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Where eagles dare

By Xu Fan and Li Yingxue | China Daily | Updated: 2018-11-21 07:44
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A poster of the series drama. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Before headlining in Eagles and Youngster, Wang played a young emperor in Zhang Yimou's $150 million epic The Great Wall, which also starred Matt Damon, and played a lead character in the 2017 film Miracles of the Namiya General Store, which was adapted from Japanese author Keigo Higashino's best-selling novel of the same name.

His performances in those two high-profile films failed to impress ordinary cinemagoers and establish Wang as a convincing mainstream actor.

"I want to update myself and let people see how I've progressed. I chose the role of Zhang, because I want to demonstrate my real potential," says Wang.

The cast also includes Vicky Chen Wen-chi, a best supporting actress winner at the 54th Golden Horse Awards, and veteran actor Liu Peiqi, who is best known for a number of familiar roles in hit TV series.

Wang says that he picked up many useful acting tips from his peers during filming, and they also taught him how to protect himself during many of the action sequences.

"In one scene set in the snow that featured the characters played by Liu and I chasing and attacking each other on horseback, Liu guided me through how to avoid getting injured and offered tips about how to quickly get into the role," recalls Wang.

One of his methods was to imagine himself as the wild and mischievous teenager from a Beijing hutong who rises to become a leader and ultimately recognizes his duty to protect nature.

"I knew I'd never be as good as Zhang at stunts, but I do share some of his temperament, being hot-blooded, knightly and independent," he says. "My aim is just to get better. I hope to take on more roles or songs that my audience will remember."

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