Cooking up a new role
BY wangxingwei from 21st Century
Published 2021-09-16
Zhang Wanyi plays chef Qiao Erqiang in The Bond. DAYLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT

“I’m Chen Qiaonian, but now I’m also Qiao Erqiang,” actor Zhang Wanyi said.

Zhang, 27, rose to fame for his role as revolutionist Chen Qiaonian, the son of Chen Duxiu, in The Age of Awakening. Recently, the young actor stepped into the limelight once again for his performance as a chef named Qiao Erqiang in The Bond.

The TV series highlights how five siblings build up a strong relationship with each other. As of Sept 8, it has a score of 8 out of 10 on review platform Douban.

Zhang believes these two characters he has played have something in common. “They are determined and are extremely committed to what they believe in,” Zhang said in an interview with Jiangsu TV.

This passion is mirrored in the actor himself. Zhang works to achieve his goals by any means necessary. He made up his mind to become an actor when he was a Senior 1 student and left his hometown Shiyan, Hubei province, for Beijing to get acting training. In 2013, he was admitted to his dream university, Beijing Film Academy, after taking the national college entrance exam twice.

In 2016, Zhang got his first role. And over the past five years, Zhang has fully thrown himself into his performances.

The audience was especially impressed by a scene in The Age of Awakening in which Chen slowly turns around with a smile on his blood-covered face before being put to death for his beliefs. To shoot the scene, Zhang wore shackles weighing over 20 kilograms on his feet and dressed only thin rags in cold, rainy weather for five hours. “It was an experience I won’t forget,” Zhang told The Paper.

With little experience cooking, Zhang spent a great deal of time learning to cook to prepare for his role in The Bond.

“As a young actor, Zhang has a distinctive characteristic. There is tenacity and perseverance in his eyes,” said Zhang Yongxin, the director of The Age of Awakening.

Zhang is grateful for the praise he has received from his fellow actors and the audience. “I’m very lucky to be known by so many people at the age of 27,” Zhang told The Paper. “Acting is my lifelong pursuit. I’ll keep going on.”

(Translator & Editor: Li Xinzhu AND Luo Sitian)
Revolutionist  革命者
The Age of Awakening  《觉醒年代》
The Bond  《乔家的儿女》
Siblings  兄弟姐妹
Shackles  枷锁
Rags  破旧衣服
Tenacity  韧性
Perseverance  毅力