Chinese martial artist Wu Jing receives GT’s exclusive interview in Beijing on Sunday. Photo: Qu Qiuyan/GT
The Climbers will be officially released on September 30. Photo: Courtesy of The Climbers
Now one of the most well-known martial artists in China, Wu Jing made his name in the movie Wolf Warrior (2015) and its sequel, which he directed and starred in. The sequel went on to become the highest grossing film in China.
This time, Wu has brought out a new movie The Climbers (2019) to pay a tribute to the members of a Chinese mountaineering team overcoming seemingly insurmountable challenges to reach the top of Mount Qomolangma in the 1970s. This movie is also seen as a gift for celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. “The Chinese climbers physically built a ladder themselves in 1975 when they climbed Mount Qomolangma, which helped more than 1,300 climbers from all over the world later reach the top of the mountain,” said Wu in an exclusive interview with the Global Times on Sunday.
Since China’s reform and opening-up policy was implemented, everyone in the country is actually a “climber” and every “climber” is a dream chaser, which embodies the “Chinese spirit,” said Wu. “This is a story that only China can tell,” Wu added.
Each nation has its own heroes
Born into a family of martial artists, Wu first practiced Chinese martial arts at the age of 6 and first got into action movies in 1995. Now, Wu has become one of the most commercially successful action movie stars and directors in China.
Wu successfully portrayed many Chinese-style heroes in his movies including Wolf Warrior and The Wandering Earth (2019). Many netizens praised Wu for bringing “Chinese heroes” to the screen at a time when Hollywood heroes are popular all over the world. “I don’t think there is any difference between Chinese heroes and Hollywood heroes. Each nation has its own heroes. We all have heroes. It is quite natural,” said Wu.
Wu noted that heroes also exist in real life.
Lang Ping, the coach who led the Chinese national women’s volleyball team to gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, is a Chinese hero, according to Wu. He added that another Chinese movie character, Huang Feihong, also represents the archetypal Chinese hero.
Wu also mentioned in the interview that the development of the Chinese film industry is a result of the “bonus” brought by the country’s development since China’s reform and opening-up.
“This generation of Chinese film practitioners is very lucky, because we have received the bonus of the country’s development all these years,” said Wu.