Zhang Yimou's A SIMPLE NOODLE STORY has an ensemble cast, with character actor Sun Honglei and top Mainland comedy star Xiao Shenyang. All along Director Zhang's films would have a "Mou Girl", but this time the female leads are all new. Instead the male leads aside from Xiao Shenyang included Sun Honglei who he has worked with on numerous occasions. They of course become "Mou Guys".
Sun Honglei is known as "little Jiang Wen". His first film was the Zhang Yimou directed THE ROAD HOME, which left a deep impression with the audience. Years later, he returned to Director Zhang' work. Sun Honglei expressed that he was very exciting. He said since THE ROAD HOME he has always thought when he would have a chance to work with Director Zhang again. When he saw his films he often was envious and wanted to participate. This was his first film after the Beijing Olympics and the National Day celebration. The story and the style are completely different from before, so when he was asked he agreed right away.
Zhang Yimou said when he wrote SIMPLE, he thought of Sun Honglei. His character was a character who did not even smile once in the entire film, but sometimes would do something funny. He praised Sun Honglei's performance was flawless, exactly the same as the result that he wanted. He deserved his Best Actor award. The biggest pleasant surprise was the entire cast's choreography in the end. Sun Honglei danced like Michael Jackson, as he actually was a superb dancer who has won different dance contests. Sun Honglei felt that this scene was a lot of fun because he liked to dance. He thought dancing like Michael Jackson in ancient costume was very fun.