Chinese Extra Dies Over 200 Times a Year

ChineseChinese actor Shi Zhongpeng gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “Bring out your dead!”  After all, that’s what directors probably yell when it’s time for him to come on set.

The twenty-six year old has become typecast in roles that require him to die — up to eight times in a single day, amounting to more than 200 times last year alone.  As an extra who works at the Hengdian film studio in Zhejiang, Shi Zhongpeng is frequently cast in the many films made about the Japanese invasion of China in the years preceding World War II as a Japanese soldier.  In fact, nearly one-third of the films produced at the Hengdian film studio (AKA Chinawood) are about the Second Sino-Japanese War, mostly because government censorship limits the topics Chinese filmmakers are allowed to make films about.

Most of these films about the war cast the Japanese soldiers in an unflattering light because of the historically acrimonious relationship between the two countries, so Shi Zhongpeng claims the secret to his success is to “appear as sleazy as possible” and distorting his body hideously during auditions. 

While Shi Zhongpeng finds the work steady, he admits that after playing Japanese soldiers so many times his dream is to one day play a more heroic role as a soldier of the Communist Eighth Route Army.  He’s obviously able to die — why not do it for his country once?

via Business Insider

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