When Kris Wu Yi Fan was shooting for Cosmopolitan, it was during the time of the Paris terrorist attacks. This topic left the whole world shocked and in sorrow. It is hard to live in solidarity in this world, be it manufacturing clothes or making art; it is hard not living in the present, not living while contributing to society, and it will be hard to continue on for long. Wu Yi Fan is well versed in these principles. But at the same time, he is able to see that there are some people who live with a sense of “powerlessness”. “After all, this world cannot be changed by one person alone, to be honest, many people think of changing the world but it is not really realistic. More than often, (change) would require everyone’s combined efforts.”
While he spoke, he fiddled with the products on the make up table, moving them here and there piece by piece, his brows slightly creased.
He hopes that his appearance would be able to make a change. “(I would like to) bring happiness and positivity to everyone. Each time I do something, no matter what I do, as long as the people who like me are able to smile with me, I’ll be satisfied already, and I’ll feel that it was worth it.”
His happiness comes in the form of the sense of fulfillment and satisfaction upon the completion of a piece of work alongside the hardships endured throughout the whole process.
An example is the process of production for his new song <Bad Girl>. This is his first piece of work since coming back to China, and he has carried with him two kinds of strong emotions, one one hand the happiness that came with producing it and on the other hand a cautiousness when it comes to carrying it out, making the choice to do everything by himself. Besides completing the songwriting fully by himself, he also undertook the responsibility of producing the whole song by himself.
“Firstly when I’m doing it by myself I will be more at ease. Secondly, I feel that by doing so, it is more sincere. I hope that it will be original, something that’s my own.”
The song was written when he was filming his new movie <Journey to the West: Demon Chapter>, in which he acts as Tang Monk.
“Tang Monk… Actually he encounters many evil demons during his lifetime, it’s not really related to Bad Girl.” He joked, then immediately returned to his serious manner. He wrote the lyrics very quickly, in between sets, lighting tests and break times, a section of lyrics would be written in ten minutes, when the inspiration came, he would grab hold of it.
Right now the choices he makes in music production are towards a more “down to earth” image and style. “All of the trends have their own reasons for being trendy and reasonably so, it’s definitely because there is something interesting about them.”
At the end of the year, the movie <Mr Six> in which Wu Yi Fan acts in, will make its grand premiere. Before its release there was exciting news that Feng Xiaogang had won the Golden Horse Award for Best Male Actor for his moving performance in the film. In the movie Wu Yi Fan acted as his “opponent” – Xiao Fei.
“My role in the movie is actually a younger version of Feng Xiaogang, perhaps in the past he was like me now.” This “Men’s Movie” enables us to see how time changes a man, what it takes away, and what it leaves behind. What it takes away causes sorrow, what it leaves behind instills silence.
You’re filming movies, writing lyrics and producing too, do you think that you’re giving yourself too much pressure?
<Bad Girl> was made under a very tight time frame, in the midst of filming I made calls and sent messages, and communicated back and forth with various people. But only when I do it myself will I be at peace. I hope that what I produce will be something that I like, because only when it is something I like, that I will be able to sing with sincere feelings that can be felt by others.
How do you oversee the process of completing a task at hand?
The process is actually very important, how one enjoys the process, whether one enjoys the process or not, will eventually be reflected onto the end product. Only when one enjoys the process and does it with a happy heart, will the end result be good. So regardless of what one does, one must always hold onto a positive attitude while doing it.
What is the basic life principle you live by?
Always treat others sincerely. Before getting to know them, do not make false speculation on them. Treat everyone without prejudice, it is also a rule that I give myself. The same goes, I also hope that others treat me in this manner as well.
Will your works always be closely linked to your life?
At the very least, currently it’s like this. I’m someone who is very willing to experiment, experimenting on myself, even with different kinds of hairstyles, different types of clothing styles, different roles, I guess those who know me will understand.
How do you have such courage to “experiment on yourself”?
Young people have to be courageous, if you don’t do it now then when? I will think of using different ways, to let myself try out everything, so that I will not regret. But I can’t make any guarantees about the future, because I may do some things which are strongly suited to my preference, I may be the only one who will like it and others may not, but there won’t be much that will be stopping me from doing so.
How do you think you stand out from others?
How can I have my own signature (characteristic), how can I be different from others, these are the kinds of things I will think about too, it’s also because of this that I am willing to experiment, because if I do not search (for the answer) it will never be found. Perhaps more often than not you may have seen other people who choose not to experiment, not to take risks, take it easy and play it safe, am I right?
But you’re actually a very cautious person, when it comes to taking risks, how do you exercise caution?
It’s by following the most important word in Mr Six: Rules. Living in this world is like having to follow the same game rules as everyone else. One can live as they wish, in a free-spirited manner. I am a strong supporter of freedom of expression, because one can live much more comfortably this way, but rules cannot be broken. One may be able to have fun as they wish within a boundary but cannot do anything over the top, they have to develop self-control.
Other than acting, singing and producing, are there any other talents which you wish you could have?
Actually I’m in the midst of preparing to be a fashion designer, to design my own line. I will definitely play a part in production, right now the thing that I want to do the most is to become a fashion designer quickly.
Are music and style related?
Music and fashion are not mutually exclusive, I like music and also fashion at the same time, I like finding nice clothes to wear. These two thing are closely aligned to each other, different clothes match with different songs, rock goes with leather clothes, hip hop goes with oversized clothes, it’s rather meaningful.
What should be worn when listening to <Bad Girl>?
Anything is fine! (Are pyjamas acceptable?) Pyjamas? Can give it a try, next time when I’m singing give it a try.
Tell us about your weaknesses.
I’m someone who is constantly not really satisfied with the current situation, even though I say that contented, but if I am overly so, I would regress. In this industry, one should not be overly satisfied with the current situation, but instead work even harder. I’m satisfied with my own life but as for my job, I still have to make further progress.
Between producing your original works and being an artiste, which would you prefer to do?
Of course producing my own works, because I feel that that would be more authentic. But perhaps these two aren’t conflicting each other so I can be an artiste and produce my own works as well.
In <Mr Six>, has Feng Xiaogang given you any important advice or opinions?
The most memorable thing Mentor Xiaogang told me was this sentence: “Yifan, don’t be nervous.” Just this one sentence. Because I was very, very nervous when I had just started filming that movie as I had to act alongside many seniors and it was only my second movie. I felt blessed yet anxious because I was worried that I would not be able to act well. So at that time it could clearly be seen by everyone that I was nervous. When Mentor Xiaogang came by and told me that sentence, surprisingly, I immediately calmed down.
Which animal would you choose to describe yourself?
I guess it’ll be monkey… I don’t know either, honestly I’ve never thought of it before, or you could also write that I’m a horse since I’m born in the year of the horse. Oh, that’s not it, then you should say dragon, because I have always liked (to) fly, I really hope that one day I will be able to fly, and I really like the symbolization, descendant of the dragon (term for Chinese people)! … [Cosmo- Omitted a large chunk of self debate] But do you consider dragons as animals? You can’t say that… Actually let me tell you which animal I want to be the most. You can write that I am like a koala, many fans have told me this too, because I really love sleeping, when I’m at home I suspend myself atop my bed every day, only when I’m outdoors then I take flight, like a dragon… Forget it, for this question you can just write whatever..
QUESTIONS TO WU YIFAN AND LI YIFENG
While filming with Feng Xiaogang, who made more NGs, you or Li Yi Feng?
Actually I wasn’t around while he was filming, he isn’t around when I’m filming, both of us don’t really have any shared scenes.
Between the both of you, who is more warmly welcomed in the team?
Of course we are warmly welcomed; everyone likes the both of us.
Whose style is cooler?
The person with the stronger sense of style is definitely me, but the person with more of a practical, day-to-day style is him.
If both of you fall into the sea at the same time, who would Feng Xiaogang save first?
Don’t need to save me, I know how to swim, don’t need to save me.
QUESTIONS FROM LI YIFENG TO WU YIFAN
How many wigs do you have?
Ah wigs, I can’t reveal the answer to you, haha, yeah, I can’t tell you, it’s a secret which cannot be revealed.
What are your views on me?
A very focused person, my good friend.
What are the differences between the Korean entertainment industry and Chinese entertainment industry?
The Korean entertainment scene changes very quickly, and competition is very stiff. It’s very easy to become famous but it’s also very easy to be overshadowed (and put out of competition). In China perhaps it’s a little slower, news gradually spreads, it’s not like in Korea whereby everyone knows in an instant who you are, and if someone new emerges suddenly, everyone will forget who you are in the next moment.
English Trans by Becca