Former EXO member Kris Wu gets villainous on the big screen
In new Chinese gangster flick Mr. Six, Kris Wu shows no trace of his former clean-cut K-pop idol self.
The handsome 25-year-old Canadian-Chinese ex-member of boy band EXO plays swaggering rich brat Xiaofei who challenges reformed gangster Zhang Xuejun (Feng Xiaogang) to a physical showdown after the latter’s son Xiaobo (Li Yifeng) scratches his shiny Ferrari.
Mr. Six, rated M18, is currently showing in cinemas here.
A box-office hit in China — the film made US$27 million (approximately S$38 million) in its opening weekend — it is also Wu’s most high-profile acting gig since he left EXO nearly two years ago.
In May 2014, Wu filed a lawsuit against EXO’s management company, S.M. Entertainment, to nullify his contract. Till today, the legal tussle between both parties is ongoing.
In an e-mail interview with The New Paper, Wu declined to answer our questions related to his ex-bandmates, but makes no bones that he is in a happier place as a solo artist...
We’ve seen you grown as an actor, from your debut movie Somewhere Only We Know (2015) to Mr. Six. Is acting or singing your top priority? Do you miss being part of a pop group?
I like both acting and singing and I’m game to try different things. Right now, I’m very clear about my career goals and what I want to focus on.
My current schedule allows me to spend a lot more time with my family. Also, I can now find a path in life that suits me best.
Was it difficult portraying a villainous character like Xiaofei? Xiaofei starts out as a really bad egg, but as the movie progresses, all his inner demons are revealed.
Yes, it wasn’t an easy role. Like you said, Xiaofei isn’t a traditional villain per se. He’s a very layered character, with many complicated, conflicting and subdued feelings. It was definitely challenging for me, especially when it came to Xiaofei’s emotional transitions.
How was it acting opposite acclaimed director-actor Feng Xiaogang, as well as veteran stars like Zhang Hanyu? Did you ask Feng for a part in his next movie?
It was a great learning experience. The veterans taught me so much, both on and off set. They’d talk to me about work, about life, about people. Plus, they were extremely friendly and nice.
Initially, I was a little intimidated by Feng and didn’t even dare to look into his eyes! I’ve always admired his directorial style and would love to star in one of his films in the future.
Along with your co-star Li Yifeng, you’ve been labelled “xiao xian rou” (Chinese Internet slang referring to good-looking young men) by the Chinese media. Do you like this label, or do you prefer the attention to be diverted away from your looks?
Good looks won’t stay with me as I age, but good projects will stay with me forever. So I prefer pouring all my efforts into my work, so that people will remember me for the projects I take on.