Huang Xiaoming finally gets to smooch school crush Vicki Zhao

PHOTO: Oriental Daily Hong Kong

Most guys would whoop in jubilation should they get to fulfil their fantasy of smooching their college crush.

But if you happen to be China's silver screen leading man Huang Xiaoming and your object of affection from those bygone school days was A-list Chinese actress Vicki Zhao, perhaps you just have to play it cool.

And that is exactly what Huang, 37, did in an e-mail interview to promote his new China-US action comedy Hollywood Adventures, which opens here tomorrow.

The movie, which co-stars 39-year-old Zhao, is the two superstars' first-ever collaboration.

"Working with Vicki was great. It's kind of like working with a 'familiar stranger'," Huang told M, when asked if there was any awkwardness pulling off the kiss.

"We're both veterans in the industry, we won't overthink a kissing scene. I did feel a bit embarrassed, but it was mostly because I think the film crew was having too much fun messing with us.

"For some reason, we notched up so many retakes for the (kissing) scene. I got embarrassed because after all, Vicki's still a girl."

According to Oriental Daily Hong Kong, they kissed around 60 times to ace the scene.

Huang pointed out that the number of retakes reported was "slightly exaggerated".

"But it's true we took a long time to finish it, as our director (American film-maker Timothy Kendall) was a perfectionist and he wanted different angles for the kiss," he explained.

Huang and Zhao's friendship goes way back. More than 15 years ago, they were university classmates at China's prestigious Beijing Film Academy.

Never dated

In previous interviews with the Chinese press, Huang has never shied away from talking about how he once had the biggest crush on her.

They never dated though.

Today, Zhao has a five-year-old daughter with her husband, property tycoon Huang Youlong.

The actor himself is happily married. In May, he tied the knot with Hong Kong actress-girlfriend Angela­baby in a civil ceremony.

The couple reportedly plan to throw a wedding banquet in Shanghai in October.

Hollywood Adventures features Huang, Zhao and Chinese actor Tong Dawei as a ragtag trio of travellers who find themselves plunged into the world of rhino horn smuggling and kidnapping in Los Angeles.

Last month, Huang - who declined to answer questions regarding his marriage - left his prints at the TCL Chinese Theatre Imax in Hollywood.

With him were Zhao and Hollywood Adventures' Taiwanese-American producer Justin Lin, who is best known for directing four Fast And Furious films.

Zhao and Huang became the first mainland Chinese movie stars to sink their hands and feet into cement at the renowned venue.

"I'm very honoured. It's definitely a form of recognition," Huang said.

To netizens and critics who cast doubt on their achievements and view the whole thing as a mere "promotional stunt" for Hollywood Adventures, he has only this to say: "Don't you think it's the best of both worlds?

"It was an honour for us to leave our prints in Hollywood and at the same time, we get to promote our new movie. So why not?"

This article was first published on July 08, 2015. Get The New Paper for more stories.