Brody relishes opportunity to act in his third 1940s film

Updated: 2012-11-30 10:33

By Liu Wei (China Daily)

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Brody relishes opportunity to act in his third 1940s film

Adrien Brody plays an American political journalist in new movie, Back to 1942, directed by Feng Xiaogang. Provided to China Daily

Academy Award-winning actor Adrien Brody has developed a special affinity for the 1940s. His most famous works, The Pianist and The Thin Red Line, were set during that time period.

His latest work during that time period, Back to 1942, is about a Chinese famine that killed millions of people.

"There was a great deal of sadness, losses and tragedies at that time," he tells China Daily. "There was mass suffering on a universal level. I really had a great understanding of how fortunate we are now."

In Back to 1942, he plays Theodore H. White - an American political journalist known for his reporting from China during World War II. White was a real historical figure, who won the Pulitzer Prize for recording the events in Henan province in 1942, in which 3 million people lost their lives to hunger, corruption and war atrocities.

The film, by director Feng Xiaogang, has an ensemble cast of more than 10 veteran Chinese actors. Brody's White has only about six scenes, but he cherishes the opportunity to shape the role.

"This is not my character's story. It's a story of tremendous loss of the Chinese people. I want to help tell the story, which has a great deal of social relevance," he says.

He went through White's stories about the famine published in Time Magazine - the publication was subjected to censorship from the then Nationalist government.

On the set, he carried a notebook to jot down details he observed during filming. By doing so, he feels more connected to the character as an observer and recorder of the disaster.

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