city, Wallace visited four to six movie theaters to interact with the fans before or after the screenings. Many fans followed Wallace around and went to several movie theaters just to see him a few more times. They posted video snippets of the road show on Weibo and YouTube (click to watch more videos). I watched a bunch of them. Here are some of the most interesting ones in my opinion.
No. 1 Wallace Reunited with Hong Kong Fans
This video with English subtitles was kindly posted by a Vietnamese fan group on Weibo. Wallace met with the Hong Kong Liang Family during a road show in Shenzhen. He joked with a middle-aged lady who had been his fan for more than two decades, responded to the overseas fans’ difficulties with purchasing concert tickets, and promised to consider mass-producing the Hei Hua shoes. The conversations were in Cantonese.
In the same road show, Wallace chatted with those middle-aged fans from his hometown who literally watched him grow up as an artist. A fan who watched the video commented that Wallace spoke with such ease and enthusiasm as if he were “really chatting with his own family.”
When some fans said they would watch the Cantonese version of “Three” after they return to Hong Kong, Wallace said he dubbed both the Cantonese and the Mandarin versions, but Mr. To used his voice for the Cantonese version only. Wallace jokingly whined “I was so upset” and stomped his foot. Then he said he had to practice Cantonese for dubbing the movie. “Bear with me, I must practice more, to the point [where I spoke Cantonese] as well as I did [17 years ago],” said Wallace. He added that even his mom complained about his deteriorating Cantonese.
Now here comes the funniest part:
Wallace told the Hong Kong fans he would go back to Hong Kong after the road show in Dongguan, because otherwise his mom won’t be able to recognize him. “Gee, I miss my mom so much!” sighed Wallace.
Then he said he would have brunch with his mom on June 27. A fan asked him where he would go for brunch.
“Where would I go for brunch? I made the appointment with my mom already…”
“What’s your mom’s phone number…”
No. 2 Wallace Talked about Jackie
In this video, Wallace became his sister Jackie’s messenger. He said Jackie was surprised to be spotted by more people when she went out. And those passers-by asked if they could take pictures with her. As a result, Jackie had to pay more attention to grooming. Wallace said Jackie didn’t want to be so “conspicuous” and advised the fans not to talk to Jackie if running into her.
No. 3 “Late Bloomer”? Young and Promising!!!
During a road show in Dongguan, Wallace spoke with a fan who had watched “Three” five times.
Wallace: [gasped]: Aren’t your eyes sore?
W: Isn’t your heart tired [playing around the Chinese internet slang term “My heart is so tired, I feel I can’t fall in love anymore”]?
Wallace: Why aren’t you tired?
Fan: Because you were in the movie.
Wallace: [laughing] I knew it…Is there anything you really want to share after watching it five times?
Fan: Eh…first, [let’s] welcome…[Wallace craned his neck with curiosity] the young and promising “Movie King”…
Wallace immediately doubled over with laughter. The audience cheered and applauded.
Wallace: OK…say that again…they didn’t hear you clearly. [walked to her] I will give you two mics.
Fan: THE YOUNG AND PROMISING MOVIE KING!
More applause. Wallace danced.
Wallace: [pointing at the fan] Did you guys hear that clearly? [The audience said: No!] You guys didn’t hear that clearly, so let’s ask her to say that again. [laughed] Say that again.
Fan: THE YOUNG AND PROMISING MOVIE KING—WALLACE CHUNG!
Wallace danced again and the audience called out Wallace’s name with the fan.
Wallace: Did you hear that clearly? Not “late bloomer” [The audience laughed]! But “young and promising”!
The audienced cheered. Wallace laughed and walked aside.
Wallace: That’s it? Do you have things to say about “Three”…
Then the fan shared her thoughts on the documentary about the making of “Three.” She said the teamwork and dedication to excellence moved her. Wallace thanked her on behalf of the “Three” team.
Wallace Fans Are Beyond Devoted
You have probably seen the amazing pictures of supportive fans on our blog’s Facebook page, but I want to share two more things with you.
I was struck by this photo of the fans in Guangzhou celebrating the completion of a running campaign for “Three.” They wished “Three” a box office success on its opening day. The official weibo of the Guangzhou fan group said 100 fans attended this event, but I think I saw more than 100 runners in the photo. It is wonderful to see Wallace’s fans pursue a healthy lifestyle under Wallace’s influence.
The fans’ devotion to Wallace probably received the most beautiful feedback in a road show in Shenzhen. Wallace responded to a female fan’s “love confession”: How come I am so lucky? What good deeds did I do in my previous life so that I receive so much love in this life? So many people like me…I have been so touched. When I go home, when I am alone, I think: Wow, I must have done many good things in my previous life. In this life, I must keep it up and do more good things to maintain this so-called likability.”
What’s even more touching is the fans’ comments on Wallace’s feedback. A fan wrote on Weibo, “He said he must have done something nice in his previous life so that there have been so many people who like him in this life, but the people who like him all feel that they must have done something nice in their previous lives so that they didn’t miss out on him in this life.”
Gallery: General and I, “Moonlight Blade,” ,Ecovacs , and More
Wallace and the other members of the “General and I” team graced the red carpet of the 2016 Shanghai International Film & TV Festival. Wallace was lauded for being a gentleman who assisted Angelababy along the way.
On the evening of June 10, Angelababy and Wallace presented two awards for the Magnolia Awards Ceremony of the 2016 Shanghai International Film & TV Festival. They encouraged the audience to support General and I. I look forward to this TV drama because it is quite different from the patriarchal dramas that have long dominated the Chinese market.
A new ad for the game “Moonlight Blade” is slated on July 1. Here is the 15-second prerelease:
Curious about how the ad was made?
Ecovacs released the Cantoese ad with Wallace’s voice.
Visual learner fans, these photos from the upcoming Southern Entertainment Weekly are for you.
The cover says “The Proud Little Sun.” The quote reads: In the realm of Idol Drama, I am getting close to my last few projects. I always think that at my age, I should play some roles that are more realistic instead of those dreamlike ones.
Last but not least, Maggie Jiang and Aaron Yan recently joined Wallace in All Along the Way, Blooming Flowers Shall See Us off. Well, in consideration of the above quote, I have the feeling that Blooming Flowers might just be Wallace’s last idol drama.
Thank you for reading the June News Update.
Text: Written by Haha
Photos and Videos: Collected by Himmy and Haha