Lin Hao:Hero's starring role
Lin Hao, quake hero-turned-movie star, proudly shows an A+ paper from his most recent exams. His debut CD was released yesterday. [Photo/China Daily]
At first glance, he seems like any other 10-year-old boy who's fallen asleep on an airport-bound bus. Nudged from his dreams, he yawns, almost starts to pout - until fellow passengers produce cellphones and begin snapping pictures. He quickly rouses himself and responds with big, friendly smiles.
The youngest of China's "quake heroes" to emerge from last year's disaster, Lin Hao may still not be entirely comfortable with the media.
But he is no longer camera shy.
One year ago, Lin was just another kid from an impoverished home in Sichuan's Zizhong County. There, one's best bet for a photo shoot was for a Hope Project publication, or a charity brochure.
Not any more. Last month, Lin caught a weekend flight to central China's Henan province for his third television role, a sitcom named Stories at the Nurse Station.
"I play a boy named Guai Guai. His father has a part-time job and is never at home. That's just like my family," Lin told China Daily.
A Grade 2 student at Yingxiu Yuzixi primary school in Wenchuan county when the earthquake struck last May, Lin pulled two of his classmates from the rubble after escaping from a collapsed classroom with a head injury that required a hair transplant.
For that act of courage, he was named a "heroic youth" along with 19 other youngsters last June in recognition of their involvement during quake relief.
Lin then become a national hero - or, in the words of some media, "China's youngest hero". A People's Daily Online comment praised him as a "representative of the perseverance of the Chinese nation".
He was taken to Shanghai for treatment and given a free hair transplant at a military hospital. Soon after, the adorable boy was handpicked to walk with China's NBA superstar Yao Ming, who led the Chinese delegation at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.
Lin has gone on to make TV appearances in Shanghai's Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations, Beijing's National Day party and China Central Television's Spring Festival Gala, in addition to roles in two movies.
Before his flight to Henan, the boy couldn't wait to see actress Zhou Yanhong, who plays his mom in the sitcom.
The pair got to know each other at a charity gala in Beijing last June. Reports say it was Zhou who introduced Lin to the sitcom's producer.