Updated: 2012-10-23 09:11
By Chen Yingqun (China Daily)
Jonathan Kos-Read says he doesn't feel any cultural conflicts after living in China for 15 years. Zou Hong / China Daily
Kos-Read plays his first lead role in his latest movie Twins' Code. Provided to China Daily
One of the country's most acclaimed foreign actors talks shop with Chen Yingqun.
Jonathan Kos-Read isn't Chinese - but he's about as close as a foreigner gets. The 39-year-old American actor, who speaks with a perfect Beijing accent, is one of the most famous foreigners on TV and in movies. Kos-Read, who's better known by his Chinese name, Cao Cao, has appeared in about 100 Chinese films and TV series in the past decade.
He just completed his latest role in the movie Twins' Code, in which he plays a financier who perpetrates fraud, experiences regret and atones for his sins after the 2008 financial crisis.
It's Kos-Read's first lead role in a big movie. The film was co-produced by a Chinese and a Hollywood team.
Kos-Read says tackling the lead role is challenging.
"When you are a supporting actor, you help create stories about the lead actors," he says.
"When you are a leading actor, it's all about you, and adjusting to that is very difficult. The main difficulty is, when you act the leading role, you do a lot less, because the audience is thinking about what you are thinking.
"You are not acting as much about how you are thinking. You want the audience to guess more about what you are thinking."
Kos-Read says he has wanted to be an actor since childhood. He had a strong sense of adventure, loved reading novels and discovering "strange new worlds".
"When you live a regular life, it is just life around you. But when you read novels, it is like all of those different worlds opening up around you," he says.
Still, his discovery of China happened "by accident".