“Goodbye, My Princess” Scriptwriter Shares How Casting Choices Were Made

The Chinese period drama Goodbye, My Princess <东宫> did not receive a warm welcome when it was first announced two years ago. Based on the tragic romance novel of the same name, many fans were wary about the TV adaptation. When it was revealed that the show would star two relatively newcoming actors, fans became even more disinterested.

But the fans took back their criticism after the show premiered in February. Many fans were pleasantly surprised at how well the direction of the show turned out, and it’s all thanks to a team of dedicated scriptwriters for bringing the novel to life.

Goodbye, My Princess is set in an alternate China where the 9th princess of the Western Region travels to the Center Plains to marry the Crown Prince of the Eastern Palace, the most dangerous and manipulative place to be. Though a loveless marriage, mysterious events begin to unravel upon the princess’ arrival, revealing memories that were intended to be kept away forever.

The drama is co-written by six scriptwriters, with Hu Rong (胡蓉) in charge of quality assurance. One of the scriptwriters, Ke Yitong (柯宜彤), told Taiwanese news agency ET Today that the script had went through multiple revisions. “Director [Li Muge 李木戈] is a very straightforward man, yet he really has the heart of a little girl. It’s interesting,” she said.

The hardest scene to write in the drama was the subplot involving prince Li Chengye making the decision to rebel against the throne. “We changed that scene ten times. The director found that scene to be extremely important for the story.”

With a total of 52 episodes, Goodbye, My Princess had a production budget of 200 million yuan. The male lead is portrayed by 22-year-old Chen Xingxu (陈星旭), perhaps best known for starring as Yang Kang in the 2017 TV adaptation of The Legend of the Condor Heroes <雕英雄传>. Chen Xingxu was the first and only actor considered for the role of prince Li Chengyin.

“I’ll be honest, I was surprised when Chen Xingxu got cast,” said Ke. “I did watch his performance as Yang Kang, and at the time, he still had some baby fat. I didn’t consider him to be very handsome, so I wondered why a big IP drama like this one would want to cast him.”

Ke originally wanted a well-known actor to play the role of Li Chengyin, but after doing a table read with Chen Xingxu, she completely changed her views.

“I was definitely very wrong,” she said. “He is actually very handsome! He also understood his character, and was able to portray that darkness, naivety, and patience very well.”

The female lead, on the other hand, is portrayed by actress Peng Xiaoran (彭小苒). The decision to cast her was made only half a month before filming began. “The director at one point did consider casting a popular costume drama goddess to play the role, but we don’t have enough money to justify that. That’s why, in the end, we decided on Peng Xiaoran.” The 28-year-old has been in the business since 2014, with six credits under her name. Goodbye, My Princess is her first drama as lead.

The drama, which releases new episodes everyday on Youku, also boasts an award-winning supporting cast, including Siqin Gaowa (斯琴高娃), Gallen Lo (羅嘉良), and Kristy Yang (楊恭如).

Source: ET Today

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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  1. so glad they didn’t cast a popular actress to play the lead role.
    Both peng xiaoran and cheng xingxu are doing great!

  2. Only thing I notice about this drama, her make up is soooooo white. They need to tone that down.

  3. I haven’t seen this drama yet, but the overall premise ick me. She kept commit suicide to avoid her husband, who is a pretty bad person. Not once but twice????

    And through a few stills, her eyes are exceptionally red, like sickening zombie like red, maybe because her face is so white, but it looks kinda scary

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