【Cover Story】Being Himself, Wang Po-Chieh Knows Unconditional Love/ 無私的愛 王柏傑做回真正的自己
After a thunderstorm, Taipei seems to be reborn; the sand and dust are shed, and we continue to welcome every important moment of life with a familiar but fresh look.
On this day, Wang Po-Chieh was sitting at the bar preparing to conduct an exclusive interview. The atmosphere was a little different this time, he seemed a bit more relaxed. Wang Po-Chieh said "Actually, you know that I am actually a person with relatively low self-confidence. So, before I won the award, I felt that there was always an invisible pressure covering me, and then I would really want to prove something. But after winning the award I seemed to be affirmed and comforted. I seemed to have regained a little bit of self-confidence, and then I felt I can finally be myself."
Thank You for Not Giving Up
In 2023, Wang Po-Chieh won the Best Actor Award at the Taipei Film Awards for Eye of the Storm. This is his first time to stand on the stage of the Taipei Film Awards after a 15-year absence, and he has jumped from the Best Newcomer to the Best Actor. I asked him, do you have any expectations for the next Golden Horse Awards after winning this award? Wang said "I don't think that much. It is not easy to get this award from Taipei Film Awards. I am already very grateful and content, so I think the next step will be natural." He continued with a smile "Actually, the last time I won the Best Newcomer Award from Taipei Film Academy, everyone told me, 'You will definitely be nominated for the Golden Horse Award! It must be sure!' But let me tell you, I wasn't even nominated for the Golden Horse Award that year. So, I think this thing is very subjective, and it can also be called luck. If the judges happen to like your performance, then if you are lucky, you can be nominated; but the judges may not like your performance so much, so they will not choose you. So, I think it’s just luck whether I’m nominated or not.”
Wang Po-Chieh has been in the industry for 17 years. His acting career seems to be at its peak, but only he understands his feelings along the way. I asked him "Over the years, is there anything you want to thank yourself for the most?" Wang said "What is the thing I am most grateful for? Maybe it's because I didn't give up!"
The 34-year-old actor who plays a doctor in Eye of the Storm said that every time he had the idea of quitting the entertainment industry, he was lucky enough to get a job again. Then when he got busy, he forgot this idea of giving up again, and then walked all the way to now. As for whether acting will become his lifelong career? He said "I won't say that (acting) will be my lifelong career, but I like doing this very much. I love working with everyone, although it is very hard on site, the joy I feel every time I see the finished film is something I still enjoy and like very much. "
Be Sincere and Be Yourself
Eye of the Storm has already occupied a very important position in Wang Po-Chieh’s life. Apart from winning the award for this movie, he feels that everyone still loves movies and continues to work hard for this industry. It is a very valuable thing. "If you ask me what is the most impressive work of mine? The answer certainly will be, Eye of the Storm which got me the Best Actor award. After all, what impresses me so much about is this team, is that many of them watched me grow up; including the director. When I was 19 years old, he took pictures of me when he was still a photographer. Then when everyone finally worked together on this film, I felt that everyone still loves movies, and then worked hard for this industry. I think this is a very valuable thing.”
Wang Po-Chieh said that because he has not graduated from an acting school, every time his performances are dedicated to doing his job well as an actor; as long as he does not leave regrets every time, and he is worthy of himself, it is enough. "I don't think ‘I’m going to change after I've won an award.’ I'm still doing the same thing, nothing will change; what people think of me is out of my control. I just do what I have to do, and that’s just fine.”
"I haven't learned those more technical things, so I think actors like us are stupid because we use our real feelings to perform. Sometimes with real feelings, you really dig out unbearable memories and used in another performance. This is actually a process that is not easy." - Wang Po-Chieh
In order to prevent the whole interview from being too serious, I asked him if he was worried that the next time he would win an award would be 15 years from now? Wang laughed and said "No! I'm serious, I think people should be content and grateful. I've already taken it once, and I won't think that I must win it again next year! I think I am the kind of person who is more chill, I am already very grateful. If there is a next time, then I am lucky again; if not, I think I am also very good now, and I am very happy.”
Selfless Love Can Infect Others
It is obvious to everyone that Wang Po-Chieh loves movies and acting. He said that maybe the thing he has done in his life for Labour of Love is to make a movie. He said that he felt this way because other people did the same thing, which influenced him to do it. "I think this filming, Eye of the Storm, has this feeling because we first felt the selfless dedication and love of this group of medical staff. Their spirit has touched our entire team. I have never met a crew who is so on edge. They can't even relax for a moment, because we think this matter is very great and amazing, and we can't make jokes about it. We never relax for a moment, and no one on the set is joking. So, I think it is the spirit of the medical staff and their great love that moved us, so we made this work.”
As for how to interpret the theme of this issue Labour of Love, Wang Po-Chieh finds it difficult to define and explain because it is massive. "I think the two words, selfless love, are actually a bit heavy to me. Because I feel that it is emotional abuse to talk about selfless love with others. It is very broad and it is very big, but what is it? Selfless love? I think it is difficult to interpret and define. But my own little feeling is that ‘just open your heart, and then thank and feel the beauty of this world; accept all kinds of love, and then share your current love; like I’m sharing it with you then you share it to others.’ I think this is what I think Labour of Love looks like."
He continued "I have always wanted to promote a concept that is ‘I really want to share love with everyone, and then live happily.’ Because I am really happy every day now, I think to enjoy the joy, like when you look at the sky and think, ‘It's a beautiful day!’ and you say, “How joyful! I'm thankful that I can see such a beautiful sky now."
Kindness and Love Will Change You
At the end of the interview, Wang Po-Chieh said that he is not always so positive, or like a saint, but he really hopes that everyone can feel the positivity as much as possible. Just like when he was a child, some screenwriters and directors would tell him to watch more films, but he didn't think it helped at all; until five or six years later, he realised that there was a reason why they would. "When I was young, some screenwriters and directors would tell me, ‘You should read more books and watch more films.’ At that time, I thought, Damn, I watched it for two or three years and it didn't help at all. But five or six years later, Suddenly one day, I realised why they asked me to read so many books, because my vocabulary, my knowledge, and my wisdom cannot be accumulated in an instant, and it may really take many years before you will understand them, and realise the truth.”
He keeps saying "As for the reason why you should keep saying Thank You and Sorry? You may feel uncomfortable at first, or you may speak for the sake of speaking. But when it becomes a habit, you will be kind to everyone. At this time, you will know that your kindness and your love have been invisible in your heart after you have developed a habit. That thing is invisible, and you will not feel it immediately. You only know that you have become. It’s possible that when you go back and look at it ten years later, you may even realise that you have changed.”
GRAPHIC DESIGNER/ @zenyunzon
PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT/ @essecrystalpurple