The Immortal Movie King—Ou Wei

The star stories

Talent Scouts

People have the chances to encounter some special occasions in their lifetime, but the most precious is being able to meet the right person and doing the right thing at the right time.

The enlightening teacher—Ho Chi Ming

If you want to be a real actor, everything must be left behind ; just striv e for your acting skills, like in a state of craze,” which was what Director Ho reminded his actors while training. In his eyes, Ou Wei was this kind of actor.

Around 1955, from April to September, Ou Wei wrote tens of letters. The persistence, even from a devoted fan, would move Director Ho, let alone an actor like Ou Wei. When shooting Frustrating Love, Ou Wei went all the way from Sin Hwa Town to the studio in Taichung City. In a messy situation, Director Ho was touched by his zeal for movies, and promised to give him a chance for audition. What surprised Director Ho most was that during the period before the audition, the young man absolutely quit his job in Sin Hwa Police Station, preparing to dive into this circle. Under this situation, Director Ho had no choice but to arrange him to take the second term training class at Hwa Sin Studio. During this training, the zealous efforts Ou Wei made impressed the director—he actively learned each detail, read scripts earlier than all the others, emulated the role and consulted others about the interpretation of the characters’ inner world. Director Ho could sense that his desire to become an actor was bound to be accomplished one day in the future. Ho also gave him instructions even about the detail. Then, he promoted Ou Wei to be one of the second leading actors in Jin Shan Law Case right after his first film, Lush Mountain & Royal Blood --The Wushe Events , and Ou Wei was also awarded the Supporting Actor in the Golden Horse Film Award. Director Ho cherished the man of talent; once he brought James Dean’s autobiography from Japan, particularly for Ou Wei, encouraging him to better himself in the field of acting. Ou Wei regarded this present as his treasure collection and it became his motive power to keep working on it.


Director Ho Chi Ming


Ou Wei regarded James Dean's autobiography given by Director Ho as his treasure collection.


The contract between Ou Wei and Pan Lei

The benefactor in depression—Director Pan Lei

When Owe was just rewarded because of Jin Shan Law Case and then shot the film When Could I succeed, he received his assemble command announcing his distribution to air force. So he worried that the 3-year break could impede his acting career. Right at this time, Director Pan Lei, who considered him potential after watching his Jin Shan Law Case, came to visit him, encouraging him and told him to be patient. After leaving the army, Owe joined Pan’s movies, officially stepping into the Chinese-language movies. Although he also acted in some Taiwanese movies during the period, he always wanted to find a film totally fit his style, and Director Pan was the one who could meet his expectation because the characters’ personality among Pan’s works was the type he had always wanted to give it a try. Under the situation that only one local film was produced each year, Pan also introduced Owe to sign the contract with Shao Shi Studio, which many movie workers regarded as a goal. However, due to Owe’s disposition and his principle of not shooting in Hong Kong, eventually he didn’t get the chance to develop himself completely.

The creator of the movie king—Director Li Hsing

Not until Ou Wei met Director Li Hsing did he become a shinning movie star. The first film Ou Wei joined for Central Motion Picture Company was From Dark to Dawn, in which the young man drew Li's attention for the first time. Oyster Girl was their first connection, and Ou Wei got the Most Promoting Actor—the Golden Knight Award from American Individual Film Association. Then Beautiful Ducking was the first official one Li and Ou Wei cooperated, which won the Best Supporting Actor in Asia Film Exhibit. Ever since that, they both built a strong mutual trust; we could find Ou Wei taking part in each film Li Hsing directed. And in Execution in Autumn , which Director Li cared most, the director pondered over to choose the most appropriate starring actor, and we could also see the director's test for Ou Wei's determination. Meanwhile, Ou Wei showed his absolute resolution—his refusal to any other contract just to wait for the result even when he was in debt.  

Ou Wei (middle) and Li Hsing (right)

Li Hsing still continues his concern and admiration for Ou Wei. He often tells the youth interested in acting to follow Ou Wei and Ke Jun Xiong as their role models. They both didn't receive any acting education or performance training at school ; all they could rely on were their life experiences and steel discipline in front of the video camera, which accumulated little by little and became their acting resources.

They respected their job and required highly of themselves. Most actors didn't care so much about the result after shooting one scene as long as the director thought it was fine . Ou Wei and Ke were different; they asked to review the filming with the director, during which they kept adjusting their acting to reach the perfection. Director Li thought that those engag ing in movies had to be ambitious. No matter which field they embarked on, they had to be ambitious to do well, to become a distinguished one of strong character ; even though they were not starr ing an important role, they should do their best as well and tried to get grades. And, Ou Wei was this type of actor. When competing to get the leading actor of Execution in Autumn , he knew this film was a crucial one and therefore was willing to spend long time waiting for the only chance. While acting, he used the heavy instrument s on his feet to experience the real feeling of a criminal and the heavy burden of a prisoner's mind. This kind of l oyalty to his job inspired Director Li to plan the film Kneeling on the Scorching Hot Stone board, made particularly for him. Unfortunately, after such a long time, no one could be found to take his place, and the film has been suspended so far.


Director Li and Ou Wei were shooting Love Is an Elusive Wind in Kenting.


Director Li Hsing has never stopped his concern for Ou Wei's family; the one on the right is Ms. Huang Chwang Yang Lee.

As Ou Wei just passed away, Director Li was the first one to be informed by Ou Wei's wife. In addition, the coff in would not be sealed unless Director Li caught the last sight of Ou Wei. From these we can infer the family show great respect to Li Hsing. In return, Li also keeps caring about the family after Ou Wei's death; he launched “ The Memorial Exhibition—the Works of Ou Wei ” in Taipei . All the money from this activity was raised for the educational tuition for Ou Wei's son and daughter. Even though it has been a long time since his passing away, Li still expresses his caring for the family by making a phone call or visiting them when he came south. Their relationship like father and son as well as teacher and student is respectable.  

Director Li Hsing came south particularly to join the opening ceremony of Ou Wei Movie Museum.