Star sparks lively war of words

Updated 2017-01-19 08:47:13 China Daily
Chinese actor/director Jiang Wen plays the role of Baze Malbus in the latest Star Wars franchise Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Chinese actor/director Jiang Wen plays the role of Baze Malbus in the latest Star Wars franchise Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Jiang Wen has become a talking point after his appearance in the latest Star Wars movie.

The surprising turn of Chinese superstar Jiang Wen in the latest Star Wars movie has sparked a lot of audience interest, and also some unintended controversy.

Most actors would jump at a chance to be in the Star Wars franchise. But not Jiang Wen. The Chinese star known as a maverick had to be talked into it.

"I've never seen a Star Wars movie, not a single one," he said. "I don't understand what it is about," he added, when first approached.

Gareth Edwards, the director of Rogue One, wrote him a letter, saying Baze Malbus is a good role.

"Gareth was very sincere, but I did not know who was who in the movie." So Jiang consulted a friend who grew up in the United States.

"Chinese-American actors would kill you if they learned you turned it down. They would never get an offer like that," said the friend.

Jiang was still not convinced. So, he threw the script to his son. "Dad, you've got to accept it," said the 8-year-old, who attends a British school and understands English better than his father.

"It's a small role," said Jiang. "But you are the hero," said the younger Jiang.

"Heroes tend to be more boring than villains," explained the father.

"But yours (the role) is a hero with humor," insisted the son. "The other guys just paved the way. Only when you appear does the real action start."

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