Reel roles celebrate a true hero

Updated: 2011-10-08 11:04

(China Daily)

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Dr Sun Yat-sen is a frequent subject of TV dramas and films on the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

While Winston Chao has perhaps played the hero more than anyone else, he's certainly not the only actor to portray the statesman onscreen.

Reel roles celebrate a true hero

Liu Wenzhi

The 70-year-old mainland actor may be the oldest man in China to have performed as Sun. His depiction in the 1986 biopic film Dr Sun Yat-sen is still hailed by many as the most remarkable.

Reel roles celebrate a true hero

Ma Shaohua

Actor Ma Shaohua's physical resemblance to Sun cast him as the character in the 1989 TV series Li Dazhao.

His latest big-screen portrayal of the Republic of China's founder is the 2011 epic, Beginning of the Great Revival, which traces the Communist Party of China's founding.

The TV drama 1911 Revolution, which is being broadcast on CCTV 1 during prime time, explores the parallels of Sun's relationships to the revolution and to his wife Soong Ching Ling.

Reel roles celebrate a true hero

Qiu Xin-zhi

Taiwan actor Qiu Xin-zhi plays Sun Yat-sen in The First President, a film released on Sept 30. The film depicts the leader's life from his middle age to his last days.

While most flicks about Sun focus on the 1911 Revolution, this film delves into its aftermath in China.

Qiu had to spend more than two hours a day on makeup to present a convincing Sun. He portrays the character through incorporating such details as his love of coffee and the habit of walking with his hands in his pockets.

Reel roles celebrate a true hero

Zhang Hanyu

Mainland actor Zhang Hanyu plays perhaps the most mysterious Sun Yat-sen on the big screen in the 2009 action thriller Bodyguards and Assassins.

The film revolves around a group of kungfu masters who protected Sun from assassins in Hong Kong in 1906.

The revolutionary leader appears as a mysterious figure seen in only a few scenes. The film conveys the statesman's importance through his bodyguards' loyalty and would-be assassins' cruelty.