Chinese actor Huang Xiaoming feels that he is fated to play the romantic hero in director John Woo's epic war romance flick The Crossing.
"I was particularly moved when I read the script. I don't know why, but I felt a connection with the character," he says of his character, General Lei Yi Fang, a war hero who is deeply attracted to his on-screen love interest played by South Korean actress Song Hye Kyo.
He adds: "Perhaps it's because our mindsets and personalities are similar. I can feel my character's love and pain.
"I really liked the character and wanted the chance to work on it."
He was replying to Life! in an e-mail interview to promote the two-parter movie, which revolves around the fates of three couples in war-torn China. The first part opens in cinemas here tomorrow and the second part is expected to be released next May.
The film also stars Taiwanese-Japanese Takeshi Kaneshiro, and China's Zhang Ziyi and Tong Dawei.
Hong Kong director Woo and actors Zhang and Tong will attend the Singapore premiere of the first part of The Crossing tonight at Shaw Theatres Lido in Orchard Road. The movie is screened as part of the Singapore International Film Festival.
Calling himself a typical Scorpio, the November- born Huang, 37, says: "There's something of the romantic hero in me. I'm a quintessential Scorpio. I'm a romantic at heart and love to spring surprises. I'm very much like my character General Lei."
The target of his intense love in the movie is a rich family's daughter played by Song, of South Korean soap drama Autumn In My Heart (2000) fame.
On working with her for the first time, Huang says: "After we got to know each other, we had such chemistry that we felt that we had known each other for years."
He was impressed by her dedication to perfecting her Chinese-speaking role. He says: "Song worked really hard on her Mandarin. She insisted on using Mandarin to say her lines so that her lip movement would look natural with the voice-over. I really admire her. She's such a professional actress."
With such a passionate romance, there are bound to be intimate scenes in the movie. So did he have to face the disapproval of his girlfriend, Hong Kong actress Angelababy (real name Angela Yeung)?
"We are both actors. We understand that such intimate scenes are part and parcel of the job,"says Huang, who recently revealed at a Shanghai fan meet that he would marry Angelababy next year.
So will Huang spend Christmas with her? "Even at Christmas, I think I would probably still be working," he adds.
Catch director John Woo and cast members Zhang Ziyi and Tong Dawei at a red-carpet event at Shaw House Urban Plaza tonight at 7.30pm. The Crossing opens in cinemas here tomorrow.