The China Youth Daily: Liu Haoran Interview

The China Youth Daily recently sat down with Haoran, who hasn’t been able to promote Novoland: Eagle Flag much as he went from one film set to another, for a short interview, in which he shared his thoughts on why he likes tragedies, and his personal perspective on NEF’s Asule/Lv Guichen.

(Admin note: Thanks for your patience! I know we haven’t been able to update with the NEF posts that we wanted to yet, and I also have a backlog of Haoran video interviews to sub, but all in good time! Haven’t been home for almost a month now due to traveling for work, etc.)

(Original interview posted 8.12.19)

The 21 year old Liu Haoran, with his monolids and the tiger tooth that shows when he smiles, is the image of “first love” for many. But when he opens his mouth and speaks, he reveals a depth and maturity that doesn’t match his age. Some have called it, “Youthful looks, an uncle (middle-aged man)’s heart.”

Because of Detective Chinatown, Nirvana In Fire 2: The Wind Blows in Changlin, The Legend of the Demon Cat, and other works, the 97-er Liu Haoran has already become an experienced artist. Simultaneously, “youthful air” is the label that the public has given him.

What is Liu Haoran’s understanding of “youth”?

When he was little, he was a huge fan of anime. In his eyes, the passionate, enthusiastic youths (the leads of the anime shows that he watched) all had some degree of tragedy in their endings. “For youths, perhaps comedy isn’t quite their main tone.”

In regards to the many youth roles he has portrayed, like Qin Feng, Bai Long, Xiao Pingjing, Liu Haoran’s seen the traces of tragedy in them. And that includes the currently airing Novoland: Eagle Flag.

Liu Haoran expresses, Asule clings to the belief, “I will protect you“. This is something only a youth can say, because adults understand just how hard it is to protect those that you love in a world of chaos. “Asule is destined to be a tragic figure.” But Liu Haoran believes, this type of tragedy is precious.

When Liu Haoran watches dramas and films, he is drawn to and more easily touched by tragic stories. “I’m not an entirely optimistic person, so I’m often quite pessimistic. Before I do something, I’ll first think of the worst outcome.”

Liu Haoran has long been a fan of the Novoland: Eagle Flag books, and has always had his own idea of Asule in his heart. When he learned that he could play one of his favorite characters, joy overpowered fear, “It was like accomplishing a childhood dream.”

Today, those who share scenes with Liu Haoran are largely industry veterans, “No scene is dependent on one person alone – it’s reliant on everyone working together.” Liu Haoran says, every time he has a scene with a senior, he can clearly feel “what they’re trying to pass to you” through their acting. It’s wonderful, and mature.

“You will feel moved by the atmosphere, and it’s easier for you to put in an even better performance. Maybe if you were just depending on yourself, your acting is a 6 in this scene. With a senior, they may be at a 10, and thus your acting is brought up to an 8. That two point difference – you will rely on more and more performances to bring that up.

Novoland: Eagle Flag was filmed in Xinjiang, Xiangyang’s Tang City, Beijing, and more places. Many of the grand scenes were shot with live landscapes, and Liu Haoran was injured in a fight scene. When he was filming for The Legend of the Demon Cat, he lost 12 kg.

But he laughingly says he’s not someone who’s very strict on himself, because his work and non-working states are entirely different, “When I’m working, I’ve wound up very tightly, but when I’m resting I don’t really like to monitor myself too much. I want to eat what I want to eat, do what I want to do!”

An ideal day in Liu Haoran’s mind is “a very lazy life”: sleeping in til 8 or 9am, staying home to watch movies, play games, and then taking a nap after lunch. In the afternoon, he’d hang out with friends and go shopping.

When he rests, he will undoubtedly gain weight. But once it’s time for filming, he immediately changes channels. He very well knows that the way he is now (when on rest) won’t produce the best results (on camera), so will begin the painful process of dieting.

The number of fans has become an important metric when it comes to evaluating celebrities, and is the reason why the concept of “liu liang” exists. Liu Haoran has very simple thoughts regarding this and understands that he doesn’t decide how many fans he has – it’s determined by “attention”.

“To me, having so many fans means taking responsibility. You have to use the attention that you get to encourage everyone to do better things.”

When talking about hardships in life, Liu Haoran will think back to 10 years ago, when the 11 year old boy left his hometown to the big city of Beijing for school, “I wasn’t in a good place then. I was young, and went to an unfamiliar city to study. Living in a communal environment, without family members by my side – to me, it was a very difficult thing.”

Though his head is filled with mature thoughts that surpass his age, Liu Haoran still wishes to maintain the simplicity that comes with his age. He says honestly, many people use the word “youthful air” to describe him, but to him, it’s a bit ambiguous. After all, he is a youth right now, and there is still a long way to go.

“There are many precious traits in a youth, including in their personality, state of mind, and feelings. Some people hope that as they slowly grow up, they can become more and more mature. But others hope that they retain the characteristics that they have as a youth. I don’t know how I’ll choose, since I’m still not at that age yet!”

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