One celebrity meets another… and it’s love at first sight.
This, perhaps, is the way one could describe the relationship between Chinese actor Hans Zhang Han and Ferrari.
The two have ‘flirted’ for many years.
And recently, Zhang - a versatile actor at ease as much in romance dramas as in action-packed Hollywood-style flicks - has become enchanted with the Prancing Horse’s newest ‘leading lady’: the Ferrari Roma. A car inspired by Federico Fellini's iconic film, La Dolce Vita and which the star of television series and movies like Meteor Shower, Boss & Me and Wolf Warrior 2 has recently been spotted driving around the streets of the Nanxun District of Huzhou, in China’s Zhejiang province.
“If the Roma were a movie, La Dolce Vita is clearly the movie it would be,” Zhang - who has over 30 million followers on Chinese social media network Weibo - tells The Official Ferrari Magazine in an exclusive interview. Why this association? “The Roma stands for the desire to pursue a wonderful life and better days - it represents the nuova dolce vita - and that’s a concept which I can really align with,” Zhang says after his recent encounter with Maranello’s latest grand tourer.
The actor has a long-standing appreciation for Ferrari creations, and not just because of the way they look and perform. “For me, first and foremost comes the brand heritage, which is closely followed by performance. Another thing that attracts me to Ferrari cars is the fact that each and every model across every generation is very unique, desirable and truly distinguished within its segment.”
A 2007 graduate of China’s prestigious Central Academy of Drama, Zhang got his first break in 2009, when he was cast as the character Murong Yuhai, in the television drama Meteor Shower, a role which that year won him the Most Popular Actor award at the Sohu TV Drama Season Review and which he reprised the following year in Meteor Shower 2. He has won several other awards since, including - in 2015 - the Most Popular Actor award at the 19th Shanghai Television Festival.
Fans of Zhang appreciate his extreme versatility: not only as an actor, but also as a singer. He has performed tracks for some of the shows he has appeared in, including “Picking Up Memories” and “Stars' Language” in Meteor Shower.
Just as with the roles he has played, Zhang remembers exactly where he ‘met’ his first Ferrari true love: “It was back when I was studying at university, in Beijing. The car was a Ferrari F430. It was so amazing-looking that it was impossible not to notice it. I was very impressed. Indeed, it was an unforgettable experience.”
Zhang, who turned 36 on October 6, enjoys getting behind the wheel of his Ferrari. He says his favorite place to drive - perhaps coincidentally, given the car he is being interviewed next to - is “without doubt” Rome. He continues: “I remember one time I was filming there for a reality TV show and I saw a red Ferrari driving along a cobblestone road. It made me so excited.”
Rome features in many of Zhang’s dreams: “I really hope that one day I will have the opportunity to drive my Ferrari along the streets of this incredible city.” He also thinks of the Italian capital when asked what kind of music he thinks is most representative of the Ferrari Roma. “No doubt: it’s the soundtrack to the movie Roman Holiday, a film that - together with La Dolce Vita - best reflects the characteristics of the car itself.”