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Northern actors go southwards

Update: October, 11/2020 - 08:20

by Trần Hoàng Nam

Many famed actors in the north have recently worked with film producers in the south on film projects, an encouraging sign according to many fans.

They include People’s Artist Hoàng Dũng, People’s Artist Lê Khanh, People’s Artist Lan Hương and Meritorious Artist Thanh Hiền.

The news that actor Hoàng Dũng will play the main role in episode five of Gái Già Lắm Chiêu (The Royal Bride) was a surprise for many, as the veteran actor has only worked in theatres and television films in the north.

Thanh Hiền, known for playing Mến in Sao tháng Tám (August Star) and for starring in a series of television films in the north, recently completed her role in the film Kiều (The Tale of Kiều) produced by Tincom Media.

People's Artist Lê Khanh in a scene in The Royal Bride ep. 3. — Photo vietnamplus.vn

Before Thanh Hiền,  Lê Khanh featured in the third episode of Gái Già Lắm Chiêu, which marked her return after nearly 20 years absence from the screen after the film Mùa Hè Chiều Thẳng Đứng (Vertical Ray of the Sun) by France-based director Trần Anh Hùng in the year 2000.

She recently accepted an invitation to play a role in the fifth episode of Gái Già Lắm Chiêu and even cut her long hair to take the role of hard tempered mother-in-law Thái Tuyết Mai.

Lan Hương marked her appearance in southern cinema in the films Tháng Năm Rực Rỡ (Go Go Sisters) and Chú Ơi, Đừng Lấy Mẹ Con (Please Don’t Marry My Mother).

At the moment, Lan Hương is playing a role in television film Cây Táo Nở Hoa (When the Apple Tree Blooms), a remake from South Korea titled When the Camelia Blooms by HCM City-based VieOn company.

“The trend of many veteran actors in the north joining cinema projects in the south is a strange and encouraging signal,” cinema critic Vũ Kim told Việt Nam News.

“This shows that there is a transformation and self-balance in regional factors so that the films are closer to audiences in three regions,” he said.

It also shows that northern artists are now more open to new projects.

Hoàng Dũng said when he was a judge of the Cánh Diều Vàng 2020 (Golden Kite) Prize a few months ago, he was impressed with Gái Già Lắm Chiêu ep. 3.

Though the series just received a Certificate of Merit from the judging board, he still liked it.

“I’m eager to refresh the series,” he told online Dân Trí newspaper. “I highly appreciated the capability to invest in new projects by southern producers and the capability to update modern trends in the world.”

Hoàng Dũng said he did not hesitate to take the invitation to play a role in a commercial film.

“I hope my role this time will bring something new to the audience, different from roles I have played so far,” he said.

Hoàng Dũng also said he trusted southern producers as he had enjoyed many of their films.

“To me, there is almost no difference between commercial films and artistic films,” he said. “The thing is that the quality of screenplay, details and content should really win the heart of the audience.”

Lê Khanh said the development of the southern cinema market will make many people change their point of view.

“I admire young people in the south when they have succeeded in making 'made in Việt Nam' films,” she said.

“I see clear and elaborate content,” she said. “Then I see it’s suitable for both art and taste.”

Lê Khanh said it’s time for people to erase regional borders in cinema so artists can exchange and learn from one another.

“That’s why northern actors receiving invitations to join films in the south is an encouraging signal,” she said.

Actress Lan Hương said cinema in each region has its own strengths and characteristics.

Actor Đức Khuê (left), actress Lan Hương (right) and Hoàng Yến Chibi behind the scene of the film Go Go Sisters. Both Khuê and Hương based in Hà Nội. They are among many actors from Hà Nội to join films produced by southern producers. — Photo afamily.vn

“Though southern cinema focuses on entertaining films, their way of making films is much closer to the trend in developed countries,” she said.

“The youth, activeness and professionalism of artists in the south inspired me to change a lot,” she said.

“I think northern artists playing parts in films produced by southern companies will add more colour to the films,” she said.

“This is also an important factor to change northern artist’s thoughts in the way of making films in the south,” she added.

Viewer Quốc Bình, who was born in Hà Nội and now resides in HCM City, said he preferred the acting style of northern actors.

"With the same role, they sometimes act better than southern actors," he commented. "Even comedians act better and bring more profound laughter."

He added that southern producers are more active.

"The co-operation [between northern actors and southern producers] will bring interesting films to the market," he said. — VNS

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