Zhou Jie "Right on Target"

(Written by: Huang Shan)

The other day I met Zhou Jie at the "Right On Target" filming location, not the bald, costumed or new-moon-on-the-forehead Er Kang and Bao Qing Tian, but a very modern, handsome television reporter. When I made it to the filming site, he was shooting a scene in which he was interviewing a victim's family; I just saw this "colleague" wearing a slight frown, holding a microphone, interviewing in his accurate and smooth intonation, also looking like he's carrying the whole world on his shoulders. Simultaneously "worried" for him, and planning in my head how to "investigate" this topic : a comment of him that says,"Zhou Jie's acting is always the same style".

In reality, it's not. While filming, he's all carefree, a sunlit, splashing smile is always seen, also teasing and making fun with friends in the filming unit, but people are too impressed with his Er Kang - Bao Zheng style righteous image, Between filming, he had to 'take care' of me (he said he can't mistreat reporters), and find time to sign autographs for fans, using his words: "I inadvertently became a model worker, so everybody started looking at me with criticizing eyes." Considering this, he's still periodically yells out to people, "Please keep quiet!", as it's live recording during filming. Watching him instantly caring about his own acting parts and other aspects of filming, you can see that he is methodically protecting himself.

Click to enlarge Zhou Jie knows his stature among audiences. He also knows his "tenure" in this circle. With the "Huan Zhu Ge Ge" series and now the "Young Bao Qing Tian" series, he has fast become the favorite actor for tens of thousands of people; on the other hand, negative reports large and small have continued to surface, making "Young Bao Qing Tian" famous even before it's on the air. This may be a way to promote the series, Zhou Jie feels that it's at his expense. Fortunately the series is a hit, occupying top spots of the ratings chart. All of it made Zhou Jie the heated topic of entertainment news. His news has become non-news. Take for instance, the allegation that he arbitrarily changes the script. Zhou Jie gets agitated again: " I'm always thinking about the character. There is a scene of the Guo Huai investigation. Originally, the script had arranged for a picture of a Huai tree to prompt Bao Qing Tian to suspect Guo Huai." Zhou Jie was afraid that this detail might be too hard for the audience to grasp, so he suggested that the picture display a person holding a wok implicating Guo Huai.** And that is the scene as it's presented to the audience. "There is another scene in which the script called for burning of a piece of cloth and that revealed the hidden characters on the cloth. First of all, it's a lot more work for the unit to prepare for a scene of burning with fire; secondly, the cloth is already burnt, how can one detect the hidden characters? So I suggested wetting the cloth with wine, and once the cloth is wet, the characters were revealed." One can see his total dedication to his work. Although by doing so, he might have misled the director to think that he was trying to grab attention, but Zhou Jie couldn't care less. All he cares about is that he has to be responsible to the audience. Being the lead actor of this series, he has to worry about the actuality of minor details. Talking about actuality, Zhou Jie thinks that "Bao" series can be even more convincing by filming in HeNan Province, Bao's homeland. This way, the actors could relate to the environment, rather than having the filming take place in the South, in GuangDong Province, which is totally different from the North. But the directors from Hong Kong thought otherwise, they cared only about the entertainment value and not the historical facts. In addition, there are 6 different directors for this series, after reading about one of the negative reports, one really felt bad for Zhou Jie. Also when you see his sincerity and eagerness to explain, you really know more about Zhou Jie as a person: that he is such an intense person. During our interview, there were fans around asking for his autograph. When he was signing, I was still posing questions. Yet he said, "Just wait a while, I can't do 2 things at once." He was so serious about everything, that prompted me to say, " Your problem is because you are so serious!" He agreed. He commented: "Bao Qing Tian, besides being simple, straightforward and steadfast, he can have personality. I'm not allowed to have personality. So one can't be too straightforward. people can't take straightforwardness, diplomatic people are welcomed everywhere. " As to other reports, Zhou Jie said, That's because people respect me, reporting on my goings on! Looks like he's all clear on that!

Mentioning how his family is taking it, now that there is a star in the family? Zhou Jie smiled," It's a mess, a total mess. At first, a lot of people, some we know, some we don't, including relatives, all came to visit. My parents felt great, happily entertained them, and gave away all my photographs. After 6 months, my parents couldn't stand it anymore, some relatives believed: your son is so popular, he must be loaded, so they started borrowing money, plus there were so many negative news happening consecutively, my mother started worrying about me."Because of this, Zhou Jie feels very bad, his parents have stayed in the same old house of about 30,40 square meters for decades, he didn't bring much to his parents except for troubles. But he frankly told this reporter, recently he had purchased a 3-bedroom house for his parents in XiAn. As to his greatest wish, he said, I want to be a director, a producer. I want to try everything I haven't tried before. Amidst such controversy, he still has such high hopes, one can't help but admire him. Actually, this is also his lovable trait: Dare to dream, dare to speak.

(**Guo is phonetically the same as wok, and Huai sounds the same as a person's bosom in Chinese)

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