TAIPEI • Golden Horse-winning Chinese actress Zhou Xun has set up a school of performing arts in Beijing with Taiwanese director Chen Kuo-fu and Chinese actor Chen Kun, where she will personally teach acting to students.
In an interview published on ETtoday website last Saturday, she admitted she had not gone to acting school herself. She said: "I watched movies and learnt and saw good things when I was with very good production crews."
The trio, who are rethinking how acting is taught, will offer courses at The Dome Studio - also known as Shan Xia Xue Tang in Chinese - for people from all works of life. There will be classes for non-professional and professional actors, as well as master classes open to the public.
Instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach, classes will be tailored to the students' individual characteristics. Also, the curriculum will highlight not only acting skills, but also spiritual development, because the trio think actors need to be perceptive and curious about life.
Zhou recalled how, early in her career, she did not understand why she had to shed tears for a scene in which her character learns of her pregnancy.
She questioned the director then, who answered: "You have to cry because it is a life."
But two years went by before she suddenly understood the feeling, when she was filming Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress - a 2002 romance also starring Chen Kun - and she saw light bouncing off a field of green seedlings, she said.
The Dome Studio's course for newcomers will start in spring next year. Registration began last Thursday. Applicants need to be aged 16 and older. Tuition fees, which do not cover bed and board, are 80,000 yuan (S$16,400) for a year. Only 20 students will be accepted.