Actor Huang Xiaoming puts on 15kg to play intellectually disabled man in new movie


Chinese actor Huang Xiaoming said he had gained 15kg for his latest role. Photos: Huang Xiaoming/Weibo, Mostly Sunny/Weibo

Is that Chinese actor Huang Xiaoming?

That was the question on many netizens’ minds after photos from the actor’s new movie Mostly Sunny, in which Huang appears noticeably heavier, were released on Chinese social media on June 16 and went viral.

Huang appears to have shed his idol image and is gunning for awards glory with his latest role.

The 46-year-old plays an intellectually disabled man in the film helmed by Chinese director Wei Shujun.

It also stars Taiwanese actress Lu Hsiao-fen, Chinese actor Zu Feng and Chinese actress Yang Caiyu, with Chinese director Jia Zhangke making a special appearance.

Mostly Sunny premiered at the ongoing Shanghai International Film Festival in the Main Competition section of the Golden Goblet Award. It has been praised by critics, with some describing it as the Chinese version of the 1994 Hollywood comedy-drama Forrest Gump, starring Tom Hanks.

At a press conference on June 16, Huang – the first person to win Best Actor twice at China’s Golden Rooster Awards, for American Dreams In China (2013) and The Bravest (2019) – said he had gained 15kg and a bigger tummy for his latest role.

He also stayed at a charity organisation in Hangzhou for one month to learn more about people with special needs.

However, he added that he went on a diet soon after filming wrapped. He sometimes ate only one sugar-free biscuit for breakfast, as he joked that he could gain weight just by drinking too much water.

Huang – who has a seven-year-old son with his former wife, Hong Kong actress Angelababy – said: “I never hesitated taking up the role and even looked forward to it.” – The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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