Hu Ge: “At Forty, I Stand”
“I think I am a very lucky actor,” professed the Shanghai-born Hu Ge (胡歌), who will be starring in the upcoming romantic drama film, Diva<DIVA華麗之後>. “Although I am blessed with many opportunities, I still believe my acting needs a lot more polishing. I sometimes think about how much longer this luck would last. When I was younger, I could maybe still use my face to earn a living, but when I grow older, the advantages I have had before may eventually become disadvantages.”
A Second Chance in Life; Love Can Wait
After surviving a near fatal car accident in August 2006, in which his good friend and colleague died, Hu Ge’s perspectives in life matured. The accident left a very visible scar on the corner of his eye, reminding him that life may end at any instant. Hu Ge became a workaholic, devoting most of his time to filming dramas and movies, writing books, and organizing charity events. His perspective on love and devotion also changed, as he no longer believed that they are necessary in life.
“I do not need to date anyone in my life right now,” said Hu Ge. “Being an actor is different. Whether you are doing a comedy or a tragedy, every time you act you are already devoting your emotions to your partner. Your feelings in drama are usually more extreme than in real life, with more fluctuating and concentrated emotions. You may possibly go through a person’s lifetime in only three months’ time. When you return to real life, you would feel exhausted and lost. I grow nervous when my girlfriend would watch my films, and she would say, ‘Hey, did you say that exact same line to me the other day?’”
However, Hu Ge’s main reason for staying single is because he found maintaining a relationship to be hard work. “What would happen to me if I do get a girlfriend? I’d imagine it’ll just be like my previous relationships, ending in a breakup. I also think dating is a very tiring thing for actors, as it oftens result in a long distance relationship. Although we can text message and call each other everyday… I still find it to be very tiresome.”
Hu Ge Denies He is Gay
Hu Ge’s bachelor status has generated a lot of gay rumors for the actor. He laughed, “When I first debuted, someone was suspicious of my sexuality. When I went to promote in Taiwan, our company’s Taiwanese employees even told me that a lot of them thought I was gay! I told them that it’s impossible, as I love women too much! I don’t mind these rumors anymore. They can say it all they want. I know I’m not.”
Hu Ge Admires Director Jia Zhangke
Turning 30 years old in September, Hu Ge expressed that his career has just begun to take flight. He did not agree with the Confucian phrase “At thirty, I stand,” which indicates that a man should reach his successes by the time he turns 30 years old.
Hu Ge argued, “In ancient times, people can marry and become parents at 16 years old, and then become grandparents by 30 years old. The same thing cannot be said today. In today’s age, it should be, ‘At forty, I stand.’ Many people are not even married by age 30! There are still many others who are still contemplating on what they should do for the rest of their lives.”
Nevertheless, Hu Ge still holds the belief that reaching 30 years old is a turning point in his life. “Before turning 30, I believed I should act for a living. Now that I have reached 30, I believe I should act for my dreams.”
In 2001, Hu Ge entered the Shanghai Theater Academy with a focus on performing arts. His outstanding grades earned him a scholarship to study film directing at the Central Academy of Drama, one of China’s most prestigious performance colleges. Due to various family reasons, Hu Ge decided to forgo the scholarship and stay in Shanghai to complete his education at the Shanghai Theater Academy, finally graduating in July 2005.
Acting was never Hu Ge’s first choice. Although he aspires to be a director, Hu Ge believes that directing is not something that can be achieved in one step. Currently working on the script of his new drama, Shua Xin 3+7 <刷新3+7>, Hu Ge admitted, “I originally wanted to direct Shua Xin 3+7 as well, but due to our tight schedule, and my lack of experience in directing, I gave up on that plan. I still have plenty of time left to try and learn new things.”
Hu Ge deeply admires the works of director, Jia Zhangke (賈樟柯), whose unconventional directing style has attracted much critical praise internationally. “Although a lot of Jia Zhangke’s works can get a bit tedious to watch, he is really the only one who dares to use those filming techniques. I truly want to make similar inspirational films in the future, but I wish to take things slowly. I can’t deal with several things at the same time. I still have not done my best in my acting career yet!”
Hu Ge On His Character in “Diva”
In Diva, Hu Ge portrays a blind massage therapist who falls in love with “JY,” a famous pop star from Hong Kong portrayed by Joey Yung (容祖兒). Although it was Hu Ge’s first time portraying a disabled person, it was not his character’s disability that attracted him to the role.
“My character is a foil to Joey Yung’s diva character. In certain aspects, she can be considered as a blind person herself – when she stands on stage, she can’t see anything in front of her. Everywhere else below the stage is pitch black, even to the point that she can’t see herself clearly,” Hu Ge stated.
In fact, Hu Ge believed that his character is actually an imagination forged by JY’s subconscious. “Although she is glamorous, famous, and stands on the most extravagant stages, she has lost her own life. She needed a way out and a person to talk to. In the film, most of our encounters are coincidences. Maybe those scenes are merely inventions of her mind because she really wants to be with someone who does not mind her appearance and her fame. She needs someone who can understand her and take her away from the stage.”
As one of mainland China’s most promising young actors, Hu Ge’s passion for the performance arts can be felt and appreciated by many. Setting out to fulfill his dreams in producing and directing, Hu Ge has given himself another decade to reach for higher aspirations. Millions will be watching and eager to witness his successes.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.
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Hu Ge: “At Forty, I Stand”