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Jay Chou: Can he act?

Writer: Nor Azliany Mohamad


Jay Chou with Seth Rogen striking a pose in the press conference of The Green Hornet

Chou Chieh-lun or more popularly known as Jay Chou, was born on 18 January 1979 in Linkou, Taipei City, Taiwan.

The multi-talented star, who has four World Music Awards under his belt, is not only a singer, but heralds as a songwriter, producer, actor and director as well.

His potential was uncovered through a competition where his talent for playing the piano was discovered. Known for his creativity of infusing Western and Eastern influences into his Pop, Rock and RnB songs, he has garnered much attention from the legion of his fans.

Hungry for more success, Chou had then dabbled into acting circa 2005 with his debut film "Initial D". From his role in the movie, Chou received Best New Actor awards from the Hong Kong Film Festival and also from the Golden Horse Awards. Since being nominated, Chou then plunged himself further into acting and made his next move starring alongside Seth Rogen in "The Green Hornet" directed by Hollywood's visionary Michel Gondry.

Chou who once said, "I live for music", made the decision to venture into acting as he felt he that needed to take on a bigger challenge in his career. Initially, a huge number of his fans were alarmed that acting may take a toll on Chou's musical career, but Chou persisted that movies are his inspiration, not a distraction. Thankfully enough, Chou has not looked back since.

Now let's run through five of Chou's movies that have gained critical acclaim:

INITIAL D (2005)


Jay Chou as Takumi Fujiwara in "Intial D".
In his debut role, Chou was offered one of the lead parts in "Initial D". The fast-paced action movie adapted from a Japanese comic book of the same name saw Chou as a cool drag racing pro by the name of Takumi Fujiwara. Some of the negative reviews on his acting claimed him to be bland and stiff. However the majority of viewers felt that Chou embodied his role well, and his demeanour in reality is not much different than his character. Despite all the criticism, "Initial D" managed to bring Chou luck as his role won him two awards from the Hong Kong Film Festival and also from the Golden Horse Awards.






CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER (2006)


Jay Chou as the eldest son of Empire Xiao in Curse Of The Golden Flower.
Directed by Zhang Yimou, "Curse if the Golden Flower" marks Chou second cinematic role as Prince Jai, the oldest prince of Empire Xiao's army from the second dynasty. Although his part featured him as a supporting actor, Chou had managed to garner much attention of the press in China. In this internationally released movie, Chou had the opportunity to work alongside big industry names like Chow Yun-Fat and Gong Li. According to the press in China, Chou's acting wasn't up to par with the other actors in the movie, but for the critics of the Western Hemisphere, Chou was well praised. He was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Hong Kong Film Festival.



KUNG FU DUNK (2008)


Jay Chou in Kungfu Dunk.
In this action packed movie directed by Chu Yin-ping, Chou's character Fang Shijie is a kung fu master that becomes a pro basketball player. "Kung Fu Dunk" had managed to rake in US $14.7 m. Aside from Chou, the movie also features an all star cast comprising of Eric Tsang, Charlene Choi, Wilson Chen and more. NBA's Yao Ming was approached for a cameo in the movie, but alas, an injury experienced by the basketball superstar prevented that from taking place.









THE GREEN HORNET (2011)


Jay Chou as the sidekick Kato in "The Green Hornet."
This superhero installment that originated from a radio program in the 30s, was previously adapted into a television series, comic book franchise and so forth. Chou managed to snag a part in this year's big screen adaptation as Kato, which was once played by the late Kung Fu legend, Bruce Lee.

Directed by Michel Gondry (Be Kind Rewind, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Chou starred along Hollywood's funnyman, Seth Rogen and mega starlet, Cameron Diaz. Kato was first considered for Hong Kong actor Stephen Chow who turned down the role, but was then quickly offered to Chou instead. Despite not being fluent in English, Chou's acting was well received as he showed noticeable improvement compared to his previous roles.

SECRET (2007)


Jay Chou in his directorial debut while playing the lead actor in Secret.
Jay Chou not only acted as the lead part in this movie, he also made his debut as a director, producer and scriptwriter. "Secret" showcased Chou's talent in playing the piano, and the movie has been the recipient of many awards for Best Visual Effects, Best Taiwanese Movie and Best Original Song at the Golden Horse forty- forth awards.


Cinema Online, 10 March 2011

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