Xiao Zhan is currently on the “true” path, day after day, heading to the future.

Last summer, to commemorate Cao Yu’s 100th Year Anniversary, Xiao Zhan conducted a “Theatre Talk Between Two Generations” with scriptwriter Wan Fang, Cao Yu’s daughter. Xiao Zhan asked: Is “truth” an important element in our creative process? In her response, Wan Fang mentioned a line from “Winter Journey”: No path leads towards sincerity, sincerity itself is a path. Xiao Zhan is currently on this “true” path, day after day, heading to the future.

In the spring of 2020, Xiao Zhan completed post-recording work for “Oath of Love”. One day in March or April, Xiao Zhan said to Lv Ying, the director of Oath of Love, that he really envies Gu Wei. He said, “Gu Wei is so happy, he has a simple and ordinary life.” Lv Ying recalls that he told Xiao Zhan, “You don’t need to envy him, your life will surely be even better than his.”

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The Paper Exclusive Interview | Xiao Zhan: Not Ready to Be an Idol (Feb. 2016)

Inside the “Youth Castle” where XFire trainees are practicing, the boys have just finished morning practice, and are going in and out of the practice room in their casual clothes. Xiao Zhan quietly sat on the couch, getting interviewed by a journalist from The Paper.

That morning, journalists watched Ep. 11 of Xfire ahead of time at Tianyu Theatre. With his standout height and bright smile, Xiao Zhan was undoubtedly “Love at First Sight” and even during interviews, the team leader Peng Chuyue kept teasing him: “Xiao Zhan is our team’s popularity king.” Halfway through the competition last year, a marketing account exposed that he would soon appear in a big IP drama. When this was brought up, Xiao Zhan looked “clueless”, and during casual conversation didn’t forget to diss himself: “Hey, I’m just a ’Z-List’ unknown artist…”

In real life, Xiao Zhan is polite, understands the rules, and has a friendly air of an upperclassman next door. His attractiveness isn’t aggressive at all, and it’s no wonder that since the first episode some students have teased that Xiao Zhan is the popular “social butterfly” in their team.

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ELLE Feb. 2019: Uniquely Him

“I want to continuously break through and surpass myself, and become an actor everyone approves of. I want everyone to see my possibilities.”

Xiao Zhan learned how to draw from a young age, and he especially loved to draw planets and monsters. When he watched movies as a child and saw the Martian monsters, his imagination would start to run wild as he would begin to battle these monsters. Back then, he was a boy who loved outer space; he firmly believed in the existence of aliens. When he saw UFO related news, he was excited, curious, and scared: will aliens be nice to us?

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Later when he read “The Three Body Problem”, this feeling became stronger. He would exclaim about the scale of the author’s imagination and the universe, while doing research to understand the elements of physics and astronomy in the novel. Xiao Zhan would also imagine the appearanceS of the characters, “A science student, he might be wearing glasses, he definitely has a very high IQ, and has the ability to take decisive action. But he’s an idiot when it comes to life, just like Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory.”

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Harper’s Bazaar – Oct. 2019 Issue

Not the full article – snippets only

Q: In real life, are you also someone who likes an adventure?
Xiaozhan: Yes, you could say that.
Q: Does it excite you more if you don’t know the end results for a lot of things?
Xiaozhan: In life, if many things already have a certain result, then you ask me to do these things, there might be less novelty and uncertainty along the way. I prefer to not know the result; I can take any path and the destination is all different, that gets me more excited.
Q: So in your imagination, Abu Dhabi fits with your sense of the unknown?
Xiaozhan: Yes. It’s like a mysterious, unknown land to me. I can explore, and there’s endless treasures.

Xiaozhan says he’s not a brave person, but life makes it so he has to be brave, because only by being brave can he face all the unforeseen problems on this journey.

After The Untamed, a lot of people felt that Xiaozhan was more outgoing than before, and had more to say. Before he was a little reserved around strangers, but now he communicates with people with a proactive attitude, and in hopes of gaining more knowledge and information from the conversations.

His role not only brought him more attention, but he also gained strength and growth from the role itself.

As for plans for the future, he smiled and said that he hasn’t decided. But he loves to act, and he hopes that he can continue on the path to becoming a good actor, resolving one problem at a time and becoming braver and stronger. He says it’s not just him, a lot of his friends and young adults around him are all like that – they’re not afraid of the hardships in life’s path and become stronger and firmer along the way.

“Life has led you to this point, so just continue to walk forward with resolve. Because a lot of problems are what others who took this path have faced before, and what you will continue to face as you will also be back and forth on this path.”

Since the first script reading, Xiaozhan constantly reminded himself, “I’m Wei Wuxian, I’m Wei Wuxian, I’m lively and talkative and loveable.”

Even if that day you’re in the worst mood, if you’re going through dark times in your life, once you arrive on set, stand in front of the camera and the director yells action, from that moment you’re not yourself anymore.

Xiaozhan smiled and said, “It’s so cruel, but that’s an actor’s job.”

Xiaozhan’s father once said, “No one will just love you for no reason. If you want people to love you, you need to treasure their love.” Xiaozhan firmly believes that.

When he was young, Xiaozhan liked Stefanie Sun. He went to her concerts and fansigns. Xiaozhan just hoped he can see her from afar, see her shine on stage, lose himself in her songs, and learn from her to become better, eventually becoming a star that shines brightly in other people’s eyes. Xiaozhan says in his age, that was how people followed celebrities. Idols were really idols; they were a source of self-motivation. He treasures the love that fans have for him, and he never rejections “internet popularity”, which a lot of people shy away from discussing.

“You think internet popularity is bad, right? You think it’s a negative term? I think it’s a pretty good thing, because to me “internet popularity” means more people will come to know you, love you, and I think that’s a good thing. At least I don’t think anyone can always have massive internet popularity, the important thing is how to deal with it and face this popularity, and let it become motivation for yourself to move forward, I think that’s important.”

He hopes to turn the love of his fans into motivation for himself to move forward. An actor can quickly gain fame and attention from a popular drama, but acting itself needs professional study and accumulation.

Xiaozhan’s favorite actress is Zhou Xun. When he talked about her, Xiaozhan’s tone sounded like that of a “fanboy”: “I don’t know how she was able to become the way she is today.” our answer was simple; time and talent. You can’t be missing either one. Talent allows you to show your ability as an actor and when fate allows for it, you can seize the opportunities that come your way at certain points in your life. And time is what sharpens the knife, every minute, every second you spend on professional development will be reflected in your future performances.

“There are no small roles, only small actors.” Keep in mind your initial aspiration and determination, and work your best at your profession. Continue to plow through this field, and you will eventually come across a piece of land that belongs to you.

Xiaozhan said, “In this era of fleeting popularity, continuing to stay true to myself and being as real as possible, I think that’s the ultimate goal. But it’s also so, so difficult.”

We wish him the best.

*Internet popularity (流量) is more literally like online traffic, it is often used with a negative connotation for celebrities who have a large following, especially online, but do not necessarily have skills to back up that fame. Xiaozhan is saying that he takes that at face value – as love and attention he receives which he will work to live up to through effort and improving his skills.

Cosmo Jun. 2019 (Excerpt)

Not the full article – just one snippet

“She wrote me a letter and said she got married…” he widened his pretty eyes, as if this was touching and hard to believe. “She watched me on the survival show and liked me ever since then. Now she’s met her other half in life, got married, and she’s happy. Wow, this feels really great!”

That day he read this letter from his fan, that feeling of “companionship” was like the letter he held onto tightly – it became clear and tangible.

So even now, Xiaozhan thinks that fans are very much like his childhood friends. “In those times, we had a whole neighborhood of children, and after school we’d write our homework together, play together, and grow up together.” He raised his hand to gesture, and his smile is blinding, “now those friends’ children are already this tall.” As he lowered his hand, a gentle breeze passed over him.

Secret Garden 17.04.01

I’m here, I always say to not stay up late but I’m always breaking that rule myself. Today we arrived in Shanghai for the first rehearsal. It would be a lie to say that I’m not nervous, I’m nervous because I don’t want to disappoint you guys, so I’ll do my best!

I see lately that you guys have a lot of worries!

Don’t argue with your parents, the older you get the more you’ll understand how important they are to you!

As for other people’s misunderstandings and assumptions, the world is big, and the eternal rule is that for however many people who like you, there will be people who dislike you; in their eyes nothing you do is right, so why do you just be yourself, and the people who like you will love you even more? Your heart’s filter will level up!

Important: rehearsal will end very late!! Don’t stand outside and wait! Hurry and go home, what if you get sick and can’t fly! Bad plan!

I really miss the Xiaozhan who can meet with you guys on stage. Soon; see you on 4.2.

Love you guys, goodnight.

Zhan!