A Man Of Many Talents: 4 Times Kris Wu Proved His Acting Ability In Films
Whether it’s singing, dancing, rapping, modeling, acting, or playing basketball, Kris Wu (Wu Yi Fan) has proven time and again to be a man of many talents. The 27-year-old has an impressive number of films under his belt, including a couple Hollywood blockbusters.
Opinions differ as to Kris’s acting ability; some find him a bit stiff (especially in his first films), while others believe his natural talent is indisputable. Whatever your personal opinion might be, it’s safe to say that between all of his movies, Kris has displayed a wide variety of characters and has some excellent on-screen moments that make me fully believe in his acting ability.
Here are just some of the moments that we loved in his films!
His natural performance in “Somewhere Only We Know”
In the 2015 Chinese romantic drama “Somewhere Only We Know,” Kris Wu plays Peng Ze Yang, a young single father who is optimistic and kind, even though he has been left to care for his daughter and his bipolar mother by himself.
In general, some of my favorite moments from the movie are when he interacts with his daughter. The adorable father-daughter team has a strong bond, and I love every moment of their on-screen time together.But one specific moment where Kris’s acting shines in this film is when, after calming his irate mother down, Ze Yang tries to get her to take her prescribed medication. Rather than overacting with showy gestures or over-the-top facial expressions, Kris’s genuine response to the scene’s circumstances is what gives this particular performance a raw authenticity that I find captivating. When his mother refuses angrily and begins shoving her pills in his face and insisting that Ze Yang take them himself, he finally tells her he will take one if she does, and they take her medication together.Kris does an outstanding job in the scene by letting his natural reactions to what is going on around him play out on screen. He delivers his lines as would an exhausted son who has probably been through this countless times before. Ze Yang speaks soothingly to his mother; he fetches her pills and pours a glass of water with a knowing sense of urgency; he lightly bats away her hands as she tries to force-feed him so as to defend himself without hurting her. The almost nonchalance with which he reacts to his mother’s borderline hysterical behavior is what truly sells the scene, and it’s honestly heartbreaking to watch.
Watch the trailer for “Somewhere Only We Know” here!
His vulnerable character in “Mr. Six”
In the 2015 box office hit “Mr. Six,” Kris stars as Xiao Fei, a drag-racing, privileged youth whose money and connections get him out of almost everything, including manslaughter. He’s basically the kid who just can’t get in trouble because Daddy will bail him out one way or another. He’s arrogant, spoiled, and disrespectful. Even the way he moves is dripping with self-proclaimed entitlement.
Sounds super pleasant, right? Yet somehow, by the end of the movie, you really find yourself feeling sorry for him. And that is attributed to Kris’s acting.One particular moment is toward the end of the film when Xiao Fei, who has been in hiding, plans a meeting with Mr. Six in a last ditch effort to beg for a deal after a slip-up takes his life on a rapidly descending downward spiral. Gone is the cocky young adult who had his own little world in the palm of his hand; in his place stands an unsure, hurt kid who is suddenly having to face the consequences of his actions, maybe for the first time ever.
The transformation Xiao Fei has gone through is visible in all aspects of Kris’s body, namely his physical appearance and mannerisms. His formerly arrogant eyes are now downcast and empty, his once-proud shoulders now seem heavy-laden with a burden the size of his spoilt, privileged world, and his flamboyant platinum blonde hair is dyed back to a more subtle and natural dark brown. Just physically, Kris embodies the defeat Xiao Fei no doubt feels.His mannerisms, too, reveal the character development of Xiao Fei. He enters the room with his hands deep in his sweatpants pockets and wanders to the window listlessly before settling on the edge of a chair, only looking at Mr. Six through sideways glances. At one point in their conversation, when Mr. Six raises a hand to smack him, Xiao Fei flinches ever so slightly, and drops his eyes to the ground. His whole persona is drained of the energy and bravado Xiao Fei formerly possessed, and seeing Kris pull off both sides of this character is cool to watch.
Check out Kris in “Mr. Six” below:
His dark role in “Sweet Sixteen”
“Sweet Sixteen” is the 2016 film that boasts Kris’s darkest role yet. While the film itself got mixed reviews, Kris’s performance as troubled teen Xia Mu was solid through and through. “Troubled teen” is actually a gross understatement; more accurately, Xia Mu is an emotionally traumatized teenager who is in love with his surrogate sister. If that isn’t enough potential melodrama for you, the crux of the film is a horrifically tragic incident that turns the gentle, introverted teen into a fiercely vengeful criminal.One scene in particular that is exceptionally well executed by Kris happens after the above-mentioned tragic incident occurs, when Xia Mu finds out what happened to Ya Wang, his non-biological sister/lifelong love. It’s all about the eyes here, and Kris, who has a piercing gaze to begin with, does a superb job channeling his fury to his face. With livid tears threatening to fall, Xia Mu gets in his car in a fury-induced haze in order to find the guilty man who violated Ya Wang. Watching his eyes in this scene is both impressive and utterly terrifying. Kudos to Kris for a swell acting job, but I know I certainly would not want to be on the receiving end of that wrath!Another great scene of Kris’s is a bit later in the film. Xia Mu has to say a long farewell to Ya Wang, which he expresses in a letter that he leaves with her before sneaking out in the middle of the night. During the letter-reading voiceover, Xia Mu is shown riding on a bus, quietly shedding tears for the woman he has loved all his life. Kris goes about this very realistically, keeping his emotions under control and remaining quiet. He isn’t showy with the man tears; if anything, he tries to hold them back. The scene is simple, not overdone, and rings very true to life. Who hasn’t cried for a loved one? Especially one you feel you can never be with? It’s poignant and all-too-real, and Kris portrays the deep emotion perfectly.
Check out “Sweet Sixteen” below:
His portrayal of unconditional love in “Never Gone”
Thus far, Kris’s roles have been mostly dark and heavy ones, so 2016 movie “Never Gone” is a refreshing glimpse into his sweeter, softer side. The movie also spans over a time period of numerous years, allowing the viewer to watch him act his way from a high school student to a fully grown man.
Kris plays Cheng Zheng, a guy from a rich family who unconditionally loves Yun Jin, a girl from a poor one. He has several strong acting scenes in the film that contain weighty content, which make for juicy, dramatic scenes; for example, when his character gets outrageously drunk because of the hurt he carries inside or when he furiously confronts Yun Jin’s ex-boyfriend about his dealings with Yun Jin. And while those types of scenes are interesting to watch, sometimes it’s the quieter ones in between where the best acting moments can be found. Such is the case with the following scene in particular.Even though the two go to separate universities, Cheng Zheng will not be hindered in his pursuit of Yun Jin and decides to surprise her one day. Throughout their conversation, he teases her playfully and can’t seem to stop smiling. He plays the love-struck, head-over-heels youth so well! It’s adorable. Seriously, how is she not squealing with glee? From his dorky gestures to his cheeky but genuine grin, Kris proves in this scene what a well-rounded actor he is, comfortable with playing a starry-eyed young man as well as an arrogant antagonist, a disturbed teenager, and a struggling single father, among others.
To see him convincingly portray such a wide spectrum of characters, all from different backgrounds, and with different problems – is a testament to his ability, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him in film!
Start “Never Gone” right now!
What are your favorite Kris movie moments? Let me know in the comments below!
actualeleven is an Asian drama enthusiast who loves a good cup of coffee almost as much as she loves INFINITE, WINNER, and MONSTA X. She hopes to spread her passion for Asian dramas to her readers!