Harper’s Bazaar – Oct. 2019 Issue

Not the full article – snippets only

Q: In real life, are you also someone who likes an adventure?
Xiaozhan: Yes, you could say that.
Q: Does it excite you more if you don’t know the end results for a lot of things?
Xiaozhan: In life, if many things already have a certain result, then you ask me to do these things, there might be less novelty and uncertainty along the way. I prefer to not know the result; I can take any path and the destination is all different, that gets me more excited.
Q: So in your imagination, Abu Dhabi fits with your sense of the unknown?
Xiaozhan: Yes. It’s like a mysterious, unknown land to me. I can explore, and there’s endless treasures.

Xiaozhan says he’s not a brave person, but life makes it so he has to be brave, because only by being brave can he face all the unforeseen problems on this journey.

After The Untamed, a lot of people felt that Xiaozhan was more outgoing than before, and had more to say. Before he was a little reserved around strangers, but now he communicates with people with a proactive attitude, and in hopes of gaining more knowledge and information from the conversations.

His role not only brought him more attention, but he also gained strength and growth from the role itself.

As for plans for the future, he smiled and said that he hasn’t decided. But he loves to act, and he hopes that he can continue on the path to becoming a good actor, resolving one problem at a time and becoming braver and stronger. He says it’s not just him, a lot of his friends and young adults around him are all like that – they’re not afraid of the hardships in life’s path and become stronger and firmer along the way.

“Life has led you to this point, so just continue to walk forward with resolve. Because a lot of problems are what others who took this path have faced before, and what you will continue to face as you will also be back and forth on this path.”

Since the first script reading, Xiaozhan constantly reminded himself, “I’m Wei Wuxian, I’m Wei Wuxian, I’m lively and talkative and loveable.”

Even if that day you’re in the worst mood, if you’re going through dark times in your life, once you arrive on set, stand in front of the camera and the director yells action, from that moment you’re not yourself anymore.

Xiaozhan smiled and said, “It’s so cruel, but that’s an actor’s job.”

Xiaozhan’s father once said, “No one will just love you for no reason. If you want people to love you, you need to treasure their love.” Xiaozhan firmly believes that.

When he was young, Xiaozhan liked Stefanie Sun. He went to her concerts and fansigns. Xiaozhan just hoped he can see her from afar, see her shine on stage, lose himself in her songs, and learn from her to become better, eventually becoming a star that shines brightly in other people’s eyes. Xiaozhan says in his age, that was how people followed celebrities. Idols were really idols; they were a source of self-motivation. He treasures the love that fans have for him, and he never rejections “internet popularity”, which a lot of people shy away from discussing.

“You think internet popularity is bad, right? You think it’s a negative term? I think it’s a pretty good thing, because to me “internet popularity” means more people will come to know you, love you, and I think that’s a good thing. At least I don’t think anyone can always have massive internet popularity, the important thing is how to deal with it and face this popularity, and let it become motivation for yourself to move forward, I think that’s important.”

He hopes to turn the love of his fans into motivation for himself to move forward. An actor can quickly gain fame and attention from a popular drama, but acting itself needs professional study and accumulation.

Xiaozhan’s favorite actress is Zhou Xun. When he talked about her, Xiaozhan’s tone sounded like that of a “fanboy”: “I don’t know how she was able to become the way she is today.” our answer was simple; time and talent. You can’t be missing either one. Talent allows you to show your ability as an actor and when fate allows for it, you can seize the opportunities that come your way at certain points in your life. And time is what sharpens the knife, every minute, every second you spend on professional development will be reflected in your future performances.

“There are no small roles, only small actors.” Keep in mind your initial aspiration and determination, and work your best at your profession. Continue to plow through this field, and you will eventually come across a piece of land that belongs to you.

Xiaozhan said, “In this era of fleeting popularity, continuing to stay true to myself and being as real as possible, I think that’s the ultimate goal. But it’s also so, so difficult.”

We wish him the best.

*Internet popularity (流量) is more literally like online traffic, it is often used with a negative connotation for celebrities who have a large following, especially online, but do not necessarily have skills to back up that fame. Xiaozhan is saying that he takes that at face value – as love and attention he receives which he will work to live up to through effort and improving his skills.

Cosmo Jun. 2019 (Excerpt)

Not the full article – just one snippet

“She wrote me a letter and said she got married…” he widened his pretty eyes, as if this was touching and hard to believe. “She watched me on the survival show and liked me ever since then. Now she’s met her other half in life, got married, and she’s happy. Wow, this feels really great!”

That day he read this letter from his fan, that feeling of “companionship” was like the letter he held onto tightly – it became clear and tangible.

So even now, Xiaozhan thinks that fans are very much like his childhood friends. “In those times, we had a whole neighborhood of children, and after school we’d write our homework together, play together, and grow up together.” He raised his hand to gesture, and his smile is blinding, “now those friends’ children are already this tall.” As he lowered his hand, a gentle breeze passed over him.

Promotional Songs for Films

Q: Why does a movie need a promotional song?

Guo Dongnan (Enlight Media Marketing Chief): After Xiaozhan singing Two Tigers was released, on Weibo I posted an interpretation of the Two Tigers movie relevant to the song lyrics, and it was reposted many times. Actually because of his song, what our movie wants to express is being seen by more people, that’s what the movie production company and the director all want to see.

Q: How is the conversation rate of the marketing through music?

Guo Dongnan: Xiaozhan is a young and popular idol, inviting him to sing our promotional song can indeed help our movie quickly gain recognition among the younger audience. The MV views and data are undoubtedly very high, and that day there were lots of news articles, and lots of posts by freelancers.

Q: Is it the best choice to get a popular idol to sing the promotional song?

Guo Dongnan: Actually we rarely use popular idols, mainly we see if the singer’s own style matches with the song. Like Xiaozhan has that kind of energy, to break free from the restraints and be unafraid of getting lost, it matches with the mood of the movie. When we decided on Xiaozhan, we adjusted the lyrics based on his personal experiences.

Q: Is it a win-win for a singer to sing a promotional song for a movie? 

Guo Dongnan: When we work together, we hope for a win-win situation and not just us riding your popularity. From the artist’s perspective, we hope that in our collaboration with a singer, we can help each other deliver a good final work. Like the song “Two Tigers” is challenging and has a freshness, this is a good thing. We determined that this song sounds good and is catchy, so asking Xiaozhan to sing this is at least something that isn’t for naught for him.

When we gave the demo and lyrics to him, Xiaozhan and his manager discussed for a bit, then in 2-3 days responded and said he can come. In early October we were in Wuxi, and within 3 hours we finished recording the song and filming the MV. Before even entering the studio, Xiaozhan was already able to sing this song, this is something I admire, it really helped us save a lot of time.

Xiaozhan singing “Two Tigers”, the effect is clear, it allowed the movie industry insiders to see the power of him singing a song, many movie companies in the industry would come and ask me, is it expensive to get him to sing a song, is he easy to work with. Maybe he was popular from “The Untamed” earlier, but many people in the movie industry didn’t pay attention to that. Now he’s sung “Two Tigers”, many of our partners shared in their friends’ moments, and helped him to gain more attention in the movie industry.

Sina Ent. Reporter: 

There’s another detail that I couldn’t write into the main article. When Xiaozhan came to record Two Tigers, he had already worked for 10+ hours straight, he couldn’t even put his contacts in. In the end he forcibly put in his contacts and forcibly recorded, completed the task with high efficiency. The production company staff all said, it’s normal for an experienced singer to be able to sing as soon as they step into the studio, but that day Xiaozhan was filming during the day and had no time to practice but still managed to be fully prepared, it was shocking for them.

Ma Weiwei on Xiaozhan

I’m very surprised that Xiaozhan would accept my interview.

Before the interview, I sent him a WeChat message, asking if he can support the first episode. After a while, he said, “sure”. I thought, “is it that easy to deal with famous idols?” Then I thought, maybe I’m just too charismatic, and laughed.

Before the official interview, I did a pre-interview with Xiaozhan. The first thing his manager said to me was, “ask him, ask him tough questions.”

I thought, “what are you trying to do? I’m worried his fans will kill me.” Then his manager explained calmly, “Xiaozhan can handle pressure, in the future he will have to be able to handle more pressure. Don’t worry.”

So, contrary to his well-known beautiful visuals, Xiaozhan has the passion and optimism of a Chongqing boy – his beauty is not fragile.

My questions were sharp, and his answers were calm.

One small detail outside of recording is worth mentioning.

At the halfway point of the pre-interview, Xiaozhan suddenly said, “it’s time, I have to leave for the next schedule.” His manager had made a connection with me and we were chatting it up, so the manager replied, “if we drive fast, we probably won’t be late.” 

Xiaozhan firmly said, “no, no. What if we’re late?”

I immediately ushered them to leave, and I turned around and told his manager “you’re very lucky, this kid is very disciplined.”

The recording was scheduled for 9AM, because the day before Xiaozhan has a schedule and in the afternoon he had to fly to another city. I woke up at 6AM to de-bloat and do hair and makeup, and when I saw Xiaozhan the first thing I did was whine about how sleepy I was. Xiaozhan laughed and said, “we’re used to it from filming.” 

“Actors often need to get up at 6AM or earlier to do hair and makeup, and they standby for 10+ hours just for a few shots, then they go back at midnight to remove makeup and shower, there’s not much time to sleep.”

Xiaozhan seems to like this lifestyle a lot. Sometimes when I’m bored I’ll invite him out for drinks, but most of the time he says, “I’m on set, I’m filming.”

He hasn’t really had any free time, he’s never even played escape room.

In the show he said he wants more right to choose. In real life, in order to have this right to choose, he’s doing everything he can, to film and let people see his acting.

Xiaozhan has a cat, she’s chubby and silly, he sent me a picture and he seems really proud of her. He’s someone who doesn’t have a lot of personal hobbies.

He asked me, “why is it that being polite, disciplined, and hardworking in this day and age, makes you not real?”

Yes, Xiaohan, in such a crude day and age, you are the fire in the ice.

Madame Figaro Hommes Cover Story: Metamorphosis

In the summer of 2019, people remembered the name Xiaozhan. From the stage to the cinematic screen, from an idol to an actor, he has never stopped running ahead and evolving and he’s continuously given us more reasons to be moved by him. Xiaozhan’s rapid rise to fame is traceable: he is serious, kind, hardworking, understands gratitude, he doesn’t hide his desire to become better and he has high standards for his profession. Everyone who has met Xiaozhan has full reason to believe that the rise of his name is for sure not temporary, and that his character and traits will surely withstand the test of time.

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Sina Ent. Reporter on Xiaozhan

Sina Ent. Reporter on Xiaozhan:

01.

I never thought, that it would all be fate.

The first time I knew what Xiaozhan looks like was the day I met him in person.

That day at noon our reporter department was having a meeting, when suddenly there was a commotion outside of the meeting room, it turned out that Wang Dalu was here for a visit. Then I heard that Xiaozhan and Wang Yibo would be coming later too. As someone who never followed boy groups or watched The Untamed, I only knew that they were popular lately, but I didn’t know anything about them at all.

Purely out of curiosity, I walked out of the meeting room to take a look, and took a picture. My first impression was that this guy is tall and skinny. Later he walked into the meeting room and sat on the other end of the table by himself. I took a closer look, and he was handsome in a boy next door way.

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