Zheng Xiuwen played the "Aunt Tianmei" of the foster family in "Flowing Water and Flowers", and deeply realized separation, death and love in the play. Outside the play, she also shared how she views actors and the life changes that depression has brought her - to be an actor, you must "complete" the role, but also learn to be honest with yourself.

Zheng Xiuwen's latest performance "Flowing Water and Flowers" focuses on the issue of foster families, focusing on the essence of death, separation and love.

She said that foster family was an unpopular issue, but the script moved her to say that she would take on the show for anything.

In the film, she took over the role of the host family "Aunt Tianmei", had a deeper understanding of the performance, and honestly entered her inside.

Picture | "Flowing Water and Falling Flowers" stills

The title of "Lost Love" implies parting, and also talks about the continuation and blessing after parting.

This film is the first full-length work of Hong Kong new director Jia Shengfeng, and the story tells the life story between a couple who lost their children and seven foster children. The film editing method is clean, and the child in the story is displaced, and the reluctance is gently clicked to the end.

The lightness, like the impermanence of life that comes quietly: the story has come to the next chapter, but the viewer still thinks about the end.

Zheng Xiuwen plays the "Aunt Tianmei" of the foster family in the play, a scene where she remeets the foster children after death, so that she knows how to look back.

"The mood of that scene was very complicated, there were laughter and tears. The old Aunt Tianmei looked at the children's faces one by one, and at that moment, she found meaning in the seemingly meaningless process of life."

It turns out that parting is also a continuation, blessing life to a better place.

The feeling of the role also made Zheng Xiuwen, as an actor, think, "It's the same as life. When you look back, you understand the meaning, understand that some mistakes and some experiences were not in vain. But you have to look back to see it."

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Photo | Cosmes Entertainment (Costume courtesy of Glasses: Puyi Glasses - Maison Margiela)

What 50 is is presented, I have this calmness 

Looking back at thirty years of acting career, there are ups and downs, and now Zheng Xiuwen has a pair of eyes and gazes at himself calmly and fearlessly.

"In the past, I wanted to break through every play and have a different performance. I think it's necessary to act until everyone can't recognize the real Zheng Xiuwen, so it's called acting."

Now she feels that it is a good thing for the character to have the shadow of Zheng Xiuwen, "At this stage for me, actors go to the set not to break through, but to 'complete' the role. Then you have to be honest with yourself first."

When filming "Flowing Water and Falling Flowers", due to the large age range of the characters in the play, there were several scenes in which Zheng Xiuwen had to go into battle without makeup. In this regard, she once shared that "as an actor, you should not only see the appearance in front of the camera, but not the innermost self", which is the same reason that you must be honest with yourself before completing the role.

"Actors will make body shape and appearance adjustments to serve a role, and for us actresses who have reached the age of 50, we must be more comfortable with the changes in our appearance."

"A lot of times through a character will touch our insides, there are happy, bright parts, and of course it will also evoke the pain and scars of the past, the dark side of human nature, and we must also show it honestly. Based on this kind of frankness and honesty, the audience can get closer to the characters."

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Photo | Kogami Entertainment (Costume courtesy of Celine)

Know humility after depression

In 2005, Zheng Xiuwen suffered from depression while filming "Long Hate Song", and she fell into a low tide of hopelessness for three years.

She said that she has never been a winner, but she is afraid of losing, "That depression really changed my life upside down, I used to have a bad temper, and after depression I know how to be humble."

"I didn't see that the world was big before, so I felt big, but now my mentality and vision have changed. When I have humility, I have a more learning heart, learning how to be a person and how to work well with other people."

At the age of 16, Zheng Xiuwen entered the show business by participating in the rookie singing competition, and the powder appeared on the stage for more than 30 years, looking back on the ups and downs along the way, understanding that everyone's whispers are not important, and life must be true to himself.

She found that life is like a reduction method, the longer she lives, the more she restores her true self, "I am very calm now, I will present what I am."

Picture | "Flowing Water and Falling Flowers" stills

Being an actor is the process of discovering yourself

Zheng Xiuwen confessed that after experiencing the millennial actor period that became popular due to "100% Feeling" and "Lonely Man and Widow", she tried to break away from comedy and find a breakthrough, until now she understands that the most important thing to be an actor is to serve the role.

From pursuing personal breakthroughs to focusing on achieving roles, it is her experience through trial and error.

"Since I rarely acted in comedy, I tried different movies, such as "The Taste of Peppercorns" and "The Murder in San Jose", but in the process of trying, I saw that I had a lot of shortcomings and possibilities. In the past, acting would think that if I didn't show my emotions, the audience would not feel it, but then I slowly adjusted and felt in the performance, and sometimes the hurtful emotion, it was deep and restrained."

In 2019, Xia Rushu in "The Taste of Peppercorns" finally found the secret recipe of her deceased father's hot pot, and she closed her eyes to taste it, understanding the taste of home in the taste of spicy peppercorns.

That close-up, slightly trembling fingers, crying and laughing facial expressions, Zheng Xiuwen acted sullenly, like holding his breath for something deep in his body, silently bursting out.

In 2023, when Zheng Xiuwen played Chen Tianmei in "Flowing Water and Falling Flowers", there was also a restrained shot, "After trying to adopt Xiaohua without success, I had a short scene with Xiaohua.

She slept on the floor, I lay down next to her, there was no dialogue, I just closed my eyes, slowly opened my eyes, and a tear fell from the corner of my eye." There is no sensational farewell, the moment tears fall, everything is silent.

"That full, very deep, deep emotion I think is introverted. Sometimes it seems to be a restrained expression, but the audience can feel the strength in the performance."

Cheng Xiuwen said that being an actress is a process of constantly discovering herself, she learns to be introverted in the role, and finally gazes at herself in life, seeing the integrity of being a "person" in addition to self-breakthrough.

Text | Wu Menglun