Exclusive Interview|Xiao Zhan: Shengyang made me relax a little

    Xiao Zhan received a lot of scripts and roles. Some people around him gave him suggestions to act in dramas that everyone seemed to like. They had more dramatic conflicts, or the characters were a little more exaggerated, or the proportion of the space was very cautious, and it couldn't be just one-sided. Depend on your own aesthetic. But Xiao Zhan’s own criteria for viewing scripts and characters are not complicated. The first answer is to "impress him", which is more concrete. When he read the first draft of the script of "The Sun Is With Me", he looked at what was described in the script. Sheng Yang smiled unconsciously. When he saw some plots between Meijuan and Lao Sheng, he felt sad, resonated, and nodded.

    "I am the one who has to interpret this character. If I don't have the confidence to interpret it, or even the desire, how can I have the confidence to bring him to the audience? At least that's how I am currently."

    Xiao Zhan as Sheng Yang

    In essence, Xiao Zhan believes that he and Sheng Yang have the same background. "Just like the name of our drama, Sheng Yang is a little sun. He has an energy that can turn all bad things into something." Very good, I think he will always be bright." Of course, there is also the coincidence that Xiao Zhan and Sheng Yang are also former colleagues. But there is a big difference in personality. In Xiao Zhan's eyes, "This kid is too lively. It doesn't matter if you encounter difficulties. Just cheer yourself up and continue to move forward bravely." But Xiao Zhan himself is very different in life. I prefer to be alone and quiet part of the time.

    Screenwriter Li Xiao revealed that he met Xiao Zhan during the creation of this character, so he added a lot of Xiao Zhan's own characteristics to the character of Sheng Yang. Xiao Zhan recalled that when he met Li Xiao for the second time half a year before filming started, he made a comparison In-depth communication, "I remember that time she told me that she felt like you were different from before." What's different? Xiao Zhan himself couldn't answer, "More than two years have passed. People will always grow."

    In addition to his fate with the boy Sheng Yang, the important reason why Xiao Zhan likes "The Sun Is With Me" is because of the natural nature of this drama. Sheng Yang is a young man who dreams of becoming a designer after graduating from university. He has an ordinary family that is noisy but warm at times. By chance, he meets a senior director whom he remembered from 10 years ago. By coincidence, The two met again. The story didn't have the plot of an idol drama. Work, life, friends, and sister were all in his life. "It's not like the plots I've seen before, it's more natural." "

    This seemingly natural script is what Xiao Zhan likes and finds challenging. He wants to make Sheng Yang a living person, not just a character played by Xiao Zhan.

    "This is a story that flows like water. It has no particularly dramatic conflicts or plots. Everything is natural, just like a story that would happen around you. Acting in this play is a big challenge for me. Because I have never filmed such an urban drama, how can I make everyone believe that Sheng Yang is such a person, that he really exists, and is not something Xiao Zhan worked hard to play."

    The story feels natural and the characters are relaxed. Relaxation and calmness in acting is what Xiao Zhan gained after playing Sheng Yang, and due to a coincidence of career, Sheng Yang may be the life Xiao Zhan would have experienced if he was not an actor. Did experiencing a life like "parallel time and space" make actor Xiao Zhan relax?

    "Yes, but not many. Because the problems Xiao Zhan and Sheng Yang face are still different."

    Stills of "The Sun Is With Me"


    There are not so many golden fingers in life, everything requires your own efforts

    The Paper: I also talked with the screenwriting teacher two days ago. Meeting you before the script was fully completed had an impact on the creation of the character Sheng Yang. What was the contact with the screenwriting teacher like at that time?

    Xiao Zhan: The first time Sister Xiao and I met was in 2019. Half a year before filming started, we had an in-depth chat and she said that I felt different from before. I said that more than two years have passed and people will always grow. That was the first time that the screenwriting teacher and I established an understanding of each other. Later, we held three script meetings to make adjustments to the character of Sheng Yang.

    There were two points I raised at the beginning. One was why Sheng Yang has been obsessed with this sister for 10 years? Another point is that although Sheng Yang is a younger brother, how can he show responsibility and growth in a relationship to convince the audience.

    The Paper: Is the final Sheng Yang highly compatible with you?

    Xiao Zhan: We are both positive and optimistic, but we have different personalities. For example, Sheng Yang can't help but take action against his boss. Maybe for Xiao Zhan, I won't do such impulsive things. I will think of solutions when workplace bullying appears, instead of delaying the matter. To the point of being unbearable.

    Stills of "The Sun Is With Me"

    The Paper: Then how do you understand Sheng Yang’s tolerance in the early stage? His superiors took credit for his role and had a bad attitude toward him. He never thought of a solution and was just enduring.

    Xiao Zhan: I can understand Sheng Yang’s situation at that time. First of all, he needs this job; secondly, this is life, there will be pressure, there will be difficulties, it may make him feel very tired, but he still has to go to work well the next day. Because he needed this job, his family conditions did not allow him to do something very outrageous and impulsive, which also allowed him to develop a very gentle character.

    So I understand Sheng Yang. As for why he suddenly took action and had an emotional outburst later, it was because (the boss) had hit the bottom line of his tolerance.

    But Shengyang has grown. In the beginning, he was a diligent and hard-working young man with a relatively tolerant personality. Later, he experienced some things in the workplace and in life. At the same time, he also met his sister, who encouraged him to be himself and to face and resist bravely, so Shengyang made some adjustments. But even in the ending, we didn't portray Sheng Yang as very successful, having completed a very big project, or as well-known. We still want Shengyang to be closer to life. After all, there are not so many golden fingers in life. Everything is hard-won and requires your own efforts.

    The Paper: How do you understand some of the struggles between Sheng Yang and the team leader? If it were you, what kind of mentality would you have when faced with this unfair situation?

    Xiao Zhan: I might solve the problem as soon as it occurs. I will look for opportunities to have a tactful chat with my boss. For example, I will reflect to my boss on the current resistance I am encountering from a project perspective. But to be honest, I have never encountered workplace bullying. I am quite lucky. The seniors and colleagues I have met take good care of me.

    Stills of "The Sun Is With Me"

    Acting requires "subtraction" sometimes

    The Paper : What is the difficulty of Shengyang for you?

    Xiao Zhan : In a few scenes, I think Sheng Yang is a bit naive. Will he be accepted by the audience? Will everyone like him? And how to determine this degree? How to act naturally? These are the questions I want to face.

    We chatted a lot with the director on set. I would sit next to the director and watch when I had nothing to do. We would talk about what to do with this scene, and the director would give me a lot of advice. The point of inspiration is to do subtraction. In many cases, don’t design a lot of things, don’t think about acting in a lively state, just remember your motivation, and then do subtraction.

    The Paper : The scene where Sheng Yang resigned was quite simple to shoot, but some viewers were very sympathetic, and Sheng Yang also had red circles in the end. Is this a subtraction?

    Xiao Zhan : Right. In fact, we thought about whether we should say something to everyone after Sheng Yang resigned, but later I felt that there was no need to say it. First of all, the accident did happen, and it is useless to say more. Secondly, you used your resignation to protect the interests of other members of the group, so there is no need to say too much at the moment.

    We need to understand the character's emotions based on his current situation. First of all, his family situation is not very good and he needs this job; secondly, how will he explain to his parents when he returns? This is a profession that he loves very much, and it is more than just a job to make ends meet. And he has already become the chief designer, which is a very rare opportunity. So Shengyang feels more sad at the moment. I was also very sad when I was acting, because everything was obviously going in a good direction and I had worked hard, but I got this result. In the setting in the script, it was a very famous advertising company. When we were studying design, we would also make a career plan for ourselves, so it must be very sad to leave this company.

    Stills of "The Sun Is With Me"

    The Paper : When thinking about the character, did you do any design for Sheng Yang that might be outside of the script to make it more consistent with the character?

    Xiao Zhan : For design-related content, just refer to my previous work experience. The main thing is to be natural and not to do too much design, because everyone who works knows what to do and focus on what you are doing. Just work. In addition, before the filming started, I sorted out Shengyang's growing environment, as well as his way of getting along with his colleagues at work, his way of getting along with his superiors, and his way of getting along with his parents at home.

    The Paper : What do you think of the emotional line between your parents?

    Xiao Zhan : I think he is confused when his parents quarrel. My parents also quarrel, and I am confused sometimes. I will ask, why do you still quarrel so much after you have lived together for decades? ? You obviously care about each other and love each other very much, so why do you have to hurt each other in this way? So I also have questions about Sheng Yang in the play.

    Sheng Yang did not escape. If he had chosen to escape, he would not have grown into such a character. It can be seen from Sheng Yang's character that their family is a very loving family.

    Stills of "The Sun Is With Me"

    Understand each other, test each other, and move toward each other step by step

    The Paper : In Sheng Yang’s eyes, what kind of person is Jian Bing?

    Xiao Zhan : Very independent and sober, different from some people in the advertising circle in the show. She is like a breath of fresh air. What impresses Shengyang most is her insistence on design and her own high-end aesthetics.

    The Paper : When Sheng Yang complained about work to Jian Bing, Jian Bing said to stop doing it, and Sheng Yang fell silent. At this time, he was not brave. Do you agree more with Jian Bing's statement, or do you agree with Sheng Yang's hesitation and silence?

    Xiao Zhan : I can particularly understand Sheng Yang. Work is really not something you can do without doing. First of all, Sheng Yang is the design department team leader of the advertising department of a design company. For three cases he has, he has three clients. , there are many contact people at the customer's side. If you suddenly stop doing it, this matter will be very irresponsible, let alone professional ethics. Because the customer has chosen you, you have to be responsible to the customer, so it’s really not just a matter of quitting. I feel like I can’t do it anyway, at least there needs to be a transition period.

    Jian Bing didn't comfort him either. This is a point of difference between the two of them. The younger brother and older sister are in different social statuses and have different working environments. Sometimes they have conflicting ideas. This is also a point that I think is very real in "The Sun Is With Me". It is not the younger brother. As soon as they came up, they met each other. The two of them immediately had something to do. Instead, they walked toward each other step by step while understanding each other and testing each other.

    Stills of "The Sun Is With Me"

    The Paper : When was the moment when you felt you most resonated with Sheng Yang’s soul?

    Xiao Zhan : It has always been there, from the first scene when he went to work. But the most resonant moment may be the scene when she goes home to face her parents for dinner after losing her job. Her mother says what’s wrong, why do she look so tired today? What they don’t know is that Sheng Yang is already unemployed, but Sheng Yang doesn’t explain. In fact, I myself am now reporting good news but not bad news.

    I was very sad when I went to shoot. I couldn't hold it back and cried while eating. But I couldn't cry. According to the plot, crying would be very strange. In the end, the director didn't use the crying part. It was very correct.

    For today's young people, it is more that I can be strong and endure no matter how hard I am outside, but when facing my closest relatives, including my parents, a greeting will sometimes completely break down. So I am very empathetic.

    The Paper : Is it because of his character that he has a kind of liveliness that you don’t have?

    Xiao Zhan : It's possible, so I envy him very much. It's a kind of yearning.

    The Paper : Which scene or line in this drama do you like best?

    Xiao Zhan : Independent of each other, no suspicion or jealousy.

    The Paper : You have acted in a lot of movies so far. Where do you think your greatest growth is reflected?

    Xiao Zhan : I feel that I am more relaxed and calm. This is the biggest feeling after filming "The Sun Is With Me". Of course, this may also be a problem with the subject matter, which requires you to be natural and relaxed.

    The Paper : As an actor, where do you think your desire for acting started?

    Xiao Zhan : When you see a good script, you have the confidence and motivation to perform it well. This can also be regarded as a desire to conquer the character you like and win this role. In fact, when acting, just enjoy the moment, whether it is sad or happy, remember it.

    Stills of "The Sun Is With Me"

    The Paper : When is the happiest moment as an actor?

    Xiao Zhan : Basically, the director and I send messages every day after work. Sometimes it’s to summarize the details of today’s scene that haven’t been completed, and sometimes it’s to discuss how to shoot the big scene the next day. , any ideas.

    The director sent me a long 60-second voice message, telling me with great interest what he was going to shoot tomorrow. I really like this kind of atmosphere, where everyone is giving, creating, and doing it with love. This atmosphere is what I like and what I want.

    The Paper : To be honest, especially for young actors like you, who are liked by many young people, the roles handed to you will be more upright, upright, and have no shortcomings, but this seems not to be three-dimensional and enjoyable enough. What do you think of this situation?

    Xiao Zhan : I think this is an issue of career functionality of actors at different stages. It is true that some very complex roles are so fascinating and challenging, but when you return to your role as an actor, you need to think carefully. I feel that as I get older, have more energy, and Xiao Zhan’s personality attributes become more and more multifaceted, I can try some more complex roles.

    Every character has its own shortcomings and shortcomings. This kid Sheng Yang is actually a bit noisy. It depends on how you act and how you use it, and it becomes the character's characteristics. He moves forward bravely and breaks through difficult walls, but this means that this person is a bit stubborn. When I read the script myself, I also felt that this child was a bit short-sighted. This may be his shortcoming and what makes him lovable. point.

    The Paper : Are you the kind of person who needs to work all the time, or do you prefer a relaxed pace?

    Xiao Zhan : I should be like many people. When I keep working, I feel like taking a rest. When I take a break, I say no, I have to work and I have to produce.

    The Paper : Since it was filmed in Chongqing, did you bring your colleagues from the crew to introduce the local food?

    Xiao Zhan : I sent some to my colleagues, but they were all disliked in the end. Everyone would say we won’t eat this anymore. It turned out that I had not returned to Chongqing for several years and was already out.

    The Paper : Do you feel a sense of loss that you are no longer familiar with your hometown?

    Xiao Zhan : I don’t feel disappointed, the classic ones are the best.

    Stills of "The Sun Is With Me"


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