China’s Obama look-alike embarks on movie career

China’s Barack Obama look-alike is set to hit the silver screen as a low-ranking gangster.

GUANGZHOU CITY, GUANGDONG PROVINCE, CHINA (SEPTEMBER 17, 2015) (REUTERS) – The leaders of the U.S. and China are set to meet next Friday (September 25) in Washington in a much-anticipated meeting which is bound to hit headlines.

But here in China’s Guangzhou City, Xiao Jiguo is hoping to hit the silver screen as a low-ranking gangster who looks like President Barack Obama.

Xiao doesn’t need much make-up to look like the American president.

And the similarities are not just skin-deep. Xiao says his birthday is only one day apart from Obama’s and they also share the same blood type — which some people believe shape one’s personality.

When asked how he would host Xi if he were the real Obama, Xiao said he would announce they are close like brothers.

“If I really were Obama, I would definitely throw a huge banquet. I would ask all the media to come and I’d say in front of them, ‘We are friends with China. Xi Jinping and I are brothers,'” Xiao said.

The 29-year-old is from a humble background and did various jobs, including working in a factory and as a security guard for almost a decade, before becoming an entertainer.

He competed in a popular TV talent show in 2012 and has since played parts in online mini-series and experimental short films. He has also been in an ad for a cosmetic surgery clinic — but he insists his looks are natural.

Xiao has also made appearances at events as an Obama impersonator, giving speeches, even though his English is minimal.

“My English is bad. So when I go on stage to speak, I speak in a mix of real English and fake English. I make it up as I go. Nobody understands it. Let me show you. (English) ‘Hello everybody. Ladies and gentlemen,” Xiao said, before continuing his speech in gibberish.

Now, he has been cast to play a minor role in a detective comedy called “Huo Bao” which translates into “Funny Fellows” in English.

His character is “Black Prince Charming” who punches the main character in a fight scene.

“My character is not the real Obama, but a low-level gangster. So when my boss tells me to beat people up, I’d do it,” Xiao said.

The film crew — a mix of Koreans, mainland Chinese and Hong Kong staff — just call him “Obama” on the set and he’s often asked to pose for photos with them.

“All he has to do is to just stand there, and his looks will already leave a deep impression on the audience. In this movie, he acts as one of the low-level gangsters, but his character strongly stands out because of his looks. Also, this is a comedy. Everybody knows in America, Obama is a boss and enjoys all the glory that comes with it. But in this movie he’s not doing so well,” says the movie producer, screenwriter and actor Wang Xijin.

The movie with a budget of 50 million yuan (US$7.85 million) is scheduled for release next summer.

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