New act for DB senior

Catherine Liu, Staff Writer

Though Diamond Bar is just 34 miles from Hollywood, one senior is pursuing his acting career 6,243 miles away.

After going through two sets of auditions, DBHS senior Willington Liu, was cast for the Chinese mythology movie, “Feng Shen.”

“It was very exciting, of course, because I always wanted to do YouTubing or filming things, but it’s really sudden,” Liu said, who has never acted before.

Liu was introduced to Chinese cinema after his college adviser introduced him to Anna Smith, the wife of an animation and special effects director and an acting coach, which led to the opportunity to audition for “Feng Shen,” directed by Wu Erxhan.

“I casted in America out of a few hundred [people] maybe and then sixty were selected to go back to Beijing to cast again and from there, a handful were chosen to participate in a six month training,” Liu said.

While preparing for the casting, Liu received coaching from Smith and learned that expression with the eyes were vital in movies.

He also stated that his experience in dancing helped him with many parts of the audition.

“Dancing made me less camera-shy because before, when I was in middle school, I was a really shy kid, but now performing in front of the whole school and [Gravy Babies, JHL Dance Dynamics] really made me less nervous,” Liu said.

Liu was invited to audition in Beijing on Dec. 28.

He and seven others were given tasks that allowed the directors to examine their skills and physique.

Although Liu made the cut for the six month training, he stated that he was indecisive about actually taking the part.

“It’s really a gamble because if you don’t succeed there and you left this all behind, basically you have a lower chance of making it into [colleges],” Liu said.

By taking the part, he will have to do independent study and take a gap year before college to complete the filming.

But he does not want to leave DBHS and its dance company behind, especially with an upcoming dance competition.

“My mom was like, ‘Are you going to let a dance let you miss this opportunity?’” Liu said.

However, Liu decided to participate in the first competition before heading to Beijing.

He plans to attend the Beijing Film Academy to gain the experience he needs for “Feng Shen” along with its possible sequels and for his future career.

Liu also plans to continue both dancing and acting in the future and hopes to attend USC.

“The movie is just to help me get into this field and experience it and what it’s like, but I want to study acting so I can improve myself,” Liu said. “My main goal is to get into the film academy, but if I get into this movie as well, that’s basically a bonus.”