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Wayne Lai on a Kinder and Gentler Li Lianying

By on November 11, 2012

Wayne Lai on a Kinder and Gentler Li Lianying thumbnail

This year will be Wayne Lai’s (黎耀祥) third year in a row in which he is starring in an Anniversary series. All eyes will be on him when it comes to the TV King and the Best Drama awards for The Confidant  <大太監>. However, Wayne said he feels no inherent stress and pressure from as he enjoys the filming process more than the outcome.

In The Confidant, Wayne portrays a Li Lianying (李連英) that is different from the commonly accepted idea of the most powerful eunuch of China during the rule of Empress Dowager Cixi. Wayne said he did not prepare his role by researching Li Lianying’s history, but instead counted on the guidance of the scriptwriters and the producer.

“There are different versions of Li Lianying’s history floating around. On top of that, I cannot stray from the producer’s visualization of the character. We are trying to dramatize history, so of course part of the facts may be skewed or exaggerated. In some areas, the portrayal may even conflict with the actual truth!”

The Confidant begins with Li Lianying as a minor palace eunuch working for one of the concubines. When asked if there was any expectation from the producer on how he should approach playing the role of a palace eunuch, Wayne admits there was not any concept at all to start with since are no real-life examples. The image of a feminine coward with high-pitched voice is only a stereotype, and does not apply to most castrated men. In The Confidant, most, if not all of the actors playing roles of eunuchs perform with their normal tone of voice.

Love Scene With Nancy Wu

Breaking another stereotype of a eunuch, Wayne will have a love scene with the palace maid, Sin yung (Nancy Wu 胡定欣). In that time period many palace eunuchs and palace maids dined and worked together, and not surprisingly some of them established feelings towards each other. In one scene, Wayne embraces Nancy, but fails how to express his feeling. There in no desire and passion involved in the scene.

Also in the series there are plots revolving around the sentimental side of eunuchs, as some even want to get married. Although they cannot be physically intimate, they will accept a close emotional relationship.

Source: Oriental Daily via ihktv.com

This article is written by Lance for JayneStars.com.

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  • Readers' Comments (28)

    1. vann says:

      The eunuchs are not gay so they do not need to act like women; they just are pitiful men. .

    2. Lee says:

      I’ve always hated the portrayal of palace eunuchs as effeminate simply because it was probably not true of the majority of them – only the ones castrated before puberty would have high voices, excessive body fat, gynecomastia, etc. As Vann says above, they were simply pitiful men.

      • JJ says:

        But arent the majority of eunuchs brought into the palace when they were little/before they reached puberty? It’s just an assumption…as palace maids were also brought in at a young age. Do correct me if I’m wrong :)

        • Lee says:

          IIRC, they may have been brought into the palace at a young age to study but the actual castration didn’t happen until later. It’s been a while since I studied this stuff though so take my thoughts with a grain of salt ;-)

    3. TN1 says:

      No worries, I’ve quit watching this show, probably was too stressed out to have studied Chinese History n I supposed can’t cope with such twisted historical facts, Amen!

      • Nicole says:

        @TN1
        Many tv shows have twisted history.
        Books have too. It’s based on the author’s or scriptwriter’s interpretation of history, and might have stylized/ romanticized history. Especially most of the romance in historical dramas are fictional. Stop thinking too much into it, and just take it as entertainment.

        Recently I watched a show that you might like.
        http://www.tudou.com/albumcover/r2FRx-2QV40.html
        It’s about the differences in “Zhen Huan Biography” being shown in the series and actual history itself.
        IMHO, one of the most important aspect of showing these “twisted” historical dramas on television is sparking interest in people who might not have took note of the subject, and those with the inquiring mind, will go on to learn more about it, and thus exposing more history and culture to the common people.

        • TN1 says:

          @ Nicole,

          ooops, didn’t c u earlier, might take up your suggestion n decide on d next step, thx anyway(>‿◠)✌

        • TN1 says:

          @ Nicole,

          MG! Just went into d webpage but where should I click, I’m at a lost! I don’t read Chinese mann!

        • Nicole says:

          Try this website
          http://i.youku.com/u/UNDEyMzk2Mjgw/videos/?q=%E7%94%84%E5%AC%9B%E5%90%8E%E7%BA%AA and just click on the episodes in orange?

          Have you watched zhen huan biography? It’s a little dry if you don’t watch along with the series though, because it’s actually a professor speaking of the difference between the series and history itself.
          One episode of the commentary will talk us through 2 episodes of Zhen Huan Biography. I highly recommend the series if you have not watched it, even though it doesn’t follow history, but great acting from teh cast.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQuwqq_S3uI

        • TN1 says:

          It’s pointless for me, there’s no eng sub at all! But for d youtube movie, I’ll have to watch it later, thx anyway!

        • Nicole says:

          @TN1
          Well if you are really as interested in Chinese culture as you say you are, maybe try learning the language as well. :P

        • TN1 says:

          @ Nicole,

          Of coz I did Pǔtōnghuà but only for 9 lessons, I quit lol my patience were running out with all the tough grammars n characters involved. Fyi, I’m real glad I do understand simple conversational cantonese.

          I”ve started watching another significant figure Princess Changping, there’s Michelle n Damian n an eunuch as well lol

      • TN1 says:

        Sorry, wat I wrote was not mainly abt eunuchs, it’s d storyline as well, senseless, sorta like Stephen Chow’s movies 无厘头 lol

    4. Hannahh says:

      Love this series! Hope Wayne win TV king for the 3rd time!

    5. Kidd says:

      “Breaking another stereotype of a eunuch, Wayne will have a love scene with the palace maid, Sin yung (Nancy Wu 胡定欣). “

      This reminds me of the movie ‘Last Eunuch in China’. It shows a love scene between Irene Wan and Max Mok. The scene is about Irene needing physical passion and try to make love with Max Mok, but, of course unable to. Pretty sad scene, showing the difficulties of an eunuch. This scene is also important I think because it contributed to the decision of Max letting Irene go.

    6. Kidd says:

      I have not watch this series. But, I read his wiki entry and it seems like he’s a pretty nice guy in real life too. He always tried to protect people against Cixi’s wrath. I also remember hearing on radio that LLY is vert good to friends and subordinate.

      http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%9D%8E%E9%80%A3%E8%8B%B1

      ‘連英為慈禧太后身邊紅人時,以謹小慎微見稱,朝廷大臣對李連英,亦爭相用銀兩賄賂攏絡;對於一般宮內妃嬪觸怒慈禧,連英總是儘量替人美言遮蓋,曲意回護,保護了許多人免於處分,所以宮內左右都對他有正面評價,謂之「恭慎」’

      http://www.newsancai.com/big5/history/23-people/4912-2011-06-12-09-23-14.html

      李連英是個十分聰明乖巧的人,他從中明白了應該如何擺正主子和奴才之間的關係。李連英不僅學會了揣摩主子的脾氣和愛好,千方百計地討主子歡喜,還能時時處處謹慎小心。墓誌銘中說他“事上以敬,事下以寬,如是有年,未嘗稍懈。”也就是對主子恭敬,對下屬寬厚,多少年來不敢鬆懈,這也算是李連英成功的秘訣吧。

    7. Woot says:

      Watched the first two episodes and I must say Wayne Lai is top notch here!!! Too bad this series is aired this late…I hope there’s still time to create and impact to audience in voting for the TVB awards and Astro’s AOD awards as well. I’m already so taken in by the series, unlike SSSS where I was either bored or annoyed with something or everything! Except for Damien, hehe…

      • Hannahh says:

        unlike SSSS where I was either bored or annoyed with something or everything! Except for Damien, hehe…

        —-
        Agreed!

    8. Nicole says:

      TC has 32point average for the first week.

    9. happybi says:

      Love Wayne in this drama! Can’t wait to see how the story will develop!

    10. Lol says:

      Wayne has done it again! I love his portrayal of LLY, I can’t picture anyone else playing this role but him. You completely forget he’s Chai9. I really hope HK will vote base on acting & make Wayne the winner for best actor. This entire cast is great, even the minor roles & the young emperor is adorable (bratty but very cute)…his crying was so good, maybe some of the current fadans should ask him for advice on how to cry lol. Wayne for TV king!!!

    11. sammnie says:

      I must say is great! The cast is awesome too. They all did a great job. So far, the story is interesting and has been entertaining too unlike many palace story, this is really good! Thumbs up!

      Wayne is excellent here! Look at his expression, his eyes and his tone of voice…he is superb! The others like Power Chan too is good. Raymond Cho so far so good. Raymond Wong not too bad. And Edwin Siu is good too. The 5 eunuchs’ characters are well written and the 5 did a good job!
      Therefore, please vote for great performance, great acting! Support Wayne Lai! Support The Confidant!

      Oh…one last thing…the relationship between the young nancy wu and wayne lai was done in a tasseful way…slowly they develop to more mature feelings…looking forward to see that. And both sing well at the end of the show! The song is beautiful too.

    12. Funn Lim says:

      I was just told Raymond Cho’s character owned the shi he yuan I stayed in when I was in Beijing! Now that is one connection I enjoy!!

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