When Yifan Luo is asked what he loves about acting, his response is quite simple. “Freedom,” he says. He has the ability to choose what roles he wants, how to portray his characters, and it allows him to explore different sides of humanity that he is not normally accustomed to. He takes on every new character and embodies them completely, learning what truly makes them tick. He never exaggerates his emotions and understands that less is truly more when it comes to acting. He never tries to make an audience believe what he is trying to deliver. He just completely immerses himself into the current circumstance, letting his emotions go as they would in real life. He forgets the perfect lighting and the cameras everywhere. For him, he transports to new worlds. His name is no longer Yifan Luo, it is whatever character he is at the time. That is what makes him such an extraordinary actor, and one of the best to recently come from China.
Throughout his esteemed career, Luo’s talents have led him to a variety of different roles. In the thriller Hanging Dead, he plays an intelligent and quick-thinking problem solver. In the comedy Talentik, he plays a wise cracking nineteen-year-old trying to figure out his future. In the horror SAM, he plays a schizophrenic psychopath with both a male and female personality. There is no role that Luo finds too challenging or outside his comfort zone. He recently filmed The Wind Flower, which not only gave him the opportunity to play a unique character, but to travel back in time and work on a new genre for the actor.
“Yifan is incredibly hardworking, dedicated and talented. He is always around when he’s needed and helped the production in every way he can. I believe in Yifan’s craft, and to be honest, I haven’t met someone who is as good as him in years. He was a jewel of the team. Working with Yifan was a joyful experience. We had such a friendly working relationship, and it was like working with your family member as he is caring, loving and responsible about every scene he has to do. He really knows his craft. No matter if it’s scene study or working with the director, he is a pro. He has a professional acting mindset that makes him shine in front of the camera. He was also very helpful to our lead actress. I believe good actors inspire each other, and Yifan is the person who can inspire and enlighten others,” said Yuxi Li, Director.
The Wind Flower is a traditional Chinese Martial Arts movie and the story occurs over than 1500 years ago. It is about a young man and a young woman that have been locked in a room for quite a long time. They constantly attempt to escape from the room, but repeatedly fail as a monster routinely beats them and send them back to the room. The boy loses his hope, yet the girl wants to keep trying. He tries so hard to convince the girl to give up, knowing that otherwise she will die. The girl insists that she will escape from the room one day. Eventually, the man finds how to defeat the monster, but to do so requires great sacrifice.
“This is a story about freedom. Nobody wants to be restricted. We are all trying to have our own life, the life we truly want. But there is always difficulties and obstacles on the journey of our lives. The important thing is to be brave and think about how we can overcome the obstacles and never lose hope. And also, be sure not to hurt other people on the way to our dreams,” said Luo.
Luo’s character is a young man who is full of hope at the very beginning, despite being locked in a room for a long time. He tries to escape from the room, but constantly fails. Eventually, he loses his hope and even prevents other people from escaping. As the leading character in such a unique story, the director and producer knew that a talented and seasoned actor was required. Therefore, the filmmakers reached out to Luo.
“Yifan is the lead character of our film The Wind Flower. As the producer of the film, I was involved in casting and in coordinating with Yifan's work arrangements. Working with Yifan was an extremely pleasant experience. Yifan is seriously committed to his acting career. He always came to rehearsal extremely well-prepared, memorizing all his lines and confident about communicating what he thought would be good for the role with the director. On a busy film set, Yifan is also amazingly very low-maintenance, simply delivering a great performance. In such an intense work environment, he was also very friendly and personable, and all cast and crew really enjoyed working with him,” said Cilin Deng, Producer.
The Wind Flower was filmed in the freezing temperatures of winter in December of last year. Luo was not expecting the bitter cold, as he is from Shanghai, the warm part of China. He even caught a cold. However, he pushed through. He even used the cold to better get into his character, who is miserable. It even made it easier to make connections to the character at certain points.
“I loved filming this. The director was completely clear about what she was doing and what she needed. We did the shoot very fast because we had already rehearsed for a long time. Everybody knew what to do on set and could totally finish the work perfectly,” said Luo.
The Wind Flower will premiere at the Lincoln Center in New York in May.