Japanese actor added to "Mei Lanfang" cast
A Japanese actor famous for portraying a trouble-making high school dropout
will soon play a Japanese army officer in Chinese film director Chen Kaige's
biopic of the late Peking opera master, Mei Lanfang.
Masanobu Ando, best
known for his role in Takeshi Kitano's 1996 film "Kids Return," is the latest
addition to Chen Kaige's star-heavy cast, the Shanghai Youth Daily reported on
The film, slated to begin shooting in Beijing later this month,
features top Chinese actors, including Hong Kong actor/singer Leon Lai, who will
play Mei Lanfang and Zhang Ziyi as his fellow singer. Gillian Chung and Chen
Kaige's actress wife, Chen Hong, share the role of Mei Lanfang's
Masanobu Ando's role is an obsessive fan of Chinese opera, who
later becomes a close friend of Mei Lanfang.
The report says Masanobu
Ando beat rival Kimura Takuya for the role.
Masanobu Ando, a 32-year-old
actor and director, won the best new actor award from the Film Academy of Japan
in 1996, for his performance in "Kids Return."