Think of some of the most influential, pop culture-defining films of the 1990s, and Wong Kar Wai’s Chungking Express (1994) springs to mind. It was Hong Kong cinema at its zenith, blending the unique vision of the auteur with the equally idiosyncratic style of Australian cinematographer (and frequent collaborator) Christopher Doyle. It was also noted for launching the career of (the then relatively unknown) Takeshi Kaneshiro, a fresh-faced actor of Taiwanese-Japanese descent.
Kaneshiro quickly gained hearthrob status across Asia for his sensitive portrayal of a goofy, lovelorn but altogether loveable policeman with a quirky habit of buying tinned pineapples with the expiration date of May 1. Loaded with a generous dose of introspective melancholy, Kaneshiro’s Cop 223 became an icon of the nineties man, at a time when masculinity grappled with a severe identity crisis brought on by the collapse of traditional masculine roles, and the increasing ranks of women who were breaking mythical glass ceilings.
Thanks to the critical success of Chungking Express, Kaneshiro enjoyed a string of sleeper hits and blockbusters, notably Fallen Angels (1995), his second collaboration with Wong Kar Wai; House of Flying Daggers (2004), his first project with acclaimed director Zhang Yimou; and the Red Cliff series (2008, 2009), where he once again thrilled audiences with his performance as the irrepressibly witty military strategist Zhuge Liang. Last seen in Peter Chan’s Wu Xia (2011), where he played the charmingly eccentric detective Xu Baijiu, the 39-year-old seems to have found his niche playing goofball characters or period swordsmen – not too shabby for an actor who has never received formal training, and whose acting chops were honed purely by practice. It’s perhaps because of this that, according to accounts from various directors and fellow castmembers, he remains so eager, so dedicated, so compliant.
Beyond the set, Kaneshiro found international fame as the spokesperson and model for Prada in 1998, a highly-prized gig that paved the way for many other lucrative deals including Biotherm Homme, Citizen, Honda and NTTDocomo, and a recently-concluded campaign for Emporio Armani. In an exclusive interview with Men’s Folio, Kaneshiro talks about his 20-year career in the entertainment industry, and why he prefers to remain an actor rather than become a producer or director.
"I was not very sure about acting when I first started. I was just having fun with a group of people making films together, and I am very grateful to have had all these chances through the years."
[ 本帖最後由 阿管 於 2012-11-26 17:22 編輯