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Han Sanming
    2009-09-14 18:07:09     CRIENGLISH.com

Chinese actor Han Sanming won the best actor award at the 14th Chile International Film Festival in 2007. But before 2000, he was just an ordinary coal miner. He Fei has the story.


As a child from a poor family, Han Sanming never dreamed of acting in a film. He started to work as a coal miner after he graduated from middle school. That was the best job he could find at that timevery dangerous but with good pay.

This is "The Platform," Han Sanming's first film. Jia Zhangke, a well-known Chinese director and Han's cousin, directed the film.

Han was surprised when Jia called him and invited him to play the role of a coal miner in the film. Han says he was scared facing the camera, although he only had a few simple lines to speak and acted for less than twenty minutes. 

"In the beginning, I was very nervous and kept looking at the camera. My cousin then told me, 'Don't do that. Forget the lens and everything else. Just behave as usual.' I followed his advice, and that worked."

Jia was overjoyed when he saw Han's initial performance and later offered him some other roles in his movies, including "The World," "Still Life" and "East." Those roles are all like copies of Han's real life, especially that of "Still Life," in which the coal miner portrays a hero of the same name. 

"Still Life" tells the stories of two people, a coal miner named Han Sanming and a nurse named Shen Hong.

Both left their hometowns in north China's Shanxi Province to go to another city. In the city. Han finds his ex-wife, whom he hasn't seen in 16 years and decides to remarry her. Shen Hong also finds her husband, who left her two years ago, but decides to divorce him.

Audiences have highly praised Han's performance in "Still Life," saying his role adequately reflects people's real lives.
Han says his life experiences have helped a lot. 

"I have worked as a coal miner since I was 18 years old. Once, something fell on my head when I was pulling a full cart of coal out of the mine. But in the daylight, I took a step back. At the same moment, a lot of big stones fell. Clearing the stones cost six workers a whole day. If I hadn't stepped back, I would have been buried."

Based on his own experiences as a coal miner, Han always offers suggestions during filming, hoping that more people will see the real lives of coal miners. 

"I want to show the audiences what kind of lives poor people lead. The group of people who belongs to the lowest class of society must work hard every day and night in order to make a living."

Many people believe Han is very lucky to have become an actor. But for Han himself, being an actor is not an easy job. 

"Actors shine on the stage. In fact, they do get paid a lot. We often have to act the same scene dozens of times to meet the director's requirements. Filming is teamwork. It's not just a problem that you have to act again and again. You feel guilty that so many people have to do more work just because of a mistake you made."

Han Sanming won the prize for best actor at the 14th Chile International Film Festival in 2007 for his performance in "Still Life." He is now known worldwide.

As his love of films grows, he says he is now considering working as a professional actor full-time.

For China Now, I'm He Fei.
 
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