BEIJING - Chinese actor Huang Xiaoming, of all people, has joined the online chorus of critics of his wife Angelababy's acting.
In an interview with Sina website, he was asked about photos of her crying at the premiere of his latest film, Forever Young. "Baby is a very emotional person, so if and once she gets it, she should be a very good actress," Huang, 40, said.
Ouch. Isn't he being too harsh? "I'm just being very objective. This is nothing to be ashamed of. Bad is bad. We'll just have to try hard."
Angelababy, 28, is one of the biggest stars in China. She ranked eighth on Forbes magazine's 2017 China Celebrity List, below actress Fan Bingbing (No.1) but above Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou (No.9).
She is a regular on the Chinese version of the South Korean game show Running Man, and her film credits include the 2016 Roland Emmerich sci-fi movie Independence Day: Resurgence and the 2016 Tony Leung Chiu Wai comedy See You Tomorrow.
As far as the Chinese Internet is concerned, however, she is a bad actress. A Baidu search in Chinese for "Angelababy acting" prompts suggestions like "Angelababy acting super bad" and "Angelababy acting bad reasons".
Huang said he had talked to his wife about her problem. "But every time I'm serious, she doesn't accept it easily and I have to coax her. But actually she knows, and she knows what her problem is. She's also trying hard to change and learn."
He is also a stern critic of his own acting. "I'm not the talented type, I'm the hardworking type, my only talent is hard work," he said.
After years of bad reviews, he has only recently received positive notices for Forever Young, the romance also starring Zhang Ziyi, and Nirvana In Fire II, the sequel to the television hit starring Hu Ge. Huang said Forever Young was one of the few films he could give himself "80 points or more" for, along with the 2013 Peter Chan drama American Dreams In China.
And he felt sorry for his fans, he told Sina. "Because I didn't have good works, people who like me couldn't hold their heads high. This is my mistake, I must take the consequences."