To Shiny No. 6 The acting of 范明
All episodes of 「手機」 and many other TV series, Chinese and foreign, as well as movies and documentaries can be accessed for free on http://tv.sohu.com. I discovered this last week. This site will be one of many treasuries I can spend some good time on when I’m free from occupations or ambitions. Since you haven’t seen the series, Shiny, I highly recommend you go to Sohu and watch at least the first few episodes. It’s real good.
范明, who plays the character 嚴守禮, nicknamed 黑磚頭, is the elder brother of the leading character 嚴守一, who is played by 王志文. They are village boys, but somehow 嚴守一 has made it big in Beijing as a famous TV talk show host. 黑磚頭, on the other hand, stays behind in the home village with their grandmother 奶奶 and his wife. 黑磚頭 has always believed that he is no less a talent than his kid brother. After all, he has always been the leader of the gang in the village, and his kid brother has always looked up to him when growing up. 黑磚頭, therefore, is someone who feels underappreciated, and has been harboring some vague sentiments of discontent.
In the latter part in the TV series, 黑磚頭 goes to Beijing and ekes out a restaurant career with the brother of 嚴守一’s former wife 于文娟. However, the acting of 范明 is best when he was still staying at the village, living a chauvinist life, leaving the chores to his grandmother and wife while he dreams and schemes of little trickery all day long.
In the first few episodes, there are many scenes of him drinking and conniving with guys in his circle. These are comedic scenes. 黑磚頭 is a fellow who talks loud and eats fast. When he eats, we would see him gobbling a mouthful of rice from a bowl, for example, and before he could chew and swallow, he would suddenly think of something and would start talking. Mincing words and bits of food would begin to spout out from his mouth while he gabbles. Lifelike and funny.
黑磚頭 has more eating scenes than all other characters in the series combined. There are scenes of him gobbling rice, gulping spicy, hot noodles, wolfing down a pork steak, chewing raw garlic bulbs, drinking strong liquor, etc. Often, while he’s pigging out and babbling, we’d see tiny bits of food stuck between his teeth or hung from his beard. When he talks, we’d often notice pulsating saliva beginning to form at the corners of his mouth. At the time when I was watching it, I thought it was so real that 范明 was in real life probably a sloppy fellow himself, too, and that he actually didn’t realize food bits were sticking on his beard while he was playing eating. Now that I’m putting these in words, I know I’m just being naïve. I can now imagine the thoughts and efforts put into making the scenes so realistic. 范明 the actor has probably thought of numerous ways playing the character eating. One food spilling scene we see on screen may have taken them dozens of takes from different angles to achieve the desired result.