“I only want to be your supporting actor” – the story of Zhang Yunlei and Yang Jiulang

“When I was in the Intensive Care Unit, he promised me … ‘ In the future, whatever makes you happy, whatever you want to do, go do it and  I’ll follow you.’ ” – Zhang Yunlei

Yang Jiulang kept his word.  According to a director of a variety show,  in the two years since Zhang Yunlei came out of the ICU, Yang Jiulang completely molded himself to fit Zhang Yunlei.

He would wheel him around in a wheelchair off stage and be his crutch on stage.  He would stay up until 3am waiting for word that Zhang Yunlei got home safely from filming.   He doesn’t even hand Zhang Yunlei water without first unscrewing the cap. He almost never sings but knows the lyrics to every song Zhang Yunlei sings on stage.  If Zhang Yunlei wants him to sing, all Zhang Yunlei has to do was to stop mid-sentence and look to the left, and Yang Jiulang will finish his sentence without missing a beat.

From love at first meal, two miraculous comebacks, learning to walk three times,  to plenty of foreshadowing and climaxes, the story of singer-comedian Zhang Yunlei and his partner Yang Jiulang unfolds as if it were a carefully constructed drama. Zhang Yunlei’s life story is a miracle in itself, but the story of their journey together is a fitting parallel plot.

*warning* Because they’re comedians, everything they say is a lie or a hyperbole.   I will try to stick to off-stage interviews here, but I hold no responsibility for recounting lies they fed me.

“If fate be willing, we will be together “

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Ten things about Zhang Yunlei, the artist making Chinese opera cool again

Zhang Yunlei
Thousands of fangirls singing along to Chinese opera is something I never thought I would see in my lifetime, but here we are with Zhang Yunlei.

From a homeless fourth-grade dropout to surviving a four-story fall to becoming one of the hottest new stars making century-old tunes hip again, singer-xiangsheng comedian Zhang Yunlei is a Republican-era prima donna teleported into the modern era. Here are ten things to know and love about rising star Zhang Yunlei.

  1. Thanks to him, millennial fans are singing along to traditional music like Taiping Lyrics version of Madame Lady Snake , Peking Opera Suolin Pouch, modified Suzhou PingtanDongbei errenzhuan , and the extremely catchy Ping Opera Qiankun Belt.
  2. Zhang Yunlei is most widely known for his modern rendition of Beijing folk song Visiting the Qingshui River. He released his first single, Yuzhen, last year, and has already recorded more songs.
  3. Nails from his left leg.

    In August 2016, over twenty terminally ill notices were released for Zhang Yunlei after he fell from the equivalent of a four-story drop-off at a railroad terminal. He miraculously returned to the stage, but with 108 nails inside his body and one less lung.  For his earlier performances, they would wheel him up to stageside, and then he would walk up with the help of his partner, Yang Jiulang.  There have been times where after he goes backstage, they would find out the nails had poked through his ankles and bled all over.

  4. Zhang Yunlei began studying Chinese opera and music at the age of five, and quit school in 4th grade to train under xiangsheng and opera performer Guo Degang.  Zhang Yunlei’s performances of xiangsheng’s special ballad form, Taiping lyrics 太平歌词, are so good that their company still uses recordings of him for lessons. Zhang Yunlei singing Taiping lyrics here.
  5. At the age of 13, he lost his boy soprano voice and thought he would never return to the stage. While getting by on odd jobs in Beijing, he once slept for a month at McDonald’s since it was open all night. Last year, he became a brand ambassador for McDonald’s.

Zhang Yunlei and fans singing Visiting the Qingshui River.

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Actress Kara Hui is still looking for her first love, an American soldier deployed in Hong Kong during the Vietnam War

I hope one day he’ll send me a picture, no matter how old, because I’ll still remember his face. And I would know he didn’t die, that he was still alive.”

Award-winning actress Kara Hui said in an interview last year that she’s still trying to find her first love, an American soldier deployed in Hong Kong during the Vietnam War. This reminds me of the story of actor Anthony Wong, who was able to find his Australian half-brothers online earlier this year thanks to a BBC report. Hey BBC, time to step up again.

“From ages 3 to 11, this girl ( you see here) lived in the red light district. I’ve seen every tragedy and joy of life. He was the first one to ask me how to say I love you in Cantonese. For a young girl, I think it was like a first love. It’s a bit tragic because he left Hong Kong the next day to Vietnam, maybe he got killed the day he arrived.” Hui said.

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Ni Ni and Jing Boran are both now single

The most separately photogenic couple, Jing Boran and Ni Ni, have just announced on Weibo they broke up in May. I don’t usually post break-up news but I’ll take any opportunity to put up  pictures of either of them.

Here are some gifs of Jing Boran in Geneva and a minivideo and photoshoot aka car ad starring Ni Ni and Jin Dachuan. It’s a part of series that also has minivideos/ads starring Gao YunyuanYang Mi, Zhou Dongyu, and Zhong Chuxi.

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Liu Shishi, Nicky Wu to Wed in Bali on March 20

Nicky Wu and Liu Shishi kiss in wedding photo
We’ll use these photoshoots to erase Bu Bu Jing Qing from our memories.

After registering their marriage last year, mainland Chinese actress Liu Shishi and Taiwanese actor Nicky Wu will hold their wedding ceremony this Sunday, March 20, on the beautiful island of Bali.

The happy couple already released one set of beautiful wedding pictures to make us jealous, but here they come with some more stunning photos, as well as the promise of a music video for “Hand in Hand” (手牵手), the duet they recorded to celebrate their marriage.

Nicky Wu and Liu Shishi wedding photo

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Zhang Ziyi designs for I Pinco Pallino, also engaged

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Actress Zhang Ziyi, who is not marrying a drone but singer Wang Feng, was a guest designer for Italian children’s fashion brand I Pinco Pallino. Pictured is a dress she designed. Who looks cuter in the dress, her or the girl?

The actress is currently filming The History of the Disappearance of Romance 罗曼蒂克消亡史/浮生如梦 with Ge You, Wallace Chung, and Yuan Quan. She’s also co-producing sci-fi comedy Baby from the Universe 从天儿降  with Guo Jingming.

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Wang Feng proposed to Zhang Ziyi in front of family and friends, including Wang Leehom, Guo Jingming, Chen Xuedong, Han Geng, Na Ying, etc .

source: elle, photos see logo

 

Li Sheng is engaged to Li Jiahang, has colorful photoshoots

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You know a relationship will go well when they’re fighting over who wears the beard.

Li Jiahang admitted this week that he indeed has successfully proposed to Li Sheng (not related). The pair is a rare recent celeb couple who has never played a couple.  I hope they fix that soon.

Also included are two photoshoots by Li Sheng, one in monochrome with Xu Liang and one from the Crayola factory.

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