Not An Outsider EP13 | Fascinated by Chinese Kung Fu and Hulatang: American actor finds his home in Henan
"I'm not an outsider," Nathaniel Christian Boyd (anonym: Nate), an American, always introduces himself to Chinese people in this way.
In addition to writing screenplays, showing up in TV dramas, and hosting shows as a freelancer, Nate also teaches English at a university and generates music, poetry, and short films in his free time. "I've been a resident of China for 15 years, use Mandarin daily, and have more Chinese friends than American friends," Nate said.
When Nate first arrived in China in 2006 as a college student from the U.S., he had the opportunity to appear in a movie, which sparked his desire to become an actor and led him to decide to stay in China. 10 years later, in 2016, Nate returned to Zhengzhou in search of love. He later got married and made Zhengzhou his permanent home. He has since been traveling throughout China to film and pursue his dreams while residing in Henan to immerse himself in the allure of Chinese culture.
Nate is unable to stop talking about Henan "Many Americans are unaware of the significance of Henan, which is one of the places where Chinese culture first emerged." Nate told the reporter that his love for Hulatang (hot and spicy soup) has seeped into his bones, "It's like I was born to be a Henan native, and I'll travel all over the place I live just to find an authentic bowl of Hulatang. If this place didn't sell Hulatangp, I wouldn't be able to stay!
The "magic power of frog" in traditional Chinese kung fu is a specialty of Nate's. Nate loves kung fu but has never had the opportunity to formally train with a master, but he has continued to work on his body and received some basic training in filming. I played an American sniper in the movie "Sniper," so if you watch the movie, you'll recognize me. Nate told reporters that in order to get the role, he lost more than 10 pounds and underwent two weeks of "military training". With each film, Nate has gained a deeper understanding of China and its history.
Nate has appeared in more than 70 Chinese TV dramas, many of which starred renowned Chinese actors and directors like Jackie Chan, Feng Xiaogang, and Zhang Yimou. Nate acknowledges that some TV dramas portray "foreigners" in a way that is "out of touch with reality," for example, "a foreigner who speaks Chinese with a perfect accent but has no idea about Chinese etiquette," Nate doesn't believe this is feasible in the real world. "Chinese is a very challenging language to learn, and in order to be fluent, a person must have studied it extensively and be familiar with Chinese culture."
Nate regularly takes his wife and kids to different parts of China to see the breathtaking scenery, and he seeks out hidden gems that even the residents of Zhengzhou are unaware of. "I would take my wife and kids to the small villages near Zhengzhou to experience places that sometimes my wife didn't even know about" when he couldn't leave Zhengzhou during the epidemic. Nate believes that a place's charm lies not in its magnitude, but rather in your ability to appreciate it even in small doses.