Kakashi: Once upon a time, there was a guy called Kai Kai. In Chinese, his name looks as cute as he is in real life: 凯凯. There also was a girl named Eleanor and that girl fell quickly and very hard for the boy called Kai Kai. A few weeks after initial contact, Eleanor not only has opened the first English Facebook page about him, no, she even made a website - and it is that website that I want to promote here! Here it is: http://www.wangkaiinternational.com/. And you know what, we are very lucky to have Eleanor here! With me! So that I can ask her a few questions about the website. And her love.
Q /kakashi: Hi there, Eleanor! Very glad to have you here. This is my first ever interview, I'm excited!
A / Eleanor: Haha. Hi. This feels kind of funny. We just launched the website and made it public today. And then we posted about it on Weibo and the official Wang Kai fanclub, iwangkai, reposted that post, and people started commenting and replying and liking and I ended up chatting with total strangers tonight about how much I love Kai Kai. It's been a really interesting day.
Q: When and why was the idea to make an international fanpage for Kai Kai born? (and why did he not have one before?!)
A: When I like an actor or drama or something, I look for a Facebook page to like, you know, to get cool updates and photos and stuff. I looked and looked, and there weren't any English sites. There was some other singer/director guy named Kai Wang, but it wasn't Kai Kai. So I figured, well, why not make one? Haha. And then people actually started liking it. I guess I also just wanted a place to spam people with Kai Kai love and I felt like my other blog (Samsoon Down the Rabbit Hole) was getting a little crowded with Kai Kai gushing. I just can't stop. Sometimes I think I'm a little silly, and then I watch a drama with Wang Kai in it, or listen to his laugh, or see him smile, and then I'm like, oh, yeah, that's why.
I think there wasn't one (there were a couple of other pages but not in English) mostly because he has only recently become famous - even though he's been working hard in the industry for 10 years! And I think that he's definitely new to a lot of international fans as well just because Chinese dramas don't get subbed as much as Korean ones do.
I should also add that when I created the Facebook page I secretly wanted to build a fan website, but I didn't know if there would be interest. So later on when (I think it was Hash - more on her below) suggested it, I was all like: YES!!! I don't think that I've even told the rest of the group about this part - that I wanted to make a website. So I'm glad that the others wanted to do it too.
Q: What do you love about Kai Kai? You're not allowed to say "everything" :)
A: Haha. That's mean! I do love everything! I don't remember when it was, but at some point while watching Nirvana in Fire, all of a sudden, I just wanted to meet Wang Kai and get to know him. I think it was the regal sense of gravitas he brought to the role of Prince Jing that attracted me. He was serious and upright, which to me is very attractive. And his voice. It is like pure heaven. Of course he is very handsome in general, but his voice is just amazing. And I really love the bone structure in his face. But really more than all that, I like his honesty and directness. As I've followed some of his interviews or heard about things that he speaks up about, I am impressed that he is direct, forthright, and honest. He also seems like he has a really playful and adorable side, and I really love that too. You really get to see that side a lot more in his role as Ming Ah Cheng in The Disguiser. Ah! He's so good in that! I don't know how he does it, but he's like super sexy, funny, can sing well, has a gorgeous voice, seems like a really decent and honest person, and is also completely adorable. He's like the perfect package.
Q: Is this your first fanpage or do you have experience in this kind of thing?
A: No, I have another Facebook fan page for my blog I mentioned earlier, Samsoon Down the Rabbit Hole. I've been blogging there (and updating that Facebook page) for just over three years right now. You know, sometimes you just have to have an outlet to talk about these dramas and actors that have somehow drawn me in in ways I never expected.
Q: How much planning did go into it? What was the hardest thing about it?
A: A lot of planning went into it. We've been having conversations on Twitter and on Google docs for several weeks now. I think what is hardest is making sure we cover all the things we need to. We actually weren't expecting to launch this early, but because of some negative crap going on, we decided to launch early to show our love and support and solidarity with Kai Kai. So now we're scrambling a bit because we have all these things we are still organizing and we got a lot more reaction (positive reaction) from Weibo and Baidu than we ever expected. So right now we are just really overwhelmed. It's fun and exciting though too.
Q: Is there a specific reason why you launched it on December 1st?
A: Well, with all the negative stuff happening, we wanted to launch as I mentioned. We figured that midnight (Beijing time) on the eve of the 1st was a good way to show that we wanted to bring a renewed sense of love and support to Kai Kai. He is also often on Weibo at midnight and we had some contacts who were going to post and alert his manager. Though we had some issues with the Weibo posts and accounts. I have no idea if he's actually seen or heard anything. I hope he does, but at the same time I am also terrified. Haha.
Q: I understand you have a team of people working on the website … care to say a few words about the lot of you?
A: Sure thing! We have a great group of collaborators, all of whom love Wang Kai. We have Joyce, moonlil, Soojun, Mimi, Panda, Hash, Anu, and a couple of other people who are joining in or helping occasionally. We have had some offers to help, so we are busy trying to coordinate that as well. I think we expected slow recognition so we would have some more time to coordinate that, but yeah, haha, I guess there is a lot of Kai Kai love out there and his fans are super loving and enthusiastic. So the team will grow soon and we will have a better organization of who does what. SooJun, Joyce, and moonlil have already been helping with translations and coordinating with the Chinese fans. Joyce and moonlil are part of the amazing team doing subs for Nirvana in Fire (and Disguiser). It's a good group! I'm excited to move forward.
Q: Back to Kai Kai. When did you first see him and was it love at first sight?
A: Haha. That's a good question. It seemed like EVERYONE on Twitter was talking about this new drama, Nirvana in Fire. At first I was like: what is all this about? What a weird name! I'm not going to watch that. And then I think it was Trot posted a link to the Hu Ge OST, or maybe it was a conversation you and Trot were having about the OST, and I took a look at it, and it was gorgeous. And then Issy started spamming Twitter with Hu Ge pics and I was like, hmmmm, who is this beautiful man, and so I started watching. But from early on, I really loved Prince Jing. There was just something about him that attracted me. And then one day, I was just totally in love. I'm not sure when exactly it happened, but somewhere while watching Prince Jing.
Q: What's the favorite role you have seen Kai Kai in so far?
A: Ooh! That's hard! I guess I've seen all of Nirvana in Fire, so I really adore him as Prince Jing. But he is to DIE for in The Disguiser. I've only seen one episode of Love Me, If You Dare, so I can't say much more about that. If I could mix the forthrightness of Prince Jing, with the Ah Cheng sassy awesomeness I think that would be my favourite. So Wang Kai? Haha. I didn't really answer the question, did I?
Q: Is there a particular role you would like to see Kai Kai in?
A: Hmmm, as my husband? Haha. That's a good question. I know he wants to play a murderer or something like that, but I kind of would like to see him in anything where he can wear a suit. He looks so dashing in a suit or tux. I really quite adore his look in Disguiser. I think I would also like to see him in a role where he could show off a gentle side. Or maybe something where he cries. I don't know. I'm pretty much just happy that he is doing so many things these days. I would also love to hear him sing some more.
Q: So great to hear that the announcement of the international Fansite is making a huge splash on Weibo right now! How cool is that!!! Is this all and much more than you wanted to achieve or do you have other plans?
A: Honestly, right now I am feeling rather overwhelmed. Sure, eventually we wanted lots of people to know about us, but it happened so suddenly and we aren't prepared properly. Haha. Oops! I guess we completely underestimated the love people have for Kai Kai. I think what I want most of all is for international fans to have a way to get information about Kai Kai, but also for Kai Kai to know that he is loved by many people, even people who don't speak his language, or are from his culture. I don't know, I just want there to be a lot of love and happiness from everything associated with Kai Kai.
Q: Thank you very much for your time, Eleanor!
A: Thank YOU for doing this Kakashi! It was fun!
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