Best-known for his good-natured TV roles, HCM City actor Huynh Dong recently won two Canh Dieu Vang (Golden Kite) awards for both movie and television performances. He talks with Thu Thuy about an artist's life and his future ambitions.
Inner Sanctum: You seemed to have played many roles as a good-natured young men. Do you feel you need a change?
I don't know why people typecast me and say I can only play the nice guy. I think I am overused for that kind of role.
When you turn on your TV, you see a poor but good natured man. I want to try something new and play the bad guy.
Inner Sanctum: You won the Golden Kite for your first movie role in Thien menh anh hung (Blood Letter). Do you think you were lucky?
Yes of course.
I was part of a great team and the movie had a huge budget. If my role had been given to another actor, they might have played even better and taken the award themselves, so I'm not getting carried away with my performance. I understand that there were good and bad points. I was lucky because when my opportunity came, I took it.
Inner Sanctum: Were you afraid of the fighting and flying scenes? Was it difficult preparing for the film?
No, I wasn't afraid of the fight scenes. I love action movies and high intensity scenes, but I am scared of snakes and insects. In Blood Letter, I had to hold a snake and I didn't feel comfortable, but I did it anyway because it's my job.
You asked me if being an actor is hard or not? I would say this is normal, and I have to accept it. If we want to record a sunrise scene, we will have to wake up very early. I think being actors and actresses, we should not complain.
Inner Sanctum: Do your real life experiences and your personality affects your acting?
A little. Real life experiences are not only the things we've experienced but also what we've learned from newspapers, movies and other sources. We absorb experiences from these sources, but more importantly, we should know how to turn them into assets.
Acting requires us to imitate and learn from other actors.
Someone asked what are my own features? I must confess that I don't know for sure. For each role, I try my best and follow the director's advice and what I feel.
Inner Sanctum: You are 30 years old and have many awards, but we don't see you in the press very much. Why?
Perhaps everyone thinks that being an artist means you must be in the news everyday.
Of course, some people like to live that way as they rely on it to further their careers. They crave public attention and will stop at nothing to get it. This paints serious artists in a bad light.
Inner Sanctum: You're a celebrity but you don't seem to seek the limelight in the same way some of your peers do. Is there a reason for this?
I don't have anything to tell. I spend my working days like any normal man.
I also read some odd stories on the internet, but I don't care, even when they try and sensationalise srories like someone's trousers falling down.
Inner Sanctum: Do you think that you are too old and finicky?
The life of a celebrity naturally attracts attention, but I don't know why newspapers can't focus on serious stories instead of sensational news. That's why many people take advantage of this and give our profession a bad name.
I don't like calling myself an actor because I don't want to be placed in the same category as these people. Some of them use cheap tricks to gain more publicity in a bid to become famous. I don't think I'm too finicky, it's just my point of view.
Inner Sanctum: Is that why you are never seen arriving at flash parties and celebrity events?
I accept if people think I'm boring.
In my free time I stay at home and watch films or go to the cinema. I am a family man. If I'm not out with my girlfriend, I'm at home with my parents. I'm happy with that lifestyle.
Inner Sanctum: You admit that you are a bit finicky. Is that the same in your love life?
Yes, but I am also loveable. If I see my girlfriend doing something that I don't like, I will tell her immediately.
Inner Sanctum: You are usually discreet so why don't you hide the fact that you have a girlfriend now?
Because everyone sees us together. When I took part in Buoc nhay hoan vu (Dancing with the Stars), she always cheered for me. As a couple, we go out together a lot, and sometimes people take photos of us that are posted on the internet. If I deny it, I am irresponsible, but I also don't want to talk about our relationship too much. — VNS