We often hear about idols and actors who made it to the A-list at a very young age, but seldom do we hear about the success stories of those who struggled for well over a decade before graduating to the big leagues. Would you believe that Zhu Yilong is one of them? The actor who studied at Beijing Film Academy graduated in 2006. Despite having debuted in the industry ten years ago and acting in loads of dramas, Zhu Yilong’s popularity only began to surge in the past two years. Hard to imagine but it’s true. Things haven’t always been smooth sailing for him as he’s had to endure some rougher times before reaching his popularity. Now that he’s been able to more freely enjoy the fruits of his hard work with more scripts coming his way, it’s interesting to see how he perceives himself now as an actor.
Zhu Yilong reveals in a recent interview that he has no qualms about being labeled as an idol actor (偶像派) or an actor who has achieved fame through his talent (实力派). “I don’t have any problems with the labels because they’re both alright. It just means that audiences think that you can be anything, which is all good.” For someone whose fame didn’t come cheaply, he credits his success to both being born with some acting chops and from working hard. He says “I think I’m a person who can endure hardship. You MUST persevere. Without time, without the experiences that enrich you, without embracing what’s right in front of you, it would be difficult for you as an actor to bring something more to your character.” At the beginning of his career, Zhu Yilong shares that he mainly focused on honing his acting techniques and performing well. Later on, his approach shifted to include understanding the character he will be playing and how he can best convey the message his character wants to say within context of the story.
I quite like how Zhu Yilong is down to earth and how he appears to have a good head over his shoulders. His career might have been a “late bloomer”, but alas that’s probably a good thing too and the reason why he’s been able to stay focused and keep such a level head in an industry where fame can sweep you off your feet. Here’s hoping for a bright and promising future ahead of him!