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Maggie Cheung Finds Success in “Lu Zhen Legend”

By on June 7, 2013

Maggie Cheung Finds Success in “Lu Zhen Legend” thumbnail

Maggie Cheung (张可颐) has been filming in mainland China since she left TVB in 2011.  Her latest period drama, Lu Zhen Legend (陆贞传奇) shown on satellite TV has been a hit in Hunan. Her role as Lou Qing Qiang (娄青蔷) caught the attention of many viewers with good comments on her impressive acting.

In an interview, Maggie commented that Lou Qing Qiang’s evilness is very three dimensional, and that it was very satisfying to act the character. Maggie also revealed that she was inspired to accept this role because she was told that Lou Qing Qiang is a thoroughly bad person, a marked departure from Maggie’s previous roles.  When asked how she rated her performance, Maggie humbly said that it depends on the response of viewers and she will consider taking on such interesting villain roles in the future.

Airing in Hong Kong earlier, Beauty at War (金枝慾孽貳) had a similar theme to Lu Zhen Legend. However, Beauty at War was not as well received as its predecessor, War and Beauty <金枝慾孽>. Having participated in the first series, Maggie said, “I have watched Beauty at War, it was not bad. Perhaps these few years there were just too many dramas on palace conflict; viewers find it boring and lose their interest. This time, the script and dialogue are still very good, perhaps viewers’ expectations are too high.”

After acting in mainland Chinese productions, Maggie said that she has been very happy. “Mainland China’s period dramas are much better than Hong Kong’s; this time the director for this drama was from Hong Kong and I got along very well with the crew members here.”

Maggie’s wish is to try many different roles in the future. She would like to try her hand in comedies like the recent hit drama New Stories From The Editiorial Board (新编辑部故事) and hopes that good scripts will be waiting for her.

Source: QQ.com

This article is written by Jennifer for JayneStars.com.

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  • Readers' Comments (48)

    1. pepe69 says:

      maggie cheung yo hee is already well-known top notch fadan in TVB long time and acted exceptionally well then.. so its no surprise mainland viewers now only notice of her great acting there since she decided to break into mainland scene…maggie will definitely get good riview acting there as she already built her solid acting many years ago in TVB

      • Clementine says:

        I agree with you- I think her acting is quite solid and she does deliver a good performance in the roles she plays, in the past and present. Really loved her character in War and Beauty playing the palace maid! Also loved ‘A Recipe for the Heart’,’Plain Love II’, ‘The king of Yesterday&tomorrow’ and ‘Burning FlamesII’ :D These were the best from her imo.

        However, I’m not really a big fan of her personality/behaviour sometimes though. Perhaps tweeked through the translation in other interviews or whatever, but I find that her rather blunt and straight responses&personality sometimes comes off as boastful, and slightly rude imo. But hey, at least she gets to the point and doesn’t put on a fake act.

        • Shrimpboat says:

          @Clementine, I agree with you about Maggie’s personality. I used to think that about her too, but from this article, it seems like she’s changed to being less blunt and critical.

          She’s actually defending Beauty at War (unlike the other actors who are stepping out to criticize TVB)…although you see some of her strong personality is retained when she says Mainland’s period drama is better than Hong Kong.

        • qwerty says:

          I don’t think she has a diva attitude as people say she is. In fact, I think she has a strong personality, has high expectations when it comes to acting, is a perfectionist and is straightforward. Perhaps, this is why she is often mistaken for being a diva. As an actresses, these characteristics may not be good for her, at least in TVB where it requires its artists to keep their mouth shut.

          I read somewhere from a magazine many many years ago that she had an argument with the director when filming ‘The King of Yesterday & Tomorrow’, which she said it is racist to cast asian boys as african boys by using makeup to make their face darker in the last episode. She even had an argument with the main actor (I forgot his name) because of this ‘race’ thing.

          Maybe because she studied in the UK, that is why she always voices her opinions and speaks whatever in her mind. She actually reminds me of Jessica Hsuan. At least she is not fake like most Hong Kong artists are. And I also can see her starting to be less aggressive after going to China since the competition is higher there. By the way, I though she was filming for HKTV?

          She looks like a ghost in the picture above, though.

        • qwerty says:

          By the way, one drawback that Jessica and Maggie have to face of being strong is that Asian men will not prefer them if they are strong. I feel sad for both of them as they are still single now.

        • Dude says:

          The reason Asian Men probably don’t prefer them is because both of them are physically unattractive. Not because they are strong minded.

          They may have been a catch in the past (though old pics don’t seem to support that, from my perspective) but they really are past their prime. Certain images of Jessica make her look masculine and Maggie at times looks like an old sea hag. Even when done up.

        • Dude says:

          Of course I don’t know for sure since I’m not Asian. This is coming from a westerners opinion

        • Clementine says:

          Just to clarify, I wasn’t referring her personality as being diva-ish and having diva attitudes. I agree, she does have a very strong personality, being very straightforward and blunt. Personally, i definitely support such strong character in women of the 21st century, however, as an artist, even if she’s no longer confined between tvb’s walls, I think having such a straightfoward and blunt personality may also be a disadvantage, especially when people she may work with misunderstands her and even worse if she does not realise she has offended people.

          But her strong personality/tough attitude is definitely something to applaud and encourage in women imo.

        • Clementine says:

          **may also be a disadvantage where ever she works

        • Clementine says:

          @qwerty – being single is not the end of the world lol. I’m sure both Jessica and Maggie find their own happiness in other ways besides being in a love-relationship…

        • qwerty says:


          “…both of them are physically unattractive. Not because they are strong minded.”

          Okay, I just gave my opinion regarding the ‘preference’ thing’.

          “I’m not Asian. This is coming from a westerners opinion.”

          What I meant was asian men in general–whether they are westernized or not.

        • qwerty says:


          “being single is not the end of the world lol. I’m sure both Jessica and Maggie find their own happiness in other ways besides being in a love-relationship…”

          Well, totally agree with you.

    2. lemongrass says:

      Hoping for a chance to watch this drama too. Chinese drama is becoming better and better in terms of cast selections, costumes, venue, etc. HK needs to keep at par otherwise they will lose their viewers very soon.

      • Clementine says:

        HK is already losing their viewers slowly, take a look at tbb’s series ratings for this year…the average rating is 25 points or below nowadays, above 25 is considered very good in contrast to previous years, 30 points was the average rating.

        • llwy12 says:

          @Clementine: Good…that means HK audiences are finally ‘waking up’ and realizing that TVB isn’t really worth their time anymore. I actually don’t see it as a bad thing if TVB recognizes this as a ‘wake up call’ for them and it motivates them to change their ways. Of course, if TVB ignores the ‘call’ and continues to churn out bad quality productions, then that’s too bad for them…

    3. gio says:

      can someone tell me, why hk actress was main lead and go to china as second or third… lie sheren tang & now maggie chueng

      • MW says:

        Maybe due to higher quality standards?

        • Clementine says:

          Not sure about the quality standards part, but since HK artists’ may not be as highly known back in the Mainland. Even if they were once leads in HK, and maybe relatively known in the Mainland, to cast them straight off as leads in mainland production would be quite difficult for audiences to accept straight away and may struggle with drawing in interest+viewership. Also, since Mainland afterall is not HK artists’ ‘motherland’/ mother-company, to cast HK artists’ over Mainland actors in leads may come across as offensive to Mainland actors? Perhaps I may be overthinking,but imagine if a not really well known Mainland actress (but fairly known back in China) comes to HK and tvb cast them to lead over one of current fadans, I dont think viewers would be very accepting, and the fadan may also question (maybe not verbally, but mentally lol) the company’s action in doing so.

      • Nicole says:

        Charmaine, Myolie, and Jessica are usually first lead in their series, among others.
        Sheren and maggie takes supporting roles, because, well, they are older, or at least look older. Cold, but undeniable truth.

        • skinnymocha says:

          Even colder when you know that Jessica and Maggie are both from the same generation – and of similar age… (But I guess the audience has always been more on Jessica’s side.)

        • Nicole says:

          Yes, that’s why i mentioned looking older specifically. her illness was pretty harsh on her.

        • skinnymocha says:

          Personally, I think Jessica can even look a bit more aged than Maggie in some photos. Anyway, even if Maggie looked a little younger, I just don’t feel she has quite the same appeal/popularity as the three you mentioned above. Out of the five fadans, I always felt that Maggie was the least liked…

        • Nicole says:

          Really? I always thought maggie had a mature look even before her illness, with her long face, and sharp features. Wasnt tavia chosen to act as maggies sister because they look alike? And we know the criticism tavia gets for looking old, they do have similar features.
          As for jessica, she often post photos sans makeup, and she looks relatively younger, and sometimes, even girlish in those photos.

        • skinnymocha says:

          Oops. I meant recent photos of Jessica at promo events (and even in Curse of the Royal Harem) where she was caked in layers of make-up. And probably because they gave her such unflattering hair as well… But yeah, I do get what you mean when you say Maggie looks a little more mature (she actually used to remind me of Lau Suet Wah). One of the very few times I found her looking fresh-faced was way back in Old Time Buddies.

        • Nicole says:

          Ah, but everyone including myolie and nancy, looked garish in the cotrh make up anyways. Besides liu xue hua, i always thought maggie looks a lot like michelle yeoh at some angles.

      • Iris says:

        Mainland China’s period dramas tend to go for very young and fresh-faced lead actors and actresses. Unfortunately for Maggie, she is not in that category.

    4. P. Tan says:

      The competition amongst actors is great in China, besides, they can be very beautiful too so you really must prove that you can first be at par with them before you are promoted to first leads.

      • Clementine says:

        I agree- Mainland actresses’ are quite strikingly beautiful imo. However, to be able to act and stand out in such a large crowd of competition…that’s the difficulty.

        • Funn Lim says:

          “Mainland actresses’ are quite strikingly beautiful ”

          True but some are surgically enhanced. But then most are rather beautiful whenever they do costume series.

        • Clementine says:

          Yeah I wouldnt rule of the help of successful plastic surgery, and I agree- some really look breathtaking in ancient period dramas imo.

        • Funn Lim says:

          Maybe it is make up or quality of costume or HD-I do admit, even at their dustiest, they look rather more authentic than TVB’s. Like both need ironing but somehow for mainland CCTV production you feel that that’s how it should be.

        • qwerty says:

          Funn Lim,

          “True but some are surgically enhanced.”

          Not some, but most are. Probably, it could be seen that 9/10 are enhanced.

    5. k says:

      this drama was good!! i really really like it lol watched it twice. i think one of the best. i recommend to those who havent seen it yet. really cute!!
      her acting was good :)

    6. soph says:

      anyone has link to this drama online?

    7. thursday says:

      The Legend of Lu Zhen was such a good drama! So sad it’s over! I’m not usually a fan of Maggie Cheung and have thought that her acting was getting worse with her last few TVB dramas but she impressed me so much in The Legend of Lu Zhen!

      • Funn Lim says:

        That good? I think I will have a lookout for it then.

        • Funn Lim says:

          WAIT! Is this Legend of Lu Zhen = Female Prime Ministers? Oh crap! Yu Zheng again! And plot sounds a bit like Jewel In The Palace except again turned upside down. Anyway gonna be on TV so I will watch.

        • Charbydis says:

          I watched it. It was not good. Maggie’s acting was OK but the character was not that great. She was evil but not the evil that would make your blood chill, chuck stuff at the TV or even feel sorry for. There was no development in character. She was evil and that was it.

          The series was strangely slow at times. Other than the character of Xiao Huan Yun, the other roles were quite dull.

    8. Jill says:

      Maggie selected the roles she’d like to play in Mainland series and not necessarily as “first lead.” She mentioned in an article that the first lead sometimes get stigmatized and restricted. Also, her type would get first lead in modern series but not ancient series. Her strong personality does translate on screen and period series usually features strong female as villains.

    9. Hannahh says:

      Maggie is my all time fav actress!

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