Chen Daoming Dropped Out of “City of Desire” Because of Angelababy?

At Zhejiang TV’s fall season sales presentation in early September, the Chinese broadcaster announced big plans for their upcoming 2018 television drama City of Desire <欲望之城>, which would feature acclaimed actor Chen Daoming (陈道明) and Tiffany Tang (唐嫣). It was confirmed at the time that City of Desire would begin production in November.

A few weeks after the announcement, the studios reported that Angelababy (杨颖) has replaced Tiffany, who left the cast for reasons unannounced. A few days later, the media reported that Chen Daoming also dropped out, and would be replaced by Wu Xiubo (吴秀波). Just as netizens were about to digest the new cast, a source claimed that Wu Xiubo also wanted to drop out of the project, but his agency has since denied this speculation.

Though it’s not out of the ordinary to see casting changes before the production of a drama, netizens found it interesting to hear actors dropping the project after Angelababy was confirmed to be the lead. Many netizens have actually expressed their desire to see Wu Xiubo leave the cast, due to Angelababy’s reputation of being a poor actress. Many netizens speculated that this was the reason why Chen Daoming opted out.

Despite Angelababy’s popularity, her image took a slight blow after performing poorly in dramas such as General and I <孤芳不自赏> and Wong Kar-wai’s (王家衛) See You Tomorrow <擺渡人>. However, with City of Desire, perhaps Wu Xiubo would be able to train some acting out of Angelababy.


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. Chen Daoming is not just a veteran actor, but a fantastic actor. I salute him for dropping out of the series. What an insult to his reputation as an artist to put Angelababy alongside him as his leading lady. She is famous for her plastic surgery, making a fool of herself in public while trying to deny she did not get any work done. There is nothing else she is famous for. Putting her in a series to act alongside a seasoned, fantastic actor like Daoming is like putting a Kardashian to be a leading lady to Robert De niro’s character. These women, Angelababy included, are all in the same boat. Famous for plastic surgery, lies and the sake of being famous, nothing more, nothing less.

  2. Just look at the big shots who attended the AB/HXM wedding extravaganza. AB wouldn’t be getting endless leading roles without her husband’s connections.

  3. The “conspiracy theory” postulated by the writer of this article is every bit as funny as some of the reaction toward it.

    So, if the answer to the titled question were true, than Tiffany Tang must be the mastermind of a perfect scheme to wreck this project. By quitting for “unannounced reasons”, she could have conspired to have AB replacing her thereby setting off this chain reaction of departures.

    Of course the writer never did investigate whether this is a troubled production that first led to the resignation of Tiffany Tang and then others. I guess by pointing at AB as the source of all evils, it helps to rile up the masses. LoL!

    1. @aiya I do not think it has anything to do with riling up the masses. Lol! Angela baby is not an actress, and she is such a narcissist, with an over inflated ego, that she just might never take the time to become one. How could any decent actor not turn down the role after learning that AB is his leading lady. This woman does not deserve to be a leading lady. She needs to have frequent small roles where she can learn to BECOME, grow and improve as an actress It is an insult to Chen Daoming. What has she done as an artist except grow from the beast to beauty and then pay of a doctor to go along with her schemes, and fool her gullible fans?, Huh?. I would like to know.

      Even if what you said is true about the project being a disaster from the get go, adding AB as a leading lady is enough to be the last straw that sinks the whole ship.

  4. I still believe that ABB is ONLY hated because of the plastic surgery scandal. Her acting skills were insulted over and over again, while everybody actually liked her without problems back in the old days when Love You You first came out, because we didn’t know about the Plastic thing yet. For a drama like General and I, it doesn’t matter which actress play in it, it will still be disastrous because the scripting and storyline was boring. I actually won’t judge ABB’s acting skill, honestly, every actress has been acting like the same damn thing lately and nobody was even good at it. Good ones are only veterans like Liu Tao and Sun Li.

    I strongly believe 97% actresses did plastic surgery as well, but because their past photos are not the most obvious like ABB. ABB turned from a frog to a princess stirred lots of anger for many people because it means as long as we are beautiful too then we can play in anything as well. But that is true, as long as you are beautiful you can do anything. Why do you think almost every actress did enhancements on their faces?

    1. @davy very insightful points you presented, and well said. The vast majority of ebiz clients get PS, be it models, singers, actors or TV hosts. That includes the men too, not just women. Yes, a lot of us know that ABB cannot act or sing her way out of a paper bag. Having said that, netizens were willing to ignore her and just let her be famous for being famous. We also were impressed with how wonderful her new face looked, natural and beautiful, despite the obvious tell tale signs of PS, cause her surgeon did damn great work.She is the poster child for the beast becoming beauty cause she was so pissing ugly, that she was fugly, even with layers of make up on. We all know she is arrogant, has an ego bigger than HK, loves and craves attention and is quite the little narcissist. Yes, there are a few in her circle that can be described in like manner.

      What pissed of people about ABB is how her ego and arrogance are so inflated that she thought nothing of people’s intellegence by trying to insult her fans and crtics too. The thought that this woman was ready and willing to throw her morals under the bus by creating rhis elaborate public lie and spectacle by denying she had work done is beyond disgusting. The fact that she got some plastic surgeon to be part of her lie is beneath galling. Is her ego so massive that she just couldn’t admit she had work done……It was a surreal spectacle. Does she rhink people are blund and stupid they ALL would believe her? She most certainly did, otherwise she would have nevwr pulled such an insulting stunt. What little respect I had left for her went out the door that day. I know she was useless as a model, actress, host and singer, but I uswd to applaud her for being resillient and making a name for herself while running on empty in the talent department. I am one of tens of thousands who lost any respect and support for her, and that includes folks from the entertainment world as well. It makes me jaugh when I see netizens say that ABB did not get surgery. Then explain the changes in the eyes, nose, lips, cheeks, ears, forehead. Damn the whole face has been reconstructed. But rhe change that is the biggest proof of PS is the chin. A human chin does not get wider and certainly not longer after they reach a certain age, even if they loose a lot of weight. How then did her chin become so elongated into her adult years?. That can NEVER happen without PS. Even a blind fool can see she had PS. To prove a point, I even showed her before photos, and then her after PS photo to a female doctor at VGH hospital, without mentioning any surgery. When she saw the after photos, still no mention of surgery, she said” if I decide to ever get plastic surgery, I want her doctor, or doctors to work on me”.

  5. I guess my main reason for disliking ABB is that she’s infamous for her looks. I had friends back then who thought she was the epitome of beauty. However, I never found her beautiful even before the surgery rumors. Her modeling counterpart Janice Man is waaay prettier, imho. It’s one thing if you’re gorgeous post-op, like Kylie Jenner or Kim Kardashian. But it’s completely another if you’re post-op and still look…plain. Even if that’s really her face and no procedures have ever been done, does she really deserve such critical acclaim when her face isn’t even that appealing?

    Coupled with her OTT husband and her poor attempts at acting and it just irritates me.

  6. Funny to see most commentors complaining about Angelababy’s look instead of her talent of acting. To be honest i am glad tiffany drop out of any drama since her acting is infuriating sucks, thank goodness she had good casts before like Hawick Lau and Wallace Chung. As for Chen to suddenly drop there must be a special reason that no offical announcement announced yet so why drop the bomb to angelababy. Honestly speaking angela’s acting in general and i, love you you, taichi 0, is really good while for those who don’t like her it’s up to u but that girl really can act just looking at her eyes to showing her emotions feel right. don’t watch acting with bias hence one cannot comprehend the real talent.

    1. @lia00027 it’s not as if angelababy had any official claim to fame aside from her looks. she started as a model, for godsakes. she’s had quite a bit of opportunity since she’s started to act, but from what I’ve seen of her works, they were mediocre at best. she went from model to main star without having to jump through hoops to hone her acting skills. and you wonder why people think her acting suck?

      1. @coralie Gao Yuan Yuan came from no degree, no competition award, no supporting character, and went straight to a main star only because they found her in some advertisement. Everything went smooth for her although she got main roles without previous experience, because she is really really really pretty.
        I think we just have too much problems with ABB face, it’s not a typical chinese face but quite westernized. She doesn’t fit well into ancient chinese beauty category either, I have a big preference for her in modern movies but not ancient.

        I’m not convinced anybody need to start out as some dumb supporting roles in entertainment industry, people were blind to that belief and started creating very dumb supporting roles that should not even exist to waste time. Zhao li ying is a very big thing right now, but if she still looks like how she looked 7 years ago, I doubt she would be famous at all with the same look from Red Mansion 2011 (only 1 year before the big & fast transformation in Fair Princess 2010). It’s all about the looks. 7 years ago, Liu yifei and Yang mi were well loved for their natural beauty, while Zhao li ying is the same age as them but was not liked, it was because of her looks, not exactly because her roles were dumb. Liu yifei’s Love Winner, Love of May, and Doukou nianhua (04-05) were all very very dumb, dumb’er than what Zhao li ying played in Love Killed Nine River Hall and Mudan Pavilion (07-08). But it was Liu yi fei’s beauty that was so great, and people fell in love with (extra points was Liu yi fei was a multi-talent in many things). The characters unknown supporting roles Zhao li ying did back then could’ve been interesting, but she was not as pretty yet. After 7 years passed, all the beautiful girls in their early 20’s (including Liu Shi Shi and Tang Yan) are not as pretty anymore when getting closer and closer to 30’s. Despite Liu yi fei’s multi-talents, her ratings are getting lower and lower too. While Zhao liying who did not look as good back then now looks better than everyone else, even though she is not talented in anything else besides acting (not good with talking and singing), that was how she’s at the top now. From what I understand, anybody who’s the prettiest, goes to the top.

      2. @davy I never said looks didn’t play a part in this. but, if they ONLY have face and no talent, that wouldn’t work either. if it was Janice Man who was acting in ABB’s roles, at least I could verily agree she’s pretty enough to be in those roles. then it’s a matter of her acting skills. grace chan is the ultimate example of a vase with no acting skills and right now, her likeability is an all time low. you can’t just coast along with pure aesthetics and expect to be lauded.

        btw, the ones listed as ‘beauties,’ like Gao Yuan Yuan, LYF…I don’t find them typically attractive either. but at least GYY can act. I’m not sure about LYF, I was never a fan so I don’t watch her works much. but from what I’ve seen, she’s not a great actress either. so I never vouch for either of them.

      3. @coralie well said, don’t get me started on Miss Motor Mouth Grace Chan. She is the perfect example of having a cute face and nothing else and getting pushed really high up in the entertainment world. She has nothing to offer, unless flapping one’s mouth like a turbo engine counts as a talent.

        There is a problem with today’s batch of entertainers in the ebiz industry. They are given the keys to easy access in the business because of their significant others, family members, family wealth, or they simply have to have a gorgeous face, by society’s standards, or win a beauty pageant. If they have any of the mentioned criteria, the rest as they say, is history. I for one, have no problem if these men and women make an effort to improve, but they usually don’t. Why should they?. They know that fanatic fans will buy their at best mediocre music, watch their cheeseburger movies and tv series and go to their fanclub meetings and support any products that have their name or support.. They will garner fame and fortune while running on empty in the talent department, which is the core ingredient that should have made them famous in the first place.
        I remember days when there were stories of the actresses and actors in the Chen Daoming, Rosemund Kwan era and even a bit further back were looked upon as brash, inexperienced actors. Instead of letting the compliments about their looks go to their heads, they remained level headed and improved on their acting. Carina Lau and Leslie Cheung are also good examples of improving on acting and singing. These people ate ramen noodles and lunch boxes when they first started, worked long hours, missed important occasions with their loved ones, suffered all kinds of mental, physical and financial hardships to get to where they are now. They never complained when critiqued, but worked their butts off to improve. Today’s newbies are automatically thrust into leading man/woman status without paying their dues and earning their keeps. If Chen D declined the role for the reason mentioned, who can blame him? Let me answer that, NO ONE.

        I would love to hear what @IIlwy12, @happybi, @janet72, @jjwong,

    2. @lia00027 Talent???!!. what talent for acting???!!!, where the talent at???!!!. Somebody better show me where the talent at cause I sure ain’t seeing it. I hold nothing against you for being a fan of Angela BB, but that girl has no acting talent. You like her and good for you, but don’t let your admiration and adulation blind you to her limited talents, or lack thereof. The best acting job ABB performed was the day she had that plastic surgeon *checked* her face for no signs of plastic surgery. She should have been given an award for that, lets say one of the Razzies….lol, and even then, all she did was made a fool of herself to us who know better.
      All ABB is known for is changing from the beast to beauty. Good for her to go after a beautiful face, but to try to make a mockery of people’s intellect is what miffs folks.
      ABB’s acting is really good?!! oooohhh pleaassee…..tell you what,…. take five, take a break, don’t hurt yourself.

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