MAY 2017 NEWS UPDATE

May 2017 was a month of what mainland Wallace Chung fans in China call “drama famine.” No new drama was aired. No new film was realeased. Not even a variety TV show featuring Wallace came around. Fortunately, the famine will be over soon. Better yet, Wallace sent a Mother’s Day message on behalf of Ecovacs, busied himself with the filming of Healing Love, and posted the longest weibo EVER for his longtime assistant.

Wallace and Healing Love (in the Staff’s Words)

When Wallace is not in the public eye, the hidden spies among the Wallace fans always come to life. They search high and low online and off to bring us the latest news about Wallace, but don’t worry, they know how to protect Wallace’s privacy despite their insatiable curiosity.

While Wallace was busy filming Healing Love in Shanghai, the fans spotted some extras and staff members on Weibo, bombarded them with questions about Wallace, and got plenty of info.

At the beginning of May, an extra wrote:

“I’m gonna answer everyone’s questions in one comment! Today I took on the task of performing as an extra! Wallace explained to me [what to do] for a long time  and the outcome was quite a success! When [Wallace] was on the set, he sometimes carried and moved things by himself. Doesn’t really look like a boss (but everyone calls him “boss”)! He is a fun-loving person. For example, in a drumming scene, although the director had approved the take, the boss and the extras had so much fun with the drums that they simply could not stop!”

Later two other staff members were discovered posting on Weibo about Wallace. They didn’t know Wallace very well in the past, but Wallace left a nice impression on them.

1. Wallace has many lines as the male lead, but he completed many scenes with one or two takes! The secret? His script is covered with notes in traditional Chinese, including the ones about the tone of voice and the facial expressions. He even draws funny doodles on the script to help himself interpret the script. When he practices for a scene, he paces in the hallway to practice the lines. His bodyguard stays with him but sits far away by the staircase, “as if he were babysitting a kid.”

2. It is very cool to see Wallace act on the set. He can get into his character instantly. The expression of intense emotions, the volume of his voice, the control of the tone, and the change of nuanced facial expressions are all magnified in the HD monitor. Everything about him in character is very appealing.

3. Wallace is knowledgeable about TV and film production. The comment was made by a young staff member whose major is related to the area.

4. Wallace has a habit of working out in the morning. He is also observant. He noticed it when the above staff member did not go running as usual.

5. She is also amazed by Wallace’s physical stamina and nice skin though he works for long hours every day in a fast-paced environment. He looks very cute when he blinks. His eyes are amber-colored. She said Wallace was born to be a star. “When you are close to him, you are stunned by his face. When you are far away from him, you drool over his figure.” He looks better in person than in videos and photos.

Illustrator: Sina Weibo @decay0_0

6. The other staff members call Wallace “Fang Haosheng,” the name of his character. Fang Haosheng has a big mirror. He looks adorable when he obediently allows the makeup artist to fix his hair, makeup, and clothes. He always makes sure he looks fine. Fang Haosheng is a fashionista. His own clothes are usually of black, white, and gray, and they look great. When Fang Haosheng wears a simple sweater, he looks so young—no more than 20 years old!

7. Wallace is nice to people working around him. He takes the initiative to greet the staff. He always says “Thank you,” “Sorry for the convenience” and “Thank you for your hard work.” He is humble, approachable and thoughtful.

8. Wallace is humble and polite, but that does not mean he does not have personal opinions. He expresses his opinions and suggestions very appropriately. He doesn’t speak much but he often insists on re-shooting because of tiny imperfections which others might be fine with. He is very serious at work and practices all kinds of skills during the breaks. He does not play with his phone on the set.

9. A professional violinist who is young enough to refer to Wallace as “uncle” on Weibo said she was amazed by how well Wallace played the violin. She thought the instrumental ensemble would never be recorded on the set but she was wrong. She was also impressed by Wallace as a conductor. Although Wallace is by no means a pro, the fact that he should impress a professional violinist is a testament to his hard work and learning ability.

10. Wallace kept thanking the above violinist for teaching him to play the violin. She told him, “You guys pay me [so you don’t have to be so polite].” Wallace collapsed in laughter. The staff members were served snacks but Wallace does not eat them. Wallace told the violinist and other staff members that girls should play with the phone less and smile more (or laugh more? I am not sure because the Chinese word she used in the weibo was not specific.)

Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

The two staff members mentioned above posted some pictures and videos they took on the set, but Wallace’s fans requested them to set those pics and videos private because they know Wallace is very serious about copyright issues. Also, training the phone on Wallace and the Healing Love set without permission is a violation of the code of ethics in the industry.  Although I feel sorry for missing those pictures and videos, I think the fans were right. I read in the past that many years ago, Wallace told the fans not to take pictures of the set. He said only the hired photographers are allowed take photos during a TV drama production.

Wallace “Fired” His Mom

On May 10, Ecovacs claimed that if you followed them on WeChat, you would receive a message and a phone call from Wallace. Later, this video was released. Wallace, along with six other stars, “fired” their moms. My translation of the video explains why.

Sorry, mom,
I want to fire you.

Always,
I say I will go home after I am finished with all this work.

Always,
only when I feel unwell
will I think of my mom: She is probably fine, right?

Always,
I am busy day after day.
Only when I stop working will I think:
For life
you must have toiled a lot too, right?

Dear mom,
Love and cherish yourself.

Now you have the Ecovacs robots to help you.
All these years, you have travailed a lot
May the mothers all over the world have a happy Mother’s Day.

Ecovacs Robotics
They are robots, they are also your family.

Weibo Update (Longest Weibo Ever!)

On May 27, Wallace posted a long weibo for his longtime assistant Zhang Zhen. It is the longest weibo he has ever posted (Yes, he wrote more partly because Sina Weibo updated the weibo word limit from 140 characters to 2,000 characters, but still!)

Just finished filming [for the day]. Xiao Zhen [Little Zhen. “Little” is used before someone’s first name to show affection.] handed me the script for tomorrow’s filming. I recalled that the day before yesterday we finished work around dinner time. Someone said that we had not had a group dinner for a long time, so we decided instantly to go have dinner together. Xiao Zhen still kept herself busy while everyone else was joking around and stuffing their faces. They were hungry so they ate to their hearts’ content, which explains what the word “satisfied” means. Xiao Zhen suddenly spoke of what happened when she first met with me. She said, “That day was May 25, 2007!” The other people screamed, “Wasn’t that today ten years ago?” Everyone was happily stunned! Xiao Zhen said, “I went to a beauty salon near Jing’an Temple to meet you. You were getting a haircut there. You were wearing a white T-shirt, dark-colored jeans, and a pair of very [the original word was “hin” instead of “hen” because Xiao Zhen said that word with a funny accent, and Wallace naughtily kept that in his original weibo] white sneakers. Later you took me to work. In the car, you turned around and asked me what my name was, and after thinking for a long time you said you would call me Xiao Zhen.” When Xiao Zhen talked about those things, I immediately felt I went back to those days, all the memories replayed before my eyes vividly. It turns out that it is going to be the 11th year for Xiao Zhen to work as my assistant. We experienced so many things together…We went to the set with the extras in a Jinbei [Chinese car brand] van; the place we lived in back then had a leaking problem when it rains; we huddled together in a small corner and had lunch served in partitioned boxes; she held the script and rehearsed the lines with me; we had contests of memorizing the Tang dynasty poetry and the ci poetry of the Song dynasty. Since I started filming [in mainland] in 1999, I had been used to taking care of myself. Then Xiao Zhen appeared. To this day the macro environment for filming is constantly changing, but we still keep learning. It is so nice to feel motivated like this. There is a sentence [Zen proverb] that goes, “The person who drinks it knows best whether the water is hot or cold.” At this moment I think of the staff members working around me. Grateful. Thank you all.

The weibo was written in plain words but it is pretty moving. Wallace coupled the weibo with nine pictures of or with Zhang Zhen over the past ten years. The one at the center has a caption, “Don’t look down—the crown will fall.” The caption is an alternative of “Keep your head up, princess, or else the crown will fall.” The alternative got popular about two years ago in China. You can see the original weibo here

I remember Zhang Zhen wrote an essay in February, 2015 about her life on Weibo. She briefly mentioned how she met and started working for Wallace at 21 years old. Before meeting Wallace, she had worked in the service industry for seven years. She is kind, down to earth, independent, thoughtful, and hardworking. She gratefully wrote that she learned a lot about how to conduct herself and treat others from Wallace. She described herself as “cold on the outside but enthusiastic on the inside.” She didn’t mention Wallace’s name in the essay but she thanked him for trusting and helping her. She wrote she wished Wallace all the best “silently in her heart.”

Wallace helped Xiao Zhen put on makeup

By the way, I am glad Wallace confirmed in the weibo that Zhang Zhen is the assistant who had poetry memorization contests with him. Wallace said in interviews that they memorized about 60 poems while waiting on the set. Wallace memorized the poems faster but Zhang Zhen remembered the poems for a longer time.

Wallace Fans’ MV Contest

Wallace’s fans have been no less busy than their idol–they channel their creativity and love for Wallace through the sixth annual MV contest hosted by the Wallace Chung fan forum on Baidu Tieba . If you are on Weibo, search 钟吧第六届MV大赛 to check out those videos. If you are on YouTube, click here.  As of this writing, there have been 133 MV entries and even some non-competitive MVs just to cheer up the contestants (What?!? Wallace’s fans are so adorably crazy ).

A Book about Wallace

Wallace’s fan @伦敦的安 published a book about Wallace last summer. The book title was 《我们可以很钟汉良》 We Can Be Very Wallacian, but the publisher changed it to 《骄傲的女人爱钟汉良》 Proud Women Love Wallace Chung.  The book analyzes in eight chapters why Wallace has charmed so many fans over years.

Chapter I An Ideal Young Man
Chapter II Break Free from the Comfort Zone
Chapter III Personal Goals
Chapter IV The Power of Simplicity
Chapter V The Charisma of a Gentleman
Chapter VI Aesthetic Ideals
Chapter VII Give Love a Sense of Security
Chapter VIII The Art of Time

The author is a Chinese living in the United Kingdom. To write the book, she reviewed Wallace’s past works and interviews and interviewed several fans about how Wallace influenced them. I love her analyses of the precious qualities Wallace possesses and many Wallace fans can draw inspiration from. For example, in the first chapter, she pointed out Wallace’s diligence, courage, stamina, and innocence are essential to his success.  @阿曼佳呀, a Wallace fan with over 4,000 followers, wrote a book review. She concluded that the book reveals the reasons why people fell in love with Wallace: It is because he is wonderful and thinks that the world is wonderful and full of hope. He empowers the fans to become a stronger and better person to make the world a even more wonderful place.

Unfortunately, after the book came out, it was protested by some of Wallace’s fans in mainland. They accused the author of taking advantage of Wallace’s fame and success and suspected she published the book without Wallace and the Liang Family’s permission because Wallace or his staff did not promote the book on Weibo. Some of them also disliked the new book title.

The author decided to post a few book chapters under the original title on Weibo and WeChat. Last November, an anonymous fan bought 8,000 copies in stock to give out to other fans practically for free. The interested fans just need to go to the designated online shop to order a copy for 0.01 RMB.

The author stopped posting new chapters online after the giveaway started, but the readers continued giving positive feedback after receiving their copies. Some of them even organized a panel to discuss the book in their company! (Crazy fans again! )

The good news was that this month, the author resumed posting the remaining chapters of the book every Sunday on Weibo. If you read Chinese, you can read them here.

I love the book. I was stunned when it came out (another crazy fan!) but after reading a few chapters, I was blown away. It was well-researched and beautifully-written. I learned more about Wallace and felt inspired. Hopefully more copies will be printed. I want to buy one at its original price.

 ********************

Recently I read more about gender equality and LGBTQIA issues. Sometimes I ask myself why I like Wallace and why my favorite entertainers are all men not women. Also, why did Wallace’s fans praise Wallace without reservation but often criticize some of the actresses working with him? Were they somehow acting like the unconscious followers of patriarchy and misogyny? Even if some actresses are indeed unprofessional and unethical, is there a better way to help solve the problem other than insulting them with acerbic comments?

It takes time to answer those questions thoroughly, but in general, Wallace is a good role model. He is male, but he has many qualities that were traditionally considered feminine, such as his gentle voice, perfect skin, and interest in personal hygiene and beauty products. He is meticulous and considerate. He and my other male idols transcend the male stereotypes and stay authentic for decades. Most importantly, his intellectual curiosity keeps him open-minded and progressive. May 17 was the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, which reminded me of one of Wallace past interviews. When asked if he was gay, he did not say no immediately or take it amiss. He tactfully said although he has some gay friends, after careful self-observation, he realized that he was not gay. Compared with some homophobic men, Wallace handled the question very appropriately. If I have any more expectations for Wallace, I hope he will have more freedom in the future to do the projects he likes. He is smart and mature. He has the ability to direct the public’s attention to the marginalized people (such as people with hearing impairment like Fang Haosheng) and the beauty of humanity through his performance. Good luck, Wallace!

P.S. Do you remember Wallace’s last one-word weibo “声 (sheng)” ? Maybe we were overanalyzing his intention…I realized last week that perhaps he used the word only to represent Fang Haosheng…

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20 thoughts on “MAY 2017 NEWS UPDATE”

  1. Thank you for the detail update! Love reading these!

    Wallace sounds too good to be true no? lol

    I’m interested in learning more about how his costars view him. Although it would be hard to get straight up honest feedback since I don’t imagine any of them would publicly badmouth a costar. But it appears that he seems to be very professional with his female costars? I remember reading Tang Yan saying he’s professional and distance but later finds him to be goofy and fun. He also seems to be very professional with his costar in Too Late to Say I Love You, Li Xiao Ran. Even though they acted very passionately, they look more like colleagues than friends. Considering how private he is, I wonder if that’s his way of not getting too close to his costars?

    Like

    1. Really? Some people say he had a crush on Li Xiaoran because he was more affectionate when doing press conferences or interviews with Li Xiaoran. He was stunned when Li Xiaoran suddenly got married and he asked the reporter several times whether it was true. They are only two years apart, both keep a low profile, and share a background in dancing. I wish to see them work together again. But keeping the distance is definitely a way to stay professional. Or maybe he has too many lines to memorize to lay eyes on costars lol.

      Like

      1. Wow really? I guess, I wouldn’t be too surprised if he does. That was a very emotionally charged series. It’s the one that turned me into a fan of his. 😀 I thought that out of all his costars, Li Xiao Ran is the only actress that I felt is on par with him acting wise. Not saying all the others suck btw, but she was really good in that series.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If I’m not mistaken, Wallace was off the market way before LXR’s. However, I do notice WC comfort level w/ her. Looking at his various drama press conferences, he’s almost always focus on either the host or reporter but w/ LXR… they have their little moments & WC actually looks at her and joke around.

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  2. Thank you, Haha, for another thoroughly informative and entertaining review! Love it! You wouldn’t mind me translating and sharing it w Korean fans, would you? Wallace’s response to the gay issue again shows him being considerate of others as always. BTW, any news on photo exhibition or concerts yet?

    Like

    1. Not at all. You are always welcome 🙂 No news about the photo exhibition or concerts yet. Yeah, he is amazingly considerate.

      Like

  3. Thank you so much for such a details report on Wallace Work ethic! He is truly one amazing entertainer, almost like the Keanu Reaves of China lol. Hard working, treats staff with respect, and humble! Love him!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been rewatching the dramas My Sunshine and Boss and Me. I would love to see Wallace do a drama with Zanilia. They are both very good looking as well as talented. What do you guys think of this pairing? Honestly I don’t think any other actresses that had been paired with him are on par with him on both looks and acting skills. Liu Tao is another actress that would be great to see with Wallace.

    Like

    1. Hi TeePee
      Me too😊! I rewatched My Sunshine and have rewatched General and I a couple more times! Love Chu Bei Jie😍!!! Spent last week watching The Stand In, Wallace is such a talented actor!
      Ah Si in The Stand In is a sharp contrast to Chu Bei Jie and wow, Wallace (again) showcased his amazing acting skills portraying an extremely different character to previous characters like Lu Li Cheng and later characters like He Yi Chen and Chu Bei Jie. Enjoyed the show, would have enjoyed it more if there were English subtitles.
      I think Liu Tao and Wallace would make a great pairing. Wonder if there will be any chance of that……?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This story w/ his assistant Zhang Zhen is adorable. I have never notice her before until now.

    In the past, I have taken notice to Wallace’s other 2 employees who’s always by his side ( the funky style and curly hair woman and the skinny guy w/ long straight hair). I think one was thought to be his manager and the other his styles.

    Like

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