Blurring of Stunt Doubles’ Faces in “A Journey To Love” Trigger Online Row

Costume drama queen Cecilia Liu Shishi (劉詩詩) and Liu Yuning’s (劉宇寧) latest costume espionage drama A Journey to Love <一念關山> achieved good viewership within 3 days of airing. However, action scenes in the show where stunt doubles’ faces were blurred out accidentally triggered an online ruckus.

To Blur or Not to Blur?

Portraying highly skilled assassin Ren Ruyi, Liu Shishi’s elegant onscreen performance has been praised as the epitome of an alluring martial arts female while Liu Yuning as royal bodyguard Ning Yuanzhou also nailed his many fight scenes with finesse. Coupled with the beautiful cinematography, viewers have thrown praises on the two lead actors. However, it seems that stunt doubles were needed to complete many scenes to perfection due to the high-level martial arts requirements, especially for many of Liu Shishi’s fighting scenes concentrated in the first half of the drama.

While it is uncertain if the cast had made special requests or the crew were afraid that continuity of the drama might be affected, all of Liu Yuning and Liu Shishi’s scenes which were performed by stunt doubles all had their faces “blurred” out, even if it were just a mere fleeting appearance.

This triggered a heated debate between two opposing camps – one group who felt that the action was disrespectful of the stunt doubles, whose faces had not been blurred out in an earlier-released trailer, though that had resulted in Liu Shishi being mocked.

Pointing out that stunt doubles were well aware that they were meant to be in the shadows of the named cast, the other camp reasoned that it was way more important for doubles to be remunerated rather than to have their faces exposed, and that having their faces blurred out was necessary for dramatic continuity for viewers. They also pointed out that perhaps the director could have given more thought to post-production edits prior to filming, and try to avoid capturing the faces of stunt doubles.

Source: Upmedia

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  1. lol this is so stupid. It’s stupid if ppl to praise LSS for the fights when we all know it’s the stunt double that do it, and the extra (who got killed) that always do flip, spins, summersault to make her kill impressive. On the other hand, it’s stupid to ask for the stun double’s face to be shown. Both camps need to take a step back *face palm

  2. Somebody is so jealous of the initial success of this drama, they need to mess it up. Smear the reputation of the main leads. Honestly, such dirty games are played all the time. But there are always some C-netizens that take the bait…

  3. i can’t stop laughing.Is there really anyone who actually believe that any martial arts and physically demanding scenes are filmed by actors themselves? what if they get hurt and filming has to stop? even if they could, any serious director would not allow that. Also so many racy scenes are filmed with body doubles (shower scenes, lake scenes etc) both male and female. Some of actors are so thin that it would not be pretty sight. When I think it is impossible to be surprised I stand corrected.

    1. I think in the US…with really high insurance cost. Many stars regardless they want to do their own stunts or not, it is not allowed. Just same stunts that are not too dangerous. Their agents will not take risk if they can help it. Am I right to think so?

      1. Yes, you are correct. In many countries, personal insurance is an important consideration, US on the top. Usually, contracts would specify what the artist can and cannot do, as well as fines for any breaches of contract. However, I referred to smth much simpler.. They cannot afford it. Specially in China, where the filming schedules of top talents are extremely packed as they have a short shelf life, so they film at a rapid pace while they are still hot. Even the slightest injury to an artist can cause a halt to the entire production, which means a huge extra cost. Budgets are usually tight, so any disruptions can be detrimental. Hence, the stunts and body doubles are typically provided by outsourced companies. These companies maintain a lineup of several individuals who match the exact physical descriptions of the artists. If one person is injured, another can step in immediately. I know it may sound ruthless, but this is how the system operates. No one serious would allow irreplaceable actor to risk anything during this short filming period due to very simple reason, money.

      2. To be honest, I dont want anyone untrained to perform dangerous stunts too. Actors/Actresses are trained to film basic moves that makes them look good. But we know since forever the body doubles does the rest.
        I just remembered a famous body double that is used by a actress in a famous movie… Juliet Robert’s body double in Pretty Woman. I did not know it was a stunt person then but mind you, I was still in my teens then. Lol.

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