Actor Zhang Guoli was starving and sleep-deprived during filming

9 December 2012 / 3 years 10 months ago

Source: The New PaperHe knew he was going to be very miserable during filming when he read the script.And so veteran China actor Zhang Guoli, who starred in The Founding Of A Republic, prepared himself mentally, before the shooting of director Feng Xiaogang's latest epic tragedy Back To 1942.In a recent phone interview with FiRST from Hong Kong, Zhang, 57, admitted that the experience was even more difficult than he had imagined.Speaking in Mandarin, he said that Feng had wanted the actors to lose weight gradually over the five months of filming, to make the movie look realistic."On some days, all I had was a small bowl of porridge in the morning and at night, and an apple in the afternoon.""On other days, I ate more to keep my energy levels up because we had to walk a lot. But I made sure I was never full because I wanted to look and feel the part of a hungry refugee," he said.The actor was self-deprecating, calling it a stupid method to get into character.Zhang lost 8.5kg in one month and at the end of filming, he was 12kg lighter.He has since gained back the weight lost.Back To 1942 is based on the catastrophic famine in Henan that year which resulted in millions of people fleeing their home to trek on foot for more than a month to look for food in Shaanxi.

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