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Tran Bao Son is currently one of the few most sought after Vietnamese actors with his attractive looks and ability to play many diverse roles. He immediately gained approval with his very first appearance, winning The Best Supporting Actor for his debut in “The Legend Is Alive.” After that came an array of successful movies: Inferno, House In The Alley, Flapping In The Middle Of Nowhere (currently screening in the Venice Film Festival), and Hollow, to name a few. He chooses his movies wisely, never accepts repeated roles, and always knows how to create unique personalities for his interpretations. He stresses the importance of quality and not frequency of appearance to leave long-lasting impressions within the audience. Culture Magazin recently had a chance to chat with this down-to-earth, friendly and oh-so-gifted actor.
Culture Magazin (CM): Though you have not gone through formal acting training, no one can deny you have superb acting skills that can surpass many of your formally trained colleagues. Do you think you are naturally talented (because many experts in the field still don’t believe you are an amateur)? How do you keep improving your skills?
Tran Bao Son (TBS): Movies and life experiences help me gain good knowledge. In actuality, perhaps everyone’s critique of me has been too kind. Personally, I always feel, if I can do it again, I can do it much better. That has always been my feeling whenever I rewatch movies I have done. I often try to avoid mistakes from the previous project to further improve my next film.
CM: Hollow, a horror movie in which you played the main protagonist has just been released and you have been getting rave reviews about your ability to express many emotions in the film. Can you share with the readers some unforgettable memories during filming? Are you afraid of ghosts upon joining this horror production?
TBS: (Laugh) On the set, everything is very… bare. The movie must be re-edited, and incorporated with other graphic and technical aspects, such as sound, in order to reach the intended effects. It’s the same thing with hot, sexy scenes. It’s very sexy in the movie but on the set, it’s quite boring.
I don’t believe in ghosts though I am a bit superstitious and believe in the idea of spirits. This movie was filmed in the last days of the year, in Long Xuyen. There were a lot of mosquitoes and the weather was harsh. We had to work very arduously because the filming schedule started from early morning to late at night, everyday. On New Year’s Day, the crew raised a toast and wished the film success. Luckily, the wish has come true.
CM: What other projects are you currently undertaking and how do you feel about these upcoming movies?
TBS: I just finished my main role in the movie “Children of the Village.” This particular script is very close and dear to life. It helps inspire my creativity. Director Nguyen Duc Viet understood my style. Therefore, we worked well together during filming. I hope the movie will generate a good impact.
CM: After the divorce, Truong Ngoc Anh continues to praise you as a father. On your Facebook page, fans can see daily postings of you with your daughter, and how much you miss her whenever you are filming far from home. Do you ever feel regretful for not being able to keep the family intact for her sake? Is there a chance of reconciliation between you and Truong Ngoc Anh?
TBS: I don’t feel regrets but I do feel a bit of sadness. Anh and I developed many differences about marriage and the future. Therefore, we no longer speak the same language. We parted ways to retain good memories of each other. I do feel bad for my daughter because I could not keep the family together. I will try my best to make it up to her. Reconciliation is something I don’t think of, I want to head toward a new direction in my life.
CM: How is your love life? Is there any lady trying to make her way to your heart? What are your standards for a future girlfriend or wife?
TBS: I don’t like to rush into marriage and love. I want things just the way I want them. And I will allow fate to work its course. Right now, I am a happy and fun bachelor (laugh).
CM: You have a very modern, youthful, elegant style. Before, people thought Truong Ngoc Anh was your stylist. However, without her by your side, you are still very modish. Who is your fashion advisor now?
TBS: I am now my own stylist. Updating new trends and defining a fashion style for oneself is not that hard if you really put your mind into it. Being a public figure, style is an important area that needs constant improvement. I do not allow myself to look too sloppy at formal events and too dressy in intimate friend and family gatherings. If you follow those rules, anyone can be stylish.
CM: What are some hobbies you enjoy during your free time?
TBS: I like to watch and study movie genres. I discover many extraordinary worlds and vicissitudes within movies. It’s like taking a journey across borders, through centuries, without getting jetlag (laugh).
CM: What do you hope for the Vietnamese movie industry and for yourself?
TBS: I want to take on a comedic role and I want to be able to produce a movie that I love! I recently started TBS Entertainment and hopefully, by the end of this year, we will begin to produce an action drama.
As for the Vietnamese movie industry, I always believe that we produce films not just for the Vietnamese audience, but for foreigners as well, so they can watch and see the brilliance of Vietnamese movies.